Well, depending on the author I've been soaking up, that self-narration can take on a very different tone. When I've been reading Hemingway, suddenly everything is very terse.
And when I've been reading Faulkner, it's quite a bit more detailed.
The door, having stood through many other mornings, mornings she'd never seen, mornings she'd never even imagine, other people's mornings, distant mornings, filled with anger and love and emotions long forgotten, was ajar. She'd left her keys lying on the coffee table next to the discarded magazine that bore the scars of a toddler's excitement but now wore the forgotten sag of an item just waiting for the recycle bin, so she turned back, exasperated but not yet late.
Or maybe I've been reading some Audre Lorde poetry.
The door beckoned
with its promise for a new
day. Left unfulfilled
and somehow empty,
even before breakfast.
(This isn't just me. Right?)
Anyway, I was thinking about how these authors can get inside my brain and start filtering the way that I see my world. Their words impact me, alter the way I see things, change the way I think. It was with that in mind that I approached statistics like these:
The researchers discovered that after just ten minutes' exposure, it was the group who watched music videos featuring thin, idealised models who exhibited the greatest increase in body dissatisfaction, compared to those who merely listened to the songs or had completed the memory task. -Research study by Dr. Helga Dittmar
A study in 1995 found that three minutes spent looking at a fashion magazine caused 70% of women to feel depressed, guilty and shameful.If reading Faulkner can make me think of my world in long, never-ending sentences, then why shouldn't flipping through a magazine that narrowly defines "beauty" make women and girls who can't live up to those photoshopped standards feel guilty and depressed about their looks.
That's also why I find the thinspo movement so depressing. It's bad enough that we're constantly bombarded with unrealistic standards of beauty in everything from commercials to movies to billboards, but now there are entire communities of young women who consciously seek out these images for "inspiration" to lose weight. What does it do to our brains to soak in so many specific messages about beauty?
And I also think that the flip side of this effect is so interesting. When we see so many narrow views of beauty, what happens when we consciously seek out alternatives? Can we retrain our brains?
That's the premise behind blogs like Down With Thinspo, Up With Beauty and sites like Healthy is the New Skinny.
Sure, images from these sites still reinforce some patriarchal notions of what it means to be beautiful (most of the women are long-haired and curvy in all the "right" places, for instance, and most of them are wearing makeup), but I think that images like these go a long way toward making us rethink what it means to be beautiful.
|From Evans (and here's the link to the swimsuit, cause I think it's pretty awesome)|