“You know, depression has been a huge obstacle for me ever since I was a child. As you get older I think it decreases some, but I’m just innately kind of a sad person. I’m empathic, and I take on the feelings of others and transpose myself into the position of others. It’s just some, people do have this pervading sort of sadness, or they’re so analytical that they can kind of take the fun of things because they think too much. It can ruin your life. I’d prefer to suffer through the sadness than to be a complete moron with no feelings.”
– Ryan Phillipe
– I recently wrote this paper that was an assignment for a friend of mine. Even after college I am still writing papers for friends! Lol. I thought before deleting it on my laptop, it is interesting enough to share. xoxo.
Does society’s promotion of a thin body as the ideal female form contribute to anorexia? Absolutely. Society has a huge influence on women, causing an overwhelming pressure of striving to look a certain way. On social networks, magazines and television we are constantly being hounded by America’s fascination of the ideal woman and young girl; her biggest requirement is being thin, and anything less she’ll have to learn the hard way that it is considered undesirable and as failure as a woman. The media broadcasts the “thin ideal” in every way possible. Not only are the models on the covers of magazines and in billboards embodying the “thin ideal” image, even the characters on our screens are portrayed as thin and beautiful. For example, the Shrek movie; where the “ugly” princess is green, overweight and more masculine and the “beautiful” princess is thin and superbly feminine influences kids at an early age that “fat” is bad and thin is good. It gives the message that in order to be popular, enviable and looked at as beautiful, you have to be skinny while manipulating their mental stability.
Anorexia is defined as having an intense fear of gaining weight, it is an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat. There is a disturbing ultra-thin body trend that demands women and girls to achieve a gap between the thighs when they stand with their feet touching. Anne Becker, a psychiatrist and eating disorder specialist at Harvard Medical School, dived into the obsession of the “thigh gap” when her young daughters read it on a magazine. A great example of society influencing young girls and women how they should look like, by simply having a thigh gap she becomes a member of an “exclusive club” whilst trying to reach an unattainable and dangerous goal. In our magazines, fashion runways and social media they all carry the responsibility of showcasing young girls and women how they should look like, in which pressures them into going to great lengths to transform into who they are being shown and constantly reminded of how they are supposed to be, they begin to believe if they don’t look like the models they see or celebrities they look up too, that something is terribly wrong with them. It causes insecurity, anxiety and eating disorders. They begin to learn at an early age to yearn having control of their life by controlling their food intake and focusing on their hunger of being who they are told to become, and starving themselves of who they should be, which is simple as being themselves.
Women in the US are under constant strain to fit a certain ideal of beauty. Seeing images of flawless, gaunt females everywhere makes it hard for women to feel good about their bodies, and be confident in the skin they are in. The cultural obsession on weight and celebrity appearances has promoted an unhealthy view of body image. “Media coverage that does not mention cases of very low weight results in a 33 percent growth in the likelihood that the fans will become anorexic. When the coverage clearly discusses anorexia, the tendency for searches is relatively small. When thinness is praised as a sign of beauty, web surfers try to copy them. When the way they look is identified as a disease, not many are keen on aping them.” When you flip through the pages of a magazine, you’ll find women looking unrealistic, when you compare actors/musicians on your screen versus when you see them in print, you’ll see two different bodies. As thin as they already are, they still get photo-shopped to appear even thinner. When you type ‘anorexia’ online, you’ll find tips on how to become one, advice from others on how to develop into the perfect anorexic and what you will also find to be disturbing is all the young girls and women who are seeking to become anorexic or already is one, all have one common ground that binds them together, it is their fixation on achieving the perfect body based on what they distinguish from the media. In fact, in Israel Adatto’s Photoshop bill was legalized in 2012, to ban the use of photo-shop to “remake” the images of models in advertisements; studies have proven throughout scientific backing finding those who search on the web for celebrities and skinny models leads to the increase of eating disorders, due to people becoming intrigued by celebrities who ‘appear’ to look starved. It becomes an illusion, and very complicated to break out of the deluded bubble they are in with all the artificial advertisements and expectations of what you are thought to aspire to be. The price of beauty and having anorexia comes with great consequences, such as medical tribulations and possibility of death.
