Viewpoint: American media lie to women about ideal body image

By Ada Zhang

Ladies, we are being lied to. The media sends us sneaky messages about what being a woman in this day and age entails. If we aren’t careful, we slip into the habit of changing our behavior in order to fit the image of the ideal woman. Let me remind you of a few things the media tells us that we can choose not to believe.

1. Salad is a girl’s best friend

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad. (Put some arugula in there with a few berries and sliced avocado— yum.) But why is food, something we need to survive, portrayed through the media as a gender thing? When did our taste palate become sex specific?

The rhetoric in cookbooks and food magazines tell us that women are supposed to like dainty foods like salads while men are expected to like “manly” foods like steaks. Seriously, how often do you see an advertisement of a man jubilantly tossing a salad? Or a woman standing over a George Foreman with a pair of tongs?

There is no better day than today to stop being the girl who always tosses, orders or eats the salad. Ordering a meat dish when you’re on a date does not take away from your femininity. And dudes, I know you love your steak and potatoes. However, if you decide one day to shake things up and order a salad, you are not any less of a man.

Unless our food is spiked with testosterone or estrogen, we’ve got nothing to worry about.

2. Rodents are sexy

Halloween is right around the corner, so I know I will see a lot of scantily dressed police women, Pocahotties, nurses and worst of all, rodents. When did mice become so sexy? And if a mouse is so sexy, then why not a chicken? Or a goat? Or a milk carton?
Get creative this Halloween. Keep it classy, and dress up as something actually scary. Or, pretend it’s Career Day and dress up as what you want to be when you grow up. I will accomplish both this year by dressing up as Johnny Depp’s character in “Secret Window,” a psychopath writer and murderer. (The murderer is the scary element, not my career goal.)

3. Victoria’s Secret bikinis are worth it

Victoria’s Secret bikinis look great on Miranda Kerr, so why not spend more than $100 on itty-bitty pieces of cloth? I hope you see the irony in this; we are spending our paychecks so we can look good practically naked.

This is what I like to call getting hustled. You should never pay that much money for that little clothing. Go to Target, for goodness sake.

4. You can, and should, have a happy period

Always pad commercials are beyond aggravating.

“Have a Happy Period, Always.”

Have a happy period, really? That is the biggest oxymoron I have ever heard. There is no such thing as a happy period. One Always ad had the audacity to say, “Enjoy your mood swing.”

No. I’m sorry, Always, but I will not enjoy my mood swing. I can’t. If you want to cry during this time of the month, cry. If your period makes you angry, then be angry. We have a right to feel what we feel, especially if our emotions are the result of uncontrollable chemical changes in our body.
When all else fails, buy cupcakes. No, this will not make your period a happy one, but it will make your week of hell a little better.

Cupcakes — Have a Better Period! Believe that.

Ada Zhang is a junior professional writing major from Austin. She is a staff writer for The Lariat.