Scrutinizing My Body Takes All My Time

On a typical day, you might see ads featuring a naked woman’s body tempting viewers to buy an electronic organizer, partially exposed women’s breasts being used to sell fishing line, and a woman’s rear—wearing only a thong—being used to pitch a new running shoe. Meanwhile, on every newsstand, impossibly slim (and digitally airbrushed) cover “girls” adorn a slew of magazines. With each image, you’re hit with a simple, subliminal message: Girls’ and women’s bodies are objects for others to visually consume.

So says Caroline Heldman, Assistant Professor of Politics at Occidental College, in a piece for Ms.

This notion of bodies for consumption leaves us constantly judging ourselves and others. How do we stack up? How do “they”?

Our friends declare someone too fat or too thin; sitcoms quip on body weight or shape; tabloids spot celebrities’ flaws; men bluster about big boobs; Howard Stern picks women apart and Rush Limbaugh insists feminism was established “to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.” (Yes, really, Rush and Howard think they are in a position to make unkind remarks about other people’s appearance.)

All this leads women to “self-objectify” so that we see and judge ourselves through others’ eyes, and especially, the male gaze. Women live in “a state of double consciousness … a sense of always looking at oneself through the eyes of others,” says Heldman.

Self-objectifiers constantly “body monitor” – that is, think about how they look to the outside world. And this often leads to depression, lower self-esteem and diminished faith in their abilities.

Any surprise body monitoring distracts women from tasks at hand, whether math exams or throwing a softball? After all, girls have to split their attention between how they look and what they want their bodies to do.

Body monitoring also replaces the question “Who am I?” with “What image should I project?” It becomes difficult to imagine identities that are truly our own.

What to do? Heldman recommends avoiding fashion magazines, since just viewing those so-called “perfect” images makes women feel less attractive.

She also suggests we voice our concerns to companies and boycott their products.

Too often self-worth is based on unattainable body ideals. And with body image so closely tied to self-esteem, girls and women can end up pretty dissatisfied with themselves.

It wasn’t always so. There has been a dramatic increase in poor body image among women since the mid-20th century. Back then, a woman’s sense of self had revolved more around her talents, abilities and contributions. It was more about who she was than what she looked like. Maybe by shifting focus to who we really are we could more easily emerge out of ridiculous and superficial body consciousness.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 5, 2012, in body image, feminism, gender, objectification, psychology, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. This post really resonated with me because I definitely struggle with my body image and trying to fit the overall beauty standards that society has put out for us. Even though being “thick” or “heavier set” is the new trend as compared to being “skinny” and “slim.” I remember in middle school when many female classmates of mine would point out their “thigh gaps” and would excitedly point in between their legs to show off how skinny their legs were. My thick calves and “thunder thighs” would have never been able to compare and although it’s currently fitting the trend, it still does not feel attractive to me because my butt is not that big and my waist is not that slim. I have accepted that it is almost impossible to always fit body image ideals. I also agree with the post on the point that women are constantly objectified and the author uses the example that a woman’s body was being used to promote just a pair of shoes. I have also noticed that in Burger King commercials they wear low cut tops and short skirts just to promote a burger and push forth the idea that women are just objects. It is also seen in many music videos today, where half naked woman are dancing behind famous singers and are just being used for their sex appeal. However when women begin to take control of their bodies and begin to profit off this same ideal then they are disrespected and are “slut shamed.” Women are often more than just their bodies and it is important for society to recognize this fact.

  2. I completely agree that there is a certain standard programmed into our minds of what a body should look like that is not ours. I believe body positivity is doing the work of unpacking our beliefs — becoming aware of what they are and where they came from — to become closer to our own beliefs rather than those of society.

    In the times of the coronavirus, much attention surrounds the concept of using whatever extra free time we may have to workout and improve our bodies. There is an underlying message that our bodies are not enough as they are, that we should want to improve them, and that our bodies are not doing enough as they are working to survive a global pandemic. Such messages diminish the collective self worth of women but benefit those in power who create and naturally meet the norms they expect others to.

