Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Maybe it is the energy surrounding this week's tragedy, maybe it's the plethora of inappropriate comments on television and radio, or maybe it's the Holy Spirit . . . whatever it is I feel the need to speak. How long will women allow the media to determine the standard by which we judge ourselves?

I alluded to this issue yesterday when mentioning the phenomenon of middle and high school girls buying magazines like Cosmopolitan. I'm not a prude. Yes I am. Regardless, can young women really see themselves in Cosmopolitan? When flipping through the pages are there any women depicted who look like people you know and love? From what I understand, the women in the magazines don't even look like themselves. Yet we subconsciously or consciously begin to hold ourselves to corporate America's standard of beauty.

If we have the luxury of buying items beyond the necessities of life, who is in charge of our purchases? We are in charge of our purchases and yet we allow others to tell us what is beautiful. Does looking at unrealistic and unattainable images cause depression and eating disorders? Will magazines ever be held responsible for the death of young women as a result of eating disorders? Tobacco companies probably never thought they could be held responsible for someone's death.

Recently I was watching tv with a friend when a Victoria's Secret commercial aired. In this commercial there was a woman dancing around a stage in her underwear. You've seen them. She had on high heels and her hair was flowing wildly behind her. I remarked to my friend that it's really sad that some will watch that commercial and think, "I need to buy things from Victoria's Secret because I want to look like that. " I don't have a problem with women wanting to be sexy. The problem is that they think to be sexy they have to wear underwear from Victoria's Secret and look like the models they see.

The problem is I've spoken with my dollars. I wear their underwear. It's often the easiest solution to my underwear needs. I know where the store is. They always have my size and its hard to beat the five for $25 special. But many times making a difference means making a thoughtful choice. Many times making a difference means making a change and it can be an inconvenience.

We've started to learn that what we spend our money on can encourage or discourage failing rain forests, slave labor in the developing world, and the acquisition of blood diamonds. It can be hard to know what to do. We are overwhelmed with just enough information to scare us. We need tangible plans of action that empower us as individuals to change the way we make purchases.

For today, don't look at the magazine Cosmopolitan or Marie Claire or Us Weekly or you fill in the blank. Today, don't buy underwear from Victoria's Secret. We don't look like those created images. We don't buy $500 pairs of shoes. It really isn't a big deal that the star of the hottest sitcom had lunch in an outdoor cafe in LA. We, along with the women in the magazines, are women created in the very image of God and are powerful beyond measure. You are beautiful.

Natalie McIntyre, please comment regarding websites with information on fair trade organizations.
Somebody please submit a fun quiz for the Acteens because some said that is why the read Cosmo. They love the quizzes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ato take your challenge further, i suggest giving up rap, or any other music that uses half-naked women and sexuality in their videos and degrading language in their lyrics. ok. maybe i'm the only one who loves a good rap song . . . just something i've been thinking about recently.

2:43 PM  

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