In 2002, the National Institute of Mental Health awarded a $10 million grant to examine the genetics behind anorexia. A study of the DNA of more than 3,000 people found that the eating disorder may be caused by mutations that interfere with the processing of cholesterol, disorderly mood and diet. Yet, it stands to be proven that anorexia links back to being ultimately caused by social pressures. It is a complex illness caused by genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological and social factors. The environmental strain that lies heavy on girls and women’s shoulders, will never allow them to deter away from the illness. Generations before us, there has always been a vast fascination over women’s bodies, but more than ever we live in a generation where having an eating disorder is an accomplishment, and the message that we are exposed to that follows us everywhere from society, schools and social media is to obsess more over how you look and compare yourself to how another person’s body is and less of feeling secure in who you are and being an individual.
A new media craze is the numerous “reality shows” that has taken over our television networks and we welcome into our homes, shows like “America’s Next Top Model”, “The Hills”, “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and The Real Housewives” franchise, depict and represents the average woman in America. These women are the leading examples of how our culture’s standard for beauty has reached an unhealthy level. Not only do these women possess extremely thin bodies, but they constantly discuss dieting, we see them go through surgeries to lose weight, and hear them share on how they should be thin to stay beautiful. In a world where supermodels have always bombarded our culture with negative body image references, we now have these “reality shows” with “real people” portraying the same message in a wider spectrum. How can we prevent young girls and women from having anorexia? How can we tell them to shut the noise of the outside world that is shouting at them to be skinnier so she can then be considered beautiful, and instead, listen to their own voice telling them to be happy with you? The answer is we can’t. It is up to the person to make their own decisions, and up to the people around them to be encouraging in their long road to recovery. It has been impossible to uplift women’s self-esteem when the society keeps crushing it with high expectations. The only way we can is if the media changes its destructive messages of glamorizing being thin, exposing positivity, realistic goals and real women of the world who are built in many different shapes and sizes, and convincing them they are beautiful the way they are, instead of showing them all the ways to become beautiful.
There is also an argument of biology and genetic makeups are greater risk factors for developing anorexia than society. Some experts believe that there is an anorexic brain and a healthy brain, and that you don’t choose to be anorexia, it chooses you. Researchers believe they have come up with “clues that suggests anorexics are wired differently than healthy people.” In anorexia it affects your entire body, such as the brain and nerves, you can no longer think right, and you become paranoid about what you eat and don’t eat, no matter how thin you are when you look in the mirror you see a distorted and bigger version of yourself. Nevertheless, the causes of this illness is difficult to break down to just one reason, there are several factors that contribute to its development, aside from social pressures, such as a genetic predisposition, chemical imbalance and history of a traumatic event that redirects your brain function. While others will always believe that the disorder starts solely in the brain, comparing healthy children to anorexic children’s brains getting diverse signals and believing it is difficult for one to change since it is out of their control. Some people also perceive anorexia as a way to cope with problems they feel that is out of their control. Of course, there will be cases where some people are triggered by anorexia from early on, and has nothing to do with the media, however, society scrutinizing women for their appearance has been going on for generations before us, and has and will always have a major influence on all eating disorders. Anorexia is an incredibly complicated illness with assorted opinions and researching, in which will always be difficult to understand, but it is mainly composed of a variety of abnormal behaviors that are brought on by unhealthy thinking; this thinking is brought by the media, family/friends, personal experiences and much more.
In today’s world, society is leading young girls and women to believe that they aren’t perfect, and perfection is what they should seek after. The thin ideal being portrayed in the media is a constant reminder of the negative body image being taught to adolescents in our culture and continues to be supported by the rest of our population. There is media access to tips and advice of becoming anorexic. Body image and self-esteem issues has been incredibly derived from the media, as we have just dived into, people comparing their actual physical body to those in the media and experience guilt and shame if they don’t achieve their vision of an ideal image to match the standards of society. I believe more studies should be done on the affects of the increasing “thin ideal” on models used to portray the image. If we cannot come together as a society and change the way we perceive beauty, there will always be serious health consequences and deaths that lead up to eating disorders, not only in the physical sense but also in a mental one as well. Ultimately, my wish would be for all girls – younger than me, my age and older – to know that society does not matter and we should not let anyone define us and they are perfect the way they are, for the reason that there is only one of them in the world, and make it your best self and forget the rest.
I built up these walls,
I built them up so I don’t ever bear the fall.
