I don't expect a response to this thread, although it couldn't hurt. This is the 'leper' section of politics!
, so read and there we be. I will be shocked, if anyone has open mind enough to add anything. It's seriously affecting our world, now more than ever. And no DB, this has nothing to do with Ellen Muth, before I see people's brains getting busy, and them freaking out!(because of some stupid ass comments linked to IMDB television gawd!!!.com) which...because I'm used to this BS of "Angela's attacking Ellen!!!(what did she do to me? LOL)" the least I ask, is I don't want to see any stupid comments about these articles, or the img's. Fair? Done. Women/Men going thru this...my heart & mind's with you here, always, and I hope this stops. I truly do. Your not weird, your not crazy, there are lot's of people just like YOU(you just haven't met them yet!)we can work thru this as humanity together....just so long we recognize this....there are people that care about you,and yes your problems are real..don't down-size them, face them! With courage!
By Lorraine Smith
Lorraine Smith explains the pressures the media puts on women to be thin and beautiful.
Shortly after Christmas I was feeling fat, which is not an unusual occurrence but was actually justified at the time due to the amount of calories I had consumed over the previous few weeks. I was also feeling old and unfashionable due to an evening spent in a pub packed with people between 4 and 10 years younger than me who were wearing outfits purchased in the last 4 months, as opposed to the last 4 years.
I occasionally find myself wishing I was something other than I am.
Although there's no real pressure on me to conform to a young, thin and fashionable stereotype, I still find myself occasionally wishing I was something other than I am. Most of the time I am quite happy with the way I look. I know I have a big bottom and would love to have longer legs but there's no point in worrying about things I have little hope of ever changing, as I will just end up feeling depressed and overcome by feelings of self doubt. I've never been one to look at photos in magazines and fret that I don't match up to the image of apparent perfection that they portray, as they are generally airbrushed pictures of unusual looking models, but I have recently noticed that I am actually affected by images on television and in magazines.
I didn't realise just how few media images there are of women I can relate to until one television advert really made me smile. It was for the Nokia 7650 where three men expose their bellies to wish happy birthday to a colleague, who then takes a picture with her phone. It's full of normal looking people just being themselves which is rare in today's media, and even more so in advertising.
Why do so many rational women have body image problems? Research by the University of Glasgow suggested that women are up to ten times more likely than men to be unhappy with their body image. Why is this? Who is putting pressure on us to be young and thin? You don't have to go too far to find an answer to this question: just as far as your television set, in fact. When we're not being bombarded with images of tall, slender and glamorous young women in programmes where all the fat characters are there for comedy value only, we then get subjected to adverts for Weight Watchers and Slim Fast during the commercial breaks. OK so, no one has told us that we simply must buy these products in order to look like these people, but it doesn't help when you go shopping for clothes only to find that nothing fits.
We're bombarded with images of tall, slender and glamorous young women!
So-called 'fashionable' retailers skimp on fabric so their sizes come up smaller, and they shape their garments for a more athletic figure than the majority of women have. This means that a lot of women feel abnormal when they are in fact quite the opposite, and it is affecting us at a younger age than ever before. Teenagers have always been teased at school for looking fatter, thinner, taller or shorter than their peers but, as the magazine market for young girls increases and the desire to grow up kicks in at earlier ages than ever before, young women are finding it more and more difficult to accept the way they look. A survey of 500 school pupils by the Young Women's Christian Association revealed that one in three thought about their body shape all the time and only 14% were happy with the way they look.
Television companies, clothing retailers, magazine editors, advertising agencies and Hollywood should all really do more to halt this trend. We need images of women who we can aspire to be like, but not simply because they look a certain way. After all, there's more to glamour than looking good in a bikini. Jamie Lee Curtis posed sans make-up and photo re-touching for a magazine last year, then Kate Winslet destroyed all her earlier good work and caused outrage earlier this year with her blatantly airbrushed cover for a men's mag.
Every now and again someone in the media mentions that there is a problem (remember British Vogue's shoot with a size 14 model?), only to merrily sweep it back under the carpet again once they have cashed in. Perhaps we shouldn't wait for the media to catch up and should focus on ourselves first, but it's tricky to "love the skin you're in" when you're constantly being told that you have too much of the damn stuff in the first place.
Society accepts a far wider variety of male body shapes than female.
The thing that bothers me the most about all this, however, is that men are not under the same pressure to conform. Although there is evidence to suggest that men are becoming more obsessed with their appearance than ever before (usually by being urged to replace their keg with a six-pack if they want to impress us), society accepts a far wider variety of male body shapes than female. Men are still adored by their girlfriends/wives when they pile on the pounds, but then find these same women unattractive if they happen go up a couple of dress sizes. Men can go without shaving and still feel sexy, but woman misplaces her razor and all hell breaks loose! Men can grow old gracefully, whereas women are constantly being told that wrinkles are bad and will make you look like an extra for Last of the Summer Wine before you're thirty if you don't spend at least fifteen quid on a pot of cream.
