Saturday 23 May 2009

"Mom Jeans" Madness and other Self Esteem Killers

Every day, I strive to live my life guided by my soul, to
face the world with an open heart and an open mind, to see
and celebrate the beauty in everyone and everything. But
something I spotted on the internet this week was so ugly;
it completely shook me out of my soul space to the point
where I feel it must be explored here.

A few days ago, nearly every major news website or TV
entertainment show chose to cover what they viewed as a
shocking and newsworthy event.

That event was singer, TV and movie star Jessica Simpson on
stage at a chili cook-off -- wearing a pair of so-called
"Mom Jeans."

These reports were totally and completely focused on the
fact that a beautiful young woman has, as she has grown
older and neared her thirties, gained a few pounds. And
that she chose to perform for the public wearing a pair of
pants that failed to mask this fact.

As an expert in building self esteem and helping women
discover their inner beauty, I was, understandably,
distressed by the attention this non-event has received in
the media. Instead of forcing herself to conform to
someone else's standard of beauty, Jessica Simpson chose
not to hide her new body, but to share it and celebrate it,
no doubt providing self esteem help to the women and girls
who saw her perform. After all, if this normal-looking
body could be viewed as beautiful, so can other bodies in
all shapes and sizes.

But instead of celebrating along with Jessica, the media
chose to rake her over the coals for abandoning - at least
for now - her quest to maintain the cookie-cutter,
size-zero body favored by Hollywood celebrities. What kind
of self image message does that send to normal women, who
lack the access to personal trainers, personal chefs,
plastic surgeons and all manner of artificial enhancements
that enable this beauty myth to live on?

It is time for women - and their sons, fathers, husbands,
brothers and friends, to reject this false standard of
beauty and embrace the New10 Paradigm. It is time for all
women - in all sizes, shapes, races and colors - to be
celebrated for their unique, individual beauty, both
outside and in.

Luckily, this past Sunday, my faith in humanity was
restored, at least a little bit. There on stage at the
Super Bowl was Jennifer Hudson, an award-winning actress
and singer who has never been a Size Zero. As Jennifer
took the stage to sing America's national anthem - her
first appearance since a horrible tragedy shattered her
family a few months ago - the media raved about how
beautiful she looked. They raved about her outfit. They
raved about her poise. And they didn't mention a word
about her size.

When it came to Jennifer Hudson, the media finally got it.
They saw the beauty of her heart. They saw the beauty of
her soul. And yes, they saw that physical beauty can come
in all shapes and sizes.

Now if they can just learn to apply that same standard to
Jessica Simpson - and all the rest of the beautiful,
soulful, loving, REAL women out there - we'd really be
getting somewhere.

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