I started to build ‘em when I was young
Due to all the wars I have won.
I find myself alone the older I grow
All the feelings I never show…
So guarded, won’t let anyone in.
They are so tall; I don’t even know how to get out.
No one hears my silent shouts.
Screams of built up anger, all the tears shed screaming for help.
My walls are protecting me, however they destroy me.
I built up these walls.
My mind is a never ending walking hall way,
As I walk through my past that still stings in all the ways.
Sometimes I feel I am made of stone
Being strong is all I have ever known.
All the words I cling too
All the pain I held on too
All the voices I never listened too.
All the anger I never allowed myself to answer too
These walls, I built up so many walls…
No one calls, in a world this big, I feel so small.
I no longer crawl; it’s been a long fall
I haven’t hit the ground
I have saved myself from drowning,
I am still waiting to be homeward bound.
I built up these walls,
No one tries to get through,
All the chances I blew,
All the wishes I hoped would come true.
I built up all the walls, all these walls.
I trapped myself in these walls.
I shatter to avoid love; I break so I don’t let the pain through.
No one loves me…
They love the versions of me.
The versions I have spun for them,
The versions of me they have construed in their minds.
They love the easy versions when I am the one loving…
There are only parts of me to love.
Because of all these walls, no one can break through to me.
No one will learn to love me.
– I just finished up this small poem, I shared it on my poetry/writing tumblr. Hope you like!! http://rowanbayloun.tumblr.com/
25 Famous Women on Childlessness:
1. “It was not my destiny, I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but it never did, and I didn’t care what people thought … It was only boring old men [who would ask me]. And whenever they went, ‘What? No children? Well, you’d better get on with it, old girl,’ I’d say ‘No! F*** off!’” —Dame Helen Mirren, British Vogue, February 2013
2. “I’m completely happy not having children. I mean, everybody does not have to live in the same way. And as somebody said, ‘Everybody with a womb doesn’t have to have a child any more than everybody with vocal cords has to be an opera singer.” —Gloria Steinem, Chelsea Lately, October 2011
3. “It’s like, ‘Do you want to be an artist and a writer, or a wife and a lover?’ With kids, your focus changes. I don’t want to go to PTA meetings.” —Stevie Nicks, InStyle, March 2002
4. “If I had kids, my kids would hate me … They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.” —Oprah Winfrey, The Hollywood Reporter, December 2013
5. “There comes some pressure in your mid-30s, and you think, ‘Am I going to have kids so I don’t miss out on something that other people really seem to love? Or is it that I really genuinely want to do this with my whole heart?’ I didn’t feel that my response was ‘yes’ to the latter. You have to really want to have kids, and neither of us did. So it’s just going to be me and Ellen and no babies — but we’re the best of friends and married life is blissful, it really is. I’ve never been happier than I am right now.” —Portia de Rossi, Out, May 2013
6. “Honestly, we’d probably be great parents. But it’s a human being, and unless you think you have excellent skills and have a drive or yearning in you to do that, the amount of work that that is and responsibility — I wouldn’t want to screw them up! We love our animals.” —Ellen DeGeneres, People, March 2013
7. “I grew up in a big old family with eight kids younger than me and several of my brothers and sisters came to live with me early on in my life. I’ve loved their kids just like they’re my grandkids, and now I’ve got great-grand-kids! … They call me ‘Aunt Granny.’ Now I’m GeeGee, which is great-granny. I often think, it just wasn’t meant for me to have kids so everybody’s kids can be mine.” —Dolly Parton, People Country, May 2014
8. “I would have been a terrible mother because I’m basically a very selfish human being. Not that that has stopped most people going off and having children.” —Katharine Hepburn, Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg, published in July 2003