  3. I think instead of boycotting and avoiding magazines and companies that are the cause of women’s self-objectifying of objectifying, women should be encouraged to gain more confidence for themselves. There should be more role models who aren’t or weren’t “magazine material” to spread awareness of this issue. “All this leads women to “self-objectify” so that we see and judge ourselves through others’ eyes, and especially, the male gaze.” is a perfect way to describe how women see themselves today, and don’t view themselves and THEM and would rather care how they look to others instead of being comfortable in their own skin. I don’t think magazines like SEVENTEEN magazine was giving women insecurities, but instead, we’re giving them tips on how to improve their beauty or enhance it, and also life advice for teens. I do think more can be given out from these companies, like having more plus-size models or women with their “flaws” and are the complete opposite of a typical magazine cover.

    • I think you need to change about the societal level and the individual levels. Yes, women can become more confident but the thing is, society gets in our heads unconsciously so that we don’t even realize, often times, how much we adhere to believes that harm us. We really do need to change the society to.

  4. Growing up, my family and I went to flea markets. In those flea markets they sold movies and mix cds. I always saw different cds with different genres, but they all had something in common. The cover art had a posing woman wearing a bikini, or nothing at all. I literally have some that my uncle bought, in my house lying around somewhere. But the thing is, why that album cover? Why use those pictures? Why couldn’t it be “cumbia mix” in big font? Men most likely bought the cd because the cover brought their attention towards it.

    When the post said “Our friends declare someone too fat or too thin” it got me wondering. My friends do the same and I always stay quiet when that conversation takes place. If they talk bad about that celebrity who looks way better than me, then what are they saying about me? That is just one of the many insecurities I get while doing normal things.

  5. Charlotte Greatwood

    I think that too much of the conversation around the rate of negative body image today surrounds the actual images we see. If we were not conditioned to have specific beliefs about bodies, seeing a slim woman would be just that. I think we need to ask why these images are so effective in advertising, and why they can be so damaging? I have found that diet culture and food talk is incredibly negative and pervasive. Go to a Thanksgiving meal, and I bet you will hear people talking about how much they are eating, and how they are eating “bad foods,” how “the diet will start after the holidays.” This is where the problem lies. We are constantly conditioning ourselves that there is something wrong with our bodies. That’s where the extreme images come in, if your own body is “wrong” someone else’s has to be “right.” It is all good and well to talk about the unrealistic expectations of the media, but then turn around and make negative comments about your own body or someone else’s. Even in this article there is an negative comment about people’s bodies, “Yes, really, Rush and Howard think they are in a position to make unkind remarks about other people’s appearance.” How can the conversation and expectations around body positivity if the people talking about making the changes are constantly continuing the problems? It’s not so black and white, and the media and then the rest of us. I think it is so important to self-examine and see how these issues persist, even when there is so much understanding of their influence and talk about their problematic nature.

  6. When I was younger I was always very thin and I got made fun of for being too tiny even though it was out of my control. I didn’t think anything was wrong with me despite what others thought, because my parents always reassured me that I was beautiful inside and out. As soon as I graduated high school and went off to college I started to pack on the pounds. I think the fact that I was less active and no longer disciplined about my eating habits, allowed me to gain weight rather fast. Even though I was significantly larger than I was in high school, I still always remained confident. I was just taught at a very young age that people are always going to have criticism but as long as I loved myself that I would be just fine. I can remember going out to a local bar with my friends about 5 years after high school, I ran into a group of girls I knew in high school. As I walked by and waved ‘hello’ to them I heard one of the girl’s whisper, “Is that Gabby? She used to be so skinny, she got so fat!” I was so mortified, it’s as if all the years of coaching from my parents quickly went out the door. I think I was more embarrassed than anything, because I didn’t expect those words to come out of her mouth. Although I carried myself confidently, those words were still hard to hear. In a way, it actually brought me back to the time when the kids in high school made fun of me because of my size. After that incident I had to tell myself that the opinions of other really don’t matter and from there on out they never did.

