The Media’s Beauty Ideals #fakenews
I would like to wish you all a happy belated International Day of the Girl Child! It’s truly good to be alive in an era where we can celebrate being female! However, we must acknowledge that there is still a lot of room for growth to bring equity to girls worldwide. Many females aren’t being given the same opportunity as males, and here in North America we are still being misrepresented by the media.
Every day we are bombarded with the media’s perception of beauty. Whether it’s on billboards, movies, commercials, or Instagram, the media does a very good job of influencing our concept of beauty. They have suggested that we, women, must be skinny like Paris Hilton, and then they claimed that in fact we should be curvy like Kim Kardashian. Men are no exception either, the media has suggested they be as shredded as Dwain “The Rock” Johnson, and yet be as charming as Ryan Gosling in The Notebook. So, where did they get these ideals from? And are these beauty ideals healthy? I will tell you one thing for sure; the answers to these questions won’t flatter the media’s concept of beauty.
The media often gets its concept of beauty from current trends. The media doesn't consider how unattainable trends maybe, and most trends exist for corporate profit. Basically, even though they present us with photoshopped and surgically enhanced individuals, they still push their beauty ideals as obtainable goals for the average person to obtain for the purpose of selling goods, products and/or services. They try and fool us into believing they have hopped on board with the “Health at Every Size” movement, but they have yet to accept that we all have different SHAPES and sizes. Now, that leads me to the next question.
Are the media’s beauty ideals healthy? Simply put, NO. If one must harm their body through surgical and/or physical means to obtain the media’s beauty ideals, then these ideals are NOT healthy. No health professional will ever tell you that you must have a “thigh-gap” or “ab-crack” to be the perfect picture of health. Most beauty trends are impossible to attain due to natural genetic variation in bone structure, and fat and muscle composition. Often it’s as simple as we just weren’t born the same as one another. The media often fails to truly portray this concept. Instead, they try to empower us with models that are plus size versions of Barbie. Why must women be harassed with the idea of being an hourglass at every size? Haven’t we had enough of these overly specific beauty ideals?
Let’s reclaim the movement! We will let everyone know that health can be attained at ANY shape or size. The movement won’t require us to become anything other than the healthiest version of ourselves. We will all be the true definition of beauty, unique individuals with one-of-a-kind bodies, minds, and souls. Every day we will start the day off in the right direction, loving ourselves for who we truly are. Loving ourselves means nourishing our bodies daily with adequate water, sleep and nutritious foods. It also means staying active without ever going overboard. And let us not forget, that we must also surround ourselves with people who love us for who we are.
You are your own beauty ideal. You are ABSOLUTE PERFECTION.
Bianca is a recent Applied Human Nutrition (BASc) grad from the University of Guelph. She recently received a personal trainer specialist certification, and currently works as nutritionist and dietary aide. Bianca is hoping to expand her clientele in personal training and become a professional that can support the health at every size movement. Bianca enjoys providing individuals with healthy lifestyle coaching and can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.