How Does it Feel to be one of the Beautiful People?

Credit: Public Domain and air brushing

Credit: Public Domain and air brushing

Airbrushed models stare back with empty looks as I thumb through one of today’s popular magazines. It is chock full of these empty-eyed ones selling this and that. Their long glossy hair and oh much too white neon teeth prompt me to remember to jot down Crest White Strips when I make out my weekly shopping list; something I have yet to try but am beginning to feel bad that I haven’t.

I don’t normally look at these types of magazines. I am more of a National Geographic type but my co-worker had it lying on her desk and I admit I was a bit curious so I asked to take a peek.  I instantly felt bad; too short, too fat and definitely too old. A photo of a 71-year-old actress with no visible wrinkles tells me this.  She looks on top of the world and I …well…I look dumpy.

I’m definitely not sporting the new “it” color which is emerald by the way and I haven’t spoken to my manicurist about this news flash. In fact, as shocking as this may be: I don’t even have a manicurist or an interior designer, who this magazine also says I should be speaking to about custom lighting and the new vivid countertops.

I do like the mega heeled bright fuchsia shoes on the following page, but I’d break my neck if I tried to walk in them. The shiny pants are nice, emerald by the way. I haven’t felt this inadequate since I was 19 and used to read this stuff. Back then I would compare myself to these models and even then, I didn’t stand a chance.

It never occurred to me at the time those models couldn’t compare with their own doctored up photos and that no one who appears in these things actually even resemble themselves.

I went on my first diet at age 9 and stayed on one or another until age 40 when I threw out my scale and gave up on that nonsense. (one of the smartest things I’ve ever done by the way)

It is a shame I felt so inadequate.  It is a shame many other people do; women and men alike. We as a society base too much importance on appearance. It is superficial, shallow, so damn unnecessary and frankly, stupid.  There are so many faces of beauty in different colors and hues. Like in a flower garden, variety of shape, form and color is what lends to the loveliness of a garden. Oh what a boring garden it would be if all the flowers were tall, slender and dainty, pristine white roses.

Credit: SBI

Credit: SBI

People, especially younger ones are put under so much pressure, so much scrutiny by themselves and their peers. This leads to so many bad feelings and heartache…not to mention health concerns and deaths from anorexia and bulimia.

I remember how bad I felt when my then 14-year-old daughter, who wears a size seven and is a willowy beauty with long wavy hair told me she was fat and didn’t like the shape of her face.  I remember how I felt when was that age and used to starve myself to squeeze into impossibly tight jeans because I too felt fat.  This cycle must stop. Of course I told her the truth;  she is not fat, that she is wonderful, smart and artistic and it’s what inside that counts and how I am so very much proud of her. She didn’t buy it…”You have to say that, you are my mother.”  she said…

I can’t compete with these magazines…not back when I was 19, not last summer when I tried to convince my daughter that she is beautiful and not now as I turn the pages of this all too glossy thick magazine jammed packed of examples of how I don’t measure up.

I know better, I’ve given up on ever being perfect, I am a short middle-aged woman without super whitened teeth and I have fine, straight hair. Although I am well-groomed and take pride in my appearance, I know I am no beauty queen but I am loved by my family and my heart is pure and my conscience clear. I know better and yet this still bothers me. Reading this magazine reminds me why I stopped looking at these things years ago…

We all say that it is what’s inside that counts. We say it’s someone’s heart and soul that is beautiful, many people pay great lip service to this truism…even the media will throw us “common” folk a bone every once in a while; making a big deal out of featuring “real people” in an ad and patting themselves on the back the whole time but how many “Dove women” are there compared to those perfect ones who really don’t exist?

Credit: Public Domain

DOVE soap Ad. Credit: Public Domain

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we the public; the masses, so to speak are the beholders. If we keep buying this hype, they’ll keep selling it.

I got I new National Geographic today and I’ll be taking it to work, perhaps I will pass it around a bit…and while all this was going on I ran across this quote…online, not in THAT magazine…

“Step Away from the Mean Girls…
and say bye-bye to feeling bad about your looks.
Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others.

This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says you’re too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.”
~Oprah Winfrey

Beauty is contained in the soul. Credit: Public Domain

Beauty is contained in the soul. Credit: Public Domain

Perhaps I’ll print it up and give it to my daughter…

Have a great day!

Strawberryindigo.

Baby You’re a Rich Man by The Beatles

You are Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

Imperfection is beauty (jessiemarie19.wordpress.com)

La Beauty Myth (elomazotor.wordpress.com)

Scientists can detect if photos have been airbrushed or not (dailytelegraph.com.)

Emerald is the color of the year  (cbsnews.com)

Advertisements

53 thoughts on “How Does it Feel to be one of the Beautiful People?

  1. Pingback: SBI’s Tips for Instant Health and Easy Weight Loss | Life Is Color

  2. Pingback: Goodbye Twenty Thirteen. You were “interesting”, I’ll give you that. | Life Is Color

  3. It’s hard to believe I became anorexic- it is so far from who I am. Thank you for writing this and for visiting my blog. like how you said it is stupid. It really is- with all that is going on in the world. I think it is a pretty good way to keep us away from our power though. You are right about the emptiness.
    Much love-
    Laurie

    Like

  4. A great post Nancy 🙂 I second all of your thoughts, though I am keeping my scale ;). As for manicurists and stylists and interior designers – I think they are invented for brainless people that don’t know what they want.. I went to a manicurist once tempted to try some spa for my hands and her treatment of my fingernails was painful… never again!

