‘That Woman’ and craving to become her. The ideal woman that we see in advertisements and media changes the way that we view ourselves. We suddenly want to become someone we aren’t. Is this us being inspired to be better? Or is this conformity working its way inside us?
Often, when we look in the mirror, we see something that other cannot see. Our perceptions are skewed. This is furthered through negative messages about body image and includes the beauty myth. The beauty myth (originally by Naomi Wolf, a book) is the conception of the idealized feminine beauty. Is that what we search for? Potentially something that isn’t actually attainable, but social pressures push us to believe it is.
When I was growing up, when I was a teenager and then in my twenties, I had an image in my mind, of a woman. She was a woman I could never become, because she was so much more sophisticated than I was. She was the sort of woman who walked around European cities, with a scarf wrapped around her neck. She negotiated her way in English and probably French and who knew what other languages. She was beautiful and accomplished: she had done things and she knew it, and out of that came her confidence, her ability to walk through strange cities with a mysterious smile on her face. Looking as though she belonged, wherever she was in the world.
Yeah, you hate her too, right?
Hate is the wrong word. I never hated her: what I did was envy her. I would have wanted to become her, except…
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