I suspect that social conditioning has a lot to do with this, but most men do seem to be immune to the media images of sultry male models draped in young girls, preferring instead just to look at the girls. Buy a women's magazine and you will see pictures of the young and slender women that, in someone's ideal world, we are all supposed to look like. Buy a copy of a men's magazine, however, and you will see photos of the same women. There may be men on the fashion pages, but the readers will doubtless be looking at just the clothes by this point. Why can't we do that? Sometimes I wonder if women are in fact their own worst enemy when it comes to the poor image they have of their own body.
The Beauty Myth
The Feminist eZine - Fashion
Aging, Teenagers & Cosmetic Surgery
By Colette Mansbridge - 2008.
"Because I'm worth it." - L'Oreal slogan.
"Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline." - Maybelline slogan.
"Wearing makeup is an apology for our actual faces." - Cynthia Heimel.
"Lipstick is something that makes you feel good about yourself." - Naomi Campbell.
When you get old, and you realize you're old when you have wrinkles, crows-feet, grey/silver hair, back pains, etc. and the cosmetics you bought in your 20s just doesn't seem to cut it any more.
According to the cosmetic company Olay there are seven signs of aging:
1. Lines and wrinkles
2. Uneven skin texture
3. Uneven skin tone
4. Appearance of pores
5. Blotches and age spots
6. Dry skin
I seriously think they just made up #7 just so it would be a lucky number/prime number.
Of course, Olay's Total Effects skin care products promises to reverse those seven signs of aging, thus playing into every woman's fear of aging. Its not that men are immune to aging either, but men age better than women do. Just look at Sean Connery. I swear he gets more handsome with age.
For women aging is a bitter poison, like a disease that slowly wears us down. We've been raised to think young is beautiful, that youth and beauty are fading and that loss of beauty is just one of the things on the road towards death.
From an advertising industry perspective it also means we women are very vulnerable. We purchase cosmetics, soaps, hair dyes, skin creams all in the effort and hope that it will somehow sustain our youthful appearance, maintain our beauty and thus grant us a longer life.
It is all a placebo of course, but we try nevertheless.
We worry about our sagging breasts, our wrinkled skin, our laugh lines and every traitorous part of our body that will eventually break down and reveal our true age.
It is no surprise so many women lie about their age. We subtract years to the nearest 9 or 4 so that we can be 29, 34, 39, 44 and by the time we reach 50 we hopefully have matured enough to not care any more.
What I personally can't stand is the women out there who say "I am 40 years young." What you are really saying is that you're 40 years old, but you're so obsessed with wanting to be younger that you are changing the adjective.
Its a bit like the snobbish people who refer to their significant other (whether its wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend) as a "partner". Either they're trying to be politically correct, or they want to hide the fact they're a lesbian/gay or even the fact that they are married or not married. It does the opposite of its intention, which is to leave it unknown and instead it creates a curiousity and a mystery.
The same goes for women who refuse to reveal their age. The moment they refuse to reveal how old they are what they're really saying is that they're insecure about their real age and are obsessed with wanting to be younger.
Youth, Beauty & Love: Those three things go together, or so the advertising industry and Hollywood would have us believe. In the advertisements the women all look young, they're all happy, they get love notes and flowers... and they're all supermodels or celebrities and are positively dripping sex appeal.
Of course most of us aren't supermodels or celebrities so its not very realistic to be comparing ourselves to such things. We see the celebrity endorsements and we're hit on multiple fronts about what it means to be young and beautiful:
#1. You have to be thin.
We're all familiar with the diet industry, the Jenny Craig ads with Kirstie Alley, Queen Latifah, Valerie Bertinelli and we're all familiar with the anorexia that has swept the United States in the past decades as scores of young women starve themselves in an effort to be thin.
#2. You have to have perky breasts.
Or more specifically, the breasts of an athletic teenager who looks like they exercise regularly, and they can't be too small either. We're expected to have at least a size B or C, and if you're in the porn industry they're looking for a size DD.
#3. You have to have luxurious straight hair.
Curly hair, grey hair, silver hair, an afro... oh no! Apparently we all need to have hair like supermodels Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell or Laetitia Casta. And woe to those born with curly hair or an afro, for we live in a white dominated culture that says straight hair is attractive and according Glamour magazine natural African hair is "unprofessional". See Black Beauty and White Beauty.
#4. Your complexion must be fair.
No blemishes, scars, dull spots, dry skin, oily skin, rough skin, dark spots, wrinkles, crows-feet, pimples or freckles. Poor Anne of Green Gables never stood a chance.
#5. You have to have the body of a teenager.
