*Get ready for some girl power feelings. You’ve been warned.
On my morning blog scan I read an article on US Weekly’s website with the headline, Demi Lovato: Kim Kardiashian “Revolutionized Our Generation’s View of What Beautiful Is.” At first I rolled my eyes. I read the article and I rolled my eyes again. Then I thought about how much body image and celebrity has changed since I was a teenager and I realized that Demi Lovato might actually be right.
Look, I love me some Kardashians. I’m on a first name basis when I talk about Kim, Khloe and Kourtney with my sister Marie. I even follow all of their makeup artists and hairstylists on Instagram (Jen Atkin I’m talking to you!). I get how some people don’t think the Kardashians are kool and that’s totally OK so I’m not here to convince you to drink the kool-aid. Is that too many K’s? K, I’ll stop.
I’m here to take you on a trip down memory lane. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, celebrities looked like this.
I know what you’re thinking, “But Lib, half of these girls were doing drugs and lived on a steady diet of whiskey and their birth control pills!*”
Probably true, but these women were EVERYWHERE! They were the starlets! The A-list!
When I was young it didn’t matter HOW these women stayed so skinny. All I knew is that they were on every red carpet, every boy in high school said they were hot, and visible hip bones and pin thin legs were always in fashion.
Those were dark times. Like, fell asleep in the tanning bed dark.
Growing up as a Caucasian female, the only two women in Hollywood that defied the skinny Hollywood stereotypes were Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé. It was great! Finally there were women with curves and a booty. However their bodies were always celebrated and coveted within another set of stereotypes for their ethnicities. I was being fed the idea that skinny was for white girls, curves were beautiful so long as you were Hispanic or African-American. It seemed like nobody could win. We each had standards to live up to no matter the colour of our skin. It was bullshit. I was a seventeen year old Irish-Italian girl without a thigh gap. Was I beautiful or not?
Fast forward to 2014. These are the women on the covers of magazines and starring in hit movies and TV shows.
What do all of these women have in common?
No visible rib cage. They’re beautiful without a thigh gap.They make serious bank.
Want to know what’s awesome? I had to limit the number of images to include. There were so many women to choose from. I could have included Lena Dunham, Gabourey Sidibe, Nicky Minaj, Christina Hendricks, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler… the list goes on and on!
Is all of this because of Kim Kardashian? No. Not at all. It’s because of women like you and me voicing our outrage over the limited definition of beauty represented in the media and demanding change. It’s because women have finally been recognized in Hollywood as being smart and funny and for that having more value than their measurements. It’s from you and me sharing our stories and our struggles and finally discovering that nobody and no body is perfect.
Even though the standards of beauty in our society and the representation of women in the media have changed, the struggle is far from over. For every size 12, 14 and 16 that we see on television there’s still 100 more size 0’s. There’s the 00 jean and the 000 jean. There’s still trolls online slamming the photos we share on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram forcing us to make our accounts private and block users.
What’s it going to take to win this war?
It’ll take you and me drowning out the noise, looking in the mirror and loving ourselves first. Then we pass that love along to one another by giving a compliment to a friend or a stranger.
And then what?
And then we band together and do what Beyoncé told us to do and run the world.
It’s only a matter of time.
* I would like to note that I’m purely speculating that these women were on drugs and that illegal substances caused their weight loss.
+ I’d also like to give a shout out to the naturally thin women of the world. You’re in this too, boo. Your body image issues are valid. I don’t want you to feel hated on because I love you and your naturally pin thin frame.