Sunday, January 14, 2007

Who gets to say what is beautiful?

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
I read these statistics:
-Over 50% of women say their body disgusts them (Dove Internal Study, 2002)
-The body fat of models and actresses portrayed in the media is at least 10% less than that of healthy women (British Medical Association, 2000)
-6 out of 10 girls think they'd "be happier if they were thinner" (UK Teen Body Image Survey, January 2004)
-While only 19% of teenage girls are "overweight," 67% think they "need to lose weight" (UK Teen Body Image Survey, January 2004)
-90% of eating disorders are found in girls
-58% of girls admit to dieting
-1 million girls under the age of 18 get pregnant annually
-1 out of 10 eighth grade girls smokes daily
-85% of girls experience sexual harassment in school
-30% of adolescent girls have thoughts about suicide

I have many thoughts (someday a book, I hope) that stem from my long relationships with girls, body image issues and youth work. When you work with human hearts, minds and souls in a culture that has sought to force us to value what it says we should see carnage.

This culture has raped and beat beauty into profit. It's found every way it can to sexualize everything. It creates an unrealistic image and then punishes women who can't conform to it. Such evil empowers and funds a multitude of industries that are built on the false realities it produces. Pushing women bow, puke, charge, cry, cut and and despair. Makes men puppets that bow, build lives in fantasy, exploit, grovel, degrade and abuse.

A generation is being raised that thinks unreality is reality. God help the women and men who grow up to discover the human body isn't the reality that you have been presented.

I think much of the plague of pornography both creates and sustains this hallucination. people crafting a mind through images that form desire that won't be satisfied by natural beauty. We've pumped our hearts and minds so full of images of perceived perfection that anything less doesn't move us, entertain us, stir us or keep us. Commitment to a woman is reduced long as we are interested in the web page.

I'll be exploring these thoughts more in the new year.

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