Keep it Real!

by wildfeministappears

Welcome to the Keep it Real challenge, a 3 day rally on the internet to ask magazines to put non-photoshopped pictures in their issues.  This is the second day, where people are encouraged to talk about the price we pay for allowing unreachable expectations in beauty.

I’d like to say that I’m above being manipulated by pictures of celebrities.  We don’t watch TV in our house very often, and when we do it’s mostly cartoons.  I don’t read magazines, sans Mother Jones.  I don’t even go to that many movies, maybe two a year.  And yet I still see this model form.  This picture of what we consider perfection.  And I’m constantly ashamed of my body, no matter how gaunt I end up looking.

I don’t think we understand how pervasive this phenomenon is.  How many celebrities are anorexic?  When even the celebrities we admire for their thinness don’t have the self esteem to be proud of their bodies, we’ve gone too far.  I believe it’s the shaming.  When celebrities gain weight, the magazines immediately send word.  And then the rest of us feel that we should be ashamed as well for gaining any weight, no matter how little.  No one can compete with the humiliation machine.

I wish I could say that it would be great if magazines would stop photoshopping.  Unfortunately, it won’t solve the problem.  Our society is too intent on shaming itself, and we almost thrive on it.  It feels satisfying to some that a celebrity isn’t the perfect form, because it somehow pulls them down to our level.  We hate them, we love them, we want to be like them, so we drag them through the mud for being what no one actually is.  And then we end up hating ourselves.

So, we could all keep it real if we would just get off each other’s backs about our looks.  We don’t need shame to be motivated to stay healthy and happy!  Bodies worth admiring have mouths that speak kindly, eyes that don’t judge, and hands that don’t backstab.