As I was pondering what to write for this week's Theme Thursday, I came across this Norman Rockwell painting which has always been one of my favorites because it so well represents the fragility of those pre-teen years when many of us struggled mightily with our self-image. I well remember pouring over movie magazines feeling like an ugly duckling and wondering if I would ever be swan material. With mousey brown hair, huge feet, and a face full of freckles, I was the tallest girl in my 6th grade class and all through junior high school. In fact, I was taller than most of the boys! Let's just say that the reflection in the mirror was not encouraging.
It was hard then, so many years ago; but I can only imagine what it is like for girls in today's culture where physiscal appearance is such a huge issue that the plastic surgery business is entertaining teen clients desperate for physical perfection. Young women are bombarded left and right by media telling them how they should look. Take a peek at the fold-out cover of the March issue of Vanity Fair. Talk about pressure! All the up and coming young actresses are gorgeous, thin, and - as if the first two aren't bad enough - white...a triple threat for many.
Where is America Ferrera, a beauty who -thank goodness - isn't a size 0. Size 0! When did that happen anyhow? If it was present when I was a girl, I never knew about it.
And where is Mamie Gummer, who has done some very fine work? O yeah...she's got THAT nose, like her mother's. Meryl Streep. Pul-eeeeease.
Where is Gabourney Sidibe? Wait...she doesn't fit the size 0 requirement. Nevermind that she's up for an Oscar for her first film. Huh?
This kind of message is all over the media, not just Vanity Fair. Our girls are questioning their worth because the mirror's relection doesn't fit the media mold of perfection. I want it to go away; growing up is hard enough!