So I just finished watching one of my favorite shows right now, Taboo. Its a documentary type TV series that has no reservations in revealing what sociologists would call “taboo” behaviors within our society today.
Most episodes are extremely intriguing, but this episode actually upset me to a point where I had to fast forward parts and almost even cried at the end. It was on Beauty, and what lengths people around the world will go to in order to achieve whatever their form of it is.
These women had problems that all centered around BDD (body dysmorphic disorder), which is basically a disorder where they obsess about their body to the point that they are seeing something completely different than what everybody else is seeing in the mirror. This disorder had different effects on each woman, such as the constant need to enlarge breasts, lengthening of legs by breaking and re-healing, and anorexia nervosa. What saddens me the most about these sometimes fatal problems that women end up having is that they are psychological disorders. It is not something that they can simply make a choice one day to get over and move on, they have serious issues that are sometimes bigger than themselves.
The scariest thing about these psychological disorders to me is that they can be avoided. There is such an extreme view in the media today of what every woman should look like. Whether the model is thin, curvy, or has beautiful long hair or desirable lashes, it is almost guaranteed that those traits are graphically enhanced.
Nobody is that perfect, and nobody should be expected to be. Even the models portraying these traits do not have them..so why does everybody think it is necessary?
This growingly popular outlook on the woman and their appearance is creating a comfortability that with some people is easy to take too far. How could it not be so widely accepted when the youngest generations have simply grown up with this bombardment of how they “should” look, instead of positive reinforcement that being healthy and natural is beautiful?
Sadly, there are many supporters of such disorders, and many more women are beginning to form online groups to contribute to each others diseases. Personally, I have run across a few anorexia promoting blogs and websites just by clicking on workout links on Pinterest. These pages are used to exchange negative thoughts, ideas on “improvement”, and many other disturbing things that can only feed the vicious cycle of the ever-growing self-esteem problem women have today. Also, these pages can and will be highly accessible to our younger loved ones, probably even our children one day.
Does this mean that I think these websites should be banned? Or that magazines and fashion merchandising should all be completely revamped by taking away all of their aesthetic filters and ideas? No. Everybody has the right to free speech, and what they want to do to their body is their own business. But I think it should mean that we educate young girls correctly from a young age so that they know they are beautiful the way they are. That what they can contribute to society through their actions and knowledge is much more important than if they are prettier than the girl next to them.