The Ugly Truth about Advertising and Beauty

by Mary Elizabeth Di Valerio
(St. Louis)

Advertisers present a very narrow, unrealistic image of beauty and we as consumers should combat this by educating young women about true beauty and building self-confidence. Due to the narrow, unrealistic and impossibile-to-attain beauty standards set our society, teenage girls often fall victim to eating disorders, depression and lack of self confidence. This is neither healthy nor right. However, the girls are not to blame. Rather, we should blame the media. Regardless of who deserves the blame, it's us ladies that have to deal with the problems, while the bad guys get off scot-free.

Personally, I've always been depressed or underconfident because I never felt "pretty" enough. Only recently have I picked Shelley's book and started to really believe that I was truly beautiful. It's a battlefield, really. Between what we know deep down inside and what our media preaches to us. They tell us we are inferior. They tell us we will never measure up. But these are lies. They are planted in our hearts and we cry in our pillows at night. I've only begun to discover my true beauty and I've already felt surges of joy.

The key is in education. Being educated about the media and the lies they place in our head is an empowering tool for combating the effects of advertising in our society. I'm only 13 years old, and already I've been tempted to develop anorexia. Is it right for the media to lead us astray? I really want to say no, but the sad reality is that it's a free market out there. But that doesn't mean we lose the war. We can easily win it through prayer. Stay strong! You are Beautiful! God Bless You!!! :D

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