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10 Ways the Media is Messing With Our Minds and Bodies

It’s well-known that the media sets crazy standards of beauty and behavior, especially for women. You’d think since we’re all aware of this, it would start to change. However, it seems that the problem is just getting worse. Change will come eventually, but only if we all decide to stop letting magazines, commercials and our daily news tell us how to look, think and act.

We’ve got our list of 10 things the media tries to tell us to get in our heads and influence how we view our bodies. We’ve also included why we think they’re a bunch of hooey.

  • Want to look like the women in the magazines? It’s not going to happen, no matter how hard you try. Those pictures have been so edited, the people in them don’t even exist. You’re not going to look like the people in the magazines because they don’t even look like the people in the magazines.
  • Kia released a series of commercials, starting with an ad during the Super Bowl, that features “Hotbots.” These female robots apparently only exist to look sexy and protect cars Are women really only good for being objects of desire and protecting their man’s possessions? I think not.
  • You can’t be a princess. Lately the media wants us to believe princesses are a bad influence on young girls. Girls should focus on math and science, not sparkles and Prince Charming. Sometimes though, you just want to wear the pretty dress. Like my four-year-old cousin who wears her’s when she plays with her work bench and tool set.
  • We’re told that we constantly have to look good. And not just good, but hot, thin, sexy, beautiful, thin, desirable, thin, put-together, thin, attractive, thin, noticing a trend here?
  • Thinner is better and most people are “fat.” We applauded Jennifer Lawrence for defending her weight earlier this year, colorfully telling people who suggested she needed to diet what to do with themselves. As long as you are happy and healthy, you look great, and no one should tell you any differently.
  • You have to work. Don’t work too much though because you need to be at home with your family. It’s 2013, women should be in the workplace. A woman’s place is the home. Go to college, get a degree and go to work. You’re just getting your MRS. degree, right? Sigh.
  • “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.” – Cindy Crawford. Already beautiful women are being told they need to look even more beautiful. This system sets up a crazy standard that no one is ever going to reach.
  • “At least you’re pretty” is one of my least favorite phrases. It’s often used in response to someone, usually a woman, saying something dumb. As if she may not be bright, but it’s ok because she has her looks. I think it’s possible for someone to be smart and pretty, and conversely, not too bright and unattractive. We don’t to be one or the other.
  • My mix of Native American and Central European genetics means a lot of things. Aesthetically it means I have bold eyebrows and a bolder nose. According to the traditional definition, that excludes me from the pretty club. If we judged others just on what we saw in the media, only tall, thin, long-haired women with no pores would qualify as beautiful. That sounds really boring.
  • No matter what you do, you’ll never be good enough is the message from advertisers hawking various beauty products. It’s also one of the worst things we tell ourselves. Ask your closest friends and family what they value in you, and I doubt their answers will have anything to do with outward appearance. I assure you, you are good enough.

Video from upworthy.com

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December 6th, 2013

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