The Ugly Lies
We can’t ignore the huge influence media has on how we feel about ourselves. Movies, television shows, magazines, and the internet bombard us with body images that are unrealistic. These images are the product of perfect lighting, creative makeup, selective airbrushing, and remembering to “hold in that gut” at the right time.
And the beauty industry knows that if we feel bad enough about how we look, we’ll try their products as a remedy. Cosmetic and clothing companies spend billions of dollars each year reminding us that we’re not young enough, skinny enough, or sexy enough. We have too many wrinkles and fine lines. Our lips aren’t plump enough, and our eyelashes aren’t long enough. When we walk, our bottoms jiggle too much. When we sit, our thighs spread out too much. Our skin is either too dull or too shiny, and our hair lacks luster. But, this bra will make us look perkier and these jeans will make us look smaller.
To make money, our society works overtime to poke the insecurities inside of us. Here are a few examples. This list includes both recent ad campaigns, and a few that are a blast from the past.
Camay Soaps – You are in a beauty contest every day of your life.
Clairol Hair – If I’ve only one life, let me live it as a blonde!
Pretty Feet Deodorant – ’s the ugliest part of your body?
Roxanne Swimsuits – Some girls have developed a lot more than just their minds.
Revlon – The most unforgettable women in the world wear Revlon.
The Voice Within
We’re our own worst critic, and our internal can be brutal. When was the last time you called yourself ugly? Can you recall telling yourself you’ll never be good enough for him? Have you ever called yourself stupid for trusting that person, or made some snide comment about your weight when shopping for clothes? Do you cuss yourself out when you make a bad decision, or talk yourself out of accepting affirmations from others? Proverbs 4:23 says, “More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it” (Common English Bible). Did you catch that? More than anything else, protect your mind! You see, when you undermine your worth through your words and thoughts, you change how you see yourself. You change how you respond to the world.
You’d think that after a certain age, we wouldn’t obsess about our flaws. At some point, shouldn’t we make peace with our imperfect bodies, and embrace the bumps and sags and stretch marks? Yes! But because the world worship youth, we spend millions of dollars trying to hold on to it. A study from the International Journal of Eating Disorders revealed that women over 50 still struggle with body image. Approximately 62 percent said their weight or shape had a negative impact on their lives, and 66 percent were unhappy with how they looked. And many of us are doing something drastic about it. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans spent $11 billion on facelifts, Botox injections, breast augmentations, and other elective cosmetic procedures in 2012.