Monday, February 1, 2016

Our Culture Breeds Low Self-Esteem

 Image result for dove campaign for real beauty
 "A mere 2% of women in this world find themselves beautiful.  81% of women in the U.S. strongly agree  that ‘the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t ever achieve'” (2010, Dove.us Website)

Throughout the U.S. the one thing that dominates our culture is television.  I would say 95% of people here have more than one television in their homes.  Click here to see an article that says the average American watches about 5 hours of TV per day.  (That's actually worse than I thought.  I thought it would be about 4 hours, but there ya go.)   This is a bad thing for various reasons such as sex in advertising.  A large portions of commercials use sex to sell their products, especially health and beauty products.   I don't think anyone can argue that point.

Okay, so why is this bad?

 Image result for not pretty enough

Well, click here for one.  Click here for another study.   Here's a quote:       "According to a report from the Girl Scouts Research Institute, "Real to Me: Girls and Reality TV," shows like "Teen Mom" and "Jersey Shore" have mixed effects on young girls.
The study polled 1,100 "tween" and teenage girls and found that reality shows can be uplifting and motivational, but they can also negatively impact girls' relationships and self-esteem.
Girls who regularly watch reality TV accept and expect a higher level of drama, aggression and bullying in their own lives.
The report also found that these girls measure their worth primarily by physical appearance."

Okay, so...TV is bad.  I, myself, suffer from being subjected to the crap for so many years.  I didn't know I was being subjected, of course.  All the girls I knew were trying to look like the women on TV, and why?  Because boys were being taught what is beautiful by watching the same crap, so they placed a higher regard for girls who looked like the models and actresses they were shown.

Let's look at what we are shown by Googling "beautiful women" and clicking images.  Here's the list.  Now, how many women do you know actually look like this?  What about the perfect body? 


Do you see that?  It says..."A body for every body"....only none of those are MY body!

And here is the 50 most googled women in 2013. 


I've found one company that I do support by purchasing their products whenever I'm in need of soap, shampoo, or deodorant.   Click here for Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty.

The Freak Out
All of this to tell you guys, that I think women want to be pretty.  They are being shown what men find attractive through commercials and television.  You see it on magazine covers and in movies.  You hear it in music.  So, here is the thought process for women.  My husband is a man.  Men find skinny women attractive.  Men find athletic women attractive.  Men find....anything but a big gut and butt attractive.  Men like green eyes...or blue eyes...or anything but brown eyes.  Men like long eyelashes and clear skin.  Men like firm breasts that are neither too large nor too small.  Men like long legs, long hair, and a pert nose.  Blonde is preferred, but a fiery redhead will do in a pinch.

Okay, so now I'll go get my nails done, my hair done, buy more clothes that hide my figure or at least accentuate my breasts making them appear fuller.  I'll get a gym membership and work off that extra skin under my chin.  I'll only eat lettuce and even then I'll gag myself so I'm not taking in too many calories.  I'll spend more on make up than the country spends on oil.  I'll spend thousands of dollars on plastic surgery so my husband won't look at any other women but me.  I will be the perfect woman!

So, you go about trying to do all of that, and then come to the realization that there isn't enough money in your budget, and even if there was you'd end up looking like Joan Rivers or Dolly Pardon.  So...then....what is left?  Well, we can just take a shower and do our hair and hope we are enough to satisfy our husbands.  If we are enough then he won't look elsewhere...will he?  I mean...he won't look at other women and think about having sex with them........will he?   She's got a better body than me.  Does he find her sexually attractive?  Is he thinking about her?  Is he trying hard not to look at that woman that walked by who's spilling out of her shirt?  Look at that woman in the tight jeans in front of us....is he looking?  What is he thinking about?

When is the last time he called me beautiful?  When is that last time he told me I had pretty eyes?  When is the last time he looked at me with sultry bedroom eyes?  How many years has it been since he said, "I love your legs."  When is the last time he....?

Ugh!  I don't look like these top actresses:


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Yeah, I get low self-esteem too.  I get it and sometimes there is no real reason.  I only realize it when I catch a glimpse of the cover of Cosmo in the store and it hits me like a ton of bricks that ... I don't look like that.  I want to look like that.  How long have I felt I'm ugly because I don't look like that?

The main reason we started keeping TV out of our home is because of my low self-esteem.  Even with it cut out, I still suffer now and again apparently.  It happens less often, but it does happen.  Truth be told, I'm suffering a bout of it right now.  It happens.  I realize I'm not 30 anymore.  Gravity is affecting me.  Age is affecting me.  I can't compete with the perfect woman.
  
Most women, myself included, need to be with a man who doesn't chase skirts and pine for some skin on TV.  To me, for a man to be looking at a woman other than the one he's with and thinking about sex, is cheating.  For myself, I have no desire to see another man naked.  In fact, the very thought is gross to me.  I just don't want any part of it.  So, is it so much to ask of my husband to not want to look at other women?  Our society says it is.  Our culture says cleavage is what is in style, as are form-fitting jeans.

 Image result for men look at other women  

Our society says men look, and it's perfectly normal.  What this means is...it's normal for your husband to want to have sex with another woman...is it not?  When he looks at another woman's rear, what is he thinking of if not something along the lines of getting sexually excited???   Our society says, it's normal so we should learn to deal with it.  The problem is ours, not theirs.  Does this make any sense to any of you?  I mean, really?

