Friday, January 17, 2014

What is Real Beauty?

What does real beauty me to you?  Forget about what anyone has ever told you and think about it for a second.  Sure they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But if you believe yourself to be ugly, does it really matter what the beholder thinks? Sure they say that beauty is only skin deep.  But if you value yourself only by how you look, then how deep is it really for you? It has been noted that with the invention of photoshop, women (and men) who appear on magazines and billboards, no longer resemble real life human beings.  Nobody is that skinny, good looking, well put together or simply prefect.  However due to this, it has sent a message where men and women are trying to reach a certain level of beauty that really doesn't exist.  The average woman is not a size 0-4 and the average man does not down a six pack on his stomach.  However, when one doesn't understand these facts, the ability to take the quest for perfect beauty, might send you down a rabbit hole that goes to deep.  

Hedi Montag is a perfect example of this.  She made sensational headlines the day she decided to undergo 10 plastic surgeries in one day!  If you look at her before and after pictures, sure you notice a bit of "fat" here and there.  However was this not something she could of lost through exercise and diet?  Moreover,  she re-constructed basically her whole face and enlarged her breast.  Was she so unhappy with the way her face physically looked that she felt the need to change it altogether to look like someone else?  At what point does this go from simply getting a little nip and tuck to having to take a whole new picture at the DMV because you physically no longer look like yourself?  Then after all is said and done with, does this type of aggressive decision make you happy? Not according to Mrs. Montag.  She went on record with the Daily Mail UK stated that she regrets her decision on having so many plastic surgeries done.  She recognizes that she was in an unhealthy mental or emotional state at that time and her decisions were based on poor judgement and as she claims "internet comments".  That is what I gathered from reading the article that she was not in a right mental head space to beginning with.  

Victoria Secret (VS) and Dove both have "Body Campaigns" for their brand.  Dove believes that real beauty is in every woman and VS believes that a healthy body regardless of shape is the right attitude.  Truth is both these campaigns represent what a typical female body looks like now these days.  From the skinny girl to an overweight one.  However the VS campaign got my attention in one thing. Not one of those girls have cellulite or fat rolls.  However in the Dove campaign if you look closely at the girls legs you can see the imperfections that exist on the majority of women regardless of size.  So is VS representation of women (even overweight ones) still realistic?

However VS also has another ad which says "....there really is a Body for Every Body".  These 7 women are suppose to represent seven different body types? Or seven different bra and pantie styles? Because if it is seven different body types, then I would like to know which one I and the rest of the population fall into.  More then half these women represent one body type to me which is extremely underweight and a to a point dangerous skinny. Yet I recently saw the VS fashion show and none of these girls looked as skinny as they do here in this ad.  However that is not to say they are not beautiful, photoshopped and all.  This is just to say that this ad only represents ONE type of female body and that is it. So again is this realistic or this is realistic of one type of body shape?  Don't get me wrong, I love VS everything, however at what point do the rest of us get included in their campaign?

Nonetheless, this type of thinking starts from a very young age.  Little girls (and boys now a days) are raised to believe that being skinny is beautiful and being fat is not. Even our kids toys are drawn and etched to either be perfectly skinny with great boobs or incredibility chiseled with massive amounts of muscle.  Don't  get me wrong, by no means am I prompting a fat lifestyle that is caused by unhealthy eating.  However, with that being said, being dangerously skinny is just as bad.  A happy medium needs to be reached and sadly it is not, not even with the dolls little boys and girls play with.

A graph released by revealed that if Barbie was real with her body measurements, she would not have any room for her liver and she would not be able to lift her head.  Since her measurements are so disproportionate, no real human being would be able to walk, talk or survive with a body like Barbie.  Thank God in recently years they made her hair shorter.  Because at that length and no head control I doubt she wouldn't of decapitated herself with the simple weight of her hair.  Moreover the original Barbie from years back was not this skinny or heavy chested.  So why has America's favorite doll been changed and sexualized to sport a more stripper like body?  Does this type of body image on a doll not affect the way young girls see themselves? 

