Today I saw something that made me very angry. I was flipping through a brochure advertising merchandise for dreaded Valentine’s Day, when I came across a page promoting lingerie. Standing in some flimsy black garment that looked as though it was held together by dental floss, was one of the thinnest models I have ever seen. She looked as though she had just spent a few months in some war-torn country where there was limited food and water. If she were standing in front of me right now, I would have to physically restrain myself from shoving a pie down her throat, whilst yelling “Eat something!”.
Perhaps the reason why this advertisement bothered me so much is because I myself have spent my entire life battling with my self-image. I have always found it incredibly difficult to accept myself and my flaws, especially when I am surrounded by this idealised representation of beauty that is present in much of today’s media. Our society claims to be embracing the “curvier” woman, with beauties such as Queen Latifah and Adele being praised for their fuller figures, and yet certain fashion houses still insist on using malnourished-looking models to sell their garments.
Now don’t get me wrong, I fully support the notion that a person should try and look as good as they possibly can. Exercise, a healthy diet, and great products can go a long way to help boost a person’s self esteem. But I am also realistic. Unlike the afore-mentioned Glamazon, I am never going to have legs that reach my armpits; any excess weight will always go to my thighs; and, short of plastic surgery, my boobs will always be just a bit unimpressive. These are facts that I have to accept and having a picture of some lace-covered stick-insect thrust under my nose is not going to change that. All that I can do is get angry, recognise that our society needs to change, and feel sorry for the poor starving girl as I pop a chocolate into my mouth and turn the page.