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Is the media in your closet? Do you catch yourself copying fashions from your favorite celebrity rag or favorite television show? And is that such a bad thing?

Join us as we look at the good and the bad of our media saturated and globalized world. Are we brainwashed by our media, or is media just a reflection of our selves? Join the conversation.

Carnie Wilson
United States
When I look at fashion magazines, I can admire the beauty—the hair, the makeup, I love fashion. It’s so wonderful and beautiful, but it makes me feel like I’m standing behind a glass door and those magazines are the other side of the world.

How much of a reality do beauty and fashion magazines play in your life? What is your reaction to the women you see in those magazines? How much do you try to model yourself after the women you see?
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34 - 15 of 34 Next | First
tia N
Posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 10:03 AM
Our Media portrayal of women affects not only young girls, but married women and older women as well. And actually, the older we get, the more excluded and isolated we become. Women over 40 facing divorce, often have some sort of inferiority complex that they may be now too old, therefore harder for them to be happy again.

Research indicates that about 9 out of 10 of women are unhappy with their looks in some way. That tells you something is wrong.

On top of the bad economic times we are living in, people loosing jobs, the employed working twice as hard, children going to school hungry and other problems like pollution, climates changes, animal extinction, perhaps the Media should focus on harmony, peace and encouragement.

I used to like Tiger Wood, but not recently. Look at what he did; he detached himself from his wife for some creatures that look like half human and half plastic dolls. Has Tiger Wood been brain washed by the Media, I just wonder. I too knew a few women who were really smart and genuine. Over the time they too have gone under the knives for lipo, breasts implants, etc. One of them a newly divorced mother of three little girls. She told me she felt guilty about it, but did it for self esteem.

My wishes for 2010 and the years ahead: I hope our media will be more fun and educational for women and men of all ages. Bring harmony, peace, encouragement and positive images so that we can make the world a better place to live in.
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tia N
Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 4:45 PM
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LM Cruz-Osmus
Puerto Rico
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 9:12 PM
As a response to Fashioned
Yes,the bombing started in our printed media, bombing our minds with the ingredients for a brain wash! Dress like this, no, like that! Shrills of acceptance or disgust! How controlling- if we allow it!
However, who we are comes from within,so, I different from others, cannot pick out my clothes the night before. I need to wait till morning when my spirit tells me: this is the color for today, this is the fabric that will caress your thoughts. I may not look like the cover of the high couture magazine but I AM AT PEACE with ME!
Tía LM
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Assabah Khan
Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007 11:37 AM
I put antimony in my eyes, I use various eye shades from lavender to silver, I bathe with vanilla shower shell to remain fragrant, I try to use Timotte shampoo and conditioner for my hear, I use lust 123 lipstick for my lips I use some fine brands of perfumes, I use some little pieces of Jade in my Jewelery but I hardly think I am influenced by magazines and yeah I have trimmed my eye brows just yesterday made my upper lip as well all this because I am the simplest woman on earth. I hope you all believe me Ha Ha Ha Haaaa!
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Assabah Khan
Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007 11:26 AM
To my mind fashion is what makes us comfortable. Whenever I see fashion magazines it hardly appeals to my mind may be because I have been a media student and we have been taught how media hype created by media never is substantiated by substance.Well Givenchy may be the one of the best brands of perfume and I am using it these days but my activist friends show real indifference to it. They hate the the very aroma of it so I really don't think that hype can influence people.And in day today life it is very hard to sustain style.
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Olatundun Aborisade
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 3:37 PM
The media is in everyone's closet because we are all influenced by fashion. The only thing is that we as individuals get to make the choice of the kind of fashion we pick. I love fashion because it is very broad and it is everywhere. I actually don't copy the fashion in the magazines because sometimes what looks good on a celebrity might not look good on me. I tend to buy what looks great on me and what i feel very confident wearing. Fashion most of the time is an expression of the way you feel inside. I think it is a bad thing trying to be like someone else. Beauty and fashion is an expression of who you are. Beauty comes from within, so no matter what you are wearing if you don't feel really confident inside it won't look good on you. That is why you see a lot of people in expensive outfit but the look absolutely outrageous. I strongly believe that everyone should be very healthy looking and that depends on their definition of healthy looking. Beauty is not keeping on with the jones, but it is being your best at all times. That right skin complexion, right hair color and so on doesn't make people beautiful if you have a very nasty attitude, so beauty is really so many things for different people. Of course, I do look for beauty in a guy and beauty to me in a guy is self confidence. There is nothing so sexy as a guy having good self confidence and knowing exactly what they want and they can go get without lots of hesitation and stuff like that. I love fashion but i never model myself over the women i see in the magazines. I love to express myself as an individual with my own fashion and yeah i do know the trends.
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Imagining Ourselves Team
United States
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:01 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Claire. The video that Claire is referring to is sponsored by Dove and is a part of their Campaign for Real Beauty. To watch the video visit:
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Claire Bong
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 2:03 AM
After watching how a print ad was made on the internet, I have truly begun to believe that beauty and fashion in magazines are not what it seems. As the video clip says in the end, "No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted" (or something similar to that), the amount of stuff they do to it. Geez, I am very happy that I don't get caught up with all that jazz. Of course I love browsing through fashion mags and going shopping, but I don't have the urge to model myself after them, because I am me, and not them. I do appreciate the time and effort that the people behind the scenes have put into the photoshoot and all, but yeah, that's it. I don't want to look like those models, I don't to be those models, I want to be me because I am me.

