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Giving Away Our Self Esteem

11 comments | March 7th, 2012

(story submitted by Sueann, a Chestist)

Do advertising and the images you see in popular culture affect how you feel about how you look?  Sueanne worries you might.  Here's her story:

I just saw a segment on a morning show about the new Levis ad campaign "women come in all shapes and sizes".

I constantly hear psychologists, doctors, sociologists, etc commenting on how the media affects our self esteem and how we start as young girls to look at advertising images as how we should be.  I want to remind EVERYONE that it is an industry that cares about making money NOT shaping your developing mind!!!!  Don't look to the pages of a fashion magazine for role models!  Look instead at the people in your world who love and care about you. 

Look to our teachers, health care providers, social workers, and the all the people in your lives who make a difference.  The change can start right now with each one of us.  Don't comment on someone's acne, weight gain, or wrinkles. Have an open mind and an open heart to the kindness and wisdom that person may possess.  And remember that WE ARE LUCKY if can grow old and wrinkled.  Don't give your self esteem to an unknown ad exec who wants to make money.  It's not worth it.  Boy – I feel better already!  I'm going to have a great day and I hope you do too. {end story}

Go Sueanne!.  Though personally, we tend not to think Ad execs are quite as malintentioned as Sueanne does (and that's just our opinion), we agree they sure aren't motivated by what makes you feel good, but by what sells.  That's their job.  And nothing sells like fear and want – and the fear of not being wanted.  So do like Sueanne says, and recognize it for what it is nd what they are – ads.  Let's not give anything or anyone more power than we think they deserve.  Hard to do when we're surrounded by images presenting a pretty singular ideal?  You bet. But let's try anyway.

And, of course, please sign and forward our Media and Public Health Act petition here if you agree. 

Who are the people in your life that make a difference?

 

 

11 comments

  • Penny T.

    Posted on March 7, 2012

    The other day, someone asked me how old I was (33) and said oh you don’t look older than 28. Genuine or not, there’s nothing new ab out a reply like that. What struck me was that I said “thank you!” and meant it (even if he did not).

    Why did I naturally go to a place where looking younger was better and more valued than looking older? I mean I know why I did, but why do we feel that way? I love your line about being lucky if we can grow old and wrinkled. It’s so tru and yet we’re so dismissive of it. Hmmmm.

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    • Sueann

      Posted on March 7, 2012

      Yes I know! I do it too. I’m flattered when someone says I don’t look my age but why do we not value the wisdom and experience that comes with growing up/old? Yes hmmmmmmmmm…..

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  • Nice and Easy

    Posted on March 7, 2012

    I think this is all a part of the bargain we make living in a capitalist society. I’m not getting political here, just making the point that people sell and we can choose to buy, buy in or not. I say whether or not you buy — don’t buy in.

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  • Hannah G.L.

    Posted on March 7, 2012

    i love that Levi’s campaign! It reminds me that we aren’t all created the same and that beauty and women do come in all shapes and sizes. I am not getting what’s wrong with that????

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    • Sueann Parker

      Posted on March 7, 2012

      It is true that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes but none of those women look like the ones in my neighborhood! And I think my point is also that even psychologists and other professionals say “the media tells us how to be”. Thanks for your comment- I LOVE all comments!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted on March 7, 2012

    My moms always makes a difference.

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  • Cassandra Kastin

    Posted on March 7, 2012

    OMG, we are all so wrapped up in what we look like and what everyone else says about what we look like. You are right Sueanne, we can’t let our self esteem be taken away by others. It does not matter if that’s an ad or a friend or your brother. Be-YOU-tiful.

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  • Emmie

    Posted on March 7, 2012

    The media never made a dent in my identity or self esteem. My parent’s lack of complimenting me on my beauty as well as my brain, well that caused me years of anguish.

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  • missy barbro

    Posted on March 7, 2012

    I so agree sueann! I loved your story!Its EVERYWHERE even, well laxative commercials. I said to my daughter once “what they can’t even use an “average/curvy” woman to sell laxatives she has to be bone thin!” Its a shame! And when I see their version of plus sized women, it makes me wanna run to the gym, if she is plus size I must be obese! Im forty and in my teens to early 20’s I had my “battle with bulimia”. I am JUST NOW starting
    to get comfortable in my own skin. But they make it soooo damn hard! *You are beautiful
    Beautiful are you~learn it~love it~live it!*

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  • Pammy

    Posted on March 7, 2012

    “We are LUCKY to grow old and wrinkled.” Love that!

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