Warning: Pictures in magazines are not real!
I teach body image classes to my clients and it always amazes me how much we compare ourselves to what we see in the media! Women are always striving to look as "flawless" and thin as the models and actresses that we constantly see and men are trying to build that six pack, get those "killer abs" and overall muscle definition.
Why doesn't the media ever teach us to love ourselves for who we are and accept what we look like? I'm always telling people that appearances are like the wrapping paper that we use to wrap a gift....it's the first thing we see but it's the gift on the inside that matters! Who we are and what we offer to the world doesn't change if/when the outside changes. Your looks do not and should not define you! It is your inner qualities that matter.
Think about it...have you ever seen someone who was really attractive to you but as you got to know them, they lost some of that because their personality wasn't so great? How about the opposite? Have you ever met someone who you may not have even thought about in terms of their looks but who got better looking to you as you got to know their amazing personality?
So, I ask again, why does the media focus more on looks than personality? I'll tell you why.....to sell their products! "You can look like this model if you buy product X", "Want longer eyelashes....buy our mascara", etc.... Making people feel insecure is a very sneaky marketing move to sell these products!
The worst part of all of this is that the models and actors/actresses we are seeing don't even look that way! There is so much computer manipulation and airbrushing that occurs so it becomes an exaggerated image and yet this is what people are striving for. No one can ever reach these goals because they are so unrealistic and then the consequence is that people walk around not liking themselves or their looks. How sad! All to sell products! To prove this point, I have taken a selfie with no makeup or anything and used a free app to change it the way they would do for ads. Just think....if this is what I can do in 5 minutes with a free app on my phone, imagine what they do with multi-million dollar equipment! Scary eh?
What can you do about this? You can't avoid magazines, tv, movies, billboards, etc.....Instead you can start looking at people and things in the media with a more critical eye. Remind yourselves of what the purpose of the ad is.
Most importantly, remember that who you are is NOT what you look like, how much you weigh, etc... Life is too short to focus our time on these things! Do something nice for yourselves everyday and tell yourself how great you are...because you are!