One of the most difficult parts of my job is something that on paper seems like it should be the simplest: “Talk of the Town.”
I usually have to talk to a dozen or more people just to get four pictures and four quotes. It’s incredible how time consuming something so minuscule is.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting to talk to the people, it’s just sometimes troubling the reasons why a lot of people chose not to participate in the segment. Most guys simply don’t want to talk, which is no big deal.
The thing that troubles me most however, is how many women decline to participate because they don’t want to have their photos taken.
I sort of see myself as a women’s rights advocate, just in a very masculine and macho form. Ladies, you are beautiful and sometimes I think that you all forget that. I get that the world is full of superficial images and false representations of women that are ever present in mass media, but you shouldn’t let that affect how you see yourself.
You don’t have to be caked in makeup or airbrushed to impossible perfection to be seen as desirable; confidence can be just as attractive. What scares me most about ladies exhibiting this lack of high self-esteem is it’s not just isolated to my work life.
Back in K.C., I have two female “besties.” They are both gorgeous, have great personalities, have careers and are very goal oriented. However, one has a bit more confidence than the other.
Every now and then, I have to be the reassuring voice for one of them and remind her about everything that makes her great. It’s troubling someone who has so much going for her can get down in the dumps because she sees women on television and magazine covers portraying these unrealistic expectations of “beauty.”
I detest the rapper Drake, but one of his lyrics is so true to life that I have to quote it:
“Sweat pants, hair tied, chilling with no make-up on/That’s when you’re the prettiest, I hope that you don’t take it wrong.”
That lyric speaks volumes when you analyze it. Guys don’t always want a lady whose trying to be a real-life Barbie. Sometimes just seeing someone who is comfortable in her own skin is enough.
If you think that maybe I’m jumping the gun from a just a few isolated incidents, here are some statistics from a Dove research study titled “The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited.”
• Only 4 percent of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2 percent in 2004).
• Only 11 percent of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves.
• 72 percent of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful.
• 80 percent of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful, but do not see their own beauty.
• More than half (54 percent) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic.
As much as I enjoy being right, I hate being right about this.
Remember ladies, you are beautiful and there’s a reason God made you in all in different shapes, shades and sizes. That reason, in my opinion, is because variety is the spice of life and you should celebrate what makes you unique and not dwell on conformity.
Cookie-cutter images may be great for housing subdivisions, but not women.
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Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641)-792-3121, ext. 426, or at firstname.lastname@example.org via email.