My subject for this post came to me while watching one of my favorite shows (target audience: women). I was astonished when I realized that the majority of the advertisements were for hair dye, weight loss programs, eyeshadow, mascara or ‘Latisse’ (which upon further examination appears to be a prescription eye-lash growing serum).
The question I pose to you: why are we so quick to judge our so-called flaws that we rush to the nearest make up counter to find a product to hide them?
In my humble opinion, I believe that our society is currently informed by unrealistic expectations of women and beauty as fueled by media and mass consumerism.
We are constantly being barraged with images of size zero models and airbrushed celebrities who embody the media’s perception of perfection. These photos do nothing but compromise our ability to see beauty outside of the pages of a magazine.
To make matters worse, the consumer market has capitalized on the incessant pressure that is placed upon women to live up to these standards. If you look in any pharmacy across the country, you will find thousands of products that seek to improve the female appearance. We are told to remove all traces of body hair, smooth our skin, die our hair, lengthen our eyelashes…and the list goes on.
Similarly, the market for plastic surgery has skyrocketed in the past decade; with procedures being invented to keep up with the new ‘norms’ of female beauty. To clarify, I don’t condemn plastic surgery, but I’m sorry, but no woman is in desperate need of butt implants.
The purpose of this post is not to ask you, as readers, to burn your bras, throw out your beauty products and walk around like untamed cave-women. We all like to feel beautiful and we take pride in our appearances. And while we may enjoy looking at pictures of high-fashion models and celebrities, we need to keep in mind that a cookie-cutter, stick-thin, airbrushed version of ‘woman’ is not the only perception of beauty (even if it is being shoved down our throats at every turn).
As cliché as it may be, our differences are what make us uniquely beautiful. A full figured woman can be just as breathtaking as a size two, brown hair can be just as eye-catching as blonde, pale skin can be just as healthy looking as tan.
Remember that advertisements prey on our weaknesses. Remember that plastic surgery is not an ‘easy remedy’ to body image issues. And most of all, remember that beauty products are ‘enhancements’ – they’re not nearly as gorgeous as the women who are applying them. All in all ladies, I beg you: give yourselves a break! We may not be ‘perfect’, but we’re perfect just the way we are… in a nutshell.