Thursday, March 04, 2010

Does the Media Pressure You to be Hot?

Yesterday I slathered on sunless tanner (ahem, review purposes). I even dressed up a bit. OK, so I basically picked out a button-down shirt and ironed it, but I totally did my hair and make-up and wore cute shoes.  Even accessories.  For just me.  It's like I'm back despite my three inch roots.  I'm trying to hold on to who I was before I got pregnant this third time, because I swear this third pregnancy really wants to see me in sweats, worn out yoga pants and a ratty t-shirt on a daily basis.  It really likes it when I use Pssst on my hair versus real, lathering shampoo.  In fact, all week I've been making the extra effort so that my outsides don't reflect how tired and bedraggled I feel on the inside. 

When I read the Sacramento Bee's article, "Regular Moms Under Pressure to be Hot Too".  I got annoyed.  Sure, I understand where all of it is coming from- the media, Hollywood, whatever.  Except I don't feel external pressure to be "hot".  I want to keep myself looking young, healthy and fit in mind and body simply for myself, my husband and my kids.  I don't want to look back years from now and be able to pinpoint the time when I just let it all go, got out of shape and stopped taking care of myself.   I feel my mind would turn to rot at that point too.  President Who?  You get the idea.  This doesn't come from the media or Hollywood.  It comes from self-preservation and a  need to stay sane. Exercising and taking the time to take care of myself does all that.  I'm like the Army. I want to be all I can be.  It is within my modest means to keep up with trends to a degree and update my wardrobe.  My husband does this for work so why shouldn't I?  Even if my only job was caring for the kids I still can't imagine just not caring.  UNLESS.  Unless I didn't care about any of this stuff even before I had kids.

This idea that the media, Hollywood and more is pressuring us Moms to look sexy, be MILF's (gross) and be hot is for the insecure.  The people who buy into this are not doing it for healthy reasons but because they are lacking in other areas of their life.  If they can't open a magazine without feeling the need to look like a Kardashian then there is something incredibly wrong and it isn't the media that is at fault.  They need to look within themselves. 

Thankfully, there are women out there who have the confidence to write books like The Mominatrix who share the healthy ideas about the importance of creating and maintaining a good body image and self-confidence.  That doesn't happen because you have a full time nanny, chef, stylist, unlimited bank account and personal trainer.  It happens because you want it, need it and decide to be yourself and own it as part of a whole that makes up you.  What the magazines say is only what is trendy.  The onus, the pressure applied comes from within ourselves.  We are the ones who make it healthy or unhealthy. 

No more excuses.  No more blaming others. 


  1. Some days it feels like putting on nice clothes is the only thing I have control over. You bet I'm going to fight through the tired to at least look presentable

  2. Nope. Still want to put on the sweats and ratty t-shirt. Although I will admit that I do feel better when I look nicer.

  3. From Connie via Facebook:
    He's probably right. I think you write in a way that speaks to me without needing much comment. But this time I do have a comment.
    I think it's good that the media applies a little pressure for us to look better. I am sure I am getting some scowls already but this is why. After 3 kids in two years I certainly gave myself permission to let go. I ... See Morecut the hair short, didn't make it out of comfy clothes very often and practically gave up on any body shape that didn't resemble Jaba the Hut but then recently I realized, Hey I want to look good, get dressed every day and apply makeup on more than just holidays and one day I would like to wear skinny jeans again. Maybe the media does pressure us but shouldn't we want that for ourselves already?

  4. From Miriam via Facebook:
    I'm kinda with Connie but not so much because I think the media should be the ones that are pressuring us. I think our children should be motivation to look decent. Shouldn't our kids have mommies that are at least trying to look good, have a little bit of self esteem, want to be healthy...this is one of the things that we teach our children.

    Should I post at the blog?

  5. From Connie to Miriam via Facebook: I agree Miriam, we should want to be the best we can for our kids ( and our husbands) but I think as moms we get so wrapped up in taking care of everyone else that we forget about ourselves so I am semi-happy that the media reminds us to be our best.

  6. From Caitlin via Facebook:

    Nope- if anything its other hot mamas. Although I would probably fall in the category of those who didn't care before kids (about fashion, fitness though I cared very much for). I am counting down the months till this last kid is out and I can get in shape and (my deal with Ian) buy a NEW wardbrobe!!


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