This I Believe

Rebecca - Vienna, Virginia
Entered on February 27, 2009

Stepping onto the scale, I grimace. I’ve gained 4 pounds in the past 3 weeks. This brings my total weight up to 118 pounds. My brain recognizes the fact that at 5’4” tall and 118 pounds, I am still slim and not in need of losing weight. However, I cannot accept this as truth. I want to lose about 10 pounds, believing that will make me happy. Why do I think so? The media has told me from an early age that only the thinnest and most beautiful are happy. Be tan, blonde, and buxom, and you will have no problems in life. The beauty industry supports this ideology as well, offering a wide array of cellulite creams, anti-aging creams, and hair dyes so that you can fix your “imperfect” self. For me with my mousy brown hair, ghostly white skin, and all but flat chest, this reality is a harsh one. Thanks to the beauty industry and the media, I feel devalued and like I’m less of a person than those with the qualities listed above. I believe that all women should be free from the pressures of the beauty industry and the media. I believe that if a woman is a size 12, she can still be beautiful. True beauty lies in confidence, not bra size or waist size or clarity of skin. It is so difficult to be confident, though. The pressures from the beauty industry and the media are constant weights on the shoulders of women. These pressures say that “if you were only a size smaller, you could get a boyfriend” or “if you were blonde, that person might have held the door for you.” These types of messages are not healthy for today’s woman, and women, as humans, deserve to be seen as people and not the objects that the media and beauty industry make them appear.