I saw a show on TV today about women who've experienced traumatic events getting "beauty treatments" or "med-spa" treatments done on their bodies. Some even flew to Tijuana, Mexico to get discounted versions of things like lipo -- only to end up with huge craters or holes in their stomachs. They truly look disfigured rather than slimmer, sleeker and happier as they had hoped. No one deserves this. Not only does a woman not deserve this, she should never have been put in such a situation in the first place.

This saddens me for women and our society. Is our world truly that desperate to be perfect and thin? People will risk death in order to be closer to the societal version of "beautiful". Has beauty become a death sentence? Even bright, intelligent women are destroying their bodies and risking their health (and natural appearance) in order to conform to something that is most often unattainable.

Again, it saddens me.

I have often fallen prey to this as well. I live here too, how could I not? I have struggled with disordered eating for many years off and on, and my weight has fluctuated as a result. Sometimes it comes from stress, but most often it comes from a vanity standpoint. I wanted what "they" had. I wanted something that deep down I knew wasn't important because that is what society deems as perfect.

Whenever I saw beautiful, thin women on television or in magazines, I couldn't help but feel a pang of envy. And when I saw a beautiful full-figured woman on television, I couldn't help but wonder what she was trying to prove. It is sad that even someone like me who believes that stick-figure portrayals are dead wrong, still wonders if there is an underlying reason when there's a woman over a size 8 in the public eye. How dare she! Yes, I too have fallen prey to ostracizing "normal" women because I have also been brainwashed into thinking that "thin is in". Most of us have. When all you ever see is twig arms, long twig legs, flat bellies and lack of cellulite, you get used to it. And then you wonder why it's so hard to make your body the same way. And you struggle and struggle and deprive. Well, it's so hard because it's not normal. It's not real! I'm shouting at myself, not you, don't worry.

Well, no more. Thin and beautiful can be deadly. It makes me sad that little girls think this way too, maybe even more than ever before. It hurts me because I know what it feels like to never be happy with who you are ... no matter how thin you get. It's a disease created by a world honed in on unnatural beauty. A world focused on something fake. We are more than our bodies. Duh!

Let's get past all that.

I hereby take a Scout's honor that I will no longer think like this. I know inside that I am so proud of all the "normal" women of the world. I almost aspire to never watch TV again or read another smut magazine, but you know what -- that is entertainment, and it's not realistic ... it will probably always be there in our faces no matter what. But I do promise to internally cheer on the normal women in those magazines who let it all hang out and say "screw the paparazzi!" So who has to change, the entertainment industry? Nah...

We have to change. I have to change. External beauty is not important. It just isn't. It's a distraction just like video games or alcohol or shopping. It makes us focus on something other than our thoughts. Primping, trying to look perfect and be perfect is all a distraction taking away from what makes us real ... our hearts, our minds and the internal beauty we could be emanating to the ones we care about the most. These are the only things that will carry us into our old age gracefully. Botox will not. Flat bellies will not. Smooth skin will not. Thinness will not.

Women are beautiful in so many ways. Our minds, our hearts and our bodies in whatever form they may be. We are all beautiful in our own way ... crooked noses, pooch bellies, big feet or big teeth. Because in the end, none of that matters anyway. Do you think anyone will care that you're thin when you're 80? Didn't think so. But if that is all a woman focuses on her whole life, she will have nothing else that matters to her when she is 80.

Let's just celebrate being women and tell the world that, along with men, we may age gracefully.

Pass it on beauties.

Author's Bio: 

Jen Burmeister is a freelance writer, author or “Ralphie – Being the Weird Girl” (Coming 2008) and soon-to-be mommy in Troy, Michigan. To read more articles of this nature, please visit

OR www.girlfromasmalltown.blogspot.com