“Age And Beauty Are Not Accomplishments” ~Carrie Fischer

“Real Women” “Beautiful” “Fat” “Skinny”

These buzz words are used frequently but what do they really mean?  What is a “real women”?  What do words like beautiful, fat, skinny, and curvy mean?   I’m sure each of us has strong feelings attached to at least one of these terms or phrases and not necessarily good feelings.

Sweater and frilly socks

As most of you know, Carrie Fischer recently returned to the screens as Princess Leiha in the latest Star Wars movie.  Her return to the role after 35 years was met with a lot of talk about her body image.   In response to one fan who criticized her body, Ms. Fischer replied “…Age and Beauty are not accomplishments…”.   Her full response was much longer and much more, er…colorful, but I was stuck by this particular part of her comment.   I agree it can feel as if women are valued only for their physical appearance rather than their priceless contributions to society such as raising the next generation, or running a company or feeding the hungry.

In many ways it seems that society has essentially made women irrelevant once they pass a certain point where we’ve decided they lack sex-appeal.  There are multiple blogs dedicated to the topic of older women in modeling and marketing and I can see why they are pushing for it.  I disagree, however with the tactic of expressing the sexuality of older beautiful women in an attempt to gain a voice.

It seems ironic and almost fitting, though,  that even Carrie Fischer can’t live up to the standards she helped to perpetuate when she participated in wearing such a sexy golden bikini to begin with.  Current beauty standards are unattainable and outrageous even for the models (or actresses) themselves.  To make a simple photo or runway show there are hours of touch ups, thousands of dollars spent on plastic surgery, make-up artists, hair stylists, and lots of eating disorders. Top that off with significant photo altering by professionals using special software and you’re finally ready for the magazine cover.

Every Age and Stage

There are welcome changes occurring in main-stream fashion as this topic gains popularity.  I was very glad to hear that France has recently decided to require their runway models to have a doctor sign off on their health.  The article on cnn.com reports that France passed legislation In December of 2015 requiring that “Super-thin models in France must provide a doctor’s certificate confirming they’re of a healthy weight…The new bill means a health professional will judge whether a model is of a healthy weight, taking into account age, gender, weight, and body shape.”  The legislation “also stipulated that advertisements featuring models whose body shapes have been altered be labeled “photograph edited.””  What a fantastic step toward embracing a healthy shape as beautiful.

denim photo shoot

We should respect our fellow human being for something deeper than their appearance.

In my opinion, encouraging current unattainable beauty standards on any age group is a real problem.  Whether male or female, younger or older we are all valuable.  Our worth as humans is not in our appearance or even our accomplishments but rather simply because we are created in the image of God.  Our value to society is so much greater than the size of our body parts and a pretty smile.

Denim from back

The change starts with us.  Let’s stop using terms like “real women” to indicate a certain body type or size and start showing all the women in our lives that we value them no matter their age or weight.  What a powerful force we could make if we were valued as confident, empowered women who are committed to being the healthiest version of themselves inside and out!  Our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews can have healthy positive role models and it starts with me and you.

I’d like to end with a quote from another Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley who played heroine Ray in the most recent Star Wars film: “It is much more hurtful to continue to slate other woman than to BE a woman, BE a character, BE whoever you want to be,” she wrote. “I’m just a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, just like Rey. I will not apologize for how I look, what I say and how I live my life cause what’s happening inside is much more important anyway and I am striving to be the best version of myself, even if I stumble along the way.” Well said Daisy.  See the rest of her thoughts on what it means to be a “Real Woman” in the article by Today.com.

 

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Wishing you a fun and fabulous day! ~Heather

***UPDATE: We’re so excited that this post was featured on stylegawker.com! Click on the button below to see our full stylegawker gallery:

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P.S. HUGE thanks to the ladies at The Sugar Ribbon for filming the video.  Especially great job recording and editing Olivia!

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