Flipping through the pages of a magazine the other day, my oldest daughter commented on an ad for Paul Mitchell shampoo. A woman dressed in a ball gown was in the forest, leaning against a fallen tree, not a hair out of place and a full face of makeup. My daughter commented on her shoes; she was wearing big, ugly brown boots that went up to her knee. “Why is she wearing those boots with that dress?” she asked. I grabbed the opportunity to remind her advertisements are made by companies trying to sell you things you often don’t even need. They use computers to make her look perfect. She’s not really walking around in the forest like that, it’s just a pretend photo. “Where is the shampoo?” she wanted to know. “I have no idea, my dear. Maybe a bear ate it.”
Raising children these days is hard enough, but once they are old enough to digest messages about slanted societal norms, it gets even more difficult. Take this lovely video, made by a beauty company, to remind us how insane the standards of perfection are. A bit hypocritical, yes, but I like the message. Keep in mind this was made over six years ago and not a lot has changed since then. I think it might be worse now than ever before, but if this hits home for you, please share and get people talking. I know I don’t want my daughters OR son growing up thinking this is how real people should look or behave. Self worth should NOT be tied to how small your waist is or how perfect your nose is.
Remind your kids at every opportunity to be real and to recognize when they are being faked out. They are listening. Just keep talking.