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  • Liz Dwyer

    I really appreciate this post, especially when it notes that, "Expanding the definition of beauty imposes a standard of 'comprehensive perfection' wherein girls now not only have to be beautiful, but they have to be, as the New York City advertisements suggest, an assemblage of other qualities, too: 'funny, playful, daring, strong, curious, smart, brave, healthy, friendly and caring.'" Exactly. As the author notes, we're still harming girls by sending the message that by being beautiful "just the way we are, and being beautiful means being funny and brave, then if we're neither funny nor brave, maybe we were never beautiful to begin with."

    The emphasis IS still on "beauty" and really, enough already.

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Love her point: "But, what if -- and here's my point -- we don't need to be beautiful? It's a wild thought given that the average American is exposed to over 3,000 advertisements a day and by the age of 17, the average girl has seen more than 250,000 commercial messages aimed at her appearance. It is no wonder that 53% of girls are unhappy with their bodies at age 13, 78% by age 17. Somewhere in there, women have internalized this standard of beauty.

      If being beautiful is what you want, then you should be able to pursue that. However, what's occurring now is that women feel that they must be beautiful and that they must define themselves in terms of beauty or else face social rejection. However, when we encourage critical thinking about beauty and the messages that society tells us about what we have to be, we are able to assess for ourselves whether the beautiful is something worth attaining and we are in a better position to redefine the standards, if that's in fact what we want to do."