Do You Idealize Hollywood Beauty?

March 23, 2012   42 Comments

Forgive the photo of Marilyn Monroe, but I couldn't resist. She is on my mind because of the new show on NBC "Smash" which is about creating a broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe.

Hollywood Beauty and Eating Disorder

There are a bunch of teenagers who read Snack Girl and they send me direct e-mails about their struggles. Today, I am thinking about them.

"Smash" stars Katharine McPhee who has bravely shared her battle with an eating disorder see: People Magazine.

As we know Marilyn Monroe had some disorders of her own (maybe an eating disorder too), but she doesn't look like a twig does she?

She looks healthy and lovely - and I wonder about the Hollywood beauties that we want to emulate. You know the type I am talking about, for example: Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

They are SO skinny. Marilyn was said to be between a size 8-12 and she looks so different from the major movie stars of our time.

Which brings me to a story about me and Hollywood. Back in the late 90s, I needed a haircut and my mother graciously gave me a present of a FANCY haircut at a Beverly Hills salon. The guy was famous for cutting Renee Zellweger's hair.

When I walked in the door I saw a group of women that were extraordinarily beautiful. They had perfect teeth, hair, and nails and their bodies seemed to be from size 0-2. Yikes!

My size 12 self had never felt any uglier in my life. I literally felt like hiding under my chair.

A very good looking young bloke came to wash my hair. I felt so upset that I shouted, "I feel so ugly!!".

He stopped washing my hair and said, "YOU are the most beautiful woman in this room. You have soft round curves and you have a great smile on your face. These women take laxatives and diet pills to achieve their ideal weight. They don't eat and they are SO grumpy. I would much rather go out with you than any of them."

And, now, he is my husband. Just kidding!

This guy woke me up! I had been idealizing the Hollywood star without realizing it. What do you think it takes to look so thin?

So whatever your weight loss goal, start accepting yourself NOW. Nobody is comparing you to Sandra Bullock or Jennifer Anniston. Their images are staring at us at every supermarket check out counter - but they don't define beauty.

You get to define beauty.

And, since that guy in the salon was so sweet, I stopped comparing myself to those magazine photos. It is truly a self defeating exercise for all.

Please share your thoughts on Hollywood beauty.

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 42 )

Great reminder -- and, beauty begins with NUTRITION! We look as good as the nutrients we consume ;-) Bon appetit!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this reminder.

What a great story!

Women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes. All I would hope for them is that they be happy and healthy. We get so caught up with these false ideals.

Recently the Israeli Knesset banned ads with underweight models, and also is requiring ads that use photoshop to alter their models to state so. I think this is a good idea.

Great post! I think woman look beautiful in all shapes. It's horrible what society does to us. Why do we compare ourselves to others? We try to look better and be better not because of men so much but because we want to keep up with other woman. I understand the stresses of weight loss, weight gain, eating disorders and I hate to say it but it's in my head. We need to do the best we can for our health and except ourselves for who we are and not who we want to look like. Not everybody will have a Jennifer Aniston body or a booty like Beyonce, but we have our own qualities and quirks that make us special!! Amen Sister to your post!!

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. We should be proud of ourselves for who are, and not what others think. We can only accomplish that by being at peace with ourselves and liking what we see in the mirror.

Wonderful message! I hope to instill this in my daughter as she grows. Beauty does not equate to a clothing size or number on a scale. How you treat others and yourself is the real mark of a beautiful person.

thank you again for the reminder. I'm so scared for the girls today who are saying they "are fat" when they are 8,9 and 10 years old...

Super post! Thank goodness for your mother; you found your beauty!

What a great message to convey. I find myself constantly trying to convey to my children that we eat well and exercise to make ourselves strong and healthy, not to make ourselves skinny. That's a tough message to teach in today's society. Thanks for the reminder! PS. The advantage to having some "softness" is having a wonderful place for your children to rest their heads. :-)

This is a wonderful post. As one of those young teens who has struggled with eating disorders it is hard still hard to not get swept up in that Hollywood ideal. However, I realized that I'd rather be happy and healthy at a size 8, than I ever would be at a size 2.

Great inspirational story! Thank you.

Thanks for this post. Something that we all need to keep in mind. It is so much more important to be healthy and strong than to be skinny. Acceptance of ourselves and our bodies is so hard, but worth all of the effort!

I thought, when I weighed 240 lbs and was a size 22/24, that someday if I could just get to a size 14, I would be happy with myself.

Now, I'm a size 10/12 and I still beat myself up a little. I know I'm healthy, I know I look fine, but I still wish that I could be a size 8, 6, 4...etc. But I keep reminding myself that it's not a competition and bodies just look different in their healthy places than others.

And that's why I've started hating diets.

What a wonderful story about the Beverly Hills hair cut. Every young woman should read today's entry. BUT, your last sentence is 7 words too long. Comparing ourselves to Hollywood photos is a self-defeating exercise period!

Wow. I'm 45 now. I weigh more than I ever have in my life. I wish to God that I looked now like I looked when I was 15 or 25 or 35 when I HATED how I looked!

Wow! Powerful post! It's true, even while losing weight, we have to feel good about ourselves now. Remember, it's the journey, not the destination. ;-)


Thank you so much for this post! What young girls don't realize when looking at the magazine covers is that these people have plenty of time and money to work out for hours and have personal chefs/trainers! Plus they have been photoshopped to no end! Im so glad people are taking a stand against all this.

I have learned to embrace my curves and focus on being healthy instead of stick thin. It took a long time and I still struggle with it. I hate that society tells us that we have to be thin to be happy and when an actress gains 5 lbs she's fat... Really??

I wish I could send this post to every woman that strives to be thin because she thinks she NEEDS to be a size 0!

@Robin - you are right! I changed it. Thanks for the help!

I really needed this today - thank you! Have a great weekend!

While I love this article for myself, I think we should always be careful when promoting what I call "skinny" hate. True many thin women may be doing horrible things to their bodies to stay that way but I know if some very beautiful tiny women than often feel less than good about themselves because people are always yelling "real women have curves" and assuming they have an eating disorder because they are a size 2. Truth is they often eat more and exercise less than me! That is simply how their body is designed. Women are beautiful in all sizes and shapes. It is not whether you are thin or heavy that matters. It is that you are healthy and caring for your body. If your normal state is size 0, then you are beautiful and enjoy it! If your natural state is size 12, you are beautiful and enjoy it! If your natural state is size 18, your beautiful and enjoy it. Don't feel obligated to be a certain size no matter who is telling you it is the proper and most beautiful size to be whether that is a O or a 12 or a 18!

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