Let's look at Ms. Montag. This is what she looked like before:
The girl was pretty. Was she a supermodel? No, not by any means. But, less than 1% of the population looks like a supermodel, and even those that are supermodels still get airbrushed. Meaning: nobody on the face of the planet looks like a supermodel in a magazine after photoshop and airbrushing gets through with them. Heidi, a tabloid and MTV reality show fixture, claims that her severe insecurity led her to first get a nose job and then proceeded to get 10 plastic surgeries in one day (which is considered by many medical professionals as unethical since it requires a patient to be under anesthesia for far more hours than is healthy). Montag claims that she's been picking out surgeries for the last 3 years and claims she's 'beyond obsessed' with plastic surgery.
The surgeries she received are: buttocks augmentation, boob job touch-up (she'd had a previous boob job), nose job touch-up (also had a previous one), chin reduction, liposuction in her neck, liposuction in her waist and thighs, mini brow lift, botox in the forehead, fat injections in her cheek and lips, and pinning back her ears. This combination of surgeries turned this girl from the above picture to this:
It's just disgusting and pathetic that a 23-year-old girl had ruined her body, turning it into a human barbie doll. Whether this girl has actual self-esteem issues, or if she's just pandering to the media - which wouldn't surprised anyone - she is setting somewhat of an example about the normalization of the impossible image and young girl's desperate seeking of that image. If nothing else, this should be a reminder to us that the images we airbrush and photoshop effect young people in a very real way.
Depression, eating disorders, suicide attempts, and various other body dysmorphic disorders can result from these feelings, and the idea that we must change our outside to become more of who we are... Well, that's a bit silly isn't it? You can change your nose to look different, but don't say it's because you're trying to feel more like yourself.
And to Bristol Palin, no I hadn't forgotten about her. Recently, she said this on Oprah:
I'm not going to have sex until marriage, and I can guarantee it. Bristol Palin is now out there preaching abstinence, which is proven not only ineffective education, but leaves children unprepared when the situation actually arises... So to speak. I cannot say this enough. Children need to be taught the facts about sex. They need to understand that it is not a bad thing; it is a biological thing. It is a pleasurable thing, but it can also cause very real, very adult consequences. Sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy are the most obvious, but the psychological ramifications of early sexualization can lead to later criminality, depression, and other very adult emotions.
If we take the cookie away from the kid and only provide the reason that they're not allowed to have the cookie - not providing a 'Why?" response - then they're just going to want the cookie more. Give them the information, the options, and hope that you taught them well enough to wrap it before they tap it.
Yes, I just said wrap it before you tap it.
The idea that we need to change, to swear things, to pledge abstinence after already giving birth to a child, to have 12 plastic surgeries before your 24th birthday, to stare at magazine covers in covetous libidinousness, to do any or all of these things - or more - in order to become more yourself... That's ridiculous.
Let me know what you think by emailing IncitingARiotPodcast@gmail.com.
Love and Lyte,