What should a powerful, successful woman look like?
Every day, the media tells us. At the store, you’ll see tabloids splashed with Christina Aguilera’s thighs, then come home to news of Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton’s pantsuits (yes, still). Regardless of whether you’re a fan of what the woman is saying or doing, the critical commentary drowns out her voice.
We’re left with a very narrow definition of beauty.
This is the focus of the new documentary “Miss Representation,” airing Thursday, October 20th at 9 p.m. on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The film, the directorial debut of Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an actor, Stanford MBA, mother and wife of California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, suggests that girls and women will painstakingly aspire to meet these unrealistic standards, even subconsciously.
Confidence-cutting messages continue to sell, and we’re buying it.
The documentary depicts how American women are underrepresented in positions of power. Though females are roughly half of the country’s population, they comprise 17 percent of the U.S. Congress, 16 percent of the protagonists in films and 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.
About half of seven-year-olds want to be president, but by the time children hit their teen years, that aspiration falls by the wayside for girls. Our appearance-focused environment may play a role in how a girl thinks about her future.
What’s happening here?
“We’ve created this culture. If it’s hurting our youth, we’ve gone too far,” Newsom tells YouBeauty. “We need to support each other, finding what beautiful inside. We need to start to value women for their contributions to women at large.“
Here are three ways we can avoid falling into the Miss Representation trap.
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.
Highlight your eye color. Flaunt your body shape. Harness your confidence. Take our quizzes to better know yourself and get science-based, individualized advice to embrace your true beauty.
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.Take Quiz
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.Take Quiz
Get to the root of your anxiety, and look better for it!Take Quiz
Find out how much fitness you fit into your day and how to add exercise to your everyday activities.Take Quiz