Especially for Girls

Four Messages to Help Girls Reject Porn's Fake Beauty

What is beauty? Who decides?

As I grew up, I started to realize that my body build was not slender. I was average in height, but boy did I have big bones! In fact, I’m pretty sure my senior high school gym class was an evil conspiracy. Every other girl in that class, except for one, was absolutely positively skinny! How was that statistically possible? Ugh! The fact that my sisters were model thin didn't help much either.

Affirmation at Last

Fast forward four years. I was visiting my grandma in Wyoming. Granny B’s basement was like a second hand clothing store and she always sent us down to find a treasure. This time I saw a gorgeous navy blue suit—1940’s style made out of gabardine wool. I slipped it on, and it fit like a glove! Come to find out, it used to belong to one of my great aunts.

I can’t tell you the feeling of affirmation that swept over me when I tried it on. Someone else in my family was built just like me! I wasn’t some kind of mutant. I wasn’t abnormal. I was OK!

Body Hatred and Porn

So what’s this got to do with porn-proofing? Everything! Girls and women are viewing porn in increasing numbers; some estimate that women constitute 30% to 40% of the market. A 2006 study reported that 17% of women who watch porn online say they are addicted to it. Unfortunately, porn is not sexually liberating. Far from it.

Pornography teaches girls and women that they are objects to be looked at and used. From breast implants to nose jobs to developing killer abs to waxing pubic hair (ouch!), the “natural woman” that Carole King sang about in the 70’s is long gone.

Beauty Redefined

That's why I was so excited to find out about the Beauty Redefined movement, spearheaded by two college age women who have had enough of endless photo-shopping and unattainable fake standards for beauty. They promote healthy messages like:

  • “There is more to be than eye candy.”
  • “You are capable of much more than being looked at.”
  • “Your reflection does not define your worth.”
  • “If beauty hurts, we’re doing it wrong.”

They have an awesome section on “Normalized Porn” which you should definitely read (because they are way more articulate than I am!).

Teaching our kids about real beauty instead of fake beauty will go a long way to help them reject the objectification of porn. Don't we all deserve to feel affirmed for our own individual beauty, both inside and out? Believe me, porn is not going to help anyone feel better about themselves.

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