Stunningly beautiful, perfectly fit. That’s not what most people look like where I come from.
I was thirteen years old when I had the pleasure of being notified in a public locker room by a few ‘girlfriends’ that I was the proud owner of cucumber boobs.
Yup…cucumber boobs, lucky me. Now, I’m thinkin’, this wasn’t a good thing, these cucumber boobs. Just sayin’.
Since that milestone in my adolescent development, I’ve filled out a little, thank God, and have been bound and determined to mold my God-given form into the PERFECT body. Diet, running, diet, kickboxing, diet, swimming, diet…surgery????
Why, you ask?
Well, it’s obvious, silly! There’s something wrong with my body!
Thirty years later, I’m hoping my boobs are more normal. But you know, a couple more years of gravity and a sock on each one, I might just be able to sweep the floor while I make dinner. I’ve since added a nice arm-flap appendage, that with just the right momentum, I could take out a few unsavory co-workers, if need be. Don’t say this girl doesn’t know how to make lemonade out of lemons!
So…Who the fuck made me think there is something wrong with me?
The Media had a huge hand in it.
Women AND men of all ages in America are up against an unrealistic view of what beauty is all about, from the TV shows we watch, to the commercials, to magazine covers. We are haunted everyday by what sells: Physical Perfection.
And who’s to say what perfection is?
The casting director of some TV show like 90210? Why are all the people in the 90210 zip code so much more beautiful than my zip code? Is it our water that makes my community so…typically normal?
And why all the emphasis on physical perfection?
Because this is what sells. The media gives America what it wants. Beautiful, sexy people to look at. But at what cost? Do our children think this is what they are supposed to look like to be poplular, cool, accepted?
Sorry, I can’t live up to those standards. Sadly though, our kids are buying into this. They feel lesser, unworthy, self-esteem begins to shrivel. Teens generally don’t become popular because of their grades or their kindness when the emphasis is on physical beauty. We are our own worst enemy.
When was the last time you saw an even remotely non-beautiful person in an alcohol commercial? Only when they are meant to be the comic relief, I assure you.
I don’t know about you, but the last time I Swiffered my floor, I wasn’t wearing slacks and a button down blouse and heels. I was braless and had on a pair of paint-splattered yoga pants with a hole in the crotch and a bleach-stained DICK’S LAST RESORT t-shirt. And I probably didn’t shower yet, or change yesterday’s underwear, either.
Americans like to look at ‘pretty’ people. We subconsciously think, “Hey…if I buy that I’ll look like him or her!…If I drink that I’ll be popular like him or her…”
Honey, there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna look like Taylor Swift no matter how much CoverGirl shit I plaster on my face. SORRY! Oh, and by the way, naturally beautiful Taylor Swift evidently doesn’t look like her ads either. Her latest Cover-Girl ad was pulled by the National Advertising Division for being overly ‘photoshopped’ and unrealistically computer manipulated.
How the hell do these advertising companies get away with that? How can they lie to the consumer by using computer altered photos? Isn’t this un-ethical?
Chew on these stats for a while:
Body Image Statistics
Two out of five women and one out of five men would trade three to five years of their life to achieve their weight goals.
In 1970 the average age of a girl who started dieting was 14; by 1990 the average dieting age fell to 8.
A study found that women overestimate the size of their hips by 16% and their waists by 25%, yet the same women were able to correctly estimate the width of a box.
After viewing images of female fashion models, seven out of ten women felt more depressed and angry than prior to viewing the images.
The “ideal” woman – portrayed by models, Miss America, Barbie dolls, and screen actresses – is 5’5, weighs 100 pounds and wears a size 5.
Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents.
35% of occasional dieters progress into pathological dieting.
The diet industry (diet foods, diet programs, diet drugs, etc.) takes in over $40 billion each year and continues to grow.
30% of women chose an ideal body shape that is 20% underweight and an additional 44% chose an ideal body shape that is 10% underweight.
The average U.S. woman is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds whereas the average U.S. model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds.
We all know beauty comes from within; our hearts, our compassion, our kindness and humor. So why is 90% of the emphasis of the media in this country based on outer beauty alone? (Not to mention social-melodramatic-chaos, but that’s a whole other blog.)
So what’s a girl or guy to do?
I support companies who make an effort at taking the emphasis off outer beauty. For example DOVE. I love their ads: average-looking people, average-sized people taking care of the body they’ve been blessed with. I also take EVERY opportunity to spread my brilliant opinion to young people about the importance of what’s inside vs. what’s outside. I recently watched a teen on Facebook post a new photo of herself and recieve 82 comments. When the same teen posted a comment about the sadness of a teen-related drunk driving accident, she recieved 4 comments. The youth of this country is where the power lies for the future.
People who feel better about themselves, are happier, kinder and are less apt to strike out or be judgemental of others.
The opinion of what consititutes ‘sexy’ has changed drastically over the years. Personally, I believe ‘sexy’ is a state of mind, a way of thinking and being comfortable in your own skin. Sexy can come in all kinds of packages. Screw pigeonholing!
What attributes in a man or woman make them attractive to you?
What’s your opinion of how the media handles marketing? Would you buy makeup or clothes from a plus-size average looking model?
What can you do to make a difference for the generations to come?
I’m going to tell at least one person a day I like them because of a wonderful inner quality as well as a surprising outer quality. And I’m gonna find the people who least expect it.
Variety IS the spice of life!
PS My judgment Count from Mojo Monday? 7, 3 being against myself. Sometimes…we are our hardest critic.