“Improve your sex life and your body”
“Sexy abs! Get ‘em in 15 minutes!”
I found these three headlines on the cover of one beauty magazine. ONE cover of ONE magazine for ONE month….It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out how many similar headlines are out there for us to see on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Women [and I choose to say women for 2 reasons: 1. I am a woman and I speak from my own experience, and b) because these types of messages are found predominately in women's magazines....not to say men don't find this too] are constantly bombarded with messages such as those listed above. Headlines in big, bold letters that scream to us. They rope our attention in by telling us how we can become thinner, prettier, and more sexy to our guy- all in the quickest amount of time possible!
I have an incredible problem with the overall message(s) given in these types of magazines: they lead us to believe that we are never good enough, never pretty enough, never thin enough, never sexy enough AS WE ARE. There’s always that unachievable ideal image of beauty that we will forever be chasing in vain. We will starve ourselves, binge, purge, lay in sunbeds, manipulate our eating, work out too hard, and buy beauty products that don’t work, all in an attempt to look like the airbrushed cover girl. It sets us up to fail and perpetuates a culture of eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and low self-esteem.
Now don’t get me wrong- I am the #1 fan of having fitness/wellness goals, and believe that when you walk out of the house feeling like a million bucks that it does wonders for your attitude and self-esteem. But all of this needs to be kept within healthy parameters where the focus is on living well and feeling healthy….not striving to be a bag of bones, and being as skinny as possible. Women, as a group, need to be better at embracing the many forms of beauty- all shapes and sizes. We need to be allies and supports for one another; we need to provide one another with daily reminders that beauty and fashion magazines are NOT the norm. They do not provide realistic standards to which we should be held.
I challenge you to take a stand against the harmful messages, headlines, and unrealistic standards. Compliment someone, give positive messages, make someone feel good about who they are NOW, as is.