When it comes to the world’s idea of beauty, who really “measures up?” Is it even possible when the picture of the “ideal body” is constantly changing? Not to mention that ideas of beauty vary from culture to culture.
I was born in the late 1950’s so the picture of physical beauty I grew up with ranged from Marilyn Monroe to Twiggy to Christy Brinkley. I also got a good dose of “stand up straight, don’t slouch” and practice walking with a book on my head for “good posture.” Everyone was striving for “perfect” 36/24/36 measurements.
My mother did not feel good about her own appearance and transferred her concern about her own weight to concern about mine. As a teenager I always felt fat. I always felt ugly. Now looking at pictures from that time I realize I wasn’t.
Growing up is difficult and adolescence is not for the faint of heart. It is a wonder that we (and our parents) survived this time. The awkwardness of trying to grow into changing bodies is something we do not realize will pass as it is happening to us.
The fresh faced beauty of a young teenage girl is amazing. But how soon does the pressure begin to change some things and cover up others? As a teenager I fought with my mother over wanting to wear makeup only to give it up completely in my 30’s.
I think it is important to remember that anyone can be a role model. A woman who is comfortable in her own skin and reveals her true inner beauty to the world can do more to help young women develop a healthy body image than all the supermodels in the world.
So the next time you are contemplating saying the words “I’m so fat” or “my nose is too big” or any other disparaging comments about your own body in front of your daughter stop and think. Is this really how you want her to think about herself?