Unattainable Beauty

Brad M. Griffin | Feb 2, 2010

Newsweek has put together a photo gallery of The decades most egregious retouching scandals, complete with detail notes. The short summary on the title page should be enough to cause us to catch our breath and remember who we are the people who create and sustain this phenomenon of valuing the physically unattainable. Be sure to make it all the way to the plus-size (a mere size 12!) model who notes that extra is often airbrushed on to her body (to make normal women feel even worse about themselves when buying these clothes?).

In a related survey reported by Reuters this week about Girl Scouts of the USA, 80% of teen girls say they’d rather see real images of models than airbrushed ones, and 9 out of 10 say they feel pressured to be skinny (no surprise there) and that there’s an unattainable image of beauty that has been created by the fashion and media industries.

Every youth worker and every parent of teenagers can use these pictures and findings to talk with kids about beauty, image, and whats real. Lets take advantage of what these journalists have put together in our small groups and conversations with kids this week. This is a story that needs to be told.

And wed love to hear your ideas how do you teach kids to live in and accept their bodies in the face of industry-standard processed beauty?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.


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