9. Would you consider that you’ve lived a fulfilled life if you never get married or have kids?
“Yeah, I will. I won’t have kids [laughs] but I may still get married. But I would have lived a very fulfilled life if I had gotten married and had kids, too. But I’m very religious and I at some very deep level believe that things are going to work out as they’re supposed to. The key is to be open to that and to appreciate the life that you’ve been given.” —Condoleezza Rice, Ladies’ Home Journal, October 2010
10. “No, I’ve never regretted it. I’m so compulsive about stuff. I know that if I had ever gotten pregnant, of course, that would’ve been my whole focus. But I didn’t choose to have children because I’m focused on my career and I don’t think as compulsive as I am that I could manage both.” —Betty White, CBS Sunday Morning, May 2011
11. “Oh, yeah, that’s perfectly fine for somebody who wants to. But at that time I didn’t want to — and I’m glad I don’t — have any children. God only knows what I would have done with them, poor things. I really do like kids, but there wouldn’t have been room in my life to raise children. I was so involved with my career and I would have had to give up the career in large part because I could not possibly have shortchanged the child…It’s hard to raise children and to do right by them. There are too many kids anyway. There’s too many people.” —Lily Tomlin, Metro Weekly, April 2006
12. “There have been times when I wanted children and other times I’ve been grateful not to have them. I am a mess if I have to say goodbye to my dog for longer than five days. I don’t know how I would deal with kissing my children as I left for work. I know there are women who are able to do that. I don’t know if I could.” —Anjelica Huston, Cinema.com, November 2011
13. “Nowadays, why get married? Nobody else does. It’s not like I want to have children, I tried that, didn’t work unfortunately … It helped me because now I work with all kinds of children all over the world. Brain damaged children and I work with kids with AIDS and that’s how I’ve rationalized [not having kids]. I was meant to do something else.” —Liza Minnelli, Access Hollywood Live, April 2012
14. “I’m a woman of a certain age who doesn’t have kids and never really settled down … I enjoy kids but not for long periods. I think they’re adorable and funny and sweet, and then I have a headache.”
“When I was 5, my fantasy was to have a hundred dogs and a hundred kids. I realized that so much of the pressure I was feeling was from outside sources, and I knew I wasn’t ready to take that step into motherhood. Being a biological mother just isn’t part of my experience this time around.”
15. “It’s so much more work to have children. To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for — I didn’t take that on. That did make things easier for me. A baby — that’s all day, every day for eighteen years … Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn’t make it an easy decision. I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother. I have it much easier than any of them. That’s just what it is. Doesn’t mean life isn’t sometimes hard. I’m just what I am. I work on what I am. Right now, I think, things are good for me. I’ve done a lot. And I don’t care anymore.” —Cameron Diaz, Esquire, August 2014
16. Is having children on your priority list?
“I’m not going to answer that question. I’m not mad at you for asking that question, but I’ve said it before: I don’t think people ask men those questions.” —Zooey Deschanel, Marie Claire, September 2013
17. “I definitely don’t want to have kids … I don’t think I’d be a great mother. I’m a great aunt or friend of a mother … I don’t want to spend that kind of time. I don’t want to have a kid and have it raised by a nanny. I don’t have time to raise a child.” —Chelsea Handler, The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet, April 2013
18. “Something about family and trying to relate it to the movie with, ‘Oh, if I was to have a child how many kids do I want?’ And ‘do I want a boy or a girl?’ I didn’t realize you could place orders, I honestly didn’t realize it was like a drive-through, that you could talk to a little electronic voice.” —Jennifer Aniston, ABC News, August 2013
19. “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries.”
“The fact is that I have chosen not to have children because I believe the children who are already here are really mine, too. I do not need to go making ‘my own’ babies when there are so many orphaned or abandoned children who need love, attention, time, and care. I have felt this way since I was at least eighteen and I had an argument about it with a childhood friend…I figured it was selfish for us to pour our resources into making our ‘own’ babies when those very resources and energy could not only help children already here, but through advocacy and service transform the world into a place where no child ever needs to be born into poverty and abuse again. My belief has not changed. It is a big part of who I am.” —Ashley Judd, Sunday Mail and her memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet, 2006 and 2011
20. “I’ve thought about this a lot lately. I never thought I’d be this age and not have kids. But my life has also gone in a million ways I never anticipated … I kept feeling like I’d wake up with absolute clarity, and I haven’t. And we have a pretty great life together. The chance that we’ll regret it doesn’t seem like a compelling enough reason to do it. I may wake up tomorrow with that lighting bolt, and I’ll have to scramble to make it happen.”
