Media destroys a person’s self-esteem like a plague wherever it goes. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders, 69 percent of adolescent girls worldwide said “magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape,” and more than half of these teenagers use unsafe methods, such as skipping meals, in an attempt to achieve that “perfect body.” Women everywhere suffer from poor body image and wounded self-confidence because of the skewed perception that they’re not beautiful. The “all bodies are beautiful” movement proposes to destroy the harmful, manufactured version of beauty the media has spun out, hoping to educate women on healthy body image and boost their self-confidence. Their methods include darling video campaigns from Dove’s “True Beauty” and outspoken support from full-figured celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence who openly refuse to diet. It girls that they are beautiful no matter how their body is.
Despite these undoubtedly noble efforts to boost person’s self-esteem, I can’t help but find something terribly wrong with the principle of it. Telling person they’re beautiful, always, no matter what, only reinforces the idea beauty is incredibly important. The idea of calling a person “ugly” is so appalling because somehow we have associated a person’s physical beauty with her worth as a person.
Society has tied physical beauty to self-worth, and, instead of attacking the idea that beauty is equivalent to a person’s worth, the “all bodies are beautiful” movement instead attacks the idea that some person are not beautiful. Let that sink in for a moment. These campaigns are not telling a girl that she is worthwhile no matter what anybody says. The campaigns aren’t saying a person’s self-love shouldn’t be proportional to how others see her. They aren’t saying appearance is negligible next to strength of character. They’re saying a woman should love herself just because she’s still beautiful and her body is beautiful.
Telling a woman she’s beautiful only makes her believe it’s important. A woman who isn’t beautiful and knows she isn’t shouldn’t bother herself with caring, nor should anybody else. Beauty is not important, and shouldn’t be considered a person’s most cherished compliment. The shape of their jawline, the size of their eyes, their waist size and the breadth of their nose does not determine their eligibility, good-naturedness and boldness. Don’t you think, beauty does not matter?
I say sorry to all girls I have called beautiful,
And not intelligent, eligible or warm-hearted
I am sorry to make you believe that being called beautiful
Is the best compliment ever
I am sorry that I was like the rest
I will change now
Call you bright, good-natured and brilliant
Not because I think you’re not pretty
But the fact that it doesn’t affect me
Nor does it matter