This I Believe

Madeline - Bowling Green, Ohio
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I Believe Skinny, is not Always Beautiful

Imagine a very tall, thin girl looking in the mirror and saying to her older sister “I’m so fat!” Imagine my surprise when I heard this phrase come out of my 5’11, twig thin, beautiful, 7th grade sister. Hearing this only made me angry at the media, her friends, and society. Of course blaming her friends and society is pointless because being skinny has been considered what’s acceptable for hundreds of years. Girls today are too obsessed with their self-image.

Girls today have been greatly influenced by the media and what they see on movies and magazines. The over emphasis on being extremely thin has lead to dealing with anorexia, bulimia, and a lower self-confidence among many young women. This has caused many to take negative action against themselves in the hope of becoming like the women they see in the media. Younger and younger girls are being affected by the media induced standards. Even “Barbie” can be said to have a negative impact on little girls.

Celebrities are becoming thinner and thinner and the excuses keep getting more and more unreasonable. When celebrities claim that they have dropped 40 pounds because of “stress,” teenage girls who want to be the same size, believe them. Being thin has always been “in,” and unfortunately always will be, but recently being boney and underweight is the trend. More bones then muscle are stylish and pretty, and the media isn’t doing anything to stop the craze. I feel that girls are starting to forget that healthy means all different sizes. Not everyone is meant to be a size zero. Tompkins ything to stop the craze. I feel girls are starting to forget that healthy means all different sizes. Not

In addition to the media influence, another surprising cause of distorted body image is the Barbie doll. There have been thousands of studies done saying that if a little girl could choose anyone to look like, it would be their Barbie doll. Her blonde hair, slender figure, blue eyes, and many accomplishments, make her a desirable figure to look like in the eyes of anyone! Barbie is saying to a child that being thin and beautiful is the way to success in this world. This doll has only influenced girls that yes, having an 18’ waist is what will get you a boyfriend, a social life, a good career. Being “normal looking” is in fact not normal, but ugly. Even though this doll has given out many good messages about being a good person, going to college, having a good career, showing the world that women are capable of anything, her blonde hair and impossibly small figure has said otherwise.

I believe beauty and self-image are personal and all how you, personally look at it. Being beautiful to me means being yourself and knowing who you are. I think people are slowly forgetting what’s important. The media has definitely played a big hand in girls and women starving themselves to look like the celebrities with impossible waist sizes. I believe this is a serious problem. I know that while the media can continue to influence how we view “beauty,” we have to recognize they sometimes set impossible or inappropriate standards.