You have an image-how you feel about yourself and an idea of what people think about you. Where does this come from?
It starts when we are young then morphs and changes throughout life, just like our bodies do. The tough part about how we truly see ourselves is that, even if we were raised in a positive, fostering environment, the media is still powerful enough to make a girl second guess herself.Â Â As we look back at the fashion timeline, it’s apparent to see the shapes and sizes of the ‘it’ girls throughout the years: Twiggy in the 60s, Cheryl Tiegs 70s, Christie Brinkley 80s and Kate Moss in the 1990s (and still today). Each look in history has caused women to run out and adopt that particular fad of the time and today, we are no different.Â While national advertising campaigns are making steps towards a more body accepting and positive self-esteem feel, Campaign For Real Beauty (Dove), Diet Like A Dive (Nabisco) and the Victoria’s Secret promotion of curvaceous women, we are not quite ‘there’ yet. And with such a task as trying to appease all women, it won’t ever be done. That’s not being pessimistic, that’s being realistic.
After the 2010 Louis Vuitton Ready-to-Wear show, headlines rang out Thin Is Not In at Paris Fashion Week. While Marc Jacobs’ purpose was to cast a variety of models, be it in size, ethnicity and age, responses from the public showed that many were still unsatisfied.
As much as we Americans hate to admit it, we like giving labels. Because fashion, and how we each interpret it is different, what one may consider curvy another may view as overweight or not enough meat on the bones. What is stereotypically ‘ideal’ varies across regions and ethnic backgrounds. The voice that battles in our heads is not found so much from the runway models, but from the powerful presence of media.
It doesn’t matter if you are a fourteen year old high school freshman or a fifty-five year old mother, one can’t help but be exposed to the myriad of ‘desirable’ body images that we should all strive for. From checking out at the grocery store, to watching the latest female reality TV series, we can’t help but notice the bodies of other women, of famous women, and what do women do? We compare ourselves. In a recent poll by People magazine, 80% of women reported that the images of women on TV, in movies and in fashion magazine ads made them feel insecure about their looks.
Recently had a baby? Bet you feel a hint of the media heat too. How could you not? With workout plans and weight loss being tracked of each new celebrity mom, it can make many women feel as though the pressure is on them too. Who puts this pressure on us? Like much of the stress in our lives, we put it on ourselves. Although it is difficult to remember, let’s try to not be so hard on ourselves.
A friend of mine has a saying hung up on her wall, it reads: Be Gentle, Be Kind, Stay True To Yourself.