Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Selling a positive self-image

The San Francisco Chronicle profiles About-Face, a local non-profit "determined to equip women and girls with the knowledge they can use to dismantle these messages that tell them they must be tall, thin, blond, tan and sexually available to have any value."

This year, About-Face plans to sponsor four San Francisco-based action groups -- two groups of teenage girls, ages 13 to 17, and two groups of women 18 and older. Each group would be responsible for brainstorming and creating a campaign against a negative message in advertising or the media.

Finally, About-Face will step in and help them execute their plans.

"We have to stop thinking about it as men doing it to us," Berger says. "Actually we as consumers, we as shoppers, just by letting this stuff get to us, we're complicit."
I wish them well. Because I can relate. Crossdressers' fondness for mirrors and photos is well-known. But I think it's more than simple narcissism -- although I'll be the first to admit that one reason for my crossdressing is a desire to feel beautiful in a way I don't feel like I can as a guy. But the flip-side of that is that many of us crossdressers have also bought in to the "beauty myth" and yet we're even farther from the supposed ideal than most females. And so the mirrors and the photos (usually carefully posed to show our most flattering profiles) are attempts to reassure ourselves that, yes, we are pretty.

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