I’m watching reruns of the Tyra Show, and today’s 3pm episode is about black women who bleach their skin.

It’s a societal thing.

I mean, look at the investigation Bre did! There are literally NO skin bleaching products in predominantly white neighborhoods, but they’re “falling off the shelves” in predominately black neighborhoods.

That’s sad. 

Personally, I think most black women are prettier with darker skin!

Dark skin is cool. I’ve got a friend who’s of Mexican-ish descent, and she’s not super dark, but she’s pretty.

I know ebony-colored people, and they’re pretty awesome.

It’s the personality, not the color.

I’m pale. Like, I was pale before Twilight made it cool to be pale.

I don’t tan, I burn. I tried tanning for a while, with the lotion stuff, but I hated it.

I’m learning to be content with my paleness.

So I have to lather on sunscreen when I’m outside too long or I’ll turn into a tomato.

I’m good with that.

I’d rather be pale than in pain.

Bleaching is harmful to your health!

See this article, this article, this article, and just about any other article on the internet.

Dermatologist says the creams are more for treatin blemishes, pimples, stuff like that.

It depends on the bleaching agents, but they’re pretty harmful. (Again, see the articles.)

I mean, is this BDD or something? Their dark skin disgusts them, so they’re willing to do anything to get rid of it?

Yuck.

Geraldine bleached from age 14 because she was teased, but she stopped when she began to view herself as beautiful the way she was.

Way to go, lady! 

Today’s 4pm episode is Nine and Hate My Face, about little girls who want plastic surgery. They don’t feel beautiful.

Also, a woman who’s gone through plastic surgery procedures AWAKE. (More on that later.)

What’s contributing to this epidemic?

Society. And family, in a sense.

7 of 10 girls in America aren’t happy with how they look.

Pearl hates her dark skin (it’s not that dark–in between caramel and chocolate–and I think it’s beautiful!) and thinks her nose is too big. She wants hazel eyes. She wants to be complimented.
She is an adorable 10 year old, and her story made Tyra cry.

Kelsey hates her eyes and wants Botox and rhinoplasty. She’s in SIXTH grade. She’s 11 years old and wants a different face.

Melissa hates her face. She’s also a sixth grader, 11 years old. She hates her eyes. She thinks her mom is prettier than she is. She feels people are embarrassed to be with her.

Chrishawna feels people see her as a pig because of her nose, and that she has a mustache. She’s tired of being made fun of.

(Kay, sweetheart, almost all women have hair above their lips; it’s just more visible on some. Heck, I have hair above my lips! You can’t see it unless you’re really close to me, but it’s there.)

Malina is 11 and prefers her mother’s eyes. She thinks hers are too round and that Mom’s are prettier. She is freaking BEAUTIFUL and Tyra tells her so.

Nine year old Hailey (4th grade) hates her ears and cheeks. She thinks she’s ugly, that she’s a monster. She avoids looking in the mirror. This little girl is SO PRETTY, and she thinks she looks like a monster. She skips dinner sometimes in hopes that her cheeks will get smaller. She’s embarrassed by her mother’s teeth, which are the way they are because of abuse. She wants braces because of the gaps in her teeth. She likes NOTHING about her face.

It’s ridiculous.

Girls feel unworthy, unloved, because of their peers and the media.

When I was their ages, all I wanted was to impress people. I wasn’t disgusted by my face or anything. Sure, I worried a little about what I looked like because I had a crush on a classmate, but I wasn’t teased about my appearance enough that it made me say “I’m ugly and I want surgery.”

It rips my heart out to see things like this.

The oldest of my cousins’ female children is six, and she’s way adorable. She is told all the time that she is loved. I doubt she hates anything about herself. I don’t think she’s hit the low self-esteem stuff yet, and I sincerely hope she doesn’t ever hit it. I cannot imagine this bubbly, beautiful, sweetheart blondie wanting plastic surgery in three years. It will surprise me if she does, because of her family situation. We affirm her, remind her that we love her just the way she is, constantly.

My Abnormal Psych prof told us a story of a mother who insisted nobody should tell her daughter that she had gotten “so big”, because even if you meant she’d grown up, this little girl (I think she was 10 or so?) took “big” as “ugly” and “fat.”

It’s so sad and heart-wrenching that children see themselves as ugly.

Adults, too, but it’s especially sad that kids imitate their parents’ insecurities.

This woman who gets surgery without anesthesia is so desperate to get the surgeries, and it saves money.

Two breast lifts and an eyelid lift without the anesthesia.

Fat removal and fat injections in the lips were the most excruciating.

She’s spent $30,000 on surgeries, with and without anesthesia. That’s her husband’s money, and she hasn’t paid him back yet, as of the show airing.

