We are in the midst of the summer season and besides relaxing and being outdoors everyone is working to get the perfect summer glow and bikini body. When we open up this season’s magazines, it is hard to avoid comparing yourself to the girl on the high-gloss page. We all do and even I am guilty wondering if my tanned skin is as wonderful as the girls’ summer glow as I flip through the pages of Fitness and Cosmo.
From the moment we wake up to just before we go to bed, we are constantly influenced by the world around us. Most of that contact is with the media–products we use at home, TVs, cell phones, computer, radio, magazines, bill boards, you name it..it is having a huge effect on us.
One of the biggest influences though is the power that the media has on women over body image. From a young age girls are struggling to look perfect and have the thinnest body to prettiest hair and so on. This causes women to purchase products or sometimes even go through extreme surgeries to look what they have been told is “beautiful.” Click here
I struggle with the messages that the media is sending out, but unlike young girls I fully understand that no one does or can look like that. I fully believe that being beautiful is being yourself; it is when you are happiest.
Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign originated in 2004 celebrating women and the bodies they have as well as inspiring them to be confident in themselves. One of the campaign’s videos shows a model going through her beauty regimen before a photo shoot for one of their billboards. The video even shows editing of the model’s photo after the shoot on the computer…proving that she, the model, the symbol of what the media wants is not even perfect enough. No one looks like that! So why have we created a society that focuses on perfection when in reality no one is perfect? This is a whole industry that was created around something that is unattainable.
Women and young girls face this pressure each and every day and sure they are told by many that they are beautiful just the way they are, but when they see the constants on TV and in magazines it only amplifies their original perception that I am not tall enough, thin enough, or pretty enough. Check out these statistics- “Only 2% of women think they are beautiful.”
So I challenge you ladies (and men who are reading this too) to embrace who you are today and every day. It starts with young girls and into the teenage years of when people are finding themselves and trying to grow comfortable in their own skin. This is when teens need to be told that they are beautiful the most. I think it is when college hits and into the 20s that girls finally gain self-awareness and comfort in their own skin, but for some the pressure continues. That is not how life should be, trying to be something you are not by putting a hole in your wallet or body in physical harm.
Last month Dove came out with a video on a social experiment they were doing called Dove Real Beauty Sketches, which proved that women are their own worst critics. This experiment proved that women are more beautiful then they think..watch the video here.
Not only is Dove sending this positive message, but also companies like Under Armour and Special K to be fit, healthy, and happy. I like that the outlet girls have struggled with is beginning to making a strong movement to send the right message– love who you are each and every day.
Let’s Talk– We all have opinions..
What role do you think the media plays in development of young girls self-esteem?
Do you think the media has changed over the years and is beginning to stress the importance of being yourself?
How do you see yourself and what do you think when you look in the mirror? Most women never think “I’m beautiful.”