“Who has to tell me how to dress up? … I am more the type of girl who likes to dress in a comfortable and practical way, with high heels and skirts I feel strange, but… nobody can tell me how to dress!… not men. It is driving me crazy, leave us alone now. Man is always telling us how to behave and how to dress. Guys, I want to distance myself from everything and everyone”. This is a comment by a young reader criticizing a culture that imposes beauty canons that have little to do with the inside of a woman and her essence.
The cult of the body has reached our young (and not so young) mothers and daughters. It has reached you. It began with full intensity in the nineties and it has intensified since then. The emergence of social networks has made everyone more aware of how they look when they take “selfies”, and teenagers who have a very vulnerable personality, anxiously confront this world of selfies, duck face and photos of their legs in Instagram. College students are not the exception of this.
The fashion magazines say that inside their pages one can find everything one need to attain the ideal figure every woman wants to have. I remember that I used to devour them since I was only thirteen years old. The articles and advertisement talk about using fat burning creams, pills to accelerate the metabolism and even the famous cabbage diet that has been passed from generation to generation.
How is it that my 19 year old daughter already knows it? Clearly not from me. Of course the magazines promote the cult of the body and of a type of beauty that will never die. It is not a theologian, philosopher or psychologist who is telling you this, but a woman who during her youth was able to experience and live her dream of becoming a professional model and model trainer. Therefore, when I see all kinds of publicity for women, I think about skinny women, young women, women without a bit of fat in their bodies and dressed up with the latest fashion. The way I was. But I also think about those wasp-like hips as a result of a lot of salads, endless hours at the gym and women who sacrifice everything to look just the way they see in magazines, even becoming anorexic, bulimic and compulsive. At the top of this list are the models, as they also suffer from it and are perhaps the gods of this cult as I was one day.
The cult of the body, the concern for being skinny, and of having a perfect body is the favorite topic for the new Smartphone applications, for advertisement campaigns for newspapers, radio and TV. The majority of our girls are already asking for plastic surgeries by the time they are thirteen years old, by the time they are twelve they are already dying their hair and when they are fifteen they change the color of their eyes. If they have blue eyes they want them green, if they have black eyes they want them blue. In short, nobody is safe for at the head of all of this are the mothers of this Millennial generation (I must confess that I have made a few mistakes teaching some of this to my daughter), being stuck in the stream of all of this, I have been dragged more than once.
The cult of the body that can be seen in the perfectly sculpted “six pack”, Michele Obama’s arms, the breasts of Kim Kardashian and the legs of runway models with Victoria Secret angel wings, has reached the mothers , our eight-year-old daughters, teenager daughters and college age girls. During our time the model to follow was the Barbie, for the new generation it has been the Brats doll with the same thinness as Barbie but with full and sensuous lips, eyes that enchant anyone and seductive clothing. They tell our daughters: look, this is how women today are, 5 more pounds and forget about it, for you won’t pass the test. Yes, all of this is true and therefore we are call to action.
What are you, young woman, future mother, humanizer of society willing to do? It must be understood that I speak of extremes, we as women have to take care of ourselves for the sake of our dignity, work out, dress well and use fashion to influence others in a positive way, but without the extremes and the perfection to which the media has accustomed us.
In my next article I will explain the need to wake up and act. Until then, God bless you all.