Note: Hi all – Please allow me to introduce you to Puja Mehta, a young student who contacted us for a guest post spot on Deranged Writers as part of her university assignment. We’re happy to have her sharing her article here on the blog and wish her all the best in her task.
I hope you all will give her a warm welcome too.
Since we women have come so far, it’s almost pathetic for us to feel bonded to age old tradition. So this message is for ladies all over the world, be your own beautiful! You are the only one who can define your self worth. Your minor imperfections are what make you perfect. Break free from all bondage and conquer the world.
Plus size modeling careers, Pinterest pages as well as magazines such as the “plus size style and beauty” dedicated to these beautiful models as well as articles showing great respect to models who switched from “straight size” to plus to improve their health and “their grip on reality”. Stereotypes being broken about “black actresses not making it big”. I was certain that the concept of superficial “beauty” was changing, and people were genuinely growing out of this phase I switched on the television to stand corrected.
I was swamped by adverts pursuing me to pick up the latest BB creams, celebrities revealing their own “secrets” by the help of the latest bleach creams or even some new happening make-up cover up. They seem to be not only convincing me to buy them but assure me that with the help of these, I will undoubtedly get clear, glowing skin with no fear of getting any blackheads or pimples back. Though it is never directly shown in these TV adverts, they are in fact pointing out our “ugliness”.
We begin to question our own abilities and mostly our physical appearance as we are brought to down to the petty thought to believe that this is our only way of help, to be accepted in society and hence over all succeed in life. No doubt, the media do play an extremely important part in our lives and do manage to convince a lot of women into believing their not beautiful but I think its time for somebody to take a stand and realize its principally wrong.
Today’s TV commercials are a threat to the sovereignty and self-respect of today’s women and are just reinforcing the agents of Patriarchy in our so-called modern world.
Jean Kilbourne is an author, filmmaker who is widely recognized for her work on Advertisings image of women. Recently, I heard her speech on the same on YouTube a lot of what she said could be co related to today’s times. Kilbourne’s analytical study of models as well as Photoshop shows us the ugly side of what is ‘beautiful’. She show speaks of Anna Reston who not very long ago was told off being too fat eventually starved herself to death and she wasn’t the only one. For something so drastic I am sure I wont be the only one pointing the severity of this. Her most important point would be that since a young age, we women are taught that it is extremely “normal” to spend hours and money to make our self “beautiful”.
It is this point that the media plays on, as they are constantly coming up with “solutions to our many problems”. I remember last year, when I emptied my bag from London I found so many products that I was sure I wouldn’t use and that’s what made me realize that unknowingly I had fallen into this as well. It is almost as if the Feminist movement died in vain. We are only falling back into the trap of Patriarchy. I say its dead because today it’s more like women don’t want equality. The most common examples of women choosing to be treated more differently then men are in relationships and work. 7 out of 10 women expect men to ask them out, buy them dinner, give them more flexible work timings (simply because they are women) and even for men to the only ones that work after marriage. I saw a fairness advert very recently about a fair skinned girl being considered over a slightly darker skinned girl. It’s not only an infringement against people’s rights but it just creates one more difference.
In today’s world of uncertainty, where women choose to challenge patriarchy by enforcing their rights, challenging violence against women, how is it normal for us to accept this type of un fairness? What’s more disappointing is that in the advertising industry there is believed to be more women then men! If you include the advertising world, the people shaping your media messages are 60 % female, compared to 47 %of the overall workforce, according to data compiled for The Atlantic by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
Finally, after years of struggle we women have shown to be if not more, as capable as men so why let society tell us what’s beautiful or not? This particular advertisement enforces the fact that inner beauty, talent is dead but as long as outer beauty is attained with these products success is guaranteed. We can be sure of the fact that how ever old we get ‘beauty” will never fade as long as they keep coming up with new products for all age groups.
We need to stop being so insecure about ourselves and understand that in order for us have brighter futures with no doubts of equality we must be confident of who we are and not let foolish things make us feel belittled. I realize this is easier said then done, because this would include breaking years of social conditioning which tells us that society judges us on beauty hence we must excel on that front but the sooner we realize that this idea of “choice” given to us for these products and supposed after effects of the same isn’t the freedom we want the more fulfilling our lives would be.
About the author:
Puja Mehta is originally from Bombay, India, and currently in her last year studying Media and Cultural Studies at the London College of Communications. This article is part of a current module ‘Writing for the media.’
She chose to write on the portrayal of beauty in media as she sees girls in society with low self esteem and lacking confidence simply because they do not think they are beautiful enough. Encountering this phenomena often with her female friends, Puja realized that this issue exists everywhere. This is her effort at reminding women and girls to be their own beautiful.
The views in the article belong to the author and do not necessarily and/or in their entirety reflect those of the Deranged Writers.
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