This morning I was watching a Pussycat Dolls music video and – no, don‘t leave! Wait! I promise, this is not the intellectual capacity of this column!
So I was watching this video with what appears to consist of five strippers telling me to “loosen up their buttons,“ and I was thinking to myself, are you coming on to me?
Later, I flipped open a Cosmo (I promise, this will get better) and the first three pages or so are of these tall, tan, foreign looking women staring straight at me with barely any clothing on. What are you getting at, lady? And why do I feel like I‘m being seduced by all these people?
Even the advertisements on my Facebook account have either boobs, butts or American Apparel advertisements which are a combination of the boobs and the butts. It‘s all really overwhelming.
What‘s frustrating is when these strippers, half-clothed women, and boob-butt combos in advertisements become the ideal and the standard for beauty in our society. We all know it.
What I mean is, when the main stripper from the PCD is considered beautiful, while by the same standards my mother, a hard-working mother of four, is not – something ain‘t right here.
We‘re taught by watching these music videos, reading these magazines, and being bombarded with advertisements to idolize people who either look like a very small percentage of women or don‘t look like any of us at all (see: Photoshop). But somehow, its perpetuated and reinforced onto us so much that one study said that a certain percentage of third grade girls felt that they were too fat and wanted to lose weight.
And its not just women either. Men have similar obscured standards for how their bodies should look. Tall, buff, six pack. Almost 1 million men in the United States have (reported) eating disorders. The same advertisements with the half clothed women have men with their shirts ripped open to expose ridiculous muscles. Photoshop often applies to men too.
Every society has its idea of beauty. What is wrong about our standard is that first the many Photoshopped, digitally altered and enhanced images of people in magazines are literally profiting off of our insecurities. When you want to look thinner, you‘ll cash out for some expensive diet plan. Need to be buffer? Buy our gym membership! When your skin isn‘t as tan as the woman in the magazine is, just buy this self tanner. When your teeth aren‘t as white, when your hair isn‘t as blonde, when your boobs aren‘t big enough, when your ass is too saggy, when you‘re just a few inches too short, when there‘s just a tiny bit of baby fat you want to get rid of. …
When you just aren‘t good enough, there‘s a product that will make you temporarily feel better.
And when their aren‘t any products that can make you feel better, your psyche will make you believe other things will. Can‘t afford liposuction? Just avoid eating to lose just a bit of weight. But then when you do eat, you feel guilty. So you compensate later by avoiding eating some more. Or you can just work out twice as hard later. Or in many cases, you can just regurgitate the food that makes you feel so guilty.
Speaking from a woman‘s point of view, sometimes it can be really hard to look at yourself, especially while growing up, and not think that there is something wrong with the way you look. But it shouldn‘t be like that. About three-fourths of both men and women with healthy body weights have reported body image issues with themselves.
All the while we‘re paying more and more to make sure we look good enough to love ourselves.
Don‘t let them get to you. Be happy and be healthy. If you need more information about body image or eating disorders go to the Association for Disordered Eating and Body Image (ABIDE) website at wrrc.ucdavis.edu/abide.
SARA KOHGADAI will be in the MU patio today, May 20, at noon with 22 women who are going to show off their non-Photoshopped bodies, in clothing that makes them feel good, on stage in a fashion show. Speaker Ron Saxen will also share his experience as a male model who suffered with binge eating disorder. Don‘t miss it! For more info contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.