Last night, my husband and I were watching our local meteorologist give the weather report and he turned to me and said, “Could her dress BE any tighter?”
I was only half paying attention so I put on my glasses. Sure enough, the weather woman looked to be about a size 6 heaped with generous curves, which you could easily tell from her dress, which was probably a size 4.
I’ve been noticing an alarming rise in just how pretty female TV show stars & newscasters have to be and I’m really disturbed by it. Yes, I know that leading female characters (and most leading males) in TV shows always have to be attractive. I get it. We couldn’t possibly stand to watch anyone for 45 minutes who wasn’t terribly good looking. (Right. Our most beloved characters were gorgeous, right? Well, no, actually, at least not in the past.)
However, in the last year or two, the bar for this has been set impossibly high. My husband and I are big scifi fans, so when we started watching Continuum, which I really like, I have to say that one thing – and one thing only – annoyed me: The protagonist, and only because she was drop dead gorgeous. Entirely too pretty to be a cop. Entirely too distracting to be good for the plot. However, as the plot grew, she grew on me, so I let it go. Maybe it was a fluke.
Then, the new season came and hubby and I learned that the awesome James Spader was starring in a new show. Completely drawn in by the commercials, we were swept into “Blacklist” – which, by the way, we love – and guess what? The protagonist is ANOTHER very pretty law enforcement agent, this time employed by the FBI.
Attractive leads in law enforcement have never been uncommon but somehow Dana Scully, Olivia Dunham, heck, even Temperance Brennan don’t quite have this Cover Girl glimmer-in-the-eye thing.
This is bad enough, but this “perfect beauty” issue is everywhere. It used to be a controversy to have women sportscasters in locker room – and now, have you SEEN how pretty they are? And what about 82 year olds with hot model bodies photoshopped onto magazine covers? Have we lost our minds?
Raising girls with disabilities has always been a challenge and I won’t lie, my daughters appear that they will be reasonably attractive. But what does that mean? Will they stand by the wayside, feeling worthless and dejected because no human can possibly measure up to the standard of beauty that is put before us? Will plastic surgery be cheaper and pushed down their throats as a job requirement in the future? Amelia has mosaic Down syndrome, and while she doesn’t show all the physical traits, when she was a baby we learned that there IS cosmetic surgery to remove the facial characteristics of Down syndrome. I’m not sure it bothered me at the time, but now it send shivers down my spine.
Last night, I saw a commercial where an African American model was promoting makeup or something. In this ad, the model wore about 2 tons of eye makeup on and had long, straight brown hair with sharp bangs. She wore leggings and a bright shirt and her skin looked super light. (I’ve seen her before, I think her skin is darker, they just hit her with a ton of lights.) She looked very “off” to me, and at the end of the ad, she is standing next to a white model…and they LOOKED EXACTLY THE SAME. It completely freaked me out but it was a valuable lesson.
It’s our uniqueness that make us stand out.
Some of that uniqueness comes from our imperfections – the roguish scar, asymetrical eyes, a flat nose. Some of it comes from who we were born to be – black, white, Asian, olive-skinned, blonde, red-headed, freckled. Some of it comes from age and experience – wrinkles, white hair, liver spots.
The media is trying to do away with that. I still like these shows but this underlying theme of perfection is disturbing to me, especially as I raise children who are ALREADY labeled as”different.”
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30
A lesson I remind MYSELF every week.
So how do you teach your children that beauty is not important and how do we, as a society, protect our kids from this pursuit of perfection?
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