Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Who defines beauty? and even better yet.....Why do we let them? I was inspired to write this post based on an Oprah show titled " Beauty around the world with Jessica Simpson". I know .....Jessica's " The "is tuna chicken?" girl" yet she dared the audience to question the status quo by discussing her feelings on the medias beauty standards. She discussed being criticized about her weight constantly in various tabloid rags and the now infamous January 2010 chili performance debacle. The non performance related incident that caused quite a stir was her decision to wear high waisted , wide legged jeans, now dubbed " Mom Jeans" , and garnered these headlines “Jessica Simpson: This is How She Rolls” (TMZ) and “Jessica Simpson Shocks Fans With Noticeably Fuller Figure” (Fox News). The audience seemed shocked to discover that Simpson was only a size 4 in those pics and has never been bigger than a size 6. What does that say about the rest of us when, the average woman in the US is a size 14 ( whole other blog topic). The point is if a size 4/6 is labeled shockingly unattractive. Does this make the average woman hideous? IDK,I think that's a fair question.
I visited China via Oprah's camera lens and met with the Anna Wintour of Chinese Vogue, Angelica Chenug. Angelica discussed the media's influence on Chinese beauty and the tutelage necessary to encourage woman to spend obscene amounts on clothes and beauty products; explaining hosiery and the need to own them, defining the 60's, 70's, onward, and explaining trends that were resurfacing and are those that are currently dated - pesky communist beliefs kept women out of the loop. She now has the honor of now plastering the right faces with the centimeter of exposed eyelid ( slightly western so prettier - obviously, couture costumes, and expensive must have bags on the magazine. Dictating who Chinese women should want to look like and emulate. After all, years ago there was no difference between the people from the mainland or villages (problem). As a result, China's plastic surgery industry has exploded, young girls in China now deem Barbie prettier than their own Chinese dolls, and their nations has joined many others in this love/hate relationship with ourselves.
The beauty industry is profit driven just like any other business. Do you really think they want us to be satisfied with ourselves for a second - absolutely not. They will continue to inundate us with brainwashing advertisement which stirs up discontent within, breeds sins like jealousy , and encourage us to covet our neighbors; hair, body, designer clothes, luxury car, house, title, ipad, etc. It will take us a bit further from true happiness and we'll do the work of brainwashing our kids to hate themselves, in the process creating the next generation of loyal customers. The beauty industries created this unattainable airbrushed image of beauty so that the work that needs to be done with the various eye creams, clothes, highlights, blow dryers, perms, diets, youth serums, cosmetic procedures, etc never ceases. The industry isn't a billion dollar industry for nothing people.
It will be hard to change. I know all of this and still find myself defaulting to my encouraged way of thinking when assessing myself. I often back track and start again, but I'm aware. I think being aware is most important and will help prevent this poisonous mindset from affecting the next generation. I'm by no means encouraging people to treat their bodies like trash bags by eating crap, not exercising, flossing, chain smoking, or playing Russian Roulette with ones liver. I am saying if you're doing the right thing 90% of the time which is loving oneself. Look in the mirror and say my crows feet or grey hair isn't an issue , it reflects wisdom, and tell your reflection that you love him/her.