Sunday, August 17, 2008

Documentary is a must see

While I have only seen the preview, I am eager to see America the Beautiful, a documentary that explores the question, "Does America have an unhealthy obsession with beauty?" Without even seeing the documentary, I think that I can answer the question: YES! America does have a VERY UNHEALTHY OBSESSION with beauty.
This documentary surfaced as I was doing some research about superficiality in America. This topic has been on my mind since I learned of the Chinese girl who was deemed not cute enough to sing during the opening ceremony in Beijing (see post Raising confident girls). Recently I was discussing this issue with family members, and my cousin said, "how can we judge [the Chinese culture] when we send the same messages to our young girls?" I believe that my cousin is right, but I also believe that there are many people in America trying to counteract those damaging messages. 
In the preview for America the Beautiful, a girl is remarking about her weight. I assume that she is in the modeling business because she says, "I am 6" tall, I weigh 130lbs, but I have already been told that I have to lose 15lbs." She then says, "if you're going to worry about your health then go to college." Astonishing - that in 2008 we have a young woman who recognizes that "too skinny" is unhealthy but she still desires "too skinny." Furthermore, she opts for "too skinny" and unhealthy instead of education. Cliche as this may sound...what is this world coming to? Be afraid, people, be very afraid!
I think that a documentary such as this one is a step in the right direction. When we are made aware of an issue, we cannot use the excuse, "I didn't know." Awareness is the first step in making a change. 
I hope that I am able to see this documentary. It is not scheduled to show in Ohio where I live, but I have emailed the director urging him to show the film here. Eventually it will be in video stores; I will see it then at the latest. 
Let's hope that this documentary brings a greater awareness to this issue so that we can make steps, even if they are small steps, towards changing the way we, as a society, obsess, or don't obsess, about beauty.

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