Viewport width =
August 19, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

The Nurse’s Note – Make You Feel Unpretty Too

We are subjected to a constant barrage of propaganda about our appearance, from advertisements, movies, TV, magazines and newspapers. It’s impossible to look at any of them without seeing images of slim, sexy, tanned, toned, fashionably dressed, groomed, made-up, botoxed, and photoshopped people. There are articles about how to whiten your teeth, tone your abs, slim your thighs, make your legs look longer or your eyes bigger, develop a pert bottom or a six-pack, or disguise hair loss. There are endless articles about diets, and how to lose weight so that you’ll look good in your togs come summer. There are shows where stylish people sneer at those less endowed, and tell them how to dress better; there are programmes where people compete to lose weight. Beauty contests still exist.  Jeans manufacturers have changed their sizing because smaller numbers on the label make women feel better (and of course buy more jeans)—after all, what could possibly be more affirming than to be a size zero?

While most of this is targeted at women, men are also a market: because of course, this is all about money and power. We are constantly being told how inadequate we are—how fat, ugly, badly proportioned, wobbly, smelly, lazy, and badly dressed we are; how we fail to meet the standards imposed by a consumerist society, and how we should try harder to improve ourselves: eat less, buy more, and feel worse about ourselves. The consequences are frequently self-dislike, even self-loathing and self-punishment. Many of us are deceived into believing that if we just get thinner, life would be happy and we would magically feel acceptable. Tragically, for some of us, restricting our eating in order to become thin becomes a personal challenge, and the only way we feel able to exercise power over our lives. Even those with a robust sense of self find it hard to maintain their self-esteem in the face of such an onslaught.

But we do not have to succumb to this! We can aspire to better things. We can reject these artificial, commercially driven standards of attractiveness and beauty, and develop less superficial ways of assessing ourselves and others.  We can work on accepting and liking ourselves: this means making choices based on what enhances our lives, takes us further along our chosen path, makes us more joyous and better people. It means giving up judging our bodies and our appearance by the standards of the advertising industry. We don’t have to measure up. What we have to do is be fully alive, and celebrate uniqueness, individuality and diversity.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. There’s a New Editor
  2. An (im)possible dream: Living Wage for Vic Books
  3. Salient and VUW tussle over Official Information Act requests
  4. One Ocean
  5. Orphanage voluntourism a harmful exercise
  6. Interview with Grayson Gilmour
  7. Political Round Up
  8. A Town Like Alice — Nevil Shute
  9. Presidential Address
  10. Do You Ever Feel Like a Plastic Bag?

Editor's Pick

In Which a Boy Leaves

: - SPONSORED - I’ve always been a fairly lucky kid. I essentially lucked out at birth, being born white, male, heterosexual, to a well off family. My life was never going to be particularly hard. And so my tale begins, with another stroke of sheer luck. After my girlfriend sugge