Sunday, December 23, 2007

A bit of a serious one

After a horribly stupid argument with my Mum last night (over nothing other than a misunderstanding and me being defensive about a sore point) I have been mulling over the way in which we as women set our self esteem and who our role models are. There will be further posts on this as I mull over my thoughts, but in the meantime, I found this great website for young girls from Dove and their campaign for real beauty. It has some great short films (go to the films section on the site), but the one that really got to me was all about bombarding young women with beauty images. The end message was one to Mums that we should talk to our daughters about beauty before the beauty industry does. Very compelling in an environment where if a sensible, well educated, career minded early 30s woman like me can feel insecure about her body image then what hope a 10 year old?

I am not sure whether I entirely approve of Unilever giving this message, they are part of the problem and this campaign only part of the solution. However, it is worth taking a look.


Grande Poobah said...

Yes, it's a great video, yes it's a great campaign, and yes also it is hideously compromised by being made by Unilever, who through other brands and products are responsible for peddling tosh about the standards that women could/should aspire to in terms of their looks, shape and so on.

makes me furious. Naomi Wolf dissected this all brilliantly in the Beauty Myth, which has to be over 15 years old now but is still accurate. She charted the size of models over the years, and found that the average size of a catwalk or fashion model has decreased by around 30% over the past couple of decades. You've also got the irony that, as the images we're peddled of women become more and more unrealistic, the average size of real people gets ever larger.

Rant rant rant rant rant!!!!

I suppose we should celebrate however that a) at least women are now realising how the industry works and are beginning to protest with a more coherent voice and b) as men start to come under the same pressures they are starting to bite back too!

Your daughter, like her mother, will be beautiful, whatever size or shape she is. And she will have a group of loud, assertive and bolshy sistas to remind here of this whenever she needs it :-)

Mummy said...

Well said GP. But I think what I find so sad is that this needs to be said at all. You and I were brought up in a less media-focused era and have brains and brilliance in bucket loads. However, there are still times when I wish that being pretty and thin was part of my make up and perhaps would sacrifice one of my A-level grades to be able to fit into that dress, or be a bit more photogenic, or be able to eat anything I want and not have a tactless relative telling me I must have put on weight (you know who she is!).

There was an interesting article in the recent Economist edition about how pretty people tend to get on better in life. It made an interesting point about whether we are pre-programmed to recognise beauty, I am unsure myself how valid or objective such a study could be given the images we are bombarded with now.