  7. This was a very informative read in terms of helping me articulate my own experiences. I’ll catch myself several times a day worrying about some aspect of my appearance and if I look incorrect in some way, and it really does end up taking a lot of my time just worrying about what I look like. I’m generally a person who puts a small amount of effort into my appearance, skipping on the makeup and shaving routines, and yet the worry remains. It instead goes towards thinking about if my clothes are flattering to the shape of my body, or if my hair looks dirty, or if I’m too fat and sweaty to even exist in the public eye. As stated in the article, media as a whole has a startling impact on how women perceive ourselves, and having been introduced to unhealthy ideals early on from television and magazines was a horrible influence on children like me. I’d like to one day enjoy myself out in the open and unapologetically, wearing and doing what I’d like, without even once worrying about how my looks are perceived.

  8. Princess Chan

    This was very interesting to read, because I can definitely relate to this post. Although I do not think I constantly body monitor and self-objectify, I do think I do it more often than not.
    Whenever an outfit I am wearing makes me feel less confident, I would confide in my sister and ask her if my outfit looks ok, or if it is an outfit she would wear. These questions that I ask her actually translate to, “Does my outfit look good? Is my outfit put on together well that it is acceptable in the eyes of society?” It she answers yes, then I would keep the outfit that I have on, but if she replies no, I would most likely change the article of clothing she thinks does not go well with the outfit. It is unfortunate to know that “poor body image among women” has increased. It just shows how much more emphasis society and media has placed on beauty and appearance, and how much it affects the mindset and consciousness of women.

  9. I found this article very relatable, I remember in middle school, the body consciousness began. As I began to develop I felt very conscious of my appearance and the men in my world began to call attention to the shape and size of my body parts. I felt I couldn’t participate in sports fully during physical education without feeling extremely self conscious about my butt, thighs, and breasts. I do agree that in this day and age a woman’s beauty is so much more valued than her abilities, intelligence, etc. I hope that we see a shift as society becomes tired of the barrage of images of women’s bodies and their parts and we return to more conservative ways out of taste and preference. My mom, who comes from a much more conservative generation, cares much less for her appearance than I do, she is much more internally focused and cares much more about having proper grammar, carrying herself intelligently and diligently, and having integrity than how her butt looks, or whether her breasts are big enough, or about the amount of cellulite she has. I find this refreshing, but cannot seem to let go of my obsession with the body and my appearance. I find myself asking my boyfriend if he finds me too fat, or if I am pretty enough, which he finds very annoying and reflects the external focal point of beauty that women have.

  10. Attention-splitting is something that I have always done, concerning myself with how I might look to others, what they think of me, allowing my self-worth to be decided by the masses. My aunt sent me a pair of flowery jeans as a gift when I was 7 years old. I loved how they looked, but not on me. I was 7, looking at myself in the mirror, thinking the jeans made me look fat. What sort of culture makes young girls fear being thought of as “fat”? One that places so much value on appearance that even young children concern themselves with unattainable standards of beauty. My 7 year old self was concerned about not being fat, and my 20 year old self still worries about that – although in a different way. I work as a Fit Model. Fit modeling does not involve photo shoots or runway walks, fit modeling involves fitting clothing for production. My job is to maintain the same size all the time, in order to fit clothing consistently. I show up, stand for long periods of time – like a live mannequin – and have clothing fit to my form. The great part of fit modeling is that I am encouraged to be a healthy weight at all times, a message that is not frequently found in the modeling industry. Clothing is still being designed for and on regular people – thankfully.

  11. I really related to this article, because i am constantly criticizing my body and worrying about how it looks. I am also constantly comparing my body to almost every other women i see, and i think this has to do a lot with the fact that women’s bodies are always on display and are always objectified.