    Like

    • Hey Paula, I agree with you about the interior designers…and the manicurists. You know the reason I threw away my scale was because I was obsessed with every pound I gained or lost. It was not healthy for my psyche…I desided that if my clothes fit, I’m ok with it and surprise surprise…I still fit into them comfortably. 😀

      Like

      • I understand hun, and I think you did well. It is our health that matters and how well we feel in our skin. The sad truth is that the whole society is based on false role models – not talking just about bimbo fashion, but sports and other things.. I feel sorry for the youth today.

        Like

  5. There is so much more beauty in your words than in any of these advertisements. I heard something on the radio that reminded me of your observation about the 71 year old actress who had no wrinkles. This speaker was talking about Beverly Hills Housewives. He said that they had so much botox and plastic surgery that their faces were frozen in a permanent fake grin. So when they talk to each other they can’t read each others face expressions which causes them to constantly misinterpret each other, thus all the drama on the show. I would much rather have wrinkles, yet be able to show different expressions on my face. {{{hugs}}} kozo

    Like

  6. Bravo!
    This is a beautifully written and outstanding post on an important subject. You brought awareness to what truly matters and it’s not on the outside.

    Like

  7. Truly a excellent post – I don’t believe in objectivity – everything is somehow subjective – and this is positive in my eyes – thus beauty is subjective too and depends on the eye of the beholder… 🙂

    Like

  8. Reblogged this on Heart To Harp and commented:
    One of my favorite bloggers, Strawberry Indigo, wrote this post that is the perfect follow up to the video about real beauty that I reblogged recently. Enjoy, and drop by her blog for more thought provoking writing.

    Like

  9. Nancy, this is one of your best! You nailed the issue in the first paragraph. Advertisers want to make us feel inadequate so that we will buy what they are selling in order to feel adequate. If you can cue your daughter into the advertisers’ game before she develops the ingrained habit of self-loathing, you will deserve the tiara and sash of every “beauty” queen ever crowned. Your flower garden metaphor and your quote from Oprah are both medicine for any woman who is still measuring her self-worth by the numbers on the scale. I like this one so much, and it is such a great follow up to the Dove video I reblogged that I am reblogging your post, too.

    Like

  10. Great message. I was lucky as a child; my mother wasn’t that much into how things looked. But it’s still hard not to be co-opted by the prevailing culture. There’s a group called MissRepresentation that is campaigning for just what you are. They have a film out; I saw it at a women’s studies program at the local college and ordered a copy for myself. It cost about $25.00 with shipping. Maybe you could watch it sometime with your daughter. Here’s the link: http://www.missrepresentation.org/the-film/
    Look under “store” in this link to find “buy the DVD.”

    Like

  11. I really enjoyed reading your words Nancy! You focused on the concerning issue of self-worth, something girls/women need to know and believe in today. Expressed so wonderfully well, I was very happy to share this with others dear friend! 🙂

    Like

  12. Well said! It is good to know the “in color” is emerald, which happens to be one of my favorites, but honestly, I try not to pay attention either. It will be something different tomorrow anyway. The flower metaphor is apropos on so many levels, I will leave it at that. Thanks for the reminder, otherwise we will all feel like the Beast rather than the Beauty…or become the Beast trying to be a the Beauty (starvation often makes people cranky).

    Like

    • Hey Niaaeryn, I suppose emerald is the new black which was brown a few years ago….emerald is nice and happy though. “Seafoam” is an up and comer, remember you heard it here first….haha.
      Luckily for me I don’t starve myself anymore, in fact I’m about to get some ice cream by the way…that’s better than any new color and chocolate is a great one 😉

      Like

  13. I absolutely loved this post Nancy! It says it all – I am one of those who also knows that it is what’s inside that counts, but with all the media and brainwashing there’s always that little niggling voice telling me to lose weight, get fit, etc. Your comparison with flowers in a garden is so perfect – I think I’ll print THAT out and pin it up, even though the Oprah quote is also pretty cool. Thanks for sharing – fantastic! 😀

    Like

  14. VERY well said, Strawberry! I can relate to all of it but I have the added joy of being in my gray years. And as I have told others, I have earned every single one of these gray hairs! I think the key is that we need to love ourselves just the way we are because that is the way God created us. I’m still working on that, though, but have become a little more comfortable with the real “me.”

    Blessings!
    ~Anna

    Like

  15. Unless we believe we are beautiful ourselves, it wont matter what others say or what list they add our names to… I love the new look of your blog.. Yes, it’s been a while, I’ve been laying low. 🙂
    Eliz

    Like

  16. Very inspiring post and thanks for the reminder. When you are nearly half a decade “young” like me it is important to remember that it doesn’t matter what other people or even the media thinks. What matters is that our loved ones love us just the way we are and we should do too. 🙂

    Like

Join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s