I heard an astounding statistic this morning. Apparently, only 2% of women think they are beautiful. 2%!! (Source:Dove Global Study: The Truth About Beauty (pdf)) Can this number really be that low?? I mean I'm certainly guilty of never feeling attractive, but I guess I assumed that the millions of attractive women I see on the streets of NY daily thought THEY were. As a teen I never bought into the "I have to look like the women in the magazines" mentality. I didn't seek to emulate characters on TV or feel pressure to look and act like them. I don't recall consciously relating to celebrities or looking to them as role models in any way. My own insecurities came from my peers. Throughout my entire childhood I can remember being mocked or ostracized by the kids at school. In junior high when other kids starting doing the pre-teen version of "dating", guys took no interest in me (a trend that continues into my 20s), even going so far as to tease me by asking me out, waiting until I said yes and then saying "Just kidding...Loser". In high school I mustered up all my courage to ask a guy to Prom and before I could even get the words out, he said "I heard what you were going to ask me, and you are a fool to think I'd go to prom with you". It wasn't just the guys either, In junior high I was (or so I thought) part of the "in" group of girls, we ate lunch together, I got invited to all their parties, I invited them to my own house, until one day I overheard them talking about how I was the "joke" friend. They were friends with me to get information about me and my life and then spread it around school for everyone to mock. I learned very early on not to trust people and that I wasn't desirable, not only physically but emotionally as well. I never felt beautiful because I never felt wanted. Why we choose other people as our "beauty" yardstick eludes me, yet we all do it. Beauty is measured by women in magazines, actors on TV, men we'd like to date, our peers, our enemies, even our family. It's less about how we feel and more about how close we come to the 5'10 110 lb standard. In a world of 300 million why is the measure of beauty based on 6 supermodels?
I wonder if the alpha junior high girls are part of the 2%.