Beauty…and the Billboard
Guest post courtesy of Jamie
In the month of August, Black Hills, SD residents get (translate to "are forced") to look at all sorts of Sturgis Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Rally-related advertisements, (mostly in the form of billboards) all of which show us what a beautiful, sexy woman "should" look like. There are 9 of these ads on my route to work each day. My daughter gets to see 3 of those 9 on her way to preschool. It troubles me, as a mother and as a woman…but not in the way you may think.
On the surface, there is nothing wrong with these ads. I would rather NOT see them, Rally-related or not, but, the women are as covered as they’d be in a swimsuit at the pool. I have no problem with skin, and they are, in fact, very beautiful women. The problem lies in the way we have been taught (and then allow ourselves) to view these women…as the gold standard, as 10s, as perfection, as what men want to have and what women want to be. On top of that, when we’re shown every day buy various local and national marketing campaigns, that we (through their products) can actually achieve this degree of “perfection”…a vicious cycle of “not good enough” begins in our minds. Side note, you all know not even the women IN the marketing campaigns look like that, right?
I compare myself to some of these pictures too. As a strong woman, an athletic woman, and a smart woman, I am still not immune to negative self talk.
It is total bull and WE are the only ones who can call it as such. This is why, that while I don’t like the media, society, Sturgis business owners etc, shoving ideals in my face, I also don’t blame them for any insecurity I have. The ads are out there. Some groups fight them and insist the companies that put them up are the cause of our insecurity; and that is a cause that I look up to. Fighting the media/society is not my cause however, fighting negative self talk that already exists and teaching positive self talk in the culture that we live in, is what I find to be most important.
As women, we have to decide what WE think is sexy, what WE think is beautiful. It will be different to each of us and we will only truly FEEL beautiful when we discover what we view it to be.
To me, “beauty” or “sexy” has nothing to do with what I wear, do to my hair or my face, or how I smell. Sure, I love a great look, a great smell etc. but, what happens when I wash my face at night and get ready for bed? Does taking all that off make me less beautiful? And if so…it was not me that was beautiful in the first place…it was the clothes, the shoes, the makeup, the hair. I never want to feel that way. This is why beauty has to start with a feeling, an attitude.
Only YOU can do that, and it will be different to each of us. YOU are already beautiful, owning that is the first step.
So, what is YOUR beautiful? What is YOUR sexy? In response to the August BOOM of Black Hills businesses showing ME what THEY think the ideal woman looks like…I will spend the month showing you, and myself, what I find to be true sex appeal, true beauty . This is my opinion only. I’d love to see/hear/read yours as well! Post a quote, a picture, a video, an idea, anything!