If media wasn’t such a major force in our lives, these facts wouldn’t be nearly as scary. But consider this:
average Americans watch roughly a decade of TV by age 70, spend 4-6 hours per day online and see endless images from magazines and billboards, whether they want to or not. No wonder our ideas about beauty and health tend to reflect exactly what profit-driven media has been teaching us all these years.
How do we fight back? By recognizing we’re in a fight, first off. And we truly are.
When we stop feeling inadequate and undesirable in comparison to unattainable ideals, and when we feel less inclined to obsess over appearance and compare ourselves to other women, we will be free to focus on … well, anything else. Maybe even truly meaningful and productive pursuits to benefit ourselves and the world around us. Self-obsession and preoccupation with beauty – though ideal for the $100 billion beauty and diet industries – are not conducive to real progress as individuals or as a culture.