BROOKLYN, New York – I have been paying close attention to pictures of today’s women celebrities in magazines and billboards.
One reason I have been doing this is because of a huge billboard close to my school of an emaciated Victoria’s Secret model.
These female stars in American society in this day and age have gotten me thinking about the difference of what our society thought was attractive a mere 40 years ago compared to what America thinks is beautiful now.
For example, Marilyn Monroe, a glamorous movie star from the 1950s, wore about a size 10 dress, while Nicole Richie, a modern day actress, is a size zero.
I have always believed that movie stars or celebrities should be slightly more glamorous versions of everyday people. The stars today, or at least most of them, are super skinny versions of everyday people.
These commercials, ads, and photographs have led me to the conclusion that the definition of beautiful has drastically changed, bringing to the table new issues for today’s generation.
Everyday people have always aspired to act like and look like celebrities. Now that many stars are considered gorgeous if they are anorexic or extremely thin, today’s society might want to look like these women and therefore many girls could become anorexic or bulimic.
This new definition of pretty might also cause some girls to turn to plastic surgery to acquire the body that they wish they had, like Heidi Montag.
Though I am aware that not all eating disorders or plastic surgeries exist solely because of America’s version of beautiful, millions of American women suffer from eating disorders and plastic surgery is commonplace.
I do believe that it is okay to admire these skinny stars but I also think that people should admire stars based on talent, not just looks. Some of my role models include Lucille Ball, Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, and Bella Abzug – not because of what they look like, but because of their talent and their acceptance of who they are, inside and outside.
These brilliant women are not obsessed only with looks or weight.
My final message for young people around the world is to love who you are inside and don’t strive to look exactly like today’s stars. Everyone looks different, and we are all beautiful in our way.
We are all uniquely gorgeous inside and out and that is the real beauty of this world that we live in.
Emma Bally is a Senior Reporter for Youth Journalism International. Yelena Samofalova illustrated this story.