And she still doesn’t feel pretty.

It’s so infuriating to me that even after surgery this woman doesn’t feel beautiful because she feels the surgeon screwed up on fat injections.

Injections I doubt she needed in the first place.

Ugh.

It just…

It makes me mad that people do this to themselves.

I honestly feel that it’s society’s fault, mostly.

The media has a stupid view of beauty, and they’re pushing it on everyone.

In my Health class, chapter 9 of the book talked about body image.

I wrote a note on Facebook dealing with this, actually.

Chapter Nine (Body Image) of my “Your Health Today” book, and Chapter Twelve (Relationships and Sexual Health) Parts, anyway. Because body image can affect self-esteem, which can in turn affect relationships and sex.
We’ve discussed relationships and sex and different things in youth group the last couple weeks. It’s kind of a “OMG,YOUDON’TDOTHAT” topic for a lot of people, but kids face it every day. They need to know about pressure and violence and abuse–and learn how to protect themselves and others from it, not to mention how to be there for their friends or relatives who are going through it.

Body image is “the mental representation that a person has of his or her own body, including perceptions, attitudes, thoughts, and emotions.”
We’re all bombarded daily with the “perfect” picture, the “It” person, the way we’re supposed to be. “The advertising industry and the media are relentless in selling the American consumer an image of the ideal body, and many of us buy into what we are seeing. The message of the media is powerful.”
It’s aimed at guys as well as girls. Girls are told that they have to be (sometimes dangerously) thin, and guys are bombarded with images of buff, macho movie starts who always “get the girl.”
Barbie and GI Joe are crap role models. Barbie is totally disproportionate. If she were real, she’d fall over. GI Joe is apparently on anabolic steroids. Yeah, great role models for your kids.

Sports can affect body image, too. Gymnasts, dancers, wrestlers, figure skaters, horse racers, swimmers, cyclers, and runners are encouraged–no, expected–to be lean. Eating disorders, anyone? Moreso for the elite athletes. NOT healthy.
My dad can always tell who’s a wrestler–he sees them at the Y running in sweats in order to make weight. I dunno about you, but I’d rather not see someone pass out on the floor because they’ve not been eating enough to keep themselves at their required weight. That’s not healthy.
Eating disorders can be caused by low self-esteem, feelings of emptiness, need for power and control, difficulty expressing feelings, lack of coping skills, lack of trust in self or others, perfectionism, self-critical attitude, belief in the importance of thinness, and black-and-white thinking.

I’m going to be candid here and say that (since I see several of these characteristics in myself)
yes, I DO have a SLIGHT eating issue. Not starving myself for days at a time, but pretty dang close soem weeks. I forget to eat, don’t feel like eating, don’t eat the right things, and even punish myself by not eating. It’s punishment for little things that I take way too far: I’ll say something stupid and feel guilty so I’ll tell myself I don’t really need to eat right then. Or something stupid like that. And it’s because I’m a perfectionist in some aspects, have self-esteem issues, sometimes feel empty/lonely, have trust issues…actually, pretty much ALL of those characteristics are true of me to one degree or the other. Uh oh.
I think admitting is the first step to recovery, right?
At least I acknowledge that I have an issue… 😐
I do weigh myself some; I’m not exactly obesessed… I just like to know sometimes.
In case you need to know, I’m generally about 118-120. Average? I think so.
I’ve had my share of issues with looks, but I’m starting to get over them. I still look at myself in photos and go, “Hm, have to work on this a little…” but it’s pretty minimal. I’m learning to accept myself.

But my point is: you’re not alone in the struggle. And you can get help.
You don’t have to go through life thinking you’re not good enough, that you need to lose 20 pounds to be more attractive, that you need to … WHATEVER. You ARE good enough. Someone, somewhere, loves you just the way you are. You don’t need to do anything to impress them, to make them love you more. To them, you’re flawless. To GOD, you’re perfect the way you are. Stop listening to the media.

…Unless your weight puts your life in jeopardy, I suppose. Like if you’re extremely over- or under- weight and need medical help or something.
But you’re still important, loveable, worth something. Personality should be most important; it’s what captures your heart.

If you need support or help or…just to talk, talk to a trusted adult; a teacher, a pastor, a relative. (Heck, come to me if you want to! I know what it’s like.) There are agencies out there–Google could be helpful–that will help you out, support you, too. Don’t be afraid or ashamed. I can guarantee you that pretty much EVERYONE goes through something similar to what you’re going through. You’re not alone. (Together we’ll stand, I’ll be by your side, you know I’ll take your hand!)

There was more to it about violence and stuff, but … yeah.

Anyway.

Just thought I’d share.

Song of Songs 4:7

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