A magazine is not a mirror. Have you ever seen anyone in a magazine that looked even vaguely like you looking back? Most magazines are made to sell a fantasy of what we're supposed to be. They reflect what society deems to be a standard, however unattainable that standard is. That doesn't mean you should cancel your subscription. Women need to remember that it's just ink on the paper. Whatever standards you set for yourself: how much you weigh, how hard you work out, or how many times you make it to the gym should be your standards, not someone else's. Magazines portray unrealistic images and women need to learn to accept themselves.
Women are now risking their health for the sake of beauty. Modern society puts powerful pressure on women to control body weight. We penalize obesity and reward thinness in ways. You can flip to any page in a magazine and it will portray pictures of beautiful women with toned, thin bodies. You can flip to articles and they deal with how to lose weight or give yourself a makeover. I came across an article in Seventeen magazine entitled Ditch the Weight and Get the Date, which discussed how to lose the pounds fast, keep it off and find Mr. Right. Why not do an article on self-acceptance? That would be more beneficial than losing weight. Many women today are turning to anorexia to make a change for themselves. The age range for subscribers to such teen magazines is about ages 14 to 20. Recent studies show, too, that the younger a woman is, the more vulnerable she is to developing anorexia. (DG Medical News) By reading these magazines, women can always find something they'd like to change about themselves. much . Clothing displayed on the pages of these magazines is typically size five with no exception for weight gain or anyone chubby. The average American woman is between 5 feet 4 and 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 147 pounds and wears a size 14. In fact, according to plus-size apparel manufacturer Just My Size, 8 1/2 million American women wear a size 16 or larger. (Wayne, Renee. The Seattle Times. Mon. Oct. 6:1997) Unrealistic hopes and standards cloud the happiness women may be able to achieve if they were content with who they are.
Who decided the certain ways and standards for women that are deemed acceptable? We may not know. Society as a whole perhaps? These magazines? Why is the standard not set to be original and who you are? Magazines should contain more information about self-help in a positive manner such as how to be happier in life and with yourself. If it was not thrown in our faces how women should look pretty, be thin and dress in the most fashionable clothes, women as a whole would be much happier. Perhaps women would not buy these magazines if it were not for the chance to see so many beautiful people. Until women can accept themselves and make that change, no progress will be made and women will continue to feel the need to change. After skimming through that magazine women continue wanting to achieve that acceptable cover girl look that everyone finds so appealing. Magazines contain quizzes, which result in finding out who you really are. In the October, 1999 issue of Glamour magazine there is an article/quiz entitled Are you a Keeper? What magazine or person should determine your self worth? No one or thing should. Women should learn to accept themselves, even if they don't look like a model or an actress. Many of the pictures and people are airbrushed.
It should be acceptable not to look like a supermodel as well as it should be acceptable to be a bit overweight, not have that perfect smile or those perfect legs. Women don't feel you need to lose weight, or use that certain kind of makeup or wear that specific brand of clothing just to impress society. Take responsibility and make the change by accepting who you are and not conforming to outside ways. Women need to love themselves for who you they are, not for what society and the media want to make you.