Empowering Discussions

Do We Still Need to Talk About Unrealistic Beauty Standards?

The answer of course is yes. As long as the media continues to assault us with unhealthy images of “ideal” beauty standards we need to talk about it. As more advertisements, celebrity photos and selfies become digitally altered and women continue to be used as props in demeaning advertisements it is important we keep this conversation going.  Below is a collection of quotes from recent articles blasting unrealistic beauty standards and supporting self-love.

If I accepted the cultural construct of beauty ideals, I would never go out in public. Supermodels are airbrushed to sell shit, and I don’t need any more shit. I believe the sooner we create a new cultural construct, one of self-acceptance, the sooner we can all get on with making more important discoveries than age-defying breakthroughs.”    http://honiebriggs.com/2014/11/18/why-struggle-to-fit-in-when-theres-so-much-more-leg-room-out-here-2/


“There’s nothing wrong with celebrating beauty or black culture distinguishing itself by celebrating our own outlook. But it is important that in our conversations and perspectives about beauty, we make room to be inclusive of many shapes, sizes and curves-even those without them.”  http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/02/black_beauty_standards_just_as_unhealthy_as_white_ones.html


“Today, men and women of all ages are pressured by the media, by their families, and by their coaches or friends to work harder or diet more to lose weight. Everyone wants the cultural ideal body. We must realize that every body type is ideal because it is unique and fit for one person.”  http://thehighlanderpaper.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/the-body-image-the-evolution-of-unrealistic-and-unhealthy-standards-of-beauty/


“It’s almost impossible to mention weight discrimination without discussing gender discrimination. The media bombards us with retouched images of rail-thin women and beefy men, neither of which are the norm in society at large. Unfortunately, the idolization of underweight women feeds the false perception that the Kiera Knightley body type (with larger breasts via Photoshop, of course) is both the norm and the ideal. As a result, average-weight women are severely penalized for their failure to live up to that unrealistic standard.”  http://www.adiosbarbie.com/2014/12/skinny-women-fat-paychecks-weight-discrimination-in-the-office/#sthash.Inpii9WS.dpuf


“So, while society dictates what is attractive, you can let society know that you are beautiful, even if you don’t look like what is expected. The only ideal beauty that matters is inner beauty. True beauty starts with loving yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. Be good to yourself and other people around. We are all unique, and each of us has our preferences. You cannot please everyone, so be content with how you look. It doesn’t matter what your gender, skin color or weight is. As long as you love and accept what you see in the mirror, that’s good enough.”  http://fiusm.com/2014/03/23/the-only-ideal-of-beauty-that-matters


“Journalist Priscilla Yuki Wilson, who is half-Japanese and half-black, sent a photo of herself to editors in various countries across the world in a bid to see how they would use Photoshop to make it beautiful according to their cultural standards. She found that in contrast to similar projects in the past that have resulted in a huge variety of changes, people seemed to be at a loss as to how to improve her unique face.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2749352/What-biracial-beauty-Half-Japanese-half-black-woman-Photoshopped-different-countries-mixed-backgrounds-not-fit-conventional-standards.html


“The world is full of people hating themselves for their defects and flaws. Being in my own recovery I have found out that I should never feel ashamed about myself.”  http://selflovewarrior.com/2014/07/15/you-deserve-self-love/


What if we honestly talked about beauty standards? BuzzFeed does a spot on video of just how ridiculous we would sound.



So what can those of us who aren’t part of a media franchise do to create change? We can pressure companies to use unaltered images in their marketing, we can stop obsessing over our own bodies and stop buying into every new makeup trend. If you’re really serious stop buying fashion magazines and visiting sites that are full of demeaning ads. When we no longer buy into unrealistic beauty standards than businesses will change thier approach. We are each a part of this society and we can choose how to shape it.

Don’t think we can change the media? Check out the following success stories 

“Victoria Secret listened to the public and made a positive change, although we received no apology or statement. This is still an incredible achievement! We are overjoyed. Thank you so much to every single person that signed this petition, shared it and helped the spread the message of our campaign! Let’s hope advertisers get the message that body-shaming is never ok!”  https://www.change.org/p/victoriassecret-apologise-for-your-damaging-perfect-body-campaign-iamperfect/u/8749266

“Finally, Washington DC is doing something about the link between photoshopped images in advertising and how people – in particular girls and women – feel about themselves. But to really drive the change we’re after, the policy-based approach needs to be strengthened by grassroots support. That’s how you can help us win this battle.”  http://www.bravegirlswant.com/truth-in-ads.html 


“The viral photos sparked a body image debate that was made up of expected fat shaming as well as praise for acknowledging real women’s bodies. There was also shock, however, as to why featuring a size 10 mannequin was even controversy-worthy. “Why is this such a big deal,” Refinery 29 asked. “…The fact that the installation is larger mannequins in a “regular” store is so controversial seems ridiculous.” http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/01/21/if-these-dolls-could-talk-how-mannequins-are-changing-the-way-we-talk-about-female-beauty/



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