  12. I don’t thing anyone is immune to this. As a society, we do not realize how much time we spend looking in the mirror. One of my teachers in high school had actually made me realize this, she had challenged the entire class to go at least a day without looking in the mirror. Later on, when the class reflected upon this, we realized that there is no out. There are mirrors almost everywhere, we are so conscious of how we look and how we think we should look. This is also what gives birth to body image issues and how eating disorders develop. One of the early signs of eating disorders is body image distortation. Often times women will think they are bigger than they really are and because they are so sure of it, their brain starts showing them a distorted image of their mind. I remember once talking about this with a friend who had recovered from an eating disorder, she had mentioned how she times herself to make sure she doesn’t get too caught up with looking in the mirror. But the problem is that the media sets the standards for “ideal” yet unreal and unachievable beauty. Nobody is free from not being judged by these standards. Studies have shown that men, after looking at magazine pictures, often feel that their partners just don’t measure up. We as women are constantly stuck in this cycle for this body but I feel the key is healthy not skinny. Just this past week, Cassey Ho, the founder of blogilates, had posted a video ” The Perfect Body”. As a fitness trainer, one can imagine how toned her body looks. One of the things I personally admire about her is that she constantly encourages people to be healthy not skinny. In fact she has even posted success stories of underweight people gaining weight to become healthy. However in this video, she posted all the hate comments that she had gotten regarding her body such as “you need a bigger butt and boobs” or ” what kind of a fitness trainer are you , you don’t even have a six pack”. She had admitted that these are real comments she has received. In this video , she shows how she would digitally alter herself to fit this image , which is followed by the words ” what will you change”. However in the end of this video, Cassey looks in the mirror with this now “perfect body” but shakes her head and makes her body the way it is now. It is at this moment that she looks, smiles, and nods in approval at herself in the mirror. I think this simple video sends out such a strong message- though we feel pressured by these images, we should become more confident of ourselves. We should not be ashamed of being the way we are , instead we should be confident of it .

  13. I would love to be able to say that I no longer care about how I look, but this isn’t so. I don’t believe that I have poor self-esteem or dislike the way I look because I’m trying to impress anyone, but simply because I’ve internalized the beauty standards of our time. When I was growing up, I always questioned why my body and the bodies of the women I knew didn’t reflect the perfect women that I saw on billboards and on TV. I didn’t know photoshop existed, so it frustrated me to no end that I could never have a body similar to the ones I saw in advertisements. It’s only been very recently that I’ve become happy with my body, but up until this point, my body image caused many depressive thoughts and actions to change my body. Now, I am a big advocate of raising awareness to the beauty that is within each of us, and appreciating the body that we have. A better self image will lead to better confidence, which I believe will lead to happiness.

  14. i really don’t see why we are expected to all look and act like stepford clones!!! no two people are the same , so why should we follow society’s rules?!well, breaking news: society can screw it!! we are humans , not pre programmed androids of living barbies and kens! also, plastic surgery?! come on! have you seen what happens to people who have too much plastic surgery?! they look less human and more fake, look at jordan, look at peter burns, they had surgery to improve their looks and ironically they look worse!! well , screw it!! i’m not starving myself , or having bigger breasts, or turning myself into a living blow up barbie for anyone!!

  15. Megan Aldridge

    First of all, I entirely agree that Rush and Howard have absolutely no right to judge anyone by their physical appearance. Those two men are not the definition of beauty that is for sure. Appearance has become so important to women recently. I have friends who constantly think about how they look and about how other people are viewing them. They sort have seem to lose themselves and who they are. I have seen some people be mean or degrading to other people just because they believe that they look better physically than the other person. It is hard to watch girls place their self worth so heavily on how they look rather than the person that they are. I do not know why some beautiful people have any “friends” at all when they are so ugly on the inside.

