I was in Safeway this afternoon and, while waiting for our turn at the checkout, decided to browse some magazines. I was actually sickened by what I saw. It used to be a dream of mine to work at a weekly like Famous, OK, or Who, but my eyes have been opened over the last couple of months to the absolute rubbish they try and sell us week after week. As the end of my schooling life is drawing to a close, and I’ve seriously begun to contemplate the future, I’ve started to feel sick thinking about the path I honestly wanted my life to follow. More and more I’ve been realising that filling our minds with junk about celebrities is not helping anyone be the best they can be – in fact, it’s doing the exact opposite. Celebrity weight-loss, speculations over pregnancy, affairs, divorce… It’s all so stupid and I just don’t understand why we continuously buy into it week after week. And don’t cite dropping circulation figures as proof that we’re not, because you know as well as I do that even when we don’t buy the physical mag, cyber versions of the same gossip are plastered around the web. These words circulate around us and enter our consciousness, whether we want it to or not, and before we know it we are accepting these things as normal. We are thinking that extreme weight-loss and plastic surgery and photoshop are normal, and when I look around at the young girls I see at school every day, and think about what they’re filling their lives with, my heart breaks.
Last week, the amazing Erica wrote a post titled Satchelism: A Gradual Awakening, and in it she says:
But never in history has the “image”, of self and of others, been so intensely present, forcing us to compare, assess and validate ourselves by these externalities seen on the screen and in print. In turn, the selves projected out into the world are edited, controlled and Photoshopped, and one’s internal politics are governed increasingly by a conscience distorted. … There need to be options for girls. Most will simply never measure up to TV/celebrity/model standards, the prevailing benchmark for women in our culture, as far as their physicality is concerned (and we know it is a concern: the surveys continue to tell us, but you only have to sit back, listen and observe). These external pressures should not be reason for them to loathe themselves. What is the answer?
Magazines. TV. The interent. They all fill us with these messages of what we should be to be accepted. Of course, not all media does this, but if even one does, that’s one too many. The fact that ‘thinspo’ blogs exist is enough proof for me to say that girls are falling into terrible traps because they are being told to by a majority (or maybe a vocal minority?) of society that this is what they have to be to be loved. Reading Roxy Jacenko’s novel “Strictly Confidential” is even more proof. She, someone with amazing influence, puts down in black and white for insecure young girls to read, that to make it in life you have to be skinny, blonde, and beautiful. And that thought sickens me. Nobody should ever think that. Ever.
We all have the potential, in small ways or large-scale, to rail against the culture and create a new status quo.
And that quote sums up what I want this blog to become. As I journey towards self-love and recovery, I want to inspire all girls to not be crushed by the pressures of school/friends/parents/world like I was, and for them to know that the most amazing thing they can do in their lives is be themselves. Be themselves without negative influence from the media. Be themselves without pressure to be skinny or what society deems to be beautiful. Without feeling the need to succumb to peer pressure to drink or do drugs or have sex before they’re ready, just because they want to seem cool. I want to show girls that there is more to this life than what is inside many glossy mags. There is more to life than celebrities. There is more to life than following ‘trends’.
I want to post about inspirational people. People who advocate self love and individuality and acceptance of everyone. People who make you feel good about being you, not try and fill your mind with toxic lies. I want this blog to transform with me and to become a place where girls can be inspired. I want to make a difference. I want to be like one of my biggest inspirations, Christa Black, and change the way girls think about themselves. I want to help.
I hope that you’ll stick with me through this (probably gradual) transformation, and I want you to join me in throwing away everything that makes us question whether we’re good enough, and fill our lives with things that are inspirational and brilliant.
We can do this together.
frangipani princess xoxo