I grew up in the 70′s and I was obsessed with fashion magazines. Actually, fashion magazines were my crack. I craved them, I needed them, I let them define me. And, like crack, they also nearly destroyed me. My views on beauty were based on these fashion magazines. They told me what was beautiful. They told me how to be skinny, how to get a man, how to have sex and keep skinny, why men were attracted to “dumb women,” how to “think myself thin,” what I could do to reduce NOW, how I could change so I could land a wealthy man, how I could lose 10 pounds in 1 week, how I could change so I could keep my wealthy man, what the new plastic surgery for girls of ALL ages was….and on and on.
I saw a post today on the Huffington Post by Nina Bahadur, comparing the headlines from decades old magazines to magazines now. The scary realization was that the headlines she pointed out from years ago were very similar to headlines and articles in magazines now.
Nina cited 6 things that fashion magazines were still encouraging us to do. In the headlines and magazines she pointed out, we still need to: 1. Achieve a perfect bikini body 2 Get a perfectly flat stomach. 3. Find a miracle diet (I’m noticing a theme here). 4. Find where the bachelors are 5. Get skinny by having sex. 6. Be the best lover around (So the hot bachelor doesn’t dump you)
It’s that “one step forward, two steps back” syndrome. Perhaps we need to be more vigilant, perhaps we need to stop reading fashion magazines.
In all honesty, I LOVE fashion, I just don’t like being told I have to be or look a certain way in order to be attractive and beautiful. I’d like to believe my hot man (my husband, Ron), will still be attracted to me if I don’t have a perfect bikini body.
I think we need to reframe the guidelines. Here goes:
1. Your body is perfect just the way it is. Go ahead and wear a bikini. 2. Your stomach is fine. If you’re worried, do a few more crunches. 3. There is no such thing as a miracle diet. Eat healthy. 4. If you become happy with yourself, you will meet someone who is right for you. 5. Have sex because you like it…don’t do it to get skinny. 6. You already are a good lover.
Two steps forward, ladies. Onward.