The beauty and fashion industry has a bad reputation because of the way they portray how we as individuals should appear. The fashion industry in particular has been criticized for its thin models, with the potential to spark eating disorders in young girls. The beauty industry is known for its evolving concoctions which claim will make you better looking or younger. What is with the obsession with youth frozen in time?
I believe that body image is so important because it affects the way you feel about yourself, and who you are as a person. According to Dictionary.com body image is defined as, “the subjective concept of one’s physical appearance based on self-observation and reactions of others.” So that’s it, our perceptions of ourselves are also based around other’s reactions. How self-destructive does that sound?
Society in general puts pressure on women (sometimes men feel this pressure too), and these issues are present in our everyday lives. Celebrities have appeared in the media regarding the way they look, and because of growing technolog, it’s easier to criticize them without revealing your true identity.
Recently, Ashley Judd addressed the public over speculation regarding her “puffy face.” I loved her attitude and the way she dealt with it because she took such a no-nonsense approach. She responded by stating: “The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about.” Judd’s response was refreshing. Why is it anyone’s business but hers? Why do we focus so much on the appearance of other people around us? Shouldn’t we just focus on our own health and happiness?
We are constantly bombarded with advertisements that tell us if you’re skinnier you will attract a better-looking partner, if you buy a certain type of makeup it will make you look younger, or if you buy the latest fashion trends you will have more friends. But none of this will make you change the way you feel about yourself.
Even though most of the attention is placed on celebrities, it still affects us as individuals because we often compare ourselves to others. It’s always a competition about who is the prettiest, who is the skinniest, who was the best dressed, and who was the worst dressed. Maybe after considering this, the best question to ask yourself is, why does this even matter?