However, what happens when we have a whole culture based around false beauty? When we hold beauty pageants to judge women solely based on what they look like and oh yeah talent?!  The average beauty pageant on the day of the contest has extensions put in her hair and eyelashes to give her a fuller look, yet waxes every single part of her body to get rid of all hair.  Wears flippers on her teeth in order to down a perfect smile.  Gets sprayed tanned from head to toe and wears more makeup on that day that it leaves Rue Paul wondering where his makeup bag went.  Once the pageant is all said and done with, none of these girls look like what they did on stage.  Nonetheless these are adults making conscience decisions to enter these pageants based on looks.  Don't get me wrong, I believe in freedom of everything.  So if as an adult you want to enter a beauty pageant then by all means more power to you!  However what happens when we take this a step further and start dressing children in this same manner.

Just ask yourself, is this ok with you? Whether it is or isn't, you need to really think on what message we are sending to little girls (and their parents) who enter these pageants and to those who watch them.  At what point do we draw the line when it comes to children?  At what point do we stop and think that allowing a child to be judged solely by her looks won't affect her point of view on herself.  Or that making her believe that she is prettier then any other little girl in that competition won't do a massive amount of damage to her self-esteem either now or later on in life.  And when she doesn't win then what do you say "sorry honey you weren't the prettiest girl today at the pageant?"

Dove decided to do a Real Beauty Sketch Campaign where they found a real forensic sketch artist to draw a group of women.  The women were asked to come to a place where they were to describe themselves to the forensic artist who would draw them based solely on their description of themselves.  However the catch was the forensic artist at no point actually physically saw what these women looked like.  They were separated so the artist only heard their voice and drew what they described to him of themselves.  After this, they were asked to come back and give a detail description of the person they were partnered up with (before this project started) to the forensic artist who again never saw them but only drew what was described to him. After the project was completed Dove put together the two pictures (the one where each woman described herself and the other one where someone else described what she looked like) and compared them.  What was noticeable in just about every picture is that the ones where the women described themselves, they all came out looking very unattractive and unappealing.  However the ones where others described them, they all looked realistic as to what each woman actually looks in real life.  This project showed what a negative view women have on themselves, yet they are able to compliment and have positive views of others.  It also showed how many women view themselves as ugly and unattractive when in reality this is far from the truth.

Kevin Aucoin once said "Life is too short to spend hoping that the perfectly arched eyebrow or hottest new lip shade will mask an ugly heart."   Remember that true beauty is within and eventually reflects outward regardless of what you look like.  What you see on magazine covers and ads is not real.  What you see in your mirror everyday is and that's what you only have to work with.  How you use it, is up to you.  But if you truly believe you are ugly, no amount of makeup or plastic surgery will ever repair the hole in your heart that is causing your distorted view of yourself. 

And yes while I do write a blog on beauty and psychology, but just remember nothing I write here or ever write will recommend products to make a better you.  Bobbi Brown once said "The secret to beauty is simple—be who you are." A better you starts from within and that takes more then a little foundation and lipstick to fix if it is stained and broken.


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  1. WOW! This is an insightful and beautifully written post. I love the comparison campaigns of what a "real woman's" body looks like.
    Did you see the new ad campaign for Aries? I thought that was a fabulous display of real women.

    Thank you for sharing your insight, passion, and point of view. An extremely valuable post! Keep sharing!

  2. Hey! I look like one of those models! Well not quite.... I'm just thin and short, not tall with ripped abs. That said, us tiny people do exist too. Either way, yes many of these ads are sending out a bad message to youngsters. I feel the worst for those little beauty queen contestants. I can't imagine doing that to my 5 year old. Ludicrous!

  3. No, it isn't ok with me! I do believe we need a non-anorexic doll body.

    Very good post with lots of information! I'm on my way out the door to Tabata class to try to get a healthier body.


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