Great strides have been made in combating the unrealistic image of women in the media through campaigns, such as the DOVE Real Beauty movement, and through individual advocates, such as model Erica Jean Schenk who was the first “plus-sized” model to appear on the cover of Women’s Running. However, the main image continued to be portrayed to young women through social media is that of tall, skinny, and lanky as being the ideal beauty standard. This creates an unrealistic expectation for many young girls growing up in today’s world and this message is perpetuated by the Miss America Contest, which although advocating for education, intelligence, and community service as desirable attributes continues to judge contestants based on ideal beauty standards and how she looks in an evening gown or a bikini.
In fact, when looking at the BMI of Miss America contestants versus the average American women throughout the decades, there is a large discrepancy between how contestants look and the average women looks. Using information from this study, the educational website PsychGuides.com found that the only decades where the two had similar body types were the 1940s and 1950s, and since then, Miss America contestants have grown thinner and thinner while the average American women has gotten heavier. Read More Here
This contributes to young women feeling inadequate in terms of how they look and can lead to body image issues and feelings of shame about themselves as a women. It is sad when intelligent, capable, talented, unique young women are unhappy with themselves as a woman because they do not fit this unrealistic beauty standard. Women come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and personalities and this diversity should be embraced. Who wants a world full of robotic “ideal” women?
There is so much more to being a worthy person than your outward appearance and I challenge you to:
BE BOLD, BE BEAUTIFUL, BE YOU