Monday, January 28, 2008

Rise of the Real People

Woohoo! Check out this photo!

(Not the dude - the gals who came straight off the beach to model suits for today's "everywoman!") Kudos to them for smiling, keeping their chins up and owning that stage!

Thanks to Jennie Yabroff of Newsweek magazine for writing this piece about them, and especially for her fantastic subhead: The thin and beautiful have had their turn. The hippest models today look more like the rest of us.

If I saw that every day on TV, in magazines and in the movies, I would be ecstatic, and would probably even feel comfortable wearing my own swimsuit at the beach again!

However, though this may be the start of a beauty revolution, the world is a hard place to change. Vogue, Cosmo, Marie Claire and Harper's Bazaar will not likely follow suit so quickly. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty may have gotten the ball rolling (check out their new short film on their intro page - eye-opening), but - being the realist that I am - I'm not holding my breath. The beauty industry makes too much money to "go gentle into that good night."

I was particulary irked, of late, by the lead actress in Transformers. Yes, I did happen to buy this flick for le hubby for Christmas. I quite enjoyed the action and even the emotion of it - I do like action flicks. :) However, I don't recall teen girls in my school (yes, it was Cloverdale, but regardless...) who looked like that being considered "normal"... oh, wait! It's because this actress is actually 21 years old! It's really great to see a fully-developed woman, who was ranked #18 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list, being portrayed as a teenager in last year's arguably most-anticipated action movie. {*sarcasm*} I love even more that she was nominated for 3 Teen Choice awards, one of them for, get this, "Best Liplock."

I know that when normal women like me complain about girls like this, people think, "Meghan, you're just jealous." But I can honestly say that I'm not. I am sad that men and young girls are being conditioned (actually, let's be more accurate: brainwashed) into believing that their perfect mate and self-image (respectively) should reflect this well-endowed, "perfectly"-shaped and extremely RARE ideal. It's insanity! And it's impossible for 99.9% of women on this planet.

As a result, the real women in this world are stuck, then, with two options: Do EVERYTHING HUMANLY POSSIBLE to live up to this expectation, even if it means hurting yourself in the process. Or, dig down deep to find out who they are meant to be, and do your best to show the world the spirit and soul God gave you.

It seems obvious, doesn't it? But we usually choose the first option. It takes a huge toll, but in the mind of an impressionable young woman, the unhappiness and lonliness surrounding the quest for the perfect boobs/butt/hair/lips/thighs/nose/chin sure beats the unhappiness and lonliness brought about by the strange looks of the "perfect" girls and their perfect little social snub, and the lack of respect from the guys conditioned to think that if we're not a bleached blonde with double Ds, we have nothing to offer.

To top it all off, even the movement toward "real models" needs a little tweak. This leaning toward these girls seems to really feature slightly larger gals, who happen to be pudgy or disproportionate by Hollywood's standards, but always on the "large"side.

What about us "real" girls who are an average size 8 or 12? Too big to be a model, too small to be a plus-sized model. What about the size Mediums, who get lost in the shuffle of the battle for body image rights? With no boobs or hips to speak of, let alone complain about, like the more shapely girls. Not necessarily worse, but lost is the feeling we get when we seem to be passed over for a chance to speak up about how we feel about ourselves. The bigger gals think we're thin and must feel great, while the teensy girls think we're big-boned and must always be longing to lose that last 15 or 20 pounds. Growing up like this was, for me, a little confusing. After all, I couldn't get any slimmer - my body's not made that way. But I lived with this awareness that I still wasn't "perfect enough" because of my height and size.

That's my few cents on all this stuff. I want to see a runway filled with seemingly shapless girls who would otherwise be pining away in silence for some acknowledgement that we exist, that we don't fit into that ideal either, not matter what the big girls or tiny girls think.


  1. Amen, sista! I've wondered if this "real women" fad is simply that - a fad. Something that will flit away someday and leave us with what? Probably the same supermodel image we can never attain! Sigh.

  2. I like your new blog. feel free to check out mine sometime too. :)

  3. That was wonderful. This is something I've always struggled with, especially when I was a teenager. Hopefully this is the start of a more healthy attitude towards women's bodies.

  4. Sounds good to me! I'm a size 11 and think I'm just fine (even after having a baby). I enjoy my bigger then average body. It makes me extremely curious why some girls size 6 and under are so unhappy w/ themselves... being secure is way better then any pant size! Praise God!