A young girl – we’ll call her Kylie. She is 16.
Kylie is walking down the street and comes across an advertisement portraying “the perfect woman”: long, lean, 5’10” legs; perfect makeup and long eyelashes; a flat, tight stomach; the ever elusive “thigh gap” people seem to crave; she’s beautiful.
Kylie is 5’4”. She only wears a bit of mascara and her stomach isn’t “perfectly flat.” Her thighs touch and she hates that about herself. When she looks in the mirror she doesn’t like what looks back at her.
Kylie is beautiful, but most media has distorted her perception of what is beauty.
At this point I am sure most, if not everyone, has seen the video where a woman goes in for a photoshoot, and over the next 30 seconds is airbrushed and completely transformed from her original photo.
What does this tell women?
It tells them their legs need to be longer, skin should be perfect and blemish-free, and other “imperfections” need to be taken care of. But it is these distinguishing factors that make people individuals, and these are the elements of beauty.
Don’t get me wrong, some advertising agencies are using it for the betterment of body images. Dove has campaigns dedicated to showing the beauty of natural, real women – not ones who have been photo-shopped. I’m sure everyone has seen the commercials with women of all sizes flaunting their proud bodies.
Christina Hendrick is considered “plus size” simply because she has curves – of which she is damn proud, and said to a reporter “Calling me full-figured is just rude.” Adele said she “would only lose weight if it affected [her] health or sex life,” and more women are starting to speak out against this idealized version of what true beauty is supposed to be.
Why can’t we all do that?
This is not supposed to be some long lecture where I am hoping to change the world in 500 words or less, but I am using it as a means of shedding some light on an all-too-real situation women are living in.
To know the enemy is to be able to fight against it. The enemy is insecurity, and it’s a battle women go through daily.
Kylie is beautiful, but she doesn’t see it.