Monday, October 15, 2007

All the things she could be, if she weren't so set on being thin

Our bodies are often the target for our harshest judgements and the barometer by which we measure our self worth. We hold ourselves up to unattainable standards and berate ourselves for coming up short of perfection. It's natural and human to want to be at your physical best; but this means that we have to stop criticizing, judging and finding fault with our bodies. The drive to improve yourself is healthy, but only if it comes from a place of self love as opposed to a feeling of inadequacy. I aspire to get to a place where I truly love myself and accept myself as I am. My mom has always told me to accept the things I can not change, and change the things I can. The key, she says, is having the wisdom to know the difference. Self acceptance becomes harder all the time, as we are constantly bombarded with images of so-called perfection. How are we ever supposed to feel like we're good enough when advertising is always telling us that we're not? I certainly wish that there was some way to protect my future children from it. Even with a supportive and loving mother who has made every effort to instill confidence and self love in me, it's impossible not to feel the pressure. I have battled with body image issues and worried about what I look like for as long as I can remember. The fact is, I am just never going to look like Gisele Bundchen or Heidi Klum; but that should be okay. I am who I am. Why can't that be good enough?
In a world where the media so often takes aim at our insecurities, Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty challenges this narrow definition of attractiveness. It's about time that we took a look at the reality of how the beauty industry tears apart our self esteem. I think that Dove really needs to be applauded for this recent ad campaign.


Christine said...

i love it! that's exactly how it happens! every woman can relate to that, i'm sure.

Diana said...


Anonymous said...

what you don't realize is that you ARE good're better than good enough, you're amazing!

PatZ said...

i did a group project analysis on that ad campaign a few years ago for a research class, it ended up being 250 pages of survey data that we had to present in five minutes. basically, it was 'this is good and needs to be done more.'

whenever someone brings this up, for some reason i always think of that line in Fight Club that goes "you're not your fucking khakis." it seems relevant somehow. probably because it's a wicked movie and we should't be dictated in appearance or action by a shell of clothing, brands and an attempt to appeal to ill advised ideals.

Jennifer Stoddart said...

Very well said Pat. I totally agree.
And Fight Club is unreal-I love the lines,"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need."
"The gyms you go to are crowded with guys trying to look like men, as if being a man means looking the way a sculptor or an art director says."
Chuck Palahniuk is a genius. Hmmm...I'm going to watch that movie when I get home from work tonight. Good call.

Scott said...

Speaking of "Fight Club", I have heard it comes from a book -- and it's very, very good. I really have been meaning to check it out but haven't ever got the chance (the book that is, not the movie).

Jennifer Stoddart said...

You're right Scott. 'Fight Club' is a fantasic's one of the few times where I have actually loved the movie and the book (usually it's one or the other for me)...the authour, Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favourites. His book 'Invisible Monsters' in my top 5 books of all time.

Scott said...

Invisible Monsters? OK, now I have another to add to my ever increasing list :P

Thanks for the tip!