—Jennifer Westfeldt, New York Times Magazine, March 2012
21. “I have come to believe there are three sorts of women, when it comes to questions of maternity. There are women who are born to be mothers, women who are born to be aunties, and women who should not be allowed within ten feet of a child. It’s really important to know which category you belong to … Now, listen — if you put a baby in front of me, rest assured: that baby is going to get cuddled, spoiled and adored. But even as I’m loving on that beautiful infant, I know in my heart: This is not my destiny. It never was. And there is a curious rush of joy that I feel, knowing this to be true—for it is every bit as important in life to understand who you are NOT, as to understand who you ARE. Me, I’m just not a mom … Having reached a contented and productive middle age, I can say without a blink of hesitation that wouldn’t trade my choices for anything.” —Elizabeth Gilbert on her blog, May 2014
22. Is writing a career that’s conducive to having it all?
“There are women who do it. On the other hand, there are a lot of women writers who never get married and don’t have kids. I am married, but I didn’t marry until I was 43. I knew when I was young that if I had to make a choice between being married and being a writer, I would have chosen to be a writer. I think it’s a career where you have to put the career first. I don’t have kids but – and luckily everyone isn’t like this — I think if you have that passion, in a way, your career is your child.” —Candace Bushnell on Facebook, March 2010
23. “My sisters have children. I love children but at this stage of my life … I was married to someone who was not cut-out to be a father. He could hardly take care of himself, let alone a child, so I changed my views, adapted accordingly, thought: ‘It’s OK not to have children.’ Now I’m just going to watch how my life unfolds and see what happens. I’m not going to be less of a person if I don’t have children. It will work out the way it is supposed to.” —Dita von Teese, The Independent, July 2007
24. “‘I’m not that big a fan of marriage as an institution, and I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings.” —Marisa Tomei, Manhattan magazine, 2009
25. “I don’t have children, and I am not sure if I have wanted them or never wanted them. It’s weird not to be able to decide. I don’t know if I could stand that kind of commitment, or if I am really honest, I don’t think that I could handle being that vulnerable to someone else.”
—Margaret Cho on her blog, September 2012
I just stumbled on an article about celebs who saved themselves for marriage. There was a few more, but none had a quote expect for the two below. I’ve written an article about virginity a little while ago, https://damitaro.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/like-a-non-virgin-making-it-through-this-generation/. I turn 26 this summer and I am still holding out for marriage and of course, I am beginning to question if I’ll end up a 30 year old virgin, and honestly…it is scary as f$!@k not having found love yet! But I have to remind myself that this is what I chose, this is something sacred that I’ve been holding on too because I know how much I want that fairytale in the end and to give myself completely to the man I chose to marry, love and be with. And if for some reason, it doesn’t happen and I end up being a 35 year old virgin, (please God, don’t let that be me) then home girl is going to have to just give it up by then!!!! Haha
Lisa Kudrow: The “Friends” star swore off sex until she tied the knot. The actress got married to husband Michael Stern in 1995 when she was 32.”I don’t know if you’d characterize me as uptight, but I understood what it is to be so afraid of sex, of your sexuality… for me it was just ,”No, I’m saving myself. Because I have to make myself worthy of the kind of man I have in mind.”
Hilary Duff: The squeaky clean actress copped to her virgin status to Elle magazine in 2006. “It’s harder having a boyfriend who’s older because people just assume. But [virginity] is definitely something I like about myself. It doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about sex, because everyone I know has had it and you want to fit in. But when they talk about it, it doesn’t sound special, like you would imagine it to be. It just seems like everybody has slept with each other – you know what I mean?”
If I had just one wish that I would give up anything for, it would be to be a mommy. I pray and dream of that one day…and that one wish of mine will someday soon come true…in the meantime, I can admire a nursery and picture what I would do different for my future babies! I love, love decor and I spend way too much time looking up houses, architect and of course, see how people decorate their homes I stumbled on Vanessa Lachey’s blog and she did a post about her son’s nursery and I was in love! I just found it to be so beautiful and perfect for a newborn. I love how soft. calming and serene the room is and the pieces she chose that completes the room perfectly.
By the way, how insanely beautiful of a couple are Nick and Vanessa? I did a post about them a while back about their wedding. I just find them to be so perfect together and they have the most beautiful son, Camden and just welcomed a new born baby girl named Brooklyn, we have yet to see but can only imagine how beautiful she is! I met Vanessa years ago when she was a host on TRL and she was SO sweet and just as beautiful in person and has been a ‘girl crush’ of mine ever since.
What do you guys think of the cozy nursery? Are you expecting and looking for nursery inspiration?