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Page 86: The Ironical Homogeneity of Beauty

/ Wednesday, August 24, 2011 /
“Magazines telling women to starve them-self, and they obey! Or they`re like ‘out of fashion’, which is the worst crime you could ever commit! So they get executed for it, publicly!”

I was reading Homunculus vol.11 when I remember a story related to an issue my friend had told me months ago: body issue. In Homunculus 11, the main character Susumu, said that body was one of the reasons that prevent human from being free. Because we must admit that most of the people see the outlook first, and can easily judge or mock someone because of it. For some people, that kind of judging could affect their self confidence. In worse scenario, some people that couldn’t grow enough self respect for themselves choose to change their outside so they could fit in, or avoiding the society as a shield to protect them from getting hurt. Thus their body also had turn into their own jail.

Report of the 2010 Plastic Surgery Statistics from American Society of Plastic Surgeons showing these facts:
  • $10.1 billion spent on cosmetic procedures in the U.S, last year. 
  • Top 5 Cosmetic Surgical Procedures were breast augmentation, followed by nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, and tummy tuck.
  • People age 13-19 had the least number of cosmetic procedures last year, only 2% of the total. Some of the most common procedures for teens were: nose reshaping, male breast reduction, ear surgery, laser hair removal, laser treatment of leg veins, and laser skin resurfacing.
  • Numbers of people age 20-29 who had plastic surgeon: 747,000 for total cosmetic procedures. 253,000 for surgical. 494,000 for minimally-invasive 
  • Numbers of people age 30-39 who had plastic surgeon: 2.4 million for total cosmetic procedures . 361,000 for surgical. 2 million for minimally-invasive 
  • While numbers of people age 40-54 are: Make up the majority of cosmetic procedures – 48% of the total. 6 million had total cosmetic procedures. 515,000 had surgical. 5.5 million had minimally-invasive
image courtesy: emte

Those facts above – although the research was conducted only in U.S – showing how people still struggling to build their confidence by changing their physical appearance.

Back to the story from a friend, she told me that in her office – a well-known girl teen magazine, female with big body has more pressure compare to those with average or lesser weight. The company asks them to lose some kilos because they’ve been told that their big body could affect company’s image and some kind of its dignity.

I couldn’t find any logical explanation about that “instruction” except discrimination and bully. Journalist’s responsibilities for a company are searching facts and representing it as news for readers in accordance with ethics in journalism. That’s how journalist keeps company’s dignity. Not to shape their bodies like Barbie’s.

If the company asks them to do diet concerning obesity that could lead onto several health problems, then it’s okay, because human resource has role to keep the company on track. Their sickness can impede deadline, regulation, etc. But for “image” and “dignity”? Pardon me; I think it’s silly.

It’s kind of more distressing because the problem occur in teen magazine; a segmented media that should cover and analyze a lot of psychological issues including how to build teen’s self confidence, not (only) by being pretty and skinny – but also brainy, healthy, and have a good personality. How could you teach your reader jargon like “be yourself” or “inner beauty rocks!” if you forbid your own employees for having extra weight? Isn’t it ironic?

It’s not that I disagree with woman (and man) that trying to look good. But when you push yourself way too hard and forgetting more important things such as health or self-fulfillment, it’s a bit disappointing .

Is this how the lesson about body issue being transferred through media that can affect women’s life? When they were teenagers, media told them to find their true-selves and inner beauty (because we all know, not everyone born with pretty face and mouth watering body shape) but after they’d turn into adults, media gave this standard of beauty to follow, this…homogeneity. And if you’re not obeying the so called rules, then you’re ugly and miserable?

Well, if that’s the case, then it doesn’t surprising why a lot of people stuff their body parts with silicon, or sincerely starving themselves to fit in small-sized clothes. And it doesn’t surprising why fat journalist has impact to their company’s dignity.

No, it’s not surprising. It’s just sad.


adinda on: August 24, 2011 at 5:11 PM said...

That's exactly why I hate when people complementing me by saying "eh,kurusan yaa?"
It only reminds me that I'm not thin enough to be beautiful.
I'm big, my ass is the size of africa,and my thighs are out of this world. But heck, if I'm not beautiful, then I don't know who is. :)) *narsis ternyata

{ tya } on: September 5, 2011 at 4:19 PM said...

@adinda: but you're, in fact, lose some weight, rite? :D

"But heck, if I'm not beautiful, then I don't know who is. :)) *narsis ternyata" << yep, you're adorable, my dear! hahaha

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