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Love Your Body: the Office Ladies Were Right All Along

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October 18, 2012

October 17 was Love Your Body Day. NOW (The National Organization of Women) has been celebrating this day for 15 years. They started this day to give the finger to world of advertising and media concerning their depiction of women.

The Villain here? The Media.

Why? The media relentlessly portrays limited and unrealistic representations of what it means to be beautiful.
Between the lines the world of advertising tells us we’ll never be good enough- but we should keep buying their “stuff”. (Unintentional rhyme).

Love Your Body Day is celebrated by saying, “F- THAT!” to the media’s derogatory portrayal of humanity.
Every morning of high school over the PA the office ladies would say the lunch menu, the sports updates, and events happening on campus. Fairly typical for a high school, I suppose. And every morning they (the office ladies) would end in saying, “You are a valuable person. You have dignity and worth. What you do makes a difference.” It was cheesy. It was ritual. And it was brilliant.

In the 1970’s the average person saw about 500 media advertisements daily. That number has jumped to nearly 5,000 a day in 2012. In a world run by the Internet, smart phones, television, and social networking… that 5,000 ads daily statistic doesn’t seem too far off. Surely by this point we’re all on sensory overload!

There is so much advertising and marketing in the world of today – it is precisely as Thoreau metaphorically explains in Chapter 2 of Walden, “We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us.”

Additionally, the ad’s presented to us aren’t necessarily of the healthiest content.

It has been said that 50% of advertisements in teen girl magazines and 56% of television commercials directed toward females have a message of unreachable beauty standards. Additionally, violence against women in advertising has become a societal norm (As Feminism calls it- “Rape Culture”). A violent misogynistic gang rape scene is a nightmare, Dolce and Gabbana, not high fashion. Furthermore, while fashion models today weigh 23% less than the average female, thinness remains an idol of our culture.

Concerning the strife to become skeletal bone racks… Naomi Wolf said it best: “A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience.” Likewise concerning female obedience, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (this hugely influential Harvard historian) said, “Well behaved women rarely make history!”

Thus, my high school’s office ladies were brilliant in their daily reminder of our value to counteract the media constant lies that we will never be good enough. So, I shall end this blog by saying: Cheers to the office ladies at Assumption for being a voice of truth! Cheers to NOW for starting Love Your Body Day! And cheers to you, dear reader, on Love Your Body Day. You are a valuable person. You have dignity and worth. What you do makes a difference. Ignore the damn media- your living, breathing, thinking, and emotion filled soul ceaselessly radiates beauty.

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