Who’s that girl I see looking at me from a magazine? She’s perfect, she has flawless skin, bright eyes and not a hair out of place, she’s thin, there are no hips, no cellulite, although despite her skinny frame her breasts are fantastic. She’s not real. Tonight I spent a good amount of time watching the above and this afternoon I was reading my normal monthly set of women’s magazines.
Now I’m not going to use this article to bash women’s magazines because I know some who really do support women, although I can’t claim to understand some of the articles. I do have a problem with advertising, because it promotes an image that none of us can achieve. I’ve said many times on this blog that I’m not always happy with my body, especially as of late. I fractured my spine, I put on some weight and I wish I could say so what but I’m surrounded by images of thin and beautiful women.
I’m not saying we ban an idea of beauty, I mean who hasn’t used a good filter on Instagram? Or been happy with a little touch up here and there? Of course we do. I also want you to think about any time you’ve felt a little bit sad looking at pictures or thought I wish I looked like that, because I know that as an impressionable teenager I had these fleeting thoughts but they wouldn’t damage me right? Wrong. In part these images added to my feelings of self consciousness and comparing myself to other women.
In the video about I heard about young women who took on teen magazines to limit the use of photoshop. This gives me so much joy and hope. At that age you don’t always know that these images aren’t real, that you can’t look like that. I remember posing like Paris Hilton (I was a young teenager, and it was the early 2000s, give me a break) in a holiday snap to try and look thinner…I wasn’t fat to begin with. Children and young people are very impressionable, especially as you hit the teenage years your body is doing things you have no control over, your spotty or greasy or whatever.
Now for most of us who are bullied and teased we grow up and shed that awkwardness, even just a little, but at the same time we didn’t have the glare of social media. I just want to educate young girls that this isn’t real and at the same time. I want the media to stop sexualising everything they can, to not cut a model like a pumpkin, carving what they want out of you.
Just preparing for a project I’m going to do and looking at the words used in women’s magazines and they’re almost as responsible as the pictures. I want to do something positive. I want to shout it for the roof tops as I remind my little sister that she is the most naturally beautiful person I know and my little cousin that just because we’re a different shape to my sister doesn’t mean were not beautiful too. I want to make people not feel ashamed to wear makeup or want to get fitter but to know that there are so many different types of perfect and not just the models in a magazine.