Plus, looking at my family members, I know what kind of frame I am and what frame I will never be. The women in my family are not petite, slim and lanky. We're all of a good frame, and even though back then I didn't realize it, I do now and I accept my body for the way it is.

To me as long as I don't put on too much weight, eat healthily with the occasional snack/ice cream/chocs, exercise as often as I can spare my time to... I'm good. I'm happy.

It's all in the head... because real beauty radiates from within you.
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Roslyn Rubarth
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2007 5:38 AM
I have my own standards when it comes to my weight. This standard closely relates to my weight when I was eighteen plus a couple of pounds. This is perhaps easy for me as I was a good weight then and find, with a bit of self control I can keep my weight to that level. I think it's a lot harder for people who were bigger when they were young as they only have ideal weights of other people to go by. Perhaps then they are more likely to be influenced by other people's , eg magazines, standards.
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Angy Eyanro
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 3:01 AM
"There is a growing concensus that there is one need so fundamental and essential, that if it is met every thingelse will almost certainly harmonize in a general sense of wellbeing. When this need is properly nourished the whole human organism wil be healthy and the person will be happy. This need is a true and deep love of self, a genuine and joyful self acceptance, an authentic self esteem, which results in an interior sense of celebration: it's good to be me!" - John Powell.
No label, no condition. There is a need in the whole of human race to be loved unconditionally. When this need is not met then every kind of self doubt and low self esteem sets in. If you have a high self esteem, you won't ever doubt wheather you are beautiful or not. Ofcourse, there could be times when situations might make you question your self worth but when you are grinded in the knowledge that you are lovable, you are beautiful, you are eternal because you have a soul and you have a spirit, you are amazing because you have got talent and no matter what the media is saying, only you can bring forth from within what had been deposited there from the begining of time. You are an extention of the Creator. My bible tells me, I was made in God's image and likeness, so I'm beautiful no matter what they say. I'm beautiful, it's is not about my waistline, it's not about my shape,it's not about my color or race or how many men I am able to attract. It's not about my parent's inability to show me affection when I was a baby and innocent. It's not about the fact that I was sexually abused, rather it's about the fact I have been morally bankrupt all my life because of my ignorance and the lies I have told myself a thousand and one times about my self perception.
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Carnie Wilson
United States
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 10:57 AM
I think you're right on point Karly and Angy. Real beauty does come from within. When your in the public eye, though, it's easy to lose site of that. Tabloids will write about how you look before they write about who you are.

