Domestic goddess Martha Stewart is grabbing a lot of headlines these days for showing up on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit edition at the age of 81. Claiming a healthy lifestyle and good genes as being the reason she still looks like she does is a bit of a stretch, don’t you think? Frankly, I find the whole thing appalling.
First of all, swimsuit posing objectifies women’s bodies which is something our gender is trying to get away from. This is offensive on so many levels. Let’s deconstruct what it takes to look like Martha Stewart at the age of 81 compared to the average woman at the same age.
Fashion magazines and online influencers have pushed the standards of beauty beyond inspirational and aspirational to damaging and defeating. None of us (99% of the population) has a chance in hell of ever looking like the genetic flukes we see in fashion and beauty promotions. Instead of thinking we could actually maybe perhaps someday achieve any modicum of the glamour and appeal we see in the media, we’re left feeling fat, frumpy, and beyond hope.
The business of beauty portrayed in most magazines and online media is most definitely designed and directed at fashion industry artistic insiders, not the general public whom they claim to be serving and certainly do not.
Because of their screaming irrelevance, I have cancelled all my former subscriptions to fashion magazines. The only one I still receive is ELLE Canada and I will not be renewing my subscription for the reasons outlined above. It too has become too bizarre and ridiculous.
As for Martha Stewart, she has advantages that we will never have. She is extremely rich, genetically blessed, and has the resources to uphold a maintanence regimen we could only dream of. As if those advantages were not enough, you can be sure those SI pictures were airbrushed and photoshopped to render her 81-year-old body as attractive and flawless as their usually much younger super-models.
That kind of imaging sets the rest of us up for self-loathing and dissatisfaction with our own beautiful and normal bodies. I would have to lose twenty or probably even thirty pounds, have every mole, skin tag, and imperfection on my body removed, add several pounds/kg of hairpieces to my head, get a nose job, dermabrasion, undergo breast-implant surgery, get a tummy tuck and major liposuction, a facelift, neck tightening, and spend twenty-three hours a day on the treadmill to come anywhere close to something suitable for Sports Illustrated. And, that’s just the prep needed before they photoshop me. I’m normal.
If you have never seen Celeste Barber’s Facebook or Instagram posts, I highly recommend you check them out and stream her television series Wellmania. Barber is an Australian comedienne who posts satirical interpretations of fashion poses using her real-life body and physical abilities. They’re hysterical. She shows us a real person’s body with no air-brushing, photoshopping, taping, filters, or lustrous extensions. She is just like us.
Do not dispair ladies. Take the Celeste Barber cure and accept that the beauty and fashion industry has gone berserk. It does not serve women at all so ignore them. We are normal and we are all beautiful, truly and utterly. Some of us have had babies; some of us have beaten cancer or other critical diseases; some of us have survived and overcome abuse and poverty. We are the ones to be emulated and admired. We are the ones deserving of magazine covers, Facebook and Instagram followers.
There are those who say If you’ve got it, flaunt it,” but that does not take into account all the women who feel diminished by seeing such grandstanding. Martha Stewart is remarkable, however, for creating a media empire from a home-based catering business. That is a spectacular achievement worth admiring. In my opinion, a single mother of three who is juggling two jobs to support her family because her ex-husband is a deadbeat dad is the true hero. Super-models are not. The other 99 percent of women like us are beautiful too and let us never forget that.