May 15 – Turn Beauty Inside Out Day

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“Turn Beauty Inside Out (TBIO) is a grassroots celebration of healthy media images that promotes critical analysis of sexism in media. It was created in 2000 by a group of girls ages 8-16, the Girls Editorial Board of New Moon Girls.” (http://www.mindonthemedia.org). 

You’d be pretty hard pressed arguing that today’s society has a healthy view on appearance and “beauty”. The media constantly promotes the idea that in order to be happy we must be both young and beautiful…both things which disappear with the years. For a while the media practically screamed “skinny” at us, promoting unrealistic and unhealthy body ideals. The perfect woman had to be the most petit size in the store and women who were bigger than a size 12 incredibly ugly. Now there seems to be a bit of a shift in the culture of beauty. Except I’m not very happy with it.

While it’s great that people are now looking at women who are a size 12 and saying “day-um! Check out those sexy, healthy curves!” the pressure for people to look a certain kind of “beautiful” has not lessened. On the internet you’ll find a bunch of comparison photos, usually displaying some models, size 6 or 8 (Australian sizing…for comparison a size 6 is generally the smallest size you’ll find in a store, sometimes size 8), thin, yes, but not unhealthily so, and some models about size 12 or 14, with a caption saying something like “Now which is more beautiful?”. Below it you’ll find comments saying how beautiful the curvy women are and how disgusting the skinny women are. To me this is just as bad! Congratulations to the people bullying others for being “so skinny it’s ugly”…you’ve become exactly the same as the bully that teased the fat kid in the playground. 

Beauty shouldn’t matter. And by that, I means looks shouldn’t matter. Everyone can be beautiful – in the ways that actually count – whether they are a size 6 or a size 26! We should not be slandering people because they are “too fat” or “too skinny” or “too curvy” or “too flat chested” or “too scrawny” or “too muscular”. It’s shallow. Imagine for a moment you’re at the pearly gates (even if you’re atheist, just roll with me for a minute) and an angel is reviewing your life to see if you fit the criteria for heaven (it’s like a job interview, but they don’t need to ask you questions, because angels can read minds…what? That’s totally how it works, right?). The last thing they are going to say is “Well, you helped a lot of charities, were loyal to your partner and to your friends…you raised some great kids…oh…OH. Sorry. This just won’t do sweetie. You’re just too tall and a little bit too chubby. And your teeth are a bit crooked…what? You couldn’t afford braces because you were busy raising your five adopted children? Not good enough sorry.” 

~ Darcie Rae

 

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