Monday, November 18, 2013

A Beauty Challenge

In undergrad, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to join Kappa Delta sorority. While the sorority was a blast in undergrad, as a graduate and alumna, I've grown to appreciate the values that it instilled in me in some of my most influential growing years. The volunteer work I did as an undergrad certainly impacted who I am as an adult.

When I was a sophomore or junior in the sorority, Kappa Delta partnered with Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. This campaign is designed to encourage women to feel comfortable in their own skin, and long-term, it hopes to change the marketing and fashion industries to include women who are not size negative 2. I LOVE THIS. Women of all ages are put under so much pressure to conform to a certain look that is not necessarily healthiest for all women. I know men experience something similar to this pressure, but in the working world, women are judged for their looks far more than men are. A woman who is typically "pretty" is underestimated in her intelligence, and a woman who is "plain" is overlooked by society as unworthy. It's a terrible cycle that social media has only furthered.

Today, I read this article written by sportscaster (and super beautiful female) Sam Ponder. In it, she describes her first experience using Twitter while reporting. The comments she received are astounding. Women and men tearing her down and commenting on her boobs, the scar on her lip, and her fashion sense. Ladies, do you realize how hard it is to be a woman?? Every single one of us wake up in the morning and look in the mirror. Nearly every single one of us find something that we hate about ourselves. Why would we spend time trashing other women when we feel so insecure about ourselves?

Could it be that we are so insecure in ourselves that we need to bring others down?

I know I am just as guilty as the next girl for criticizing the fashion choices of girls walking on campus, but I have decided to make a conscious effort to stop. We have a hard enough time finding the beauty within ourselves. We shouldn't be tearing other women down.

Back to Dove. I saw this outstanding video months ago, but someone posted it again today, and when I watched it, I got chills all over again. When describing myself, I know I would do the same thing that these women did--focus on the negative aspects of myself. Pointy chin, big nose, circles under my eyes. I wouldn't describe my awesome eyebrows or rosy cheeks or big brown eyes. (Even writing those positive things about myself makes me blush. Why should I be embarrassed to admit the things I like about myself?) Check out the video, and make a conscious decision to love yourself the way you are!

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