  16. It’s just shocking how much a woman has to do to be attractive. We focus most of our time on how we look, and sometimes people don’t even care to glance. There are some women who focus on how they look and make their success a wavering opinion and put beauty before everything. Yes, theirs always going to be someone who comments on how you look, but it’s not worth paying attention too. People just have to be accepting to how they look and be comfortable with it. In order to be beautiful is to know you’re beautiful; women need self confidences to show their beauty inside and outside. Nobody in the world is perfect I think we just have to face it that there are many imperfections, and we just have to live with them and make the best of what we do have.

  17. Nicole Neufeld

    A lot of the time in our society today all women can think about is how their outfit or their hair or makeup makes them look to other people. A woman’s appearance has really taken over “who” they are when how we may dress has nothing to do with who we really are. We as a society really need to stop focusing so much on appearance because it is really damaging our youth who grow up learning that perfection is what they should strive for when in reality “perfection” in the eyes of society is completely unattainable. Especially when we criticize young women’s idols that they may think ARE perfect. It in turn makes many wonder—“If SHE isn’t perfect, what am I?” Our society really needs to focus on what people are really made of, not what clothes they decide to wear.

  18. I appreciate the advice about “not reading those fashion magazines” so that we won’t be exposing ourselves to any more unneeded pressures. I found out a couple years ago that I could no longer stand looking at magazines that pictured impossibly skinny women and “their” supposed “perfect” lives. Those images do nothing but make its readers feel inadequate about themselves and their lives. I have friends who spend so much time “reading” those magazines, and it is those friends who tend to have the lowest self-esteem and body image. I only hope that more people will get this message and hopefully one day it will reach a point when the magazine will begin to focus again on the qualities of a women and not just what they look like on the outside.

  19. Malar Ganapathiappan

    It’s true that many women over-examine themselves and their flaws. How many people actually have complete confidence in their own bodies and what they can do? I’m sure the answer to this is very few. With so many different sources telling people how they should be, it becomes very difficult for them to find out who they really are and should be. The last part brings up an interesting point. It would be nice if we were able to shift the focus again, away from what people look like, because it would be more healthy for everyone. Of course, this is a slow and difficult process.

  20. The blog makes many strong points about the severity of women constantly monitoring their bodies. I understood it because it resonated with me very well. I have to admit I am constantly observing and criticizing my body.

    The part that makes it worse is, I noticed, is when I compare my body to that of other women. That is when I can really make myself depressed and lower my self-esteem. The more we compare ourselves to others, the more we further ourselves from a better solution. We have to structure an attainable goal for our bodily appearance without the influence of outside forces: magazines, models, or any other medium.

  21. It is true that men are considered the stronger in our society, and women the weaker ones. However, this idea should be changed now because unlike the old times when women kept themselves alive under men’s protection, they now have the ability to support themselves. Therefore, it is time that women ignore how the outside world, especially men, think about their appearance. Their talent and ability is much more important than what they look like. In my experience, men are usually the ones who care about looks, and most men believe that it is normal, but this thought has put women in an unequal position. Women shouldn’t become the ones being judged by others, so neither others nor themselves should pay too much attention on their outside looks because what really matters to the entire society is who they really are, and what ability they have.

  22. It is true for me that confidence builds women up. We can be too easily affected by others opinions about our shape and sizes. Also, we are likely to compare ourselves to other women or idols. We put too much emphasize on people’s views. As a result, we eat less or diet for a slim body shape or do surgery for a “better” look. Soon, we lose our health and face other problems. In my opinion, I think women should not care about others views but just become themselves and gain self confidence and health and thus enjoy a bright future.

  23. Christina Long

    People who make comments like Rush and Howard don’t realize their words hurt women and their self esteem more than they can comprehend. It’s definitely true that women these days are always thinking about what they look like, I know because I definitely do it myself sometimes. And it’s like it doesn’t matter how in shape a woman is, she will always find something that she doesn’t like, whether it’s her stomach or boobs or butt or what have you. And it is definitely because of ads like Victoria’s Secret one’s where the women are so photoshopped everything about them seems to be “perfect” but who are these models to tell all women what “perfect” really is? I think being confident and comfortable in your own skin is what makes you beautiful. I agree with Heldman that if a woman is too self conscious about her appearance and wants to do something to help that, it would be a good idea to stop looking at magazines and ads and so on of models and just realize that you shouldn’t change who you are to look like someone else because your differences is what sets you apart and makes you beautiful.

