America the Beautiful- A terrifying look in the mirror

From Wikipedia


I have been so unbelievably struck by this movie.

The ‘star’ of the movie is 12-year-old model Gerren Taylor and I related to this perspective on societally charged dysmorphism more than any other.

I mean, the last 5 minutes this movie reduced me to tears. Here was this girl who had been booked by top designers all over the world. At 12, her body dimensions are about the same as mine. After some European designers reject her over 6 inches on her hips, Gerren begins to rant about how ridiculous it is that she could possibly be considered fat.

The scene was all too familiar. She showed director Darryl Roberts her arms and legs that stayed taut when poked and prodded, her inner thighs that didn’t touch when she walks, her hip bones that stick out because there’s nothing padding them…

That one was the worst- I have looked in the mirror on countless occasions and traced the outline of my hips with a disapproving eye, despite the fact that there is not enough fat on them to pinch the skin. Those are my bones I’m hating and there’s something intrinsically wrong with hating your own bones.

Gerren and I both know that getting thinner won’t make us more beautiful. In fact, many men have told me that being too thin is unattractive. In Paris, a man told me in broken English that he would be afraid to sleep me because he might break me.

I’ve heard it all: A breeze might knock me over (and they do, fucking all the time). If I turn sideways you can’t see me, blah, blah, blah.

Even so, Gerren tells the director she may get implants, liposuction, etc. and I still feel insecure.

It’s insecurity based in zero facts, zero realistic expectations… We recognize our goal is unattainable, but to not pursue perfect beauty is to, in some ways, opt out of womanhood. Women are trapped in this unavoidable paradox- we don’t want to be objectified, but we also like looking ‘pretty’ and getting attention (and if we don’t buy into that, what will our career, romantic, family options be?)

I may come back to this later, but leave a comment if you watch the movie and have something to say about it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s