The definition of ‘beauty’ and ‘truth’ is incomprehensible. Women are so confused and uncertain whether their body parts are pretty or not. The fair and lovely’s campaign or ‘only fair is lovely’ and the slim actresses who present that only ‘slim is beautiful’ lead to an unachievable body ideal.
There are thousands of people on yahoo answers who post their pictures for confirmation that they are beautiful. There are millions of posts questioning if having stretch marks is normal or not. How to make your hair look like Deepika Padukone, how to make your lips like Angelina Jolie and How to have the body of Jennifer Lopez are only a few of the millions of posts, articles and questions on the internet. The wishes to have the shiny complexion like that of Katrina, the size zero of Kareena, booty of Beyonce and lips like Jolie are making us lose our identity.
Many women go under the knife again and again to achieve those said beauty assets without realizing that the standards of beauty are created for marketing purposes. Who will buy Veet or go for waxing if smooth legs and arms are not the basis to measure your sex appeal? Who will buy fairness creams or tanning lotions if a particular complexion is not in vogue? How will the cosmetic surgeon earn if so many women do not want to be cut and stitched? How will the cosmetic and modeling industry survive if we stop buying makeup products and ‘high fashion’ clothes?
Women are busy looking at other women for flaws to affirm that their body is not the worst or that physical flaws are normal. One girl asked another if she had stretch marks and was surprised as well as thankful when the other girl confirmed that she had them too. Even the girls who are looked up to as the beauty queens in your class stare at the mirror with contempt because all they can see is flaws. Even children are not spared by the media. Barbie dolls promote unrealistic body image which teaches young girls to strive for a very thin body and a particular kind of face shape. One woman, Valeria Lukyanova, was so much influenced by the doll that she went through many plastic surgeries to make herself look like a barbie doll.
Every woman is trying hard to be the most beautiful person, at least better than the rest of her peer group without realizing that her scale to measure beauty is in itself defective. Half of the women do not realize that their ideal beauty’s, be it an actress or model might not be what they look on screen or in magazines because the media shows us only the ‘truth’ it wants to. Most of the images we see on television or online or in magazines are altered to create a fantastical beauty image. Few models in their interviews revealed that they too have scars, stretch marks, cellulite and pimples which are either covered with thick cakes of makeup or photo-shopped.
Yes, there are women who might have the ideal legs or body or face, that you desire, but at the same time there are women who would want to look like you. Nobody is flawless or perfect, not even your stars or models. Where earlier there was a craze for size zero, skinny women and models, suddenly curvy women took the stage. On some facebook pages women are bantering skinny women with quotes such as, “No man likes skin and bones,” or other pages women are arguing that curvy women are just jealous of their slim counterparts. They both are arguing that one should not measure beauty on the weighing scale yet, both are doing the same.
This unreal body image is not only playing with the minds of women but also with men. The porn industry is feeding men and women with fantasies not possible in real life. It has been confusing people for decades into expecting a very unrealistic sexual and love life. Men are fed with a particular body image of women which hinders their actual physical relationships. Porn feeds men, though not every man but visual images do affect our psychology to a very large extent, with airbrushed perfect women who are always willing to have sex. Thus, the unreal becomes real.
To understand my point, let’s take a very simple example of a burger from Mc Donalds. Every advertisement or photo shows a large burger with thick filling of chicken and cheese but when you buy the very same burger you realize that it is not even half as sumptuous as it appeared in the photos or advertisements. Had the photos shown the truth, would they have sold as many products as they did through the altered truth? Similarly, many people have confirmed that when they met the real models or actors of the beauty industry they said that they were left stumped because of the vast gap between the image of these celebrities and their real selves.
If we were to judge our civilization on the basis of the pictures on television and magazines we would have to conclude that the complete human race has a striking resemblance to each other and is a perfect creation of god. We all are running after a beauty or truth which does not exist. If we look carefully we will realize that our attempts to achieve a mythical self only leads to our degraded body image and low self confidence. We should realize that true beauty can be found in everyone.