You are either too fat, too skinny or too ugly to be loved. As teenagers we are often left conjecturing if Prince Charming is ever coming to our rescue, or if we’re even entitled to one. If only we had been coached towards a more realistic concept of beauty, there would be more confident, happy people in the world today. In the midst of a hyper-connected world, driven by glossy visuals, the need for a positive body image is more acute than ever before.
What do you do when standards for beauty are reinstated at an early age with references to Cinderella, Barbie, Ken, and Snow White? We live in a neurotic world consumed by the obsession of youth. Three notoriously popular people that attest the statement above are Valeria Lukyanova (human Barbie), Justin Jedlica (human Ken) and New York socialite Jocelyn Wildenstine (Bride of Wildenstine). They have taken the craze for cosmetic procedures to a whole new level with their bizarre transformation, all in an effort to bear a resemblance to self-imposed ideals of beauty.
Our images are shaped by our cultural dogmas, long before we’re able to comprehend the worth of self-love. There is almost always an aspect of our body that we are not comfortable with. Be it a less-than-perfect complexion, a protruding belly, thighs that rub together, or a bony figure and a flat chest. The flaws string on endlessly gaining momentum as we grow older.
How often do you stare back at your reflection with disdain? Once a week, twice, every day? We’ve all been there. Very rarely do we find that divine middle ground, that allows us to love our bodies unreservedly. If you belong to that rare breed of thoroughly self-satisfied individuals, you have our unequivocal admiration but if you’re one with a neat laundry list of complaints know that you’re not alone.
Take a cue from brands like Dove, that made a revolutionary move in the marketing industry by using real women for their beauty campaign or Dear Kate a lingerie brand that fiercely responded to Victoria Secret’s Perfect Body campaign, with a counter-image promoting body diversity, featuring women of all shapes and sizes. Change is underway but it may take a while to undo the damage, of years of negative advertising. Self-acceptance is the only path to regaining our long lost confidence and self-worth.