Beauty is a social construction

My favourite Christmas present this year was Kat Banyard’s The Equality Illusion. Never so quickly have I gobbled up a book and felt so completely absorbed.  Banyard’s opinions about the pressure of the beauty industry struck a deep and resonating cord.  We live in a society that places the importance of beauty above all else, above intelligence and kindness, respect and love. Women and girls are bombarded with distorted images of smoothed, perfected bodies, an impossibility that can never be achieved.  The industry thrives off a constant state of anxiety and insecurity. I too understand this insecurity, it has become a normal mode of living to me. Every day, I wash, cleanse, conditioner, pluck and remove myself of hair.  I sit in front of a mirror for twenty minutes applying black lines around my eyes and red lines over my lips, when I’d really rather have an extra half an hour tucked snugly up in bed. I grew my short, boyish hair down to my shoulders, applied peroxide and felt nervous, uncomfortable, when the barrage of compliments trickled in. And for what? A sense of inculsion, of ‘getting it right’ of being ‘beautiful.’

I stumbled across this site Photobooth of Change, Body Image EditionB and adored the video.  It gave me  a confidence boost far better than any chemical or powder could achieve:

And my own response:

And then I found this hilarious, and bang on the mark, spoof of airbrushing in the media. On a roll. I think everyone NEEDS to watch this video, especially young girls who take images of women’s bodies as fact, not fiction.

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