In terms of the public’s perceptions about my image, I feel immense pressure, and I don’t like it. When I’m at a lower weight then the pressure is off because I feel like no one is going to say anything negative, but that they will say something positive. But even then, they’re going to say something negative. I can never, ever win. I’m never going to be good enough for certain people’s standards, so I’m going to have to rely on my own.

I want to be at a healthy weight which for me is anywhere between 150 and 160 lbs… I don’t care about a chart or comparing myself to anyone. Do you compare yourself to anyone or do you have your own body standards? What are some of those standards? Are you able to adhere to those standards without caving into society’s pressure on what beauty should be?
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Karly Randolph Pitman
United States
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 12:12 PM
Angy Eyanro's comments were inspired. Thank you for reminding me that real beauty is intangible; that real beauty comes from the inside out. At some point, you can have all the plastic surgery, weight loss, and beauty treatments that you can afford, but if self love isn't there, it won't make a dent. Self love is what makes a woman beautiful: it's what makes her spirit glow, a transcendent radiance that shines forth, for all to see.
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Roslyn Rubarth
Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 10:14 PM
It's a bit off the topic, but in realtion to Angy Eyanro's comment about women not bothering about men's looks, could it be that middle aged women's sex drive decreases in proportion to the increase in their man's waistline?
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Angy Eyanro
Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 10:24 AM
Beauty that lasts

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is this craze for cosmetic surgery? Why are a lot of women in our society running round the world for a quick lift here and a little tuck there?
What happened to the era of growing old gracefully? And do all this running around really matter? Okay, so you are going to look younger and more confident, more available perhaps after cosmetic surgery? But the real problem is that our value system has gone haywire, if it were not, why would you (as a woman) be attracted to someone who only wants you because you are silicon from tit to toenail? Kathy Lette, author of “How to kill your Husband”, thinks its high time men allowed women to come of age in the public arena with wrinkles and self esteem intact. Yes, it’s true that women age faster than men, but is it possible to have it otherwise? Putting into consideration the toll of child birth and child rearing; it’s no easy feat. No wonder, a lot of men prefer to marry women who are quite younger compared to themselves. Once, I was discussing with a marriage analyst, and he told me that most times, men have extra marital affairs because, the woman changes physically after childbirth, her breasts, abdomen and what have you looses it firmness. True as it is, men should know what they are bargaining for when they desire to become fathers. Every choice we make in life has its consequences. This brings to mind the fact that, all said and done, what sustains any relationship is intangible- love for your spouse, love for your friends, goodness of the heart, loyalty and commitment. In an interview granted by a Nigerian ex beauty queen, Nike Oshinowo, this issue of beauty was addressed in one of the sections. This is what she said in paraphrase-

“Do women fade? I don’t think so. I think we have something special as dark skinned, colored black women. Our skin gets better with age, it doesn’t readily wrinkle. If as they mature, women who have always been secure to allow themselves to enjoy ageing gracefully, they will acquire a new sense of security, inner peace, purpose and being and that alone makes you beautiful, because you glow. Wrinkles may come but they look nice and give so much character to the face. I don’t know about this botox thing”

Some few years back, my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Watching them, I could feel the radiance of their love for each other. And five years later, whenever, I’m around them, I bask in the knowledge of this love. It’s glaring, my mother isn’t as young as she used to be any more, she has added weight and obviously has a big tummy but my dad finds her as beautiful as ever. Her beauty today, is not what it used to be thirty years ago, but that beauty has character that tell a story of its own that no type of cosmetic surgery can ever create. So, I think women should spend their energy on acquiring this sense of security, inner peace and purpose that comes with age. Do you know it is funny that, women don’t bother about a man’s looks as much as men do? Some of my friends will tell you, a man is handsome as long as he has some money in his pocket. I can’t argue with that, but if what is good for the geese is good for the gander, then, I think men should be as tolerant about looks or physical attributes as much as women are.

According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), Europe accounted for more
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Karly Randolph Pitman
United States
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 12:14 PM
I hated my body for years; decades, even. I've been bulimic, an overexerciser, a near anorexic, an overeater, a chronic dieter, and a health nut. I've been underweight, overweight, and at a normal weight. Body image "stuff" has been a lifelong issue for me. At times, I was so tired of facing this issue that I wanted to scream in frustration; to escape from ever thinking about my body again.