And by a teenager we mean an athletic one, full of life and grace as if you were on the cheerleading squad, the gymnastics team, a ballerina or a figure skater. When was the last time you saw a woman over the age of 30 at the Olympics competing in gymnastics or figure skating? It doesn't happen.
We can cry foul all we want, but at the end of the day we're all older than the day before. No matter how much skin cream we have, how much liposuction we get, or how much perkier our breasts may look in the event we get breast implants.
I saw a woman several months back riding on a bus. She must have been close to 70, but her breasts were like rockets perched on a rocket launcher. Something a guy might call "a really nice rack", but she was obviously in her declining years and for whatever reason she had decided she wanted the breasts of a 30 year old (because no twenty year old would have had double Ds like that and be as perky as that). There was no doubt about the fakeness, but the size and sheer perkiness of them were almost obscene. She was wearing a low V-neck shirt and seemed to take great pleasure in men checking out her cleavage, even though quite a few of them made faces and looked away as if they were aghast.
And therein lies my point. You can't hide your age. Regardless of how much you try to cover it up and look younger, no amount of cash and cosmetic surgery can hide crows-feet and wrinkly hands.The Real Seven Signs of Aging
According to Catherine Redfern
1. Emotional maturity
2. Wisdom, self-confidence, self-esteem
3. Owning your own house
4. Sense of perspective on life
5. Sexual confidence
6. Career develops
7. Financial security
Cosmetic surgery won't buy those things, but that doesn't stop some young women and old women from wanting it anyway.
Back in 2001, 15 year old Jenna Franklin decided to have breast implants for her 16th birthday. Her mother, who owns a plastic surgery business, and her father said they would happily pay for the operation.
Jenna was young, slim, pretty but due to a combination of poor upbringing and genetics thought her breasts were too small and articulated that you need large breasts to be successful in life, and named Britney Spears and Pamela Anderson as examples.
Amidst the media uproar of whether she was too young, that she wasn't finished growing, that she was too immature to make such a decision, that she should just wait a bit to be older no one seemed to argue with the Russ Meyer-ish concept that somehow bigger was better and more beautiful.
Then there are the women who have apparently come to their conclusion that their breasts are "sex objects", that breastfeeding is a way of the past and that breasts in the future will be nothing more than bait/playtoys for men.
Admittedly in American culture cosmetic surgery is nothing new. Quite a few wealthy young women get nose jobs for their 16th birthdays. It is of course natural for young women to feel insecure about their bodies and be worried about how they look, but changing how you look in a drastic fashion is something that should be done with the careful thought and not just on an adolescent whim.
Its a bit like tattoos and piercing. We set an age limit for these things and require parental approval, otherwise young girls could go out and get breast implants and their nipples pierced all in the same day.
I'm joking of course about the nipple piercings. Their main goal at that young age is wanting to look normal, yet beautiful, at the same time.
Some women claim getting breast implants feels like a feminist act, that they are somehow empowering themselves with a pair of gazongas that will help them open doors and climb a corporate ladder above that famed glass ceiling.
It makes you realize what a breast obsessed society we live in.
Its not just breasts as we all know. Its everything to do with beauty, like being thin, perky, athletic, nice hair and good skin and having all the gifts only the rare few of us are born with. As if somehow reaching a Playboy standard of beauty would make us happy and successful.
But does being beautiful really make a person happy? I think not, because then they become obsessed with preserving that beauty from that dreaded disease: Age.
Its as if we spend our youth wanting to be older with larger breasts, never reach it, and when we're older we start wishing we were a teenager again.
Very few of us ever seem to say "Hey, I'm happy with how I look." Its as if we're trying to meditate and reach nirvana, but all the while happiness and fulfillment is right in front of our noses: Living well.
"Somewhere out there...someone feels out of place, alone just like you. But you feel alone, as so does she is he...is one person,is two person, is the block is many is countries....single?.....is fathers is mothers is sons they daughters...you are all out there.
You feel, as though your alone & no one shares your views. What a wonder, it would be...if you all came together...to connect!...communicate...but you all feel like losers!...Why do you feel like such losers!...rich poor come short come tall...come light skin come dark...homosexual/heterosexual/bisexual/hermaphrodite/transgendered/asexual...fat/skinny/inbetween/average blasphemy! weight..religious or not...Immigrant or not....young/old/in between....you feel like your alone in your thoughts & hurts....pains..memories...fatigue....but what wonders If we all came together...or, we just knew...there was others out there, just as blue as us. Then how would we feel?...what color we be then?...a rainbow? a rejoice? a step forward?...It's all up to YOU. Reading this, YOU in charge of not yesterday or tomorrow but RIGHT now....Being your own parent to yourself...treating yourself nicely, being good to yourself, when your mind,body spirit asks...You do not need words to find answers...you already have them all within YOU. Blessed be. - Angela Schumacher - 'Keeping the cold out!(Feb 2010)'