Image and Air Brushing: Beauty Inside
Do you want a super model or a role model for your kids? Lots of people have debated the issue of body image and the message it sends to our children, particularly our daughters. I agree. But the issue here is more than just physical appearance.
I read an article today on the ongoing debate over models/actresses and the airbrushing of their photographs. Apparently, most models feel airbrushing is unnecessary, while many actresses, such as Sofia Vergara, feel it is just a standard part of the industry. You know what I say to those actresses. "Who died and made you the role model for what is beautiful?"
Perhaps I am a hypocrite. There are some unflattering photos of me at my sister's recent wedding, which I would love to have airbrushed. Hell, they could airbrush the ginormous thighs right off my body, for all I care.
But that is not reality.
As a teenager, I loved Teen Vogue, Seventeen, and the other teen fashion magazines. I marveled at Brook Shields' perfect skin, Cindy Crawfords' perfect smile, and Christy Brinkleys' perfect hair. I was also conscious of the fact, however, that after they took the makeup off, these women were normal people just like me. I learned about makeup and fashion tips, without ever feeling that I could never live up to that standard of beauty. Cindy may have had perfect hair, but she was a voluptious woman. Brook Shields may have had perfect skin, but she was tall. I looked at these women as beautiful, yet still felt comfortable in my own skin.
Sure.. I still like to look at the magazines, see all the new fashions, and marvel at how beautiful the "beautiful people" are. But no one, not even those models, are perfect. (Gasp!) For Hollywood and the fashion world to portray such a false image of perfection is just wrong. Underneath all that makeup and airbrushing, most of those models and actors still have butt pimples and nose hairs. Beneath the glitz and glamour, they breath and burp, fart and poop, just like the rest of us. And they have morals and character, or lack thereof.
I am not a tiny little woman. I have body and weight issues, just like most women. I do know that those who love me, love me despite my "big short-comings." I am by no means morally perfect, but I do work hard, as a mother, to teach my son right from wrong, and what is appropriate behavior. I try to conduct myself in a respectful manner, as a role model to my child. Airbrushing would make for some great photos of the outside of me, but would not change who I am inside.
The world today is so much different than when I was a teenager, unfortunately. There is more emphasis on instant fame, and "everyday" people are elevated to celebrity status because of "reality tv." Some of these people are not the best role models for our children, but they "look good", and in today's world, that seems to be all that matters.
Why is that? Why are we, as a society, overlooking a persons character, just because they look good? Why is it no longer important that "it is what is on the inside that counts"? What message are we sending to our children that you can take drugs, pass out at bars, cheat on your spouse, steal, and break the law, but if you "look good", you are okay? Why do we over look the rudeness of Kanye West, the illegal behavior of Ben Rothenberger, and the illicit behavior of politicians such as Charlie Rangle and Mark Sanford? Why are the Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohans, Paris Hiltons, and Tiger Woods of this world considered the "beautiful people?"
Believe me, I am not standing here criticising someones sexual preference, religious belief, politics, or even momentary lapse in judgement. It is not my place to do so. What I am referring to are those "celebrities" who feel it is their role to be the super stars of this world, yet lead such disgraceful lives. I am by no means an angel, I have fallen off the path once or twice. I run with a crazy bunch of women, but we live respectful, decent lives, and are great role models for our children. I do not think there is a "super model" in the bunch of us, yet I consider my friends breathtakingly beautiful, inside and out.
Some of the most beautiful people in the world are not necessarily physically beautiful. Make certain your children know what is real and not real. Make certain they know that true beauty is on the inside. Teach them to respect and honor those around them. At the end of the day, all the airbrushing in the world cannot remove the blemishes people have on the inside.