Female Bodies Under Construction | Teen Ink

Female Bodies Under Construction

August 27, 2011
By OHlivia17 BRONZE, Lansdale, Pennsylvania
OHlivia17 BRONZE, Lansdale, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Before I speak, I have something important to say" - Groucho Marx

Every time I go grocery shopping or go to the bookstore to look for any new books to sink my teeth into, I always pass the glossy wonderland that is the magazine section. When my eyes skim over the covers, I see these flawless women with perfect, glowing skin and pencil thin waistlines garbed in bright, ruffly clothes. As beautiful as they appear to be, I always have to wonder where the beauty ends and the truth begins. Why is this image being projected to America as the true image of beauty?

In Hollywood, it is a widely accepted belief that celebrities that range from size zero to size four are the most beautiful and admirable. When celebrities who represent the "heavier" side of the weight spectrum, size six to size twelve and beyond step out onto the red carpet however, the topic of discussion is how they could lose a few pounds. Somehow, it is a common belief that procuring and maintaining a tiny waistline and pushing one's body to become a weight that is unrealistic and unhealthy for that individual's frame will result in that person suddenly becoming beautiful.

it makes me sick when I hear comments that suggest that being curvy and voluptuous and being beautiful can't possibly go hand in hand. As a young woman who wears sizes ranging from ten to twelve, I am deeply disturbed by this bizarre ideology that seems to be brainwashing women all over the world. What ever happened to the class that was present in 1950's Hollywood? Marilyn Monroe, the sexy siren of the silver screen, was actually a size fourteen. And nowhere do I hear people making comments that she should probably have put down the fork and watched her weight in order to make that shot of her standing over the air vent with her flowing white dress billowing around her sexier.

A huge part of achieving the seemingly flawless beauty shown on magazine covers is photoshopping. Does an actress' arm look too cellulite-y? No problem, that can be corrected. Is she not looking quite thin enough? Forget about it! One click of the liquify tool on the program and she'll be looking like a model in no time. I feel like peering into those glossy, laminated pages is like being told a big lie that is sugarcoated to make it more believable. After all, the average American woman is a size twelve. Where is that printed within those pages as a disclaimer?

I stand by my firm belief that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and by selecting one image and branding that as beautiful, we as women are becoming narrow minded and sending out a negative message to younger generations of future women. As our society embraces change and advances forward, this is one aspect of our lives that definitely needs a reality check.

The author's comments:
I originally wrote this piece for a women's studies class I took last year. I selected the topic of projection of women in the media and felt really inspired to write a piece about the perception vs. the reality of women in the magazines.

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