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Beauty Sickness

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The way we see ourselves speaks volumes on how we feel. However, if beauty is in the eyes of the beholder then why do we have to live up to idealistic standards? Who decides who are the idols? When did one version of beauty speak for all?

For years I felt bad about myself. I have tried and still try to live up to the perfect idea of a beautiful woman. In my mind a beautiful woman would have skyscraper legs. This woman would have perfectly chiseled muscles wrapped on impeccable bone structure. The glass coke bottle frame she carried around was complimented by her milky coconuts and mouthwatering bonbons. Along with the plump pink rose petal lips that away looked pouty. Accentuating her Pocahontas hair, which is soft as a feather, no split end in sight, and all in place.

Her eyes would be like an ocean. Each wave slowly bringing you into a hurricane. Her tight curves drove you up to park for a frontal view of a blinding white smile. What made this woman the best of the best? Why did I feel I had to be her?

***

As a young child I was bombarded with commercials of perfect women after perfect women. I grew up watching music videos with gorgeous superstars dancing provocatively.  I may not have known what it meant but I saw the reaction.

I saw that everyone loved these people and I wished I was loved like they are. I want to be a perfect woman like them. Who in reality are not perfect at all. These women were airbrushed or painted and starving. Yet I didn’t care about the cost.

Over the years I’ve realized that beautiful women also may lack love. She can also feel unhappy, unappreciated, unloved. She can also be hurt. No matter how gorgeous the woman, the respect may not be there. Even though she is beautiful, she may get cheated on.

As jaw dropping as you are, after your 30s and 40s if you’re lucky, you can still be replaced for a newer model. But still I felt an urge to be beautiful, but with no reason why. Today I know why!

Esquire magazine surveyed that 55 percent of women would rather be hit by a truck then be fat. When this survey was announced to a group of college women the replies were shocking. They asked how big would the truck be? How fast was the truck moving? What kind of truck is it? Will it hurt? This is the reaction that women have about being beautiful and perfect.

Women would rather be hurt then be fat and healthy.

We live in a culture that says beautiful is the most important or powerful thing a woman or a girl can be. Beauty is an image of a model and you don’t look like this!

Hyper-sexualized images of thin women increase depression and shame. It also decreases self-esteem and body satisfaction. Our sense of what is real has been distorted. Our sense of real women has become warped by these hyper-sexualized images of women given to us by the media. We start to believe that this is the norm instead of taking it for what it is.

Rare cases of unique beauty.

We started to evaluate the true and natural beauty that has been given to us. This caused the explosion of cosmetic lines and the fitness industry. All around the world women and men are getting fatter and the images for the ideal is Getting Thinner and thinner. We are forcing our minds to believe that this is the norm when in reality this is not the norm. So the gap between what you are and what you should be is enormous.

Making people feel terrible about themselves. The internet has been and still is making women more interested in beauty and how they look rather than how smart they are. Also making them less interested in their families. The economy. Politics. Even the state of the world because they are too busy worrying about their weight loss goals or skin routine.

How did we get like this? It’s a little something called the objectification theory. This theory believes that women live in the world where a form of currency is their appearance, that you cannot escape. You may walk down the street and people comment about your appearance, but have advertisers tell you how to be more beautiful. Television tells you how you should be beautiful and the more beautiful you are the more love you receive.

The internet, social media and even news programs ridicule women who failed to be beautiful. Your appearance is so chronically observed by other people that overtime you start to chronically observe your appearance.

Rather than moving around and looking at the world, you worry about how the world looks at you. You find yourself asking,

“Do I look okay?”

“Am I too fat?”

“Is my forehead to shinny?”

You start to internalize that your body is always up for display for other people. Your body is always up for evaluation so you better keep an eye on it as well. Rather than experiencing the world you are experiencing it through a mirror that you can never put down. This is the reason why people objectify eachother. This is the reason why young girls want to grow up to be sexy things. This a reason for many people who self-mutilation and food disorders.

But wait a minute… What about men? The media tells them do not try as hard to impress women. Movies and television tell you if you can make a women laugh you have her no matter what you look like, as well as if you want to keep her give her money.

Men do not use makeup to enhance their beauty. Men do not wear girdles to tuck in their fat. Men do not spend hours grooming themselves. In fact, the typical stereotype of a man is to be dirty, smelly and strong. Over time however, men have been sucked into the beauty sickness. Now images of body builder men are their ideals. Men as well fall victim to objectification theory, just less harshly.

Wanting to be beautiful is not the problem. However, when all the young woman wants to be is beautiful that is a problem, how can you stop beauty sickness?

Well, here are a few tips:

  1. Invest less in beauty.
  2. Avoid television shows or magazines that leave you feeling unworthy or not beautiful.
  3. Your body is a tool not a collection of parts for people to look at.
  4. Stop worrying about the size of your thighs and worry about the strength of your thighs. Those thighs will lead you to walk your path in life. Stop talking about your upper arms, because those arms reach out and bring the things you love close to you.
  5. Don’t let people make you into a sketch. You are more than just your body. You are more than how people see you. Your body is not for looking at, it’s for doing things.
  6. You can also monitor the time you spend looking at yourself in the mirror. And when you do look in the mirror you can affirm to yourself that you are beautiful every day.
  7. But to help our future we should stop telling young girls that they are pretty. Instead we should admire these girls for other important traits that they have to offer. For example, we should tell young girls you are so smart, you are so kind, you’re so caring, you are so giving, you are so loving. Those are qualities that should be honored and when doing so your counterpart what society is doing and valuing true beauty. We will never live in a world where beauty doesn’t matter but we can live in a world where beauty matters less and these characteristics matter more.

Let’s try to stop worrying so much about how people see us. We should value people for their generosity we should respect people for their loyalty. Respecting the honor from great people of the past. People who fought for equality and acceptance. Only you have the cure for your beauty sickness.

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Beauty Sickness