But one I day I stopped fighting. One day I embraced my body image issues as a gift: my journey to self love. Hating my body was God's way of getting my attention, of helping me face my "stuff." We all have "stuff:" beliefs, stumbling blocks, and trials that hold us back. When I embraced the gift of my body bashing, not only did I make strides towards loving my body, but, more importantly, I learned how to love myself.

If you hate your body, or struggle with critical feelings towards your appearance, I say to you: Be of good cheer. It's a blessing. It's God's way of keeping you focused on the real work that you were born to do: your growth, tempered with love. Abide in it.

When I embraced my body image struggles, I discovered my life purpose: helping women embrace their body image struggles. My mission is to free women from body bondage: to help others become free and clear to do the work that they were born to do.

I look at the body image issue in this way: Imagine all of the time and energy millions of women expend towards trying to feel good about their bodies. Now imagine redirecting that energy to a world that needs our help. What could we accomplish? I believe we could change the world. I get excited just thinking about it.

If you think the world would be a better place if more women ran it, think of how we could run it if were devoting our time and talents towards changing the world, instead of changing the size of our thighs.

Learning how to love my body was some of the most important work that I have done. Loving your body can be some of the most important work that you can do.

Love your body: it matters.

In encouragement,
Karly Randolph Pitman
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Thasneem Hoey
United States
Posted on Friday, August 24, 2007 7:44 AM
We live in a world where people express a lot of things, on of the expressions is fashion and beauty, It takes time for us to grow wise. A teen develops her self esteem for the outside world, everything about the sense of self is on experiment in the lab of her mind. Because for the first time they are seeking identity. The business world of Fashion and Beauty having this knowledge of Psychology lure the youth. I work with teens, and everyone talks of their uniqueness, individuality but i tell them All teens are identical, they are in uniforms and how do they talk about individuality? Every one wears jeans, hair is streaked, tattoos,and t shirts short enough to show their belly buttons. It is true.

Once we reach 40 the view of the world changes, someone rightly said life begins at 40! Metomorphosis has occured within and a beautiful butterfly is within us. EVerything has a different meaning, the dust actually settles down hence we see things more clearly. Fashion magazines will stay for those who want it. People who want to buy the idea will allow them selfs to be sold to the idea, People who buy are those who want to be someone else but not them selves. Its a subtle way of hating themselves. If they dont like themselves then they will find it difficult to believe that someone likes them, they usually have trust issues. Hence they are lonely from within and depressed.

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Roslyn Rubarth
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 5:27 PM
Does the media control us. or do we control the media? Magazines present images that sell - after all their main (sole?) aim is to make money. If we do not like the images they present, simple, don't buy the medium.
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Imagining Ourselves Team
United States
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 1:01 PM
Translation of Arabic comment:

A person with a brain in her head will not be brainwashed by anyone, but a person with a weak personality can be controlled by anyone, not just the media.
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Peggy Manter
United States
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 12:00 PM
I would be lying if I said I never wish I was the woman I am today with the body of the woman I was 20 years ago. But that doesnt mean I am not content with what I look like, or that I want to change something to look like a magazine or playboy version of beautiful . I accept the sagging skin amd the smile lines for the price of living. I accept the changes, it is what it is. Thats all. I am like my favorite pair of jeans, a few wear lines, softened fabric, maybe even a bit faded, but still beautiful.
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angela moran
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 10:17 AM
The way we view ourselves is a very interesting topic. That is, the way society tends to develop and implement what they view is beautiful is crazy. Not everyone shares the same body shape, weight, or ethnicity.

I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one MUST posse self confidence to avoid brainwash in the media. Again, Beauty and fashion magazines are for our viewing pleasure, which allows us to develop new ideas about an outfit whether professional or personal. However, it SHOULD NOT be an exact representation of who we are as a person.

Thank you for addressing an issue that plagues every womens mind.
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