  24. Women are obnoxiously over sensitive about their appearance. I understand though, I sometimes look at myself and wish I had different features but then I stop to think, Why do I want to look just like another person? I think, as women, subconsciously we are always trying to compete with the women we see on TV and in Magazines because those are the men numerous amounts of people drool over, but even they don’t really look like that. What we do see is movie stars and models walking around in high heels all day long and their makeup is flawless, like they just stepped out of a photo shoot. From this of course, every day at school I see at least 10 girls with so much makeup on their face you would have to power hose it off, and girls in high heels. We go to school on a mountain…it just doesn’t make sense to me. These girls are trying to mimic what these “beautiful” people look like, but most people are just thinking they look ridiculous. Women spend so much time trying to be society’s idea of “beautiful” that all the time they spend takes away from everything else, and they tend to end up never being truly happy with themselves or the life they have. Also, it’s sad that girls are so self-conscious about their bodies and think they have to be a size 2 when even today, Marilyn Monroe, a size 12, is a sex symbol and many men and women find her to be beautiful.

  25. i think that Confidence is very important, outlook doesn’t mean anything. but people always think that the shape of people and the size of people can built up there confidence. Some went to do plastic surgery to redo their body. A lot of people think that skinny is pretty. So that they eat less to keep their body. I think health and confidence is important than anything. Do not need to care what others think and see.

  26. You know, I have to admit; I totally ‘monitor’ my body. Many times I tell myself that I don’t care what society thinks, or how I am supposed to look. But then I go shopping, and everything is a size zero or x-tra small, and it starts to make me think that’s normal, and I’m different. Don’t get me wrong, I know that these girls are photo shopped, and I know many take extreme measures to maintain the ‘perfect’ body image, and I know the average size if far from a size zero; however, it does put pressure on me. I think the worst is when a friend calls someone else fat, or calls themselves fat, and I know that I’m bigger than them; I think, geez, they must think I’m fat then. As someone else mentioned, girls are starting off younger and younger, and I think that school can be a tough place for a young girl. If you are teased, like many kids are, it’s hard to overcome. As adults we know right from wrong, but to see it affect children the way it does, is probably the worst part.

  27. First and foremost, people have to learn to be comfortable with their selves. There is no way I would let the media change the way I feel about myself. I agree with Tayla that confidence is the foundation of being comfortable with you. One thing people need to understand is that the “perfect” images the media portray of men and women is all a figment of their imagination. We all have flaws rather they’re visible or not, so there is no such thing as being perfect. In my opinion, people should learn how to embrace their flaws and stop worrying about “how they look to the outside world.”

    • I’m really glad you’re enlightened enough to get this. Media influence is most powerful at a subconscious level. If people aren’t aware of the critique, media retains that power.

  28. I related to this article in numerous ways. Being a young woman I constantly battle with my self image. I used to refuse to eat any carbs at all because I was afraid of gaining any weight. I would diet constantly to try to be as petite as possible and to avoid being curvy in any way. Even though today I have let up a great deal I always battle the urge to do sit ups after evry meal I deem unhealthy because I am afraid of being fat and having people judge my image. I see all my guy friends in college making fun of any girl thats pudgy or has any excess weight on her and that upsets me. It is incredibly unfair that our standard of beauty has been reduced to size double zero models who are nursing eating disorders. As a woman this hurts me everyday. I finally am in a place where I dont mind having some softness to me. I have big hips and thick thighs but I also have a waist. Every one is different and every body is different and have differnt level of what it means to be healthy. As long as you are healthful and a nice person I personally think you are automatically beautiful no matter what your weight is.

