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Hayden Panettiere and You: Body Image Issues Come with Being a Woman, Celebrity or No

Update Date: Sep 18, 2012 11:46 AM EDT
Beauty
Love built on beauty, soon as beauty dies--John Donne
Beauty, my friends, is in the eye of the beholder. (Photo : Flickr/Wolf)

Before I begin, let's try a little experiment: Type the word 'Beauty' into Google images and see what you get.

Hint: All the pictures are scarily similar...and now for the article.

Fame does something to people. For the few who remain unblemished ( and believe me the numbers are few indeed) by the gilded glitz and glamour of fame, they still carry this paranoia over their privacy being threatened.

With recent photos of a topless Kate Middleton circling the web and the feverish clicks and searches that keep them in circulation, we have to wonder: if we, the base, the fandom, refuse to search, click, and gawk can't we control what we deem as appropriate, important and news worthy? 

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Take for example Demi Levato's battle with Bulimia and Hayden Panettiere's struggle with body dysmorphia, both of which were perpetuated by our desire and fascination with "the perfect body," even though no such thing exists.  

The latest admission was published in a Women's Health Magazine interview with Penettiere, where the Project Runway judge and Hero actress admitted that seeing tabloid magazines depict photos of her emblazoned with cruel and judgmental captions, calling her fat and washed-up, set her up for a long struggle with body image issues.

Women in general suffer from self-image issues be it small scale self-consciousness to full on therapy, and medication warranted disorders. Even women who are vain, self-proclaimed beauties would not feel so confident without the outside validation that they use to fuel that fire: if anything those women, more than their less confident counterparts, would crumble under insults, male inattention and pity.

But, to have your greatest insecurities not only photographed but published by the millions to a nation-wide audience would make any women adopt a disorder of her own.

However, inner strength lies not in wisdom or therapy but in you; it lies in the cold hard facts that Hayden eloquently outlines in Women's Health:

"I remember reminding myself that beauty is an opinion, not a fact. And it has always made me feel better." Wise words of advice from a wonderful young woman!"

There is no such thing as a universal beauty. There will always be those out there with preferences and prejudices different from your own.

The problem, is then, there is a surgically constructed standard that all women, even famous ones, struggle to live up to without compromising who they are. We realize in watching movies prior to the new millennium, that beauty seems so much more natural, real. Teeth were not snow white, hair was everywhere and their bodies resembled those of their mainstream audience.

People like to blame the media for the fact that 7 million girls have eating disorders and that models are 98 percent thinner than regular women. We like to point fingers and say its their fault that 91 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance and 80 percent of children are deathly afraid of being fat.

Well, we're wrong it's not all their fault: It's ours. 

Men and Women everywhere should stop trying to live up to this archetype that is pandered to us.  Why should Americana's let others dictate their greatest freedom of all: the freedom to be ourselves?

If we stopped following all these plastic celebrities on twitter, stopped googling their name and only idolized those actresses and other entertainers who refused face lifts and Botox, if we stopped sensationalizing those women who do nothing but promote this mythical standard of beauty and if we refuse to be suckered in by this bogus images that can never and will never be us (and if men stopped expecting women to be that image), we can change it all.

You, who read this are the ones who can make being you, beautiful. 

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