Beauty in Society
June 2007
This article lists a collection perceptive body image quotes.  They are food for thought.


The Beauty Myth

“We are in the midst of a violent backlash against feminism that uses images of female beauty as a political weapon against women's advancement: the beauty myth... As women released themselves from the feminine mystique of domesticity, the beauty myth took over its lost ground, expanding as it wanted to carry on its work of social control... The beauty myth tell a story: the quality called 'beauty' objectively and universally exists. Women must want to embody it and men must want to possess women who embody it... None of this is true"
Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth


"Only 3% of women in the UK are happy with their body"
Image survey commissioned by REAL magazine

"There are three billion women in the world who don't look like supermodels and only eight who do"
From 'Full Voice', issue one, published by the Body Shop

"A woman's body shape dominates her whole life - it's a modern day obsession. One of the driving forces is that women are increasingly influenced by celebrities - who let's face it don't live a normal life - and it can make a cruel comparison for real women trying to juggle work and family"
Sian Rees, editor of REAL magazine

"If shop mannequins were real women they'd be too thin to menstruate"
From 'Full Voice', issue one, published by the Body Shop

"Our bodies are the physical bases from which we move out into the world; ignorance, uncertainty - even, at worst, shame - about our physical selves create in us an alienation from ourselves that keeps us from being the whole people that we could be"
 'Our Bodies, Ourselves' by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective

"Every woman knows that, regardless of all her other achievements, she is a failure if she is not beautiful... The
UK beauty industry takes £8.9 billion a year out of women's pockets. Magazines financed by the beauty industry teach little girls that they need make-up and train them to use it, so establishing their lifelong reliance on beauty products"
Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman

"Magazines have to recognise the power they have over women's lives, and the responsibility that carries. They must also be forced to see that makeup, sex, clothes and holidays are just part of our lives - there is so much about their readers that they are ignoring. These are supposed to be our magazines - reflecting our concerns, debating our issues, of interest TO US. Let's stop letting the suits tell us what to read and buy. Let's tell them"
Kate Allen, National News Journalist, writing in

"Throughout the ages, women's bodies have been manipulated to fit the latest fad. We've been trussed up, pumped up, corseted and bandaged. Waists have been pinched, skin bleached, ribs removed. The fat sucked out, the silicone injected in. Wouldn't you rather be measured by your individuality, thinking and lust for life? Stand up for who you really are... stand up for self esteem"
From the Body Shop's 'Activate Self-esteem' campaign,

"Self-esteem is truly the route to revolution. We are not in the habit of making the connection between self-esteem and democracy, dignity, political activism and freedom of sexual expression - but in the future we will be"
Anita Roddick in 'Full Voice', issue one, published by the Body Shop

"Perhaps we shouldn't wait for the media to catch up and should focus on ourselves first, but it's tricky to "love the skin you're in" when you're constantly being told that you have too much of the damn stuff in the first place"
Lorraine Smith writing in

"I plunged into this documentary fuelled by a mixture of annoyance, sadness and frustration. I was sad, not because I'd struggled with an eating disorder, but that I'd been so hard on myself about it. I was sad, not that I'd been fat, but that I'd let it limit my life, and I was frustrated to think that 35 years after I first went on a diet, it was all still going on, all that anxiety and money and worry"
Victoria Wood, from the television programme 'My Big fat Documentary',

"Research shows - In Western culture women obtain their self-esteem from being desired, from their body shape, from being thought of as objects of beauty. Men, however, gain self-esteem from achievement, power, status and control. Time to turn the west wild"
From 'Full Voice', issue one, published by the Body Shop

"Unnecessary dieting is because everything from television and fashion ads have made it seem wicked to cast a shadow"
Peg Bracken in 'The I hate to cook book'

"In Britain, an attractive woman is somehow suspect. If there is any talent as well it is overshadowed. Beauty and brains just can't be entertained; someone has been too extravagant"
Vivien Leigh, actress

"Fat is a feminist issue"
Susie Orbach, from  her book ‘Fat is a feminist issue’


It’s time for change!.