is not easy. I understand that growing up in general, for either (or any) gender is no picnic. The media (there we go again) screws with all of us. Yet, I am confident to say that women are much more affected (well, at least I know what I’m talking about coz I happen to be one, males might think differently but it’s hard to put oneself into another gender’s shoes!). Not only because they actually listen to what they hear and internalise it 😉 but also because women are the media’s bigger target. Beauty booms, and according to what they say, pretty much everything about women can be turned into ‘abnormal’ and thus ‘ugly’, making them self-conscious, unhappy about themselves, and ready to try anything to change their situation.
The urge to blog about this arose yesterday when I googled ‘Reiterhosen’ (German, lit. riding trousers) and instead of images of riding trousers, images of female bums showed up (see below). Out of the first 70 images, there were maybe 6 that weren’t (entirely) body-related. I always thought this ‘bum shape’ was quite the normal look for females. Obviously, I imagined my own bum. Do I have ‘saddlebags’? (btw, a googlesearch for ‘saddlebags’ results in more images of ‘bags attached to horses/bikes’ than ‘excess fat around the hips and thighs’ – possibly because ‘horse-riding trousers’ are less sought after in Germany while ‘saddlebags’ are quite ‘the’ accessory to have in the English speaking world) The answer is: The answer is irrelevant. So what, many women have more fat around the hips and thighs, did you ever think that maybe, that’s just the way it is? Just like around 90% of females have cellulite? There may not be any (obvious) purpose of having it, but that’s just the way our bodies work. It’s like asking: why is my index toe longer than my big toe? Instead you should be asking: Why do I care? What does it matter? Why and how did that become a ‘beauty ideal’? Who’s to blame for people’s low self-esteem and for them not feeling happy and right in their bodies? If you like someone, you like them mainly for their character. You’re physically attracted to someone for no ‘apparent’ reason, it’s not like you check them out in detail when they’re naked (obviously) first, and upon discovering that they have pimples you turn them down. It’s the same for yourself, you should like yourself for WHO you are and not WHAT you are. Confidence makes people attractive, not their actual appearance! But how can you be(come) confident if you’re bombarded with information telling you that you’re ‘inappropriate’?
As you get older, accepting gets a lot easier but I worry about millions of growing girls that are threatened with low self-esteem, bad self-perception and wrong body ‘ideals’.
My own behaviour suggests that I don’t care about what other people think of my appearance, but let me tell you, I know what I’m talking about, the media has gotten to me too – I just try to ignore it as much as I can and to talk me into feeling good about myself. If I feel like it’s getting to me too much, I blog about it 😉 It helps me to visualise (in writing) that some of the stuff that comes out of our society’s mouth is bullocks and I hope that in that way, I can also make a few other people feel better about themselves!
Conclusion: If there was no media, we’d all be lying in beds of roses!