We Need To Stop Trying to Convince Girls They’re Beautiful
I was lucky enough to have a healthy body image for most of my childhood. I consistently played on various soccer and basketball teams, and between going to practice and scrambling to finish my homework, I did not have a spare moment to think about whether I was too skinny or not skinny enough. I cared about my strength and speed, not my looks.
This past year, however, I have thought more about my appearance than ever before. Last August I sustained my fourth concussion and was forbidden from exercising. For four months, I did little more than sit on my couch and ended up gaining a significant amount of weight. I always preached that everybody is beautiful no matter what, but suddenly found myself horrified that I was …
Why I Bought Skin Lightening Cream At 11 Years Old
One brand of fairness cream
I was 11 years old when I succumbed to buying my first tube of “fairness” cream. It was right after a popular boy teased me by calling out “Weh blackie” to me.
Before he teased me, I internalized most of my negative feelings about my dark skin. As a second generation Indian, I felt the influence of the inhumane Indian caste system which idolizes those with fairer skin. Lighter skinned individuals are considered superior within this system and those with darker skin are regarded as dirty, useless and — especially in the case of darker women — less desirable. This boy’s remark, though, was the first time I felt so deeply humiliated. I felt hatred and disgust towards my skin.
About three days out of every week I have what I like to call “ugly days.” These are days where I feel like I look like crap and nothing I do can change it. This puts me in a terrible mood, and it makes me lose focus. As I walk through hallways of crowded people, hallways of classmates, of peers, I am wondering what they’re thinking about me. Did they notice the swollenness of my face, the scars left by acne, the dark circles under my eyes? Are they judging me because of how I look? They must think that I didn’t even try, but really I did. I tried so hard.
That is when an important question appears: why? Why am I trying so hard? Whose approval am I …
It’s so damn hot out. I open the door to the oven outside, and the idea of walking to Safeway for a smoothie and some moisturizer seems like something worth procrastinating. I’d like to shut the door on the sweltering heat, the desire to lie in the shade, panting like an animal, was prominent. I need a drink. I need moisturizer. God it’s so hot out!
I change out of sweats and into a skirt, rotating slowly in front of the mirror by the front door, eyes roving over the reflection, making sure I’m covering up what society’s deemed tasteless of my body. My brother breezes past with a hello goodbye, artfully flicking his hair before slamming shut the door behind him with the self-approving glance lingering in his demeanor. …
When I first saw Miss Representation it stunned me—in the best of ways. I didn’t immediately take the time to reflect on it, but then a few nights ago I was unlucky enough to witness the newest Carl’s Jr. commercial, where a very hungry Kate Upton seductively devours a burger while wearing basically, well, nothing. And after 23 years of demeaning media onslaught, I’m thinking I’ve had enough.
Before watching Miss Representation, I indulged in the occasional “guilty pleasure”—reality TV being my wind-down-at-the-end-of-the-day treat. I saw no harm in it. It’s just mindless entertainment, right? Shows like Jersey Shore and Keeping Up With The Kardashians were among my favorites. But that was before the film, before my eyes were opened to the very (real) poison of this seemingly harmless …
There’s Nothing Real About These “Real Beauty” Campaigns
Although at first it appears that companies like Dove and Bare Minerals have taken a step in the right direction by running “Real Beauty” campaigns, there’s often nothing real about them.
When I see an ad that claims to feature real women, yet the woman are still remarkably flawless, it doesn’t do a whole lot for me. At least when I see a model in an advertisement I can tell myself that the way she looks is fake, enhanced by photo shop, and probably required harmful eating practices. When I see an ad that claims to be “real” or represent “average women,” yet not a single woman weighs over 140 pounds (the average weight of an American woman) I can’t help but feel as if I’m imperfect, and …
Does EVERY kiss begin with Kay? At least not from me...
Ah, the holidays. The time of year when houses are lit up, the streets are crowded with shoppers, and the whole family spends quality time together watching specials on television.
It’s all well and good, until little gems like these pop up.
I’m sure you’ve all seen this lovely commercial from Kay Jewelers. Where a couple is watching the storm outside, and suddenly the thunder scares the poor little girlfriend into her man’s arms. Then he gives her a sparkly necklace and everyone’s happy!
You know, I was actually thinking the last fifty-or-so years of the women’s movement actually had some impact on the way women were portrayed in the media. When I watched this commercial, my …