“I think the media makes girls insecure and pressurizes them to look a certain way. They always make people look so perfect and it just makes me feel really bad about myself. I mean the media always tries to portray people as looking so flawless and amazing and it really affects the way we girls look at ourselves,” said Elizabeth in her in-class presentation, smiling ear to ear and embracing the nods of approval and warm applause the class gave her.
Elizabeth, is one of our millions of girls who talk about the media in the exact same way. There are also speakers, organizations, movements, that are all dedicated to telling women about the way that the media portrays women.
Actually, that’s splendid.
People, especially women, need to know how the media portrays women in a certain, degrading, and sexual fashion.
However, Elizabeth, and many others always blame the media.
In today’s world, we know. We know that those glossy images of beautiful ladies on magazines are edited with a skinnier waist size, bigger bust, a golden tan complexion, brightness, contrast, the eyes made bigger, the lips made fuller, the legs made longer, the arms made thinner, the hair “perfected” to luscious waves and a sun-kissed color. We know that people on runways strut their clothes without having food for days, and battling an eating disorder or two. We know that our favorite film stars don’t come to the Golden Globes without having a team of professionals “perfect” everything from the tip of their hair to those few toes that stick out in their limited edition Michael Kors heels.
So if we know, why are we still buying it?
As society evolves, there is less and less of a reason to believe in whatever the media shoves in your face. The media being destructive to your self-esteem, and worsening your insecurities, is becoming less and less of an excuse for why you actually feel that way. If you know that it’s all fake, then why do would you still believe it? Does it feel good to do that? Is it easier to look at the gorgeous blonde model and think “Urgh she is perfection” then it is to look at her and think “She may be beautiful, but she doesn’t actually look like that”?
The media and what it portrays to society works on the basis of the fact that it is a societal act. For instance, lying. When someone lies to you, they do it for a purpose that they want to achieve. They lie once, and then they gain confidence in themselves, they know they can do it again. When you finally find out that this person has been lying to you, you feel hurt. You feel like you’ve been betrayed. Why do you feel like that? Because you believed it. A lie does not work unless the person who it’s being told to, actually believes in it. The liar has no power, unless you give them the power of your trust. I am not saying that it’s your fault for believing in it, but I am saying that it works both ways.
The same way, when the media lies, they do it because they want your money, and they feed of your weakness. When you believe it, you trust the media, You start to think about how you would look prettier if you were skinnier, or if you wore less clothing, and masked your face in a layer of beauty products skillfully done to cover up the pores that you’ve been hiding for months. Then you blame the media for making you feel this way, for making you feel disgusted at the stretch marks that sprawl across the side of your thighs every time you look in the mirror.
The liar was cruel, and horrible, and merciless for lying to you.
The liar is also shallow, and a disgusting person for going so low as to give you false information.
The media is the same way.
But who believed the liar again? You did.
Who believed the media? You did.
Now, today, you know the media is lying, You know what a deceptive piece of crap that industry can be. Yet, you’re still letting it toy with you?
Tell me, if you had a guy that you knew was a player and that just toyed around with your emotions. He just used you at his disposal, whenever he needs a girl for a release you’re there. You know he sleeps with other women and he gets around. He calls you names, and you feel like less of a person with him. You feel useless, and degraded so much that it disgusts you to your very bones. Why would you still be with him after all that he’s put you through?
Same with the media, why would you still go with it, after all that it’s made you feel?
The media is a disease. It’s been a disease that many people have spent their time trying to cure, especially in the last few decades. The media has affected lives of everyone, your friends, your mothers, brothers, sisters, daughters, fathers, sons. But wait, now there is a cure. There is a medicine that’s easy to use, but can’t be bought. That medicine is you. We are the medicine. If we stop buying in to everything the media throws at you, and if we start to accept ourselves more, we will make society better. We will make not only our lives, but the lives of everyone else around us better.
The medicine starts with the way we look at ourselves. Don’t let the media get a hold of your prescription, or else you can get into serious trouble.
We are the ones who hold that power to trust one another, and to make ourselves vulnerable. The biggest liar, is not the media, it’s us for lying to ourselves that it’s true.