Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How Our Culture Destroys The Confidence Of Girls

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

Admittedly I have not read this book. I have read books like them. I had a roommate in college who majored in feminist studies. Her thesis to graduate with her bachelor's degree includes an in-depth look at Seventeen Magazine. I subscribed to that magazine as a teenager. I don't think was good for me or any young teenage girl.

Teenagers without strong female models in their lives don't seem to comprehend that pictures in magazines are air brushed and fake. The pressure for girls to look perfect starts so young it really is pathological and rampant in our culture. The most beautiful young teens and women I talk to often put themselves down for not being pretty.

I can't watch television shows where little girls are paraded around like objects. The mothers who do this to their little girls really ought to be forced into therapy for projecting their own unexamined issues about appearance onto their daughters. The indie film "Little Miss Sunshine" fully and appropriately addresses this issue. By the end of the film, the eccentric family comes to the realization of what really matters to girls.

We need to encourage girls to read, develop their minds, and not base their self-esteem or sense of power on appearance. Our culture pathologically demands women fix their noses, get facials weekly it seems, have their nails done perfectly, apply makeup or never leave the house, adhere to constantly changing hairstyles, and wear the right clothes. It's all about consumption. If women buy into this culture of lies eventually they have an extreme amount of credit card debt, attract a man who only cares about appearance and dumps her for a younger model if he can.

If women don't collectively stop buying into the culture of appearance pressure, plastic surgeons win. Men who treat us like objects win. We will continue to earn seventy cents for every dollar a man earns. Any woman who informs me she has had some procedure done to her face cannot fool me into thinking she is a strong woman. She is not. She has not embraced herself as she is nor has she examined the culture of lies. I object to little girls and these horrible pictures of them in makeup and clothing and the moms that take them to beauty pageants. I always will. The fact that the mainstream television shows promote this makes me want to toss my television out of the window. However, I do like to watch the BBC news and other news stations so I guess I will keep that noise box and continue to flip pass the pathologically ill stations promoting pure lies. -Alison Whiteman

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