Often times when I have done presentations over the years for young women I hear the stories about starving to be beautiful. So many girls and women think they are fat. When they aren’t at all. The youngest person I heard this from was a 10 year old girl in grade 4. She was already on a diet and ironically she said she learned from her mom. So it’s not only the media but parents who also play a role in the self image. Sadly, mothers are just as affected by what we all see in the media so it’s difficult for that young person to navigate through all the stuff affecting how she feels and what she thinks about herself. Teenage girls are especially prone to thinking they are fat and going on unnecessary diets all in the name of beauty.
Several times throughout the speaking tours I have young girls approach me after and say they wanted to thank me for sharing the stories of the beauty and fashion industry and realizing that the images are altered and not all real. Realizing that it is an unrealistic ideal to aspire for. I have seen girls cry both out of sadness and joy for finally coming to the point of acceptance…..self-acceptance. It’s okay to be different from those models in the magazines. They only represent a very small percentage of the world’s reality. Why don’t we learn to accept the reality over the fake fantasy?
Don’t get me wrong, the fashion and beauty industry has an element of fun and excitement to it; getting dressed up, made up etc. But take it with a grain of salt and not too seriously. Take it in as entertainment and don’t absorb it so much that it affects your reality.
What we fail to realize is that it’s important to learn to accept ourselves for who we are and be beautiful from the inside out. After all, we are all created differently and not meant to look like everyone else. Wouldn’t it be a strange world if we all looked exactly the same?