Studies Show: Less Than 2 in 100 Women Say They're "Beautiful"
My grandfather was absolutely right when he used to say "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I think this is especially true, when applied to the female body.
Various cultures throughout history have revered different parts of this form. In Japan, the nape of the neck has long been popular, while in China tiny feet were once believed beautiful. In the age of Ruben, the larger the women, the more attractive they were considered.
Almost every woman knows the importance of being beautiful both inside and out. We all want to feel beautiful by our own standards as well as those of others. Unfortunately, surveys show that less than 2 percent of women around the globe describe themselves as “beautiful.” This means that women everywhere, whether they have a smooth neck or dainty feet, are so enmeshed in meeting the ideal of beauty that they don’t recognize the inherent attraction that comes simply from being female!
In 2008, Allure Magazine ran a spread of five female celebrities who each posed naked.The participants were:
Ana Ortiz and
The last woman is noteworthy because she defies the conventional belief that a size 2 is the only size that’s beautiful! Scott is gorgeous AND a size 16. She isn’t about to be pigeonholed by stereotypes. In the end, because of these different women with different body shapes, Allure helped promote the idea of positive body image for all women.
But is it enough?
The answer is probably not. While such photo spreads instill the concept that women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful, they still don’t help individual females identify their own beauty - and therein lies the problem. As women continue to compare themselves with unachievable ideals presented by the media – stick thin models, movie stars and recording artists - it’s no wonder that only 2 percent of the female population believes they are beautiful!
Devendra Singh with the University of Texas at Austin suggests the measures we use for determining feminine beauty are beyond preposterous, especially when it comes to the female body. According to Singh, physical attractiveness depends on both facial and bodily features, and yet, all the detailed analysis of what constitutes beauty is restricted to faces. A woman’s face, in this manner, is scrutinized for the size of her nose, shape of her chin, and smoothness of complexion.
The beauty of the female body, in modern terms, is solely defined by weight.
Skinny women are more attractive than average-sized women, who, in turn, are more attractive than overweight women. All of this negates the real beauty of the female body - it was designed to bring life into this world, nurture children, and fight disease. Instead, the focus is always on weight and other demeaning concepts like breast cup size, appearance of one’s tush in a pair of jeans, and shapeliness of legs.
We're a lot more than our bodies, ladies!
Our bodies allow us to run marathons, grocery shop, and conquer science. We use our bodies to write novels, dig through the ruins of ancient civilizations, and, yes, make love. These bodies can also car pool, cook dinner, and embrace loved ones; through them, we can fish, swim, and rush to emergencies; they're built to dance, pilot airplanes, and perform surgery. What isn't beautiful about us, from the tops of our heads to the tips of our toes?
Photo spreads like the one from Allure Magazine will not solve the problem of how women negatively perceive themselves, but they will help. If you struggle to find beauty in yourself, I strongly urge you to undress and look at yourself in the mirror. Forget the flaws you find and instead focus on the many wonderful things your body does each and every day. Look for the beauty in what you do, who you are, and the feminine qualities you bring to both. Perceive yourself as beautiful, only then can we women collectively begin to change how the world sees us individually.
Christi Neilsen Bristol Motor Speedway & Dragway, nick step, tetsumo, www.chicagofabulousblog.com