Unattainable Expectations — Thanks, Photoshop

Upworthy has the best posts … this amazing video of Jean Kilbourne (per Wikipedia: an author, speaker, and filmmaker who is internationally recognized for her work on the image of women in advertising and her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising) was  shared by a friend earlier today via this Upworthy post, “Advertising’s Image of Women.”


And it reminded me, yet again, why I adore Kate Winslet.

I don’t need to repeat all the great nuggets in here — just watch it for yourself — but listening to her words — every single one truer than the next — just made my blood boil. How many of us — knowing full well that all these images we see in ads, magazines, movies, etc., are “Photochopped”still fall hook, line and sinker for the products/diets/programs being marketed to us? I know I’m guilty. Just yesterday at Walgreen’s I happened to pass by the magazine rack and within two seconds, felt my post-partum self-esteem plummet just from a glance at the glossies in front of me. As if I wasn’t already feeling uncomfortable in my own skin … oy!

Of course, once in my car, mentally I kicked myself — post-partum body or not, you KNOW better, Melissa! — but the truth is, I’m just as easily persuaded to fall for the facade as the next person. In spite of all my progress over the years, I’m rendered as susceptible to media influences as an impressionable 8-year old girl. It’s both infuriating and perplexing. Shouldn’t I/we be above this by now?!! Sadly, I don’t see things changing — just getting worse, as Jean notes … which upsets me for my daughter (and my son, too).

I don’t have the answers, but it’s always good to get the conversation going in the right direction. While I don’t see myself banning the purchase of beauty products or magazines, I realize I have the power to control my reaction to images I see. I can also look away with full knowledge that what I see is just some utopian image vs. reality.

It’s just not easy when we’re bombarded 24/7 with images of “perfection.” Of truly unattainable expectations, expectations we need to collectively dismiss. Somehow.

How about you? What did you think of this video?


2 thoughts on “Unattainable Expectations — Thanks, Photoshop

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