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EDITORIAL: Society harmful to female self-images

OK - when's enough enough?

Women are put through the wringer in this world to look like this perfect "image" that's constantly assaulting us at every street corner, every television screen, every magazine and every computer screen.

Our mothers tell us that beauty is only skin deep. Damn right it is, but that's the important part, isn't it? Women are brainwashed to the point of insanity that their looks are their only asset. The women's movement nearly bled to death to help women understand that brains are more important than beauty, but in the long run, what do men really want?

That's easy. They want the "Perfect Woman." They want Victoria's Secret models and actresses whose body parts they aren't even really seeing because even the actresses have body doubles. Julia Roberts' luscious lower body in "Pretty Woman?" Oh yeah, a body double. Models' perfect looks on the runway? Expert makeup artists. Beautiful people in ads? Digital touchups.

This obsession to be clear-skinned, trim and beautiful just to be accepted and loved leads thousands of girls and women to anorexia and bulimia. Not being accepted on the basis of looks causes severe depression in many women. Now, when I read about a woman who made a painful decision to get an abortion because her baby would be born retarded due to the skin-clearing pill Accutane, but then the Boston Globe states "And [Brenda] McCoy is back on Accutane. 'My skin glows when I'm using it,' she says. 'I would die if they took it off the market,'" that hurts me.

It hurts me that needing clear skin would cause such a difficult situation for a woman. It hurts me that young girls die each day because their bodies give out from starving themselves. It hurts me that females need to even look at themselves in that way.

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It doesn't help when women walk into a room full of men and hear them talk about females as if dissecting them into pieces: breasts, butt and legs. It hurts me when men are intimidated by intelligent women or ambitious women and label them with the word "bitch."

How far have we come after all these years? Not that far. Women still hit a glass ceiling and when they break through, they get to hear self-esteem-building things such as, "Oh, she just slept her way to the top."

In this society, no matter what anybody says, a female is judged on her looks. We'll have to work ten times as hard to earn a man's respect, especially if we're "attractive" or we'll be dismissed because maybe we're 10 pounds "overweight" or don't have the clearest skin.

Until women truly begin rejecting these unhealthy and sexist images, we'll never find that perfect society where the sexes are equal. So stand up and tell yourself that you're beautiful, because we all are in some way or another.

Angela Williams

Editor in Chief

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