As women in the United States we deal with some major psychological issues regarding body image. I have written about it before and to be honest, by in large I have little concerns about how my body is changing, except the fact that some days I am shocked about how big my belly has gotten. It is an odd mental adjustment. It's just surprising at times; you don't consider the fact that one day you look down and there she is. The thing that gets me, on behalf of all women is pregnancy models. How completely unrealistic!
Every single major magazine shows young, thin pregnant woman. How is it possible when the majority of women are now in their 30's and most women are not super thin? Where are the images of normal women? Do we as a society really expect perfection from ourselves? Wouldn't it be more helpful for magazines to have images of real women? Wouldn't that sell?
It seems that in a time of our life that we should be embracing our bodies; enjoying the changes, we are still being pressured to follow so many rules. We are still being pushed to tone, dress fashionably and be a certain archetype, even in pregnancy. When are we allowed to exhale and appreciate the moment? Isn't it enough that we are trying to figure out how to be good moms?
As a little girl grows inside of me I worry about how the world will influence how she sees herself. It is reported that young girls have strong body images as soon as they enter pre-adolescents (these days being called the tweens) their body image drastically alters negatively. They become very critical of themselves and it traditionally marks the beginning of eating disorders, cutting and other damaging behaviors.There are young girls empowering groups like the Ophelia Project and of course the involvement of club sports is also been reported to be helpful, but is it enough? In 1994, Mirabella magazine went as far to create their own computerized cover model. Now we have expectations of perfection that are not even real. How can we protect them in a world that is bombarded with media definitions of beauty?