i’m a bit confused on this one. i’ve been so frustrated, for so long, at our culture’s obsession with super-skinny as the perfect archetype for girls and young women. i think it’s so destructive and so pervasive, and every teenage girl (and many of the guys) get impacted by it in one way or another. so, i’ve really enjoyed things like the dove campaign for real beauty that produced the amazing videos many have seen.
now, usa today is saying that the makers of the tv hit ‘ugly betty’ are leading a campaign (called ‘be ugly 07’) to counter the harmful messages girls receive. here’s a bit from the usa today article:
Ugly is the new beautiful. That’s the message behind a new public service campaign, “Be Ugly ’07,” being announced today by ABC off its fall hit comedy Ugly Betty.
The purpose — aside from drumming up new viewers — is to promote a positive message for young women: “Be real, be smart, be passionate, be true to yourself and be ugly.”
The campaign is the latest entry in a backlash to the images of rail-thin models that bombard young women daily.
Redefining beauty “is in the cultural zeitgeist,” says ABC Entertainment marketing executive Michael Benson. “Be Ugly 07,” launching Dec. 30, will encompass appearances, a website (BeUgly07.com) and events.
so, i am glad there are loud counter-messages surfacing into the popular cultural stew. BUT… and here’s where i’m struggling, and would love to hear responses from others… i’m not sure the helpful counter-message is “be ugly”. maybe i’m too caught up in the cultural norms myself, but ‘be ugly’ still seems to be a continued focus on external appearance. i suppose it’s such an outlandish, almost goofy notion, that it’s supposed to make it clear that it’s over-statement, and actually re-directing to more important issues for girls. but i just don’t know if that’s what’s actually being communicated or heard.
i think of my own daughter. i don’t want her to think about ‘being rail-thin’ or ‘being ugly’. i want her to think about ‘being myself’ and ‘being passionate about who god made me to be’ and stuff like that.