Now I could give you any number of reasons why it sucks so badly, but we all know what irks us the most, what affects us the most, what they spend the most time and effort controlling.
But recently I found this series of old newspaper ads showing that while the media has always controlled the way women see themselves and how they want to look, the victims used to be a wee bit different.
It would seem that back in the day it wasn't popular to be skinny. Who knew! If these ads are anything to go on, women didn't want to be thin, they wanted to be curvy. And why?
Because the media told them to.
I guess it's nothing new. We've always been able to see through art what people of any particular time considered to be the ideal feminine shape. All you have to do is look at paintings of Elizabethan women to know they liked them back then with no eyebrows and high foreheads, or in the Renaissance period they liked them on the plump side and usually holding a naked chubby baby or being ravaged by a couple of soldiers.
But those images, while interesting and probably important, I'm pretty sure didn't have as much of an impact on the common woman. After all, what did it matter what the women in those expensive paintings looked like if you were a normal person? You had a living to make and a family to feed. Besides, it wasn't like you'd see pictures like that very often.
But in the last hundred years our methods of communication have improved, which has allowed the media to become more powerful and more invasive. We can't escape them anymore. They're everywhere and, whether we like to admit it or not, we pay attention to and value what they tell us. It's seriously fucked up.
I think that's why I find these old ads so interesting. As a curvy girl myself, I find it fascinating to think that back in the day there were ads offering to help women put on weight. Ads actually telling women that men wouldn't find them attractive if they were too skinny. My first thought was "Right on!" followed by a fist pump, but it only took me a few minutes to realise the reality of it.
These ads aren't any better than ours. They're just another way of telling women that they're not good enough the way that they are, and should change to suit some all knowing social opinion.
Isn't it interesting how, generation after generation, we just keep letting ourselves be victims of this emotionally manipulative abuse. Makes you wonder what in fifty years time the media will be telling our daughters and granddaughters they should look like, doesn't it.