Body image is a serious issue that affects the self-esteem of millions, especially women. When Khloe Kardashian’s unfiltered bikini photo was leaked to the Internet, she felt violated because the shot did not show her body in what she felt was the best light. Chrissy Teigen, who feels strongly about everyone’s right to have a healthy body image, talked about the issue with her own therapist. It is a string of events that is raising the issue of what beauty truly looks like.
Actress Demi Mann, who has appeared in Skyfall, Starblessed, and Emergency LA as the lead, feels strongly about a woman’s right to embrace what her body looks like. “There is definitely a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way,” she reveals. “It starts when you are a little girl. What you see on TV and in movies are women who all have the same body type and height.
These women are seen as being the epitome of beauty, so children make the association very early in their lives that anyone who doesn’t look like who they see on the screen is not attractive. I’m happy to say that this is changing. Hollywood is giving more roles to women who have different body types 7 heights, so children are seeing a more nuanced view of beauty.”
Demi is disturbed by the effects of a negative self-image. “Too many teens are developing eating disorders because they compare themselves to who they see on TV and in fashion magazines. It’s estimated that 10% of young women are anorexic or bulimic, and they are likely to develop depression or become suicidal. We need to support these women, let them know that they are beautiful as they are, and help them recover.”
Demi believes that one way for young women to love their bodies is for them to remember that Photoshopping in Hollywood and in fashion magazines is common. “No one is perfect,” she says. “We all have flaws here and there that we want to hide, and Hollywood is good at making the audience see something that is different from the reality. For example, take the death of characters. In action movies, people don’t really die. The actor doesn’t truly fall out of a 30-story window. It’s the same with the actress’ perfect skin or appearance. With makeup and retouching, our flaws disappear, creating that illusion of perfection.”
Demi believes in loving your body and not comparing it to others. “I have my days when I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see things I would love to change. But what good is that? This is the body I was given, and as a human being, I am beautiful regardless of what others look like. A lot of peace comes when you can accept yourself as you are and see yourself as your own special type of beauty.”
Demi agrees with Jennifer Lawrence, who once said in 2014 that if anyone said the word “diet” to her. “No one has the right to tell you what your body should look like. The idea that how much you weigh defines your worth is just crazy. The key is to eat a healthy diet. Eating less just so that you can look a certain way is wrong.”
The best way to feel beautiful, she says, is to embrace your body and take care of it. “Exercise is important, of course. Stay strong by working out. Do the activities that you enjoy doing. I definitely believe in the power of a smile because it lights up your face.”
Confidence, says Demi, will show the world how beautiful you are. “It is the women who have self-confidence no matter what their bodies look like that are pretty.”
Demi knows the struggle over body image and what the acting and fashion worlds portray as being beautiful will continue. “Remember: it’s not real. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to create that flawless look you see. Do not compare yourselves to that fantasy. Instead, be content in who you are and what you look like, and you will have a special glow that tells the world you are truly beautiful.”
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