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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Column: Victoria’s big flaw

Stephanie Hiquiana

Dec. 7, 2012

The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.

When my little brother was four years old, he and my dad had a nightly routine where they would do some father-son bonding in front of the TV right before bedtime. One night, likely sometime in December, I passed by the family room to see them lounging together on the couch as I expected. However, this time, they weren’t watching their usual planned program of "CSI: Miami" or "Law and Order."

“Dad, what are we watching?” my brother asked innocently.

“Son,” Dad replied in all seriousness, “we’re watching 'Touched by an Angel.'"

Yes, it was that time of year again. The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was airing: a full hour for both men and women in America to drool, admire and envy all at the same time.

In the days following the show, numerous women always begin to obsess over their appearance and compare themselves to these flawless angels.

As if we haven’t been told enough, I’m going to tell you again: Stop. Just stop. Stop comparing your image to professional, makeup-drenched models. I’m not going to be cliché and say that everyone is beautiful in his or her own way, but trust me, someone out there thinks you are.

Beautiful has a different meaning to everyone. Before all you ladies start obsessing over how imperfect your body is because it doesn’t look toned and tan when you’re in lingerie and have wings strapped to your back, be smart enough to see past the illusion.

Businesses do what they have to do to sell their product. But Victoria’s Secret isn’t just selling a product; they’re selling a whole idea. Whether they intend to or not, they are selling to women, and even men, the idea that to be attractive one must be skinny, tall and have a really sexy foreign accent.

That is so false.

There are too many people in this world with too many different opinions and ideas. Beauty is not skinny or tall. Beauty isn’t a perfect hourglass figure and fabulous ass either. Beauty is whatever we want it to be.

We often hear “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and I couldn’t agree more. Individually, people have their own perception of what is attractive. Some people think fair skin is more alluring than a tan, some people are drawn to height, and some people think short hair is more appealing than long locks.

Some people don’t even care and think your mind is the most attractive thing you can show off.

I think we put ourselves into a bubble sometimes, which is easy to do. We forget that there is a whole world out there full of people who want different things in life. In some countries, being curvy is more sought after than being skinny.

So ladies (and gentlemen), hit the gym religiously because you want to. Do it because you want to live a healthy lifestyle or obtain your goal weight — not because you think other people would like you more if you could just shed a couple more pounds.

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, much like all other celebrities and models in magazines and on TV, presents a dozen women in perfect lighting and doused in glitter that look like they’re having the time of their lives. We would all look just as fantastic if we were in the same circumstance and paid thousands of dollars to do just that.

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