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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Beauty is only...what the media says?

I was browsing blogs this morning and came across this video that Dove made. (see below) I have to say their Campain for Real Beauty is doing some pretty spectacular things in the fight to combat the twisted image of "beauty" the media is feeding us.

I've always been a bit on the "healthy" side and thankfully never really felt the pressure to be "thin". I was a very athletic kid and teen, playing softball from ages 7 through about 14, basketball for my church when I was 15 or 16, and volleyball my 2nd semester in college so even though I was a bit heavier than most kids I was still fit.

Thankfully medicine and science are slowly coming to the conclusion that being technically overweight doesn't always mean you're unhealthy. I'm considerably overweight now, technically obese, but am according to a complete blood panel and workup just last year, other than hypothyroidism, the picture of perfect health. This is not always the case though so I'm in no way saying it's safe or "ok" to be obese. You may be thinking.. wait didn't she just blog about going to the gym? Yes.. but that's not because I'm "unhealthy", it's because I'm carrying more weight now than I normally do and am personally not comfortable with it. I'm not striving to get thin, just back to a weight at which I'm more comfortable.

Things have gotten so out of hand with self-image these days that everywhere you look, on the cover of every magazine there is some article about how to lose weight, flatten your stomach, thin your thighs, tone your arms, or smooth your wrinkles. The list of improvements we're being told we need is vast. You have celebrities looking the same year after year, even respected news anchors are falling prey to the nip/tuck mentality. Speaking of Nip/Tuck.. there's even a show, heck there are several shows dedicated to showcasing the so-called benefit and need for aestheticly altering ourselves. You have Dr. 90210, Extreme Makeover (not the home edition), The Swan, Plastic Surgery Before & After, and my favorite (note extreme sarcasm here) I Want a Famous Face, that takes teenagers and offers them plastic surgery that promises to leave them looking like their favorite celebrity.

Then you have America's Top Model, Make me a Super Model, The Agency & The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, taking "average people" and running them through a gamet of tests and adventures to see who has what it takes to be a super model. In defence of Tyra's show, Top Model does offer the opportunity for "plus-sized" models, however so far none have made it in the top 4. Whether that's because the particular plus-size girls they choose fail to take consistently fantastic pictures or because the pictures aren't considered fantastic because of the girls size I can't say, but that show is at least showing that big can possibly be beautiful.

I have a niece who will be 2yrs old next month and I can only hope that by the time she's old enough to understand the implications of what she sees on TV and in magazines that times will have changed and what she'll see are pictures and images of Real Beauty, in every shape, size and color. I hope what she sees will teach her that she is beautiful, acceptible, worthy of being loved and perfect just as she is. I also hope, for the girls, boys, men and women influenced by what they see today, that it doesn't take that many years for such a change to occur.

You.. yes YOU are beautiful JUST AS YOU ARE. Never let anyone tell you differently.

2 People who coughed on a furball:

Big Momma Pimpalishisness said...

I have a favorite painting called the Bathers, by Renoir. I decided a while back to paint a reproduction and now it's hung up in my house- 3 naked ladies bathing in a lake. I love it because they are average, normal looking women with voluptuous bodies, not like the sickeningly skinny ones we see everywhere now. I hope that when my son grows up, he realizes that women are not just here to look sexy for him and that he loves and respects women for everything they are, not just their bodies.

Ambrosiality said...

I loved that video!!

i love dove real beauty. But I can't help but notice, since their campaign, they've made a very good profit, but not all their dove ads feature real looking women. But I applaud them for taking a positive stand.

Currently It seems like the hardest thing for most is loving ourselves just the way we are.