07 July 2014

Perfection Is A Disease Of A Nation

There have been a few things this year that have made me think... things can change. There are people who know things have to change. We talk a lot about all the progress that's been made. All the acceptance gained: acceptance toward different races, sexualities, looks. And maybe a lot has changed. Gay marriage is slowly happening. Ryland Whittington's parents amazed us all by realizing their five-year-old daughter was transgender, and allowing Ryland to begin transitioning at a young age. Beyonce released "Pretty Hurts" accompanied by her site "What Is Pretty?" There is no denying there has been improvement since the Civil Rights movement of the '60s. But hatred is inherent to human beings. Hatred toward the self. And hatred toward others.
I was drawn to social thought leader and internationally-published author Robin Rice the moment I heard about her campaign: #StopTheBeautyMadness. This isn't a campaign about denying that aesthetics hold importance. We all have our individuality, and our own ways of personifying that individuality via the way we dress and make ourselves up every day. I mean, I myself run a blog vastly dependent on fashion and my own physical appearance! This is a campaign that combats issues far grander, and far more difficult. It brings to the forefront the stigmatization surrounding race, non-hetero sexuality, weight, age and mental illness. It reminds us that just because things have changed some does not mean they are ideal.
At the heart of the campaign are advertisements that shed light on the grim realities of 21st century living. From our obsession with perfection to our fear of aging to our pre-conceived judgments unto those whose styles differ from our own. These aren't "feel-good" ads, but they are important. They reveal the change that still needs to happen. And don't hold back on saying that a lot of it is needed.


A lot of these images resonated with me. Being made to feel sub-human for being the fat kid in the family -- the fat kid in school. Doing all in my power to drop the weight, even if it meant sacrificing my own health. Being made to feel the "other" for my mixed-race background amidst my predominantly Caucasian high school and university. Because despite the obvious fact that my skin is white, people knew I was Latina. And that has been enough, for some, to keep me at a distance. I don't doubt these ads will resonate with women -- with people -- everywhere, and so I hope men and women join in the effort. The hashtag #StopTheBeautyMadness is live as of today. The Facebook page open for those wanting to share selfies and self-love.

I don't know how long it'll take for things to change for the better. I don't know that they ever will. But I do know that this campaign shines a bit of hope in what often feels like a grim existence.


3 comments:

  1. I think this is a very important movement. Thank you for sharing the campaign! I'm ruminating on what I'll say about this...

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. It's different from a lot of campaigns that try to do similar things, and I think it encompasses a lot more. Can't wait to see what you write :) xo

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