Saturday, November 11, 2006

And I didn't even know I was a total HOTTIE!

(or could be, with a little work)

From the step-by-step retouching of a magazine cover photo to Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, especially this video spotlighting how the media deceives us, it seems like it's a curse to just be normal-looking in our world today.

I have a 16 year-old step-daughter. She is amazing looking. But yes, she gets "spots" (how the Brits refer to pimples), worries about her weight (she has lost a bunch since moving here and does not need to lose anymore), and dyes her hair a lighter blond far too often.

My ex-husband, who was more overweight than I was, used to tell me I had gained too much weight during our five or so years together. I was 5' 7" and 120 pounds when we married. In the first year after graduating from college, which was also the first year of our marriage, I gained 18 pounds! What I would give to be ONLY 138 pounds now. (currently staring down almost 200, and I have not gotten any taller)

I need to lose weight for my health, but I would be happy to drop about 20 pounds and be done with it. I don't care about not being model-thin. My son loves me the way I am. (I never did lose some of that pregnancy weight after having him just under three years ago.) My husband, who is in much better shape than I, and truly a looker, would like me to be healthier, but he still loves me.

Why all this dwelling on my appearance? Well, isn't that what we DO here in America these days? Sorry, I was just trying to fit in.

So, how does this belong in the O.G.'s blog? Educational tie-in, please?

When I look at the girls at my school, and bear in mind that this is a private Christian K-8 where only 8th grade girls may wear modest make-up, I worry for their collective self-image.

Sure, we all went through this stage of being concerned about your appearance and how others perceive you, but these girls don't have any realistic images in the media to look to for guidance. No one on TV or the movies really looks anything like they do on the screen. Add to that the popular music that objectifies women and advocates their mistreatment. Kids affectionately refer to each other as beezies (I'll let you fogeys guess which b-word that is used in place of) and hoes. There is an all-around attitude of disrespect and of one person owning another. It sickens me.

And then go look on MySpace. Girls as young as eleven and twelve are posting pictures of themselves, often edited with photo-editing software, looking all grown-up, puckering for the camera, arm in arm with boys or girls. That's all the perverts need. When I think that some predator might be out there ogling a kid in my third period class, I feel the need to retch.

How do we make it uncool to flaunt whatcha got (or don't got but can edit in)? All the Internet Safety lectures and scary recountings of one teen's dramatic real-life story don't seem to be getting through. "It can't happen to me" as the mantra of the bullet-proof teen is not fading away any time soon.

My step-daughter just went out, dolled up and made up, to go see a movie with her friend at the mall. They are going to sit in a dark room. Who needs a gallon of lip gloss for that? Maybe I am the wrong person to ask, as I have chosen to take a personal stand against make-up myself. Am I just becoming an old fogey on this issue, or are my concerns valid?


Yokosawa Ryoji said...

Obviously, I'm pretty late, but whatever! I'm still here. :D

I totally agree with you on this whole makeup/myspace thing. Granted, I'm also a member of the male gender (sometimes seems like a separate species, but yaknowaddimean) -- but that shouldn't really make a difference, right? We're human. :]

I'm a junior at Independence High. Now, obviously, we're a public school, and with that comes a whole lot less restriction on clothing, makeup, and accessories -- but you know, I've found that a lot of people don't really care that much about it. Granted, a few of my friends would love to have that spiffy jacket, or that wonderful pair of shoes -- but they're not obsessed with it, which is really cool. We're more into actual aspects of life, thanks.

Haha, as an example -- I told my friend Sharon that she looked pretty in her jacket today. Her answer was quick, succinct, and bemused -- "It's just a jacket." And you know, she's right -- it is just a jacket. Dunno what everyone else is on about. ._.

Then again, there are some pretty extenuating circumstances in my life. One: I'm an AP student, taking three wonderfully life-destroying AP classes. The kids in my classes are completely lovable, though -- but we're neither your typical geek or your typical student. Some of us (like me) are actors. Some of us are in marching band. Some of us are on the dance company. I guess where I'm going with all of this, then, is this: we don't have time for clothes. Who gives a darn about clothes when you've at least got them provided for you? Sure, even I go out every now and then and go on a shopping binge, but not every week like some kids do. It both shocks and disgusts me, sometimes.

I guess this is all based on the friends we all have, because I'll be the first to admit that a bunch of people will put on makeup just for the heck of it. As if people care. As (again) a member of the male species with roughly equal numbers of guy and girl friends and acquaintances, I think I know that most of us don't care. Ughhh, it sometimes actually pulls me away, haha. The only makeup I've ever put on is stage makeup. Then again, I am a guy. Hrmmm.

Look at me, procrastinating. D: If I keep typing, I'll never get through AP US History alive. And besides, this has been a royally long rant. :] I hope you don't mind!

Nice to hear from you again!
~Andrew Hsieh
(who was in your first fifth grade class @ MCS)

Diane E. Main, GCT NorCal 2006 said...

Hey. You were always a good writer, and over the years I have really seen you come into your own. Your style, like mine, is conversational yet refined. I enjoy reading anything you have to say.

And thank you for letting me know "how it is" out there. You're in the same year, albeit at a different high school in this city, as my step-daughter. It's reassuring to know that many of her peers simply don't care about stuff like this. It's much healthier that way for everybody.

Thanks for stopping by!