Envy or disgust?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-1999
Envy or disgust?
4
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 9:00am
While walking on the treadmill this morning I was thinking about the music videos on the TV monitors. It bothers me, and always has, when I see a woman in a music video who looks confident and totally poses for the camera. The ones who lick their lips or just seductively look into a camera as they sing or act in a video. Whose to say licking your lips is seductive? Why can't scratching one's ass or picking one's nose seductive? (Okay, I'm be sarcastic here but read on and you'll get my message.)

I was watching a little of Avril Levine and extras in videos and it got me to thinking. Why does this bother me so much? Is it because I think I could never be or look like them in a video? Ever since I can remember I've always heard a voice in my head (probably mom's or my Aunt Helen's) saying, 'that's not for you' whether it's an outfit in a magazine or a career. It's like all my life I believed that only certain people can do certain things and the rest of us fall into that 'average' or 'everybody else' category.

Let' me see if I can explain it any better. It's like I always waited for someone to give me permission to be more confident, beautiful, thin, own something special, whatever. When I was little I used to think that someone told Susan Dey or the Brady kids that they were special so they could be on TV. They received that permission slip. The rest of us had to just be hum drum and average. What was it about them that gave them confidence to go before a camera? Why didn't my parents encourage me more to feel good about myself? Was I that ugly as a kid? (I don't think so but that's how I felt.)

There are times when I am confident and it's more times than I realize. It's just these music videos, magazines and TV show that make me feel inferior. I guess it's an envy of others having confidenc and not having it myself to be on TV or something like that. Does that make any sense? If I can't be considered 'beautiful' by the media, why should someone else? These kind of moments make me feel shallow, even though I don't think I am. Who am I to say Avril Levine shouldn't be on TV? But who should have the power to say Cameryn Meihnam isn't beautiful? It's all in the media's hands.

I think my own self image is my biggest problem. I'm hoping these 'judgements' of other people go away when I'm more comfortable with myself.

What do you think? Did anyone else grow up thinking this way?

Hugs,

Ben

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: bennie99
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 9:28am
What an interesting post Bennie... it definitely made me think.

Well - your title "Envy or Disgust?" For me, it's a little of both. I'm envious of those women on TV/Videos/etc... sure I am. Because they are LUCKY enough to be born beautiful, with fast metabolisms and all that other crap. And as a result, many of them get to be rich, famous, and lots of other stuff. Are they happier than us ?? Yeah, some of them probably are. And some of them aren't. So - it's a superficial envy.

On to disgust - yeah, it's disgusting that pretty much EVERY single video, movie, commercial, TV show - you name it - shoves womens naked butts in our faces (LOL - that sounds kind of funny I guess). But it's true. Could you imagine if the tables were turned - and it was always hot MEN instead? I couldn't even fathom it, could you? Guys would totally freak out if they woke up one day & the tables were turned.

So - I guess I've finally reached an age and level of confidence where I just don't even let it get to me any more. Oh believe me, I see it, and recognize it - and say "oh brother" to myself... but that's about it. My BF helps - because if we are watching a movie or show, and they have a woman's butt being featured (so - every 5 seconds or so)...he will be funny & make a fart noise or something.

How we were treated when we grew up totally molds how we feel later in life, heck yeah. Not just by our family, but the kids at school & probably everyone else we come in contact with! I remember being jealous of girls on TV - just like you said, how come THEY get to do it?? Does that mean they are better than me??? I would try to look/act liek them. And the most popular girl at school. I was usually one of her good friends - part of the circle, but not at the top. Why HER??? What did she have that I didn't ? It's so interesting to reflect back on this stuff. I don't know if someone validated these girls or not. But I know my Mom is a great person & was very encouraging when I was young. So there are so many factors, you know?

Now - if I am watching a movie or whatever... now I know why it's them and not me. Because she was lucky in some other ways than me. And she could afford those big fake boobs - HAHA ;) And then I chill out & think "hey I'm not so unlucky. Things could be much worse for me".

Ey Yi Yi - I babbled on here! Ooops!

Hugs, Julie

 

Avatar for loritemp
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: bennie99
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 10:01am
Great topic Benny! I know exactly how you feel! I find myself looking through magazines and watching tv and then criticizing every thing about myself! Why? So i don't have 6 pack abs, how many people actually do? the average American woman is 5'5', 155 pounds and wears a size 12! She isn't in any videos or onthe cover of magazines! I don't htink my parents had anything to do with my low self esteem. I think growing up being a chubby kid made me hate my body! There was sort of an odd dynamic in my family growing up. I think a lot of times, I felt like my brother was the favored child, like my parents supported him more. But when i got older I realized somehting, my brother was a good athelete so they could go to games and cheer him on. I was a good student, so they couldn't really publically support me in that, they couldn't go cheer me on when i tooka test! So i think I realized that they supported me in other ways, once I realized that, i did feel more confident in myself.

I also spent a lot of time in the roll o the "average" person, no wild clothes or anyhting to draw attention. To me, heavy girls should have attention. Well, I lost weight, got a belly ring, got a tattoo, I wear whatever I want now! No, i am not confident in my body just yet but I am getting there. I just try to remind myself that the people who do get on tv or in magazines are the huge minority on this world. I figure it is better for me to aspire to be a good person, to be good to my friends and family, then to be able to lick my lips and have men swoon!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-1999
In reply to: bennie99
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 5:11pm
You both made excellent points. I was laughing when you told us that your BF makes fart noises everytime a woman's butt is on TV. I love it! I might try to think fart noises when I watch TV now as a defense for not taking it so seriously.

Are these women happier than us? Possibly not. Can you imagine the pressure to stay young looking and thin? We may not have a size 4 body but at least we're free to have pizza one night. If they gain weight they might lose a modeling or acting job. If they get a wrinkle they might have to get botox injections or plastic surgery. Also, they might have nut-case stalkers after being on TV and magazine covers. Being annonymous (like we are) can have benefits. We can gain a few pounds, add a wrinkler and walk in public without the tabloids snapping a picutre of us and splashing it in all the supermarkets.

Lori - you made a good point about your brother being good in sports and you were good academically. Your parents could cheer him on at games but couldn't cheer you on during a test. That was a cute way to look at the difference between the two of you.

I think I'll print out all of our postings for my therapy session tomorrow. Thanks for your input. It's good to know I'm not alone.

Hugs,

Ben

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2001
In reply to: bennie99
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 6:05pm
No, you are not alone in this thinking. I, too, feel this way when I see those videos and how women are portrayed. ALL of them are thin, shapely, and fit and that's not how most women look. Then I get to thinking....they look like that because they have the $$ and the time to devote to their appearance. People like me with a child and a full time job can't spend 2-3 hours working out. I do go to the gym and at times I feel discouraged because there are days I feel SO tired I don't have it in me. It's just been 3 weeks and I've been squeezing it in but it's taking everything I have and I'm doing it because I NEED the confidence. I NEED to feel good about myself and I'm tired of not feeling that way. I've felt this way for a very long time and it's too damaging to my self esteem.

We are the only ones who can work on changing these feelings, no one else. I know what you mean about....why them? and not you? or me? I look at it as that's how the cards fell. Maybe I'm not a famous singer or movie star but there are other talents I have that I feel proud of and I know you do too. I have always admired singers and wished I could sing because I think it would be so wonderful, but then again after hearing how grueling their lives can be...would I really like it? Or is this just a case of the grass is always greener??? We always want what we don't have and if we did have it...would there be something else we'd yearn for?

Celebrate yourself and all that you are to those who love you.

Take care,

Paula