Inner Beauty Is Overrated: The Effects of a Media-Obsessed Culture

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Smash the mirrors, turn off the televisions, throw out the hairbrushes!
Okay, maybe the last one was a little extreme, but you get my point. I am sick and tired of our image-obsessed culture convincing us that we 'aren't _____ enough'. It seems like everything from beauty campaigns to makeover shows are insisting that we need their assistance to become successful/desirable/attractive enough to truly excel, stripping us of our dollars and our dignity.
It's time we stopped living the lie that through the right amount of diet, exercise, and makeup products, we too can achieve the ideal six-foot sixty-pound model image. Only an extremely small percentage of women naturally achieve what the media presents to us as an acceptable physique. Movie stars, inhumanely beautiful creatures on the red carpet, employ a personal army of makeup artists, physical trainers, wardrobe stylists, cosmetic surgeons, and hairstylists who carefully construct their every move. Female magazines make millions printing infinite numbers of ways to 'improve yourself' or create 'the new you!'

The sad thing is, we know this. We know that the picture-perfect models we obsess over are airbrushed, Photoshopped, and backed by a team of appearance experts. We know that no one truly has a flawless body, and that those who appear so are probably just as inwardly insecure as we are. We know that finding a true 'improvement' tip in a fashion magazine is about as likely as finding a needle in a haystack. We know that 'it's what's inside that counts'. We know that our mothers think we are the most beautiful girls in the world whether we own the latest shade of lipstick or not. We've heard these clich'd phrases practically since birth, and yet we still don't get it. We stare longingly at the slender, bronzed, glamorous goddesses, realizing that they are not an authentic example of beauty, and still run to the nearest tanning salon or fitness center to 'fix' ourselves. We starve ourselves into believing if we refrain from eating, we will surely become beautiful. Gargantuan amounts of people are afflicted by the 'I am fat' epidemic.

What's it going to take for us to accept ourselves ' out knobby kneed, buck-toothed, pear-shaped, big-footed, squinty-eyed, frizzy-haired, imperfect, genuine selves? Yes, daily bombardment of the media's unrealistic image ideals makes it hard to focus on one's less-than-perfect qualities, but with a little confidence, we can vastly improve the way the world looks at so-called 'average people'. Erase the words 'fat', 'skinny', 'pimpley', 'ugly', and anything else of a self-degrading nature from your vocabulary ' and realize that you are so much more than a made-up face. Take what you see in the media with a grain of salt ' remember that these flawless figures are no less plastic than Barbie herself. Above all, value yourself for who you truly are ' not your extensive collection of footwear or your unequaled ability to apply cosmetics. Be confident in yourself and take pride in the fact that you are a perfectly imperfect person, beautiful 'and real ' just as you are.





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