|Models Inc., with a pre-Matrix Trinity. Source: oldtvshowsondvd.blogspot.com|
However, it seems that this evening I want to talk about it again. That will probably continue as long as it's an issue - I do have some ideas to stop such negativity, as simplistic as they may be (that I mention at the end) - but until I FEEL the change happening I'll probably continue to post about it.
I really wonder if there is anything we can do to make our actions or discussion about it (negative body-image issues) more solution-focused?
This week's post is about airbrushing and plastic surgery. Yes, everyone knows why this is a problem - it gives women unrealistic expectations of beauty - but I think it's even more insidious than that, for its (tidal-wave strength) ripple effects.
I like to think I am a fairly savvy analyst of magazines, but way back in 2009 I realised I had obviously been duped, or desensitized to the reality. Sarah Murdoch was on the good old Australian Women's Weekly and agreed to pose without any photo touch-ups and although she was in full make-up and has model dimensions 98% of the population do not have, it made front-page on the magazine, and was the lead story of many other news articles at the time (although let's not blame Sarah for this, it's the reflection of our society what our front page news is, and what I want to focus on).
It makes me wonder what it is like for teenagers today, who see photos that have been airbrushed into non-reality in every magazine ... which is why some of them (and lets not forget we are talking about TEENAGERS here) go to plastic surgeons so they, too, can look 'unreal' ... which then causes other young women (via peer pressure) to want to look 'unreal’. This is the ripple effect mentioned earlier - we teaching young women to emulate something that need not even exist and doesn't naturally exist.
When I was 15, I used to live for Models Inc. (an Aaron Spelling, Beverly Hills 90210/Melrose Place spin off) and was devastated when it ended. I wanted to look like that. That was most likely a HUGE BIT unhealthy, with all its 'outward beauty is the only value women have' messages, but what disturbs me now is that teenagers can watch the British/Australian/New Zealand/American real-life version of Models Inc. in '*insert your country's name here* 's Next Top Model. A show where people like Naomi Campbell will reprimand a teenager for "looking self-conscious." In the five minutes I watched, Campbell was scathing of this'self-conscious teenager' for not projecting the sexy image the ad. had employed her for (just as Campbell has most likely been treated herself). Others were also told they couldn't 'cut it' if they did speak out, or got upset, or quit, with the implication being 'you'll never make it, anywhere, millions would have begged for this opportunity.'
As Stephenson pointed out, it is difficult to realise what that pressure is like until you get to that age.
When you’re young, you think there are worse things than wrinkly chicken necks, because you love your mothers and grandmothers who have them (or at least I do), but it seems the pressure is increasing not decreasing even with their worldy wisdom.
It also made me consider other 'non-invasive' methods I've heard of, like 'peels' (not the banana kind). I read an interview with a beauty therapist recently, about these 'non-invasive' methods. She commented glibly that women can be 'pampered' by 'freshening' their skin. The benefits were that it made customers feel young again. I didn't think much about it at the time, but now that I've had time to reflect, what I really want to know is not so much why is youth so important in our culture, but when did we get so blase about ACID ON THE FACE?
So, are there any solutions in fighting the 'body police'?.
I’m also going to try not to berate women who succumb to the surgeon’s scalpel in the quest for beauty, but pay close attention to the women who haven’t had it done. How do they live their lives?
Give me the strength when I get to their age.
Skate or die!!,