I am fascinated by the most recent “slut-shaming” incident involving Nicki Minaj. An album cover featuring a mostly nude Minaj has swept the internet and is now being slut shamed. For those of you who are unfamiliar, slut shaming is the act of making someone else, usually a woman, feel guilty or ashamed for certain sexual behaviors, tendencies, or desires.
Since when is everyone concerned with what the music industry is putting on album covers and in song lyrics? Oh wait, they’ve always been interested. (At least since when they thought that playing AC/DC backwards was Satan talking to you.) So why is this single song release such a big deal?
I can see where the concern for young, impressionable audiences might come in, but haven’t parents always been responsible for what their children watch or listen to? People, parents in particular, complaining about the music industry is nothing new so why is it such a big deal?
While I don’t necessarily think that posing half-naked is the way to sell music, let’s face it, in today’s world, sex sells. And Minaj is a beautiful, curvy woman who is showcasing her body and her music in her own way. Her firm stance on not backing down to haters makes me nod in approval, even if I am shaking my head at her methods of propaganda.
…or is there something sincerely broken in society today?
We have pictures in magazines and on billboards that don’t even represent real people. We have make-up to cover up any flaws and make us look like a completely different person. And if just that doesn’t work, we also have photoshop!
The people in all of these pictures don’t even look like that in real life and yet we idolize and try to become those images to fit in. And don’t even get me started on when guys see their girls without make-up for the first time. It’s a total shock to men that most women don’t look that perfect 24/7.
I will give props to Melissa Murphy, in that her work is flawlessly amazing. What she can do with a make-up brush and some bobby pins is fantastic. It really is an art form.
However, I don’t think that men or women coated in layers of synthetic products should be our standard of beauty. Some of those women in the above article are just as pretty without make-up as they are with. Perhaps not in a magazine way but in a more wholesome way.
Not that there is anything wrong with make-up but people who can’t leave the house without it or feel “ugly” constantly without it, yes, there is definitely something wrong with that. Make-up shouldn’t be used to feel beautiful, it should be used to enhance your natural beauty and boost your self-confidence, not create it.
Sometimes I wonder if the Puritans were right. Wearing make-up is a deliberate deception to distract others from seeing your true self.
It never ceases to amaze me how people interpret beauty standards. I came across this article from Marie Claire today and thought I would share it with you all. There is a new campaign called #StopTheBeautyMadness that is geared towards in-your-face ads that force people to address the unrealistic and often harmful views that people have towards others, in particular women. And how we are conditioned from a young age to think of ourselves in a certain light and told that beauty is worth more than brains in the world.
Along those same lines but perhaps in a less serious tone are two videos from my much-loved source: Buzzfeed. The first is one that gives the views on men on women and the second one gives the female perspective on men. It’s interesting to see what they agree and disagree on and how each sees the opposite sex. And then there is this one which has some facts based on real life surveys of men that might surprise you.
Men and women are both worth more than society perceives them to be and neither should have to live up to unnatural standards. From being thin to varying body types, and views on marriage to bedroom activities, we should stop putting labels on people and trying to fit everyone into a specific box or ideal.
There is a constant stream of information about what it means to be beautiful and how that might vary from country to country. And this article from one of my favorite sources, Buzzfeed, is a perfect example of that. A female journalist sent out a photo of herself to contacts in various countries and asked them to Photoshop her to their vision of beauty. I think her finds were very interesting and worth a look, or several. Do you think she found a standard of global beauty?
It bodes some thinking. And here is where you need to decide what it means to YOU to be beautiful, successful, attractive.
Don’t let society (or anyone else for that matter) tell you how you should look or walk or talk or act. This goes for women and men. Beauty standards aren’t just for women anymore. More than ever, there is an intense amount of pressure on men to be muscular, hairless, and tan.
Let me say this once and try not to sound like a bad infomercial or ad for kids. Your body is yours to use as you like. It might not be perfect but it yours. And at the end of the day, you are the only one that has to like what you see in the mirror. If you’re unhappy, change it. If you can’t do it on your own, there is no shame in asking for help. But don’t think that being a size 2 will land you the perfect guy or that having a bigger bicep than The Rock will let you keep a great girl.
If we all concentrated a little more on health and hard work and less on a “quick fix”, I think we would all be a little happier.
And for the record, a little Chapstick never hurt anyone.