What would you say if I told you that a world famous supermodel struggled with body image and peer pressure to lose weight?
What if I said that the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia wanted to feature healthy, beautiful women that had curves and weren’t necessarily twigs?
And what would you think if one of the Most Influential Women In Media told you that her own child overcame an eating disorder when she was a child?
Would you believe me? I’m sure many of you don’t but it’s true… On Monday night, Arianna Huffington, the President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia and Doutzen Kroes a front-page supermodel came together at Harvard University to spread the word: Health is Beauty! That’s right, three beautiful women that are extremely involved in the media and fashion industries didn’t get up on stage and say that you need to be thin to be beautiful, loved and respected. Rather, they agreed that there is something horribly wrong with how the media portrays “beauty” as an unattainable fantasy of tall, skinny models that all look the same.
In your classrooms does anyone honestly look like the models in Abercrombie or Forever 21? Not in my world. Yet, every time we see these advertisements we’re drawn to them – we want to look like them, we even want to be them because we think that their small waists make them happy and that they have it all.
So why are we striving to be someone else? Someone that in reality, doesn’t even look like the pictures we see? Between photo-shop, lighting and camera tricks these models look completely different behind the camera lens than they do in real life. Which means that we’re trying to live up to a standard that isn’t even real.
These three women not only disagree with the image of beauty the media portrays they truly believe that everyone is beautiful and should embrace their own bodies and individuality! In fact, Sozzani said that she believes the world is becoming boring and flat where everyone tries to look the same, and instead we should be celebrating our differences. She doesn’t just say this though, just last month she launched another annual Vogue Black Issue where they featured black models and even had a section dedicated to curves.
So what’s the message these strong, beautiful and powerful women were trying to convey?
The general media is totally unrealistic. Who you are, deep down, is special and perfect just the way it is regardless of the size of your pants or the color of your hair. As supermodel Doutzen said, “Happiness is what makes a person beautiful.”
What do you think? Do you feel pressure from TV shows and advertisements to look and dress a certain way? Are you tired of trying to fit in? Do you tell yourself that looks don’t matter. Or do they? Take this quiz.
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