‘Stop The Beauty Madness’ Is A Call to Action: “Enough With the Impossible Standards!”

Many refuse to believe that we have an issue with body image, and many refuse to acknowledge the impact that mass media, including advertisements, television, film, music, etc., have on our perception of beauty; they claim “freewill!” and say that we have control over our own self-perceptions. To an extent, I agree, but for the most part, I disagree. Our perceptions of “self” are wrapped up in what we’ve learned throughout however long we’ve been alive, whether that’s from family members or other important people in our lives. But answer this: where do we think our parents learned about what’s acceptable? Society. Culture. Pop culture. Media. And media has also damaged how we view others.

It’s time to take that back. 

A new ad campaign has emerged and it’s provocative, controversial, and exactly the [large] dose of reality that we as a culture need so desperately. That’s where the brilliant #StopTheBeautyMadness comes in. Their website states that the campaign is:

about strong words that reveal the ideas that need to be seen for what they are. It is not always pretty to see what is hidden deep in our psyche (or even just slightly under the surface), but it is important to see it clearly so that we may call it out and change it […] Welcome to a new world – one we are creating right here and right now. In this new world, our beauty is defined by whole-self qualities, not eye-to-nose and bust-to-waist-to-hip ratios.  In this world, we KNOW we are more than our appearance, our size and our shape. In this world, we are throwing off our role as sales-hypnotized consumers and getting on with the task of changing the world.

Now more than ever this world needs us to stop shrinking behind ideas that are too small for us.

So we are here in mass to disturb the peace in beautiful, powerful ways. We are here to create a new culture around beauty. We are here to save ourselves and our children from our own childish and destructive obsessions. We are here to stand tall, AS IS, and get on with our lives.

This is exactly what I’m trying to fight against. These are the types of images that can simultaneously push boundaries and start a revolution on the body image front.

WARNING: The images below are meant to bring about a feeling of discomfort. They’re also mean to start conversations. They are not pieces meant to perpetuate the already established stereotypes and belief systems; they’re meant to dig deep inside your mind and get you to truly think about these images.

  • Step 1: Look at each image carefully
  • Step 2: Examine the juxtaposition of text and picture. Look at the entire composition. How does the text feed into the visual? How does the visual enhance the text? What does the text say about you, the viewer?
  • Step 3: Examine your previous knowledge of the subject. Think about all the images of women in the media (the stick-thin model, the bleach blonde bombshell, the over-sexualization of younger girls, the marginalization of older women and larger women.)
  • Step 4: Ask yourself why you may feel uncomfortable with these images
  • Step 5: Think about what you can do to spread the word and stop the beauty madness, once and for all!

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 Source for all images: stopthebeautymadness.com

Thoughtful? Thoughtless? Thought-Provoking? Sound Off in the Comment Below!

10 thoughts on “‘Stop The Beauty Madness’ Is A Call to Action: “Enough With the Impossible Standards!”

  1. Umm the images are not disturbing just very thought provoking. I think the people who are in denial that most people deal with body issues are in denial because they fail to see the different ways through which certain stereotypes are implemented. Like the models, most models are very thin and very young. By showing it excessively on TV, they provoke something in all the other teenage girls to be like those models.
    I think we should be really careful about what types of words we use when we refer to someone and what we will teach our children. There’s no solution to the damage that has been done. But we can start and change.

    • Absolutely! It’s very rare that people stop and analyze what’s playing before them on their TVs/computers/theater screens/phones/etc. If you keep track, what becomes disturbing is the amount of information we absorb on a daily basis that we don’t actually process or give much thought to.

  2. The last picture really speaks to me as an individual because I’ve struggled with accepting my more athletic/curvy body type (not that I look nearly as ripped as the girl in the picture). I’ve always been concerned because I have either more defined muscles than my friends or my thighs are slightly bigger because I lift heavy weights. I’ve started getting into a kick of “I’d rather be healthy and strong, than just skinny.” That’s the most powerful motivation in my life because I dictate what’s happening.

    I loved your post and think you have great insight into pop culture’s hold on our society. Thanks for sharing the moving pictures at the end.

    • There were a number of pictures that I responded to, and I think what makes this campaign so powerful is that there are all types of image issues being addressed here, and that it’s not just the typical ones we read about often.

      And thank you! I really appreciate that. Hopefully I’ll start to get more people thinking, too.

  3. I’m totally stalking your blog but I can’t stop! It’s amazing and so addicting! This article/campaign is so inspiring! Thank you for doing what you’re doing, otherwise I never would’ve known about this campagin

    • Oh yeah, I mean to add that the second to last one really made me emotional. That was me all through grammar school. I hope our attitudes change!

    • Stalk away, by ALL means!

      I’m just trying to raise awareness of the necessity for media literacy. And this campaign deserves a lot of notice.

      In response to your other comment, that second to last one hit me hard too; that’s how I felt growing up. It’s all so universal.

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