Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Media + Beauty: A Rant.

So clearly I haven't done a DIY this week. It was been insane- my attempts to catch up from being super ill last week and then the ridiculously busy weekend made la vie prep impossible. I have some things I want to finish the week out with, though, so hopefully I can get to the store for supplies tonight.
End apology, begin rant.
If you follow on FACEBOOK, you likely saw the following post...
The point isn't that supermodels aren't still beautiful without makeup (here's the link if you're interested), but that they *are* beautiful and for some insane reason, we still feel the need to makeup and then photo shop them to no end. The Dove Campaign for Beauty does a great job of illustrating this in the short video below...
What is wrong with us as a society that we drastically hack away at and change women's bodies until they are no longer recognizable (have you sometimes had to wonder which celebrity it *actually was* on the cover photo??) or worse: they aren't even human. I always think of barbie here- she is just so stinking unrealistic. I dig barbie- I just bought my niece Rapunzel + Merida Barbies for her 4th birthday. But when I stop to imagine just how ridiculous she is, it blows my mind. Do you know her actual proportions? On a real human- here they are (from Galia Slayen)
Height: 5'9''
Weight: 110 lbs (freaking out!)
Bust: 39" (considering the massive percentage of her weight that is distributed here + freaking out again!)
Waist: 18"
Hips: 33"
Shoe size: 3 (?!!?!?!?!?!?!?)
BMI: 16.24
She wouldn't be able to walk upright and she wouldn't be able to menstruate.
And this is what we give little girls as their first ideal for beauty. Don't even get me started on her massively long, yet extremely voluminous hair. I don't even want to *think* about how much that would weigh in real life. I sincerely hope the 110 lbs doesn't include that figure. Wow. We are setting ourselves up for failure in the beauty department. No wonder an estimated 8 MILLION Americans have an eating disorder. We need to really reconsider what we allow as a nation.
Why do we allow so much altering to be done to photos? Not every country does. I love England for constantly BANNING ads that are misleading or overly photo shopped. I remember I bought a magazine in London once and literally going into raptures at the sight of  "Not actual results: false eyelashes and computer generation used to achieve look" at the bottom of a mascara ad. Let me tell you how much easier it would be to shop for mascara, or makeup in general, if companies had to show the actual results in their advertising. We could go that route! We could demand more ethical photos in our magazines.
Why don't we?
I, for one, am tired of having to constantly remind myself that the women in these pictures are fake. Fake. Not real. Computer generated. If I don't, it's so easy to become depressed while looking at a magazine. I had a great stat for that once back when I worked with young girls. It was an alarmingly large percentage of girls and women who felt bad about themselves/had a worsened self image after five minutes of perusing a fashion magazine. I'll have to find it and update this later. I'm big enough to admit that it definitely affects me. I start questioning my weight (insane. in-stinking-sane), my skin clarity, my skin color (pallleee! Not even a *hint* of summer glow), the length of my neck (who *thinks* of these things?!) and so much more. When I write it out, it seems really silly and trite- but when KIM KARDASHIAN is being photoshopped, who can blame me?!
Speaking of which- hats off to the celebs like Kate Winslet who refuse to be altered beyond recognition. Good for you, ladies. You're helping us win ground one victory at a time.
The point is- I don't want to continue promoting unrealistic expectations of beauty. I don't want my gorgeous, perfect nieces or the two beautiful little girls I care for to grow up comparing themselves to something that just isn't real. I don't want them comparing themselves to anyone, actually. You'll always find someone more (or less) beautiful than you, even in the real world. Comparison isn't healthy. I want to help create a world that focuses less on our culture's standard of outer beauty (not that I don't like doing the best with what I have!) and more on being the best versions of *ourselves* that we can be. Cultivating who we are as people, learning to be beautiful to everyone, even the blind, because of the way we interact with our world and the way we love others.
I honestly don't think that world will ever exist. But we can make *our* world that way by changing our own perceptions of beauty. By watching what we say about other women --- and to ourselves--- when considering what our culture would deem as beautiful. By praising the qualities (like kindness, generosity, compassion and so many more!) that other women *can* help, rather than despising or concentrating on the body or face that she can do nothing to alter. By considering what we bring into our homes and what we spend our money on. By writing letters to companies, asking them to reconsider how much photoshop is really necessary. Because, honestly, if you *need* all of that help to convince us that your product is worth our money-- maybe it really isn't.
End of rant. Bottom line? Love yourself today. Love the way you are. Don't let society make you feel for even one second that you aren't beautiful. And next time you see a flawlessly perfect image of a women on a magazine cover, remind yourself that is in fact, too good to be true. FAKE!
I love you, readers! All the best and thanks for ranting with me today.


  1. Because I use Photoshop as part of my job, I've posted several videos and photos of Photoshopped celebrities on my blog to demonstrate how easy it is to manipulate images. One of the best videos I've ever seen on this is "Fotoshop by Adobé". I still find girls/women and people on Pinterest not understanding how easy it is to use photoshop to manipulate photos - not only performing "cosmetic surgery" but blowing out the photo with light! I posted a Tina Fey quote about all the ethnicities that are expected in a present day "beautiful woman" and it's my second most popular post ever on my blog which tells you something:

    1. I *love* the end of the quote about Kim K, because she is exactly who I cited as still being shopped! It's amazing to me.
      I definitely like photoshop, it is an *amazing* tool, but I do not like how it is being used to destroy self esteem everywhere! It's so cool that you're opening eyes to that. People need to see that with a few clicks of a button- there is an entirely new person. We have to stop accepting photos of women at face value and comparing ourselves to them!

    2. Exactly. Some of the photos I see now on blogs and in magazines look like those horrible Toddler Pageant photos with the way too bright eyes, poreless skin, blindingly white teeth etc... I was watching the movie "The Sting" last week and what did I notice the most? That the actors/actresses looked like real people with wrinkles, pores, real teeth etc... So refreshing. Same thing with the European "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".

    3. Oh man... i should have included "Toddlers and Tiaras" in this rant!! You're so right. Let's start the revolution.

  2. Your blog is so sweet and honest and I've enjoyed following you through these past series you've done etc. Thanks for your wisdom and joy.

    Here's a neat little post from another blogger I love Crunchy Betty:

    1. WOW! That was an incredible video! I've been to Crunchy Betty's blog several times for natural recipes, but that was really awesome. Love those bodies!

  3. This post reminded me of something I've seen on tumblr quite a few times:

  4. ihave 2 granddaughters and i want to start teaching them about the "Fruits of the Spirit" -Love, joy, peace, self-control, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness. Once these are taught and implemented in their lives-their outer beauty will be radiant.


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