-These are two interviews I conducted during the process of writing my book, during the year 2011.
– They were actually meant to be included, but it was agreed that they would be a better fit here.
– I wanted to get other opinions of other young women from different ethnicities and well as parts of the country to share their perspective on what they feel America considers an attractive woman. Only two ethnicities are featured here. I would love to add more to this list in the future, that also includes girls growing up in current times, to see if anything has changed.
Both were asked the same series of questions.
1) What is your idea of the “perfect” body type?
The perfect body type is one where a person is not limited in what they want to do
2) What do you think America’s idea of physical beauty is? (weight, ethnicity, status, hair color, etc)
White, blonde hair, blue eyes, and a size 0-2
Did you think you fit “that look?”
No, I may be slim, but I am far from the look
3) Do you think it is important to be beautiful in our society?
Yes, but it is more important for a person to view themself as beautiful
4) How did your mother portray beauty to you?
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and “Beauty is only skin deep” she always portrayed beauty as being on the inside and it will show on the outside
Was she concerned with looking beautiful all the time?
No, I don’t ever remember her being worried about beauty
Were there pressures from her to be beautiful?
No, she is more concerned with having a beautiful personality
5) Did you perceive yourself as beautiful?
Not when I was younger, but during my senior year in high school I did
Were you told often that you were beautiful?
By my mother yes
If yes, do you feel you have been valued/recognized for your talents/abilities as well as your beauty?
Yes, by my mother
If yes, did you feel pressured to be “pretty” all the time?
Not at all
How did this make you feel?
I was never bothered by it
6) Did you grow up in an environment that was body conscious?
Not really, I grew up around boys so beauty was not very important
7) Were you body conscious or were you interested in “being pretty?”
I’m not sure of the difference
If this was an issue for you, please answer these below, if not you can skip to #8:
If so, did you wear makeup?
I didn’t start wearing makeup until I was 13 years old and I only wore eyeshadow and mascara
If so, did you feel you needed it all the time to “look” beautiful? Would you be comfortable leaving the house without any on?
No, I didn’t wear makeup that often when I was younger and I still don’t wear it that much
How did you feel entering high school around pretty girls in regards to dating or otherwise?
I didn’t think much about it. I was more concerned with trying to meet new people because I was new to the students because all my old friends went to a different school
Did you compare yourself to them?
Not often, I didn’t worry about the other girls at my school too much
8) Did you grow up with healthy male attention from your father or another male figure?
Yes, I grew up with my step dad for 9 years now
If so, did they tell you were beautiful and special?
No, but I don’t think I needed that when I was younger
9) Do you think you valued your body or YOU as a teenager?
I valued myself as a teenager, even if I didn’t quite understand that I did value myself.
If you do value and love yourself COMPLETELY, and were not concerned with your looks and being pretty, what kind of advice do you have for other young girls that are concerned with them?
I think most girls don’t know that makeup is supposed to enhance your beauty and not BE your beauty; which means that girls are already beautiful without makeup naturally. I think that more young girls need to understand that beauty comes in many different shapes, forms, textures, and colors and that everything is beautiful in its own way.
10) Do you value yourself inwardly or outwardly now?
I value myself inwardly because I value my thoughts and feelings
If not, what do you wish you would have been taught that would have helped you be more confident in yourself in your early teenage years? (Do you wish your mother or father would have told you how special you were, how you had talents? What would you have liked to have heard or seen?)
11) What do you wish American media would portray to young girls and women in terms of what is considered “pretty”?
or do you think they should portray our accomplishments or something else instead?
I think that America should portray everyone as being beautiful in their own way. Some individual celebrities do try to show young girls this, but I think the overall media should make more of an effort to portray beauty as more than skin deep.