Image result for men look at other women

It makes me feel better to keep the crap out of my home.  I suffer less for it.  I don't have to worry so much all the time how I stack up, because I'm the only one he sees naked.  If there is cleavage around, it's not because we let it in our home.  My home is a sanctuary.

I don't think I would need such a sanctuary if there weren't years worth of commercials, TV, and movies poured into my brain on what boys like.  If there were no MTV, if there were no Hollywood, if there were no Victoria's Secret, if there were no Cosmo and Maxim, if there were no pornographic movies, if there were no Playboy Mansion, if there were no wonder bras, if there were no such thing as anorexic models, if there were no photo shop, if and if and if...

Let us not forget that saying in high school..."If your man wanted you, he wouldn't be looking at me."  Or, "If you were doing your job, your man wouldn't need to look at me that way."  Yeah, I'd say we are trained from birth to have low self-esteem due to mainly our culture and it's being shaped by media.  I don't think anything else affects our culture on such a large scale...and our culture is starting to revolve around sex, cleavage, and "what men find sexy".

Image result for men look at other women

5 comments:

  1. Housewife from FinlandFebruary 2, 2016 at 3:53 AM

    Ironically, what makes me feel bad about myself, are all sorts of modesty -blogs. I love to read them, but I have just realized that those make me feel that I am such a failure as a woman. Since those blogs tend to highlight femininity, and I am not that feminine by nature.

    Magazines and tv have never affected me so strongly, because somehow I have allways felt that those ideal women have nothing to do with me. Their ideal is not my ideal. But now, when I have adopted more traditional values, I must face the fact that I am not "virtuous woman". Or feminine woman. I prefer rifles over ruffles...

    So I can understand your struggle with self-esteem, even though my point of view is quite opposite from yours.

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  2. Housewife from FinlandFebruary 2, 2016 at 4:04 AM

    You might like this blog:
    http://www.beautyredefined.net/blog/

    It is not feminist blog even though it can first appear so. The writers are mormons, or LDS or how it should be said.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Every now and then that stuff bothers me too, but not really. I guess it's in part, for me, because of my age and that we have been married nearly 20 years. I know what my husband likes and how to please him. Does he look at other women when he's not with me? I'm sure he does, he's a man and men are visual. Women are designed differently and I, like you have NO desire to see a man other than my husband naked (gag, and gross). There is nothing out of that glance but a quick cheap peek and to me it's just dumb. At 43, gravity is beginning to set it. My hair is still long, but not as lovely (to me) as it was when I was 33. Sun damage is present from years at the lake and my body has scars from having amazing babies. My beauty focus is now on health instead of vanity and my beauty comes from wisdom and being a godly wife and example to my little girl. I feel there is a difference and think I am more beautiful to my husband now that I am older.

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  4. Hello Michelle,
    You are correct. Our culture breeds low self-esteem in women in order to make money of it. It's very big business and it's getting bigger all the time.
    I have suffered from poor body image all my life, and I have recently turned 50. It began with my mother buying all the women's magazines and me reading Cosmopolitan before I was able to even understand what a vile publication it is.
    As I grew older, despite my mother's modern and feminist viewpoints, I innately understood that the way women were being portrayed on television and in movies was wrong and very damaging. Instead of being the "liberated" and "empowered " women that they like to believe they are, they fail to realize all they have done is weaken their real strengths.. That of the feminity and God given beauty which was never intended to be used in the way it is today.
    We are the result.. And our daughters... And the rest of society as a whole suffers for these "freedoms".
    Most of us will never be able to (nor should we) be able to compete with what we see in mainstream media. It is my belief that we must try our best to make the best of ourselves, at every age and stage of our lives. What other people think about that is their problem.
    If my husband is happy with me, then why is the world's approval (which is not what I should really worry about and highly toxic anyway) so important?
    It is indeed difficult to accept that our husband's can and do see other women and find them attractive. It doesn't mean they want to sleep with them. We know that men are "hard wired" to be visual creatures. It does not give them license to gawk and be disrespectful about it however.
    I think we can torture ourselves about this and it only leads us to fear, mistrust, and create possible issues in our marriages when Lord knows, we already have enough worries as it is.
    If I could hug you right now I would, for I know the struggles I have had with these issues in my own life and I know many ladies out there do.
    Unfortunately, despite how we feel and how this world is, ultimately husbands must be accountable for their own eyes and thoughts and I have come to the conclusion that if I try to do that for him, it's not healthy for either of us.
    That said, it doesn't mean I'm happy about my greying hair, sagging "bits", and other things that happen with aging!
    Sigh...
    Christine

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  5. Most of the time, anymore, I'm okay. I'm okay having more male-ish tendencies, than most women, and being older and such than the models. My mother shoved the magazines and such down my throat also from the time I was like 8 or 10 I think. I didn't really read them until I was a freshman or so in high school. But she really wanted me to be "empowered" and "pretty" and whatever. So I heard a lot from her growing up about not just me, but my friends also. Such as "she's fat, and you'll never be popular hanging out with her", "you're getting pudgy", etc. What's funny is, my mom was anorexic. It was normal for her not to eat for days. When she did eat it was a couple of green beans or something, but that was it. At one point she was like 85 pounds at 5'3". At any rate, it's good to know I'm not the only one who sometimes has some self-esteem issues. I'm hoping with age, some of that will go away. I'm told when I hit 50 or so, I'll focus more on other things and enjoy the wisdom and such that comes with age. Thanks guys.

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