Role models...

posted on: Wednesday, 26 October 2011

I spent three hours in the hairdressers on Saturday (covering grey; ugh) and killed some of that time reading magazines like 'OK and 'Hello'. This used to be a guilty pleasure where I'd catch up on my celebrity gossip. This time, despite reading four or five back-copies, I could hardly say my awareness of celebrity gossip has increased.

The pages were full of people I had simply never heard of! It's not that I have dropped off the face of the planet; it's because I don't watch the reality TV shows like 'The Only Way is Essex'. I sunk deeper and deeper into my chair whilst looking at the pictures of these girls. Inflated, exaggerated versions of young teens and women; dressed in platform heels with teased hair and too much make-up. Every other page they were there: pouting.

I know we blame the media for making women feel bad about themselves and, as I have a daughter and two nieces, this is something I am acutely conscious of. But for me these girls represent something different. This is not enticing girls to be slim; this is enticing girls to look like, well you work it out. I found it disturbing. The whole look is not about beauty or individuality or anything that tangible, it's about being a carbon-copy pneumatic big hair/small dress girl.

iconic image from Vogue
When I was growing up my media role models were supermodels like Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista. So beautiful they made my heart ache but at least versions of themselves that were not surgery-enhanced (not then anyway, and I believe not even now). At least they looked natural; albeit a form of natural beauty that very few women are blessed with.

Linda Evangelista
I am left with a feeling of disquiet about these new role models. They are not women; they look like exaggerated dolls (and not in a good way). Then I wonder...am I just subject to nostalgia about my youth and my role models? Never ever did I see Molly Ringwald in sky-high platform stilettos and too much make up...what place does natural beauty have now?

Molly Ringwald...natural beauty

13 comments:

  1. You have a point. A good point. Women my age and younger are havign surgery that makes them look about 35, and like they have had surgery.

    They think beauty is surgery and looking "done". Women much older than 35 are having surgery to look about 35. I don't get it. I want to look like the best version of me and hope if I have daughters that is all they want.

    When I was a teenager my role models were people like Gwen Stefani and Shirley Manson, they were galmourous and cool and though Stefani cultivated a cartoonish look she still always looked real, just highly polished and styled. I miss that.

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  2. I agree with you completely, for our daughters but also for us. We are fooled into thinking that these women are naturally beautiful, while the perfection we are shown today is actually unattainable. Look at the wedding in Monaco this summer - how sad is it that the young bride was totally reworked before getting hitched - no wonder she was sobbing at the altar!!

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  3. I feel sorry for our young girls that they feel they have to be skinny, gorgeous and sexy. And to me they don't know what sexy is. Sexy is a nuance..a hint, a peek, a quiet suggestion, an attitude. Unfortunately with their inexperienced and naive perception these young girls are looking Trash. To me sexy should say..."wow, I want to get to know her" not "wow, I want to sleep with her" And that is what the attire suggest. I have had many battles with my daughter over appropriate dress. Occasionally she has shocked me. It makes me sad sometimes to see her and her lovely friends dressed to go to a club...it really does. She thinks I am a prude and out of touch. Given that I can have a bit of a foul mouth I've been known to say to her and her friends "you want a Wow me dress not a F--- me dress"

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  4. Good post!

    I never watch TV, and I mean never, but I get the type you are referring to. May my daughters be blessed to never have such types as role models!

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  5. Oh Lou, you are so speaking from my heart! I am pondering about a blog post at the moment, and your post is what I want to say in a nutshell.
    I don't know where this current obsession with pumping up your lips into duck-like proportions comes from, but I know that I find it worrying, to say the least. xxx

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  6. I really needed this, thank you.

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  7. Agree!!! Thank u

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  8. I so agree, there is nothing to be admired about the plastic faces in magazines these days!
    x

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  9. I couldn't agree more! It's getting harder and harder to grow up as a girl unfortunately. I also grew up with Cindy Crawford and that mole:-)

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  10. So true Lou - there seems to be a mass-production of fashion stereotypes these days. Celebrity stylists that set the trends and cement the role models for our beautiful 'little girls'.
    My Isabella is such a wonderful personality with so much life and spontaneity. I dread the day she hesitates, stops and wonders if who she is, is enough.. (oh horror). I pray the next generation of women will allow themselves to grow up being true to who they are without the feeling of having to conform to a pre-set mould that really doesn't look all that good in real life..

    xx C

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  11. Well, I'm 24 and I totally agree with you.
    So, I don't think that the concept of beauty has changed. But girls and teens are so easily influenced that I'm scared this may change in the future.

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  12. ughhh...i get it. it's true, original, unique beauty just doesn't have much of a place in the world today--at least the fashion/hollywood world. it is sad. i loved molly ringwald, she was cool and different and beautiful.

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  13. You are bang on Lou ~ there are too few fresh faced celebs out there. All I have to do it look at my oldest niece at 17 ~ most of her pictures are of her and the famous pout ~ she thinks it looks sexy ~ we tease her and call it fish lips! I always wanted to be Cindy Crawford especially when she was with Richard Gere ~ swoon... xo

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