  29. I am not at all surprised that women spend so much time consumed with thoughts about weather their bodies are perfect. Heldman brought up a valid point in suggesting that we avoid fashion magazines so as not to be affected by these images of the “perfect” women but even if you do this you are bound to run into it sooner or later. There is just so much concern and focus put on body image in the media. I notice it involves women a great deal more then men, it seems like men are cut a little more slack. If a man’s body does not look fit and strong people are more likely to gloss over it then they would a women who was curvy, very thin, or chubby. A recent phenomenon has hit youtube and it involves girls as young as 9 posting videos of themselves and asking the public to comment on how pretty they think they are. This is so sad and makes me cringe that they feel the need to ask strangers for reassurance, but the worst is the people who think they have the right to make rude comments like Rush Limbaugh and Howard stern.

  30. Becky Gardner

    Perhaps the most damaging part of this whole phenomenon is attention-splitting: women and girls are expected to focus on their appearance, thus taking away from time and energy that could be better spent studying, cultivating a talent, etc. When this standard is place on young girls, they lose focus in school and are at risk for losing their potential for independent success and really and truly bettering themselves to the fullest, not because someone else wants them to, but because THEY want to.

    Jessica makes a great point– by ignoring the direct comments and expectations, we’re allowed more time to do what we want to do and the self-confidence that comes from that is worth so much more than the attention of a thousand men.

  31. Confidence is everything. Once we have that we can grow to become comfortable in our own skin. Easier said than done mist would say but I so believe it is possible. Although we are all guilty of it, including myself, we cannot constantly compare outrider to the women that we see in advertisement. Why? Because more than likely those images are edited to look a way that is not real.

  32. Jessica Garriga

    I’ve honestly stopped caring how I look at this point. I used to be crazy self-conscious because of these reasons. I’ve even had a friend that mocked me for being too ‘skinny’ because she was too big to wear my jacket. (Putting me down to make herself feel better?). And even with people calling me too skinny, i felt too fat because girls on TV. However, it became so tiring to worry about how I looked all the time. Sometime in high school I just gave up and wore what I felt comfortable and warm in. Today I see girls wearing thin clothing on freezing days because it’s the fashion. And then I come up looking like a 5 year old with sweat pants and a raincoat. But I’ve never been so comfortable and confident in myself! As long as I’m healthy, I don’t care how I look physically anymore. Make up makes me uncomfortable, so I don’t wear it. It’s all about comfort now. Hopefully girls will realize this and be less self-conscious and subject themselves to uncomfortable practices. Then again, I stopped watching tv and generally only really watch cartoons. Magazines don’t phase me since i never read them and can see the Photoshop done to them. Maybe that has something to do with my thinking? I think a way to gain more confidence is then to cut down on media. Why read or watch something that makes you feel like crap? Especially when you can watch cartoons or Xena: Warrior Princess. Nothing builds confidence than a lone female warrior who can beat up a Greek God.

  33. Not just women. I see lots of ads now with physically fit men withouth their shirts all the time now. Just walk into an abercrombie and fitch store and youll see what i mean.

  34. I’m shocked by Rush Limbaugh words, that feminism was established “to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society,” but in researching more about him I understood where he was coming from, a sexist point of view. And I don’t agree with his argument many powerful women are beautiful, who also didn’t use their there bodies to get to where they are at know, who used their talents. I agree with Heldman that recommends that women avoid fashion magazines, but it’s not only fashion magazines that advertise “perfect images” that make “women feel less attractive,” everything involving the media from magazines to TV to billboards. Although avoiding fashion magazines would be a great start, but watching shows that involve fashion wont make a difference. I don’t know how or where a person would, “voice our concerns to companies and boycott their products,” as Heldman also recommends. I don’t read fashion magazines not because am avoiding them but because they seem useless, I dress the way I want to dress not because someone else tells me how to dress. This blog goes back to the girls that post videos about them selves because they believe they are ugly, the reason because of that is that so many teens do read fashion magazines, teens are so easy to monopolize that the magazines target them.

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