Sunday, May 15, 2011

What century is this anyway?

My daugher is planning to go to school. The other day, while helping her get registered for classes, one of the ladies at the school made a comment that has stuck with me all weekend.

She said to her "you're thin and beautiful, you won't have any trouble finding work once you've completed your studies"

I'm sure my mouth fell open when she said it, because immediately she responded with "I know it's unfair, but let's face it, society still thinks that way - thin, beautiful girls get ahead much faster."

At first I kept telling myself, nah, she's crazy, people aren't really that shallow anymore. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, unfortunately she is probably right.

Tv spends countless hours telling us to lose the weight, get rid of the zits, and lighten those "ugly" scars. Darken our bodies, whiten our teeth, and dress to impress. And when all else fails... get plastic surgery.

How can we teach our children that it's what's inside that counts, when the media continuously contradicts this message? How can we (ourselves)look in the mirror and be happy with what we see, when society and the media sets us up to believe we are never good enough?

Even super models in all the popular magazines maintain a weight that is 15 to 20 % below what is considered healthy for their age and height. Modeling agencies actually prefer them that way. Crazy huh!!

Yet, for photo shoots, some models go through plastic surgery, some are "taped-up" to mold their bodies into more photogenic representations of themselves, and even then, photos are airbrushed before going to print. So even the chosen "perfect ones," are imperfect.

We need to remind ourselves and each other constantly (especially our children) that these images are not the norm.... they are unobtainable to the average individual...and for the most part...they are fake.

Learning to feel comfortable with "the skin you're in" is tough enough!! Society needs to accept that all of us are more than what we see in the mirror, or the numbers we register on a scale. We don't need to change our bodies...we need to change our way of thinking !!

I hear you are counting sheep again, Mary Jane.
What's the point of trying to dream anymore?
I hear you're losing weight again, Mary Jane.
Do you ever wonder WHO you're losing it for?
~ Alanis Morissette ~

*photo is from unknown source


Lisa said...

"Little girls are not born to hate their bodies, we teach them!"

I can't stand that I hear my daughter at 10 complain about her thighs. Really? C'mon! She is 5'5" and does not look like your "average" 10 year old. This is why it is so hard for her.

That comment that lady made to your daughter is horrific, it is woman like that, that keep the vicious cycle going.

It is getting worse, botox parties, etc. I wish we could just go back to loving the skin we are in.
It is getting out of control!

S. Etole said...

Seriously good thoughts you've shared ... the photo sums it up well!

Catherine said...

Oh my stars ~ I can't believe someone said that. Sometimes we think we have come so far and then all of a sudden, we realize we haven't. sigh....

xo Catherine

Lisa said...

I just wanted to say how your comment a while ago on my post made a profound impact. It makes perfect sense, I just need to get there.
Thanks for your words and you.