“You can’t be what you can’t see.” – Marie Wilson
Being the kind of person who looks up to certain types of women unconsciously, this quote made by Marie Wilson really gets to me. So true, yet so heart breaking. We, as women in our generation, unknowingly find ourselves striving to have the body of Jessica Alba, the looks of Blake Lively, or even the sensuality of Katy Perry. There has been talk as to why women in this time desire to obtain these futile attributes. Marie Wilson explained why in just seven words: You can’t be what you can’t see.
We recently watched a clip in class titled “Miss Representation”. If you have never watched it, I strongly encourage you to take an hour and a half out of your day to turn it on and give it your full attention. Because this clip, unfortunately, is one of the most accurate clips that I have ever watched.
Women are classified as objects. We are labeled as sexy, inviting, provoking, or intriguing. And if men do not see us as any of these objective classifications, then we are seen as nothing. We won’t be taken notice of or acknowledged because we don’t have what the media portrays.
But what exactly does the media portray?
The media portrays women as having the impeccable airbrushed look – as if this is the only substantial aspect in which a woman should carry. The media, being completely and utterly blind to the fact that young women live their lives by what they see, continues to represent such icons.
Here is an accurate representation of women today. Seeing ourselves as overweight, unsatisfied with our bodies, unsatisfied with our minds, not up to par with what the world expects us to be . . .
Exercising, eating right, and being healthy, both mentally and physically, is one thing. But to see yourselves as undeserving of this world just because you don’t look as if you belong to the media is tragic. I hope that none of you see yourselves as something that you are not. You are capable of everything that you aspire to be.
This leads me to wanting to introduce a favorite character of mine — Brooke Davis. If you have ever watched One Tree Hill, there is a heartening episode that talks about ‘labels’ within our culture. Sophia Bush, who plays Brooke Davis on this hit show, exemplifies the distressing truth of how we are viewed by certain labels that society gives us.
“People are going to label you. It’s how you overcome those labels. That’s what matters.”
These labels shape our culture, our minds, and our entire being. We find ourselves to be unworthy if we do not match up with what the world expects of us. We must be strong and determined to overcome these sad classifications. Beauty is not what the media, or anyone else for that matter, characterizes. Beauty is your sense of self – what you come to love about yourself, despite what the media renders as unsightly. It is your entire being. It is you.
We wonder what is going through the minds of those with depression, eating disorders, and even suicidal thoughts. Why are women found to be less confident than men? Why do we struggle with self-image issues? Why are we in a constant battle between wanting to love ourselves but yet wanting to change ourselves? Is there anything that we can do to end the thoughts of those who think to themselves that they are not what society wants them to be?
Let us come together as one to overcome the stereotypes that society has labeled for us. We are more than an object. Embrace yourself today. Embrace yourself everyday.