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Maybe We’re Better Off With Unreal Aesthetic Expectations

Wake me up when women aren't assessed first and foremost for their outward appearance. I caught a clip of "Regis & Kelly" while watching the late night news. The pregnant-by-Tom Brady (it's so trendy, there's a whole genre of them … Read More

By / March 23, 2007
Jewcy loves trees! Please don't print!

Wake me up when women aren't assessed first and foremost for their outward appearance. I caught a clip of "Regis & Kelly" while watching the late night news. The pregnant-by-Tom Brady (it's so trendy, there's a whole genre of them now) actress Bridget Moynahan has been interviewed that morning on the talk show and was bragging about how she could still fit into her favorite pair of jeans even after X months of being pregnant. She was there to plug that awful ABC melodrama she's on that's been renewed after ratings fell so low this Fall that they were forced to go on hiatus. Will ABC ever be able to repay the debt of shelving "Twin Peaks" after only one season?

Back to Moynahan and her pregnancy glow. I couldn't help but be concerned that I didn't even know why the actress was on the show since all the only thing being discussed in the short clip provided by the news station was how beautiful she was. Of course, the news anchors smiling with their vaseline coated teeth was distracting as well, but then, they too were gushing with pride about Bridget's appearance. Local hometown girl pride aside (Bridget was born in Western, MA), even I felt a bit like gagging.

And then I read this piece produced by the IJWC (International Jewish Women's Council) about putting a stop to low female self-esteem and how young girls have such idealized notions of beauty that low self esteem is inevitable. The jargon is nothing new, mind you. It was simply ironic that I came across the piece just after the Brady-Moynahan gag reflex set in. And because seeing a picture these days of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie, or Paris Hilton for that matter, doesn't exactly equate with "idealized." More like, run from stardom/"fake beauty" as fast as you can so that you never end up like them. If anything then, the paparazzi has helped bring these stars down to a level that not only humanizes them, but actually makes them less appealing.

I'm not encouraging the paparazzi to stalk stars. Simply stating that the need to celebrate Dove's Real Beauty campaign, as ICJW is doing, is just as superficial in its own way. It's simply emulating a different cult of beauty and one that falls more in line with the women who promote it. We shouldn't have to look to beauty campaigns to find "real" beauty.

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