Friday, May 06, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall......why yes, I AM the fairest of them all.

Pretty, pretty please, don't you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than f*n' perfect.
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel like you're nothing,
You're f*n' perfect to me. 

—From Pink's F*n Perfect

See the entire video here.
Warning: This video contains mature content and may be offensive to some people, but it is what it is.

Although I am not a fan of profanity in lyrics I am very drawn to this song. I heard it again this morning on the way to work and it's just so appropriate for our society. Being a girl myself, - I know, surprise!- I understand the self-esteem issues facing girls growing up in our society. I haven't seen studies but I would imagine that from very early on girls start to hear if they are "pretty" or "cute". And what defines that? Money, affluence, doting parents, things that the girl herself has no control over. I have seen two little kids, one, face smeared with today's peanut butter lunch, hair wild and unbrushed and one, pristinely dressed and clean as a whistle, hair pulled back in a big pink bow and the difference in reaction of adults is amazing. The antics of the "pretty" one are considered "spirited" and the other with the same actions is considered "a mess". No wonder they get to be teenagers and are so confused in their identity and worth.

In an article published on, written by Anita Gurian, Ph.D. NYU Child Study Center, it has some enlightening statistics, which might help us to understand the internal and external pressures girls feel and how these pressures affect the development of their self-esteem. And no surprise is that sexualization of girls is a broad and increasing problem causing harm to a healthy self-image and development.

|| Sexualization is defined as occurring when a person's value comes only from her/his sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics, and when a person is sexually objectified, e.g., made into a thing for another's sexual use.||

This whole thought makes me think of the little girls dressed with words across their butts, although that trend seems to be fading. The "new" thing is high heels. High heeled shoes in a fashion sense are to give more length to the leg, but high-heels force the body to tilt, emphasizing the buttocks and breasts – highlights of a woman's sexuality. Seriously? I don't really know of any pre-teen girl that needs that.

The article also addresses some ideas for parents that can positively impact their daughter's self-esteem, because contrary to popular belief, parents still have a huge amount of influence over their children.

By the way, this is my random picture insert of three of the most beautiful women I know
Nieces- Kenzie and Molly and my sister, Kelly

In my opinion, I see women struggling to find an identity during their youth and perhaps find a way to be comfortable in their own skin when much to their chagrin their skin changes. Then the cycle of search for beauty begins again.

Here is a poem I wrote some time back about this emergence of a girl to a woman only to be trampled in society by stereotypes, inadvertent expectations, and unrecognized inherent worth.
Fading Beauty
Like a seed sown on rocky ground
working so hard to spring forth
from the hard shell
The soul searching for soft words to
soothe it like refreshing water
A soft touch pulling the face towards the sun
Gaining strength, breaking out
Taking root in the crevices of the hard asphalt
Taking advantage of the limited amount of rich soil
surrounding the tender roots.

A beautiful bloom emerging to full blossom
perched atop a strong stalk,
girding it’s vulnerability with sparse thorns
Petals soft and velvet-like to the touch
Vibrant color, Intoxicating fragrance
Wanting to be cherished, treasured, valued.

Feet unaware of the ground beneath
Taking no heed of damage
Trampling the spirit
Bruising the soft petals
Ripping the now fragile stem from it’s life-blood
Laying gasping on the hot pavement
Shriveling, Drying, ...Dying
Beauty fading, to be enjoyed by no one.

1 comment:

Mackenzie Garst said...

Love you Aunt Lori. Happy Mothers Day (tomorrow). Thanks for being my second mother for 23 years. :)