Marilyn Monroe was right in this, one of her favorite quotes. It’s all make believe. It truly is!
I was grocery shopping just yesterday and one of those gossip magazines caught my eye… ‘stars without makeup’. I never buy gossip rags, but I do make an exception when we get to see the stars, the stars everyone tries to imitate because they seem to be so perfect, so flawless, so amazingly beautiful, being, well, so amazingly human! Yes, I bought it. Guilty as charged. I do buy the ‘worse beach bodies’ issues as well. Why? Because then I feel normal, away from the celebrity culture where the woman’s ‘perfect’ body mimics the one of an escapee from a nazi concentration camp.
Our current culture glamorizes it even more than people realize. Think about what we see on TV. Every single TV show is filled with a cast of gorgeous, glamourous thin folks, mostly white. Walk in any Police precinct and I guarantee you, nobody there will look like that. There may be one young person here and there in real jobs that looks good, but, heck, is easy to look good when you’re young, not only you have the metabolism and energy on your side, all you have to worry about is yourself. Movies and TV project an image of the United States to other countries that I believe is mostly false as well. No, people in the US are not all white and size 0. Sorry. Being European I have a good laugh at this one when I am asked on the plane, at the airport and from my relatives. Nop, big fairy tale, sorry!!
When I got married 10 years ago I splurged and spent a few hours in a makeup chair and I had my makeup and hair done professionally. I had so much foundation on I thought I would melt. You would never know form the photos though, I looked flawless. I think about that day every time I see a Red Carpet event or anytime I see any TV show. These women spend HOURS with the help of professionals to help them look a certain way. They get help with their clothes, their hair, their makeup. Not on their wedding day, but every single day. Remember that! I remember when Paula Abdul said her makeup person went with her everywhere she went!
Print Magazines are also to blame. Not a single photo about any celebrity in any magazine escapes Photoshop. You know, those celebrities who starve themselves to size 0 and spent 3 hours in the make-up and hair chair? They are still not skinny enough, nor beautiful enough. For some unknown reason an editor, along with many industry celebrity managers, insist on making the stars look even better than they really are, creating a standard for girls and women that it is unattainable because, it simply does not exist. Never look at anyone in any magazine and assume that is what they really look like, because they don’t. I am a graphic design major so I’ve seen what students do and professors teach. I saw tutorials who would make anyone’s jaw drop. The industry seems to really be intent in creating a world that does not exists.
Years ago, in my twenties, I bought into that whole skinny, itty bitty thing. I enjoyed being very thin, but I was never as thin as any of those actresses or models prancing around. I tried, but 114lb was my lowest. All I ate on most days was a salad with a can of tuna sprinkled on top and a piece of toast. That would be my only meal for the day. I looked great, yes, and yet I never felt thin enough to even compare to some celebrities or models. Never. After 3 pregnancies and with a family, having to make sure everyone is fed breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a refrigerator and a cupboard full of food, is hard to stay very thin, and as much as I tried the past few years to undo the damage of a medication that made me gain 20lb in a matter of a couple of months without realizing it, I haven’t been able to. It does not help that I hate exercising. The only exercise I enjoy is swimming and walking. I promised myself I would get back into that and I haven’t done that yet. Oh my. I really need to!
Lucky me, I am Italian. My husband always tells me that he knows I will never be fat, seeing what I like to eat. My grandparents owned a small farm and they grew all sorts of vegetables and had every fruit plant you can think of, so I grew up with a love for the good stuff… and pizza. If I don’t have one or more servings of fruit or veggies a day I just don’t feel right. Some days it’s all I have! Growing up in Italy I also didn’t have hamburgers of french fries, hot dogs, peanut butter, potato chips etc. so I have no craving for junk or fast food whatsoever, which helps. Nutella is my weakness though… ask any Italian kid, including mine!
I’ve learned along the way that I love my body the way it is, and when I found out that Marilyn was my same height and on most of her life she wore size 6-8 as little old me, I’ve come to realize that we, as women, don’t have to starve ourselves to be beautiful. We don’t have to be size 0. My body will never be perfect (yes, I would love a tummy tuck), but, guess what? Neither is Britney Spears (who had a tummy tuck) or Heidi Montag (what hasn’t she done?) nor countless other celebrities who are on the tube every day telling us otherwise when they spend time and money the average woman does not have exercising every day for hours, or money to undergo expensive plastic surgery to fool others.
Speaking of fooling… who believes Sarah Jessica Parker or Gwen Stefani color their own hair as they claim on their commercials? Hilarious!
I think Julia Roberts said it best. And I know something about it. I may have never had Pizza in Napoli, but I’ve had pizza in Florence, and pizza in Venice and pizza in Marostica and many other places all over the boot and I tell you what. That pizza is indeed fantastic. I have no interest in being obese but im just through with the guilt.