ELLE Magazine recently published a magazine cover displaying an image of actress Melissa McCarthy. It has caused a great amount of controversy since its publication.
McCarthy is displayed in a large, bulky coat that covers her up almost completely, showing absolutely no skin. Critics are outraged at the photo, claiming that ELLE has attempted to hide McCarthy’s body due to her larger figure. McCarthy has gained huge success in recent acting roles, performing in several popular movies such as “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat” and “Identity Thief.” However, despite McCarthy’s many talents and success, the public has recently focused more on how her figure is perceived instead of her actual accomplishments.
What is it with the modern world’s distorted perception of how a woman should or should not look or what is or is not beautiful? Our magazine covers are filled with the most provocative images of half-naked, thin women. Somebody with the body figure of Melissa McCarthy appearing on the front of ELLE Magazine is something that is often unheard of in the first place. Though society is finally becoming more open and accepting of all types of beauty, it’s clearly evident that the fashion industry still has some lessons to learn.
Eating disorders, diet pills, crazy weight loss schemes-you’ve heard them all. The nation is obsessed with the quickest, easiest way to lose weight and gain that highly-revered look of a skinny, young super model. Consider how this is affecting the youth of America, though. Young girls are raised with this narrow-minded belief shoved into their brains that without a supermodel’s body, they can’t be beautiful.
And it’s not just girls. Have you looked at the Abercrombie & Fitch shopping bags or the David Beckham underwear ads? Men are put under just as much pressure to fit society’s idea of beauty as women are. This state of mind begins to fester in their brains from the moment they begin to understand the fashion advertisements or the television shows. All you really have to do is watch a television commercial; and of course the only people you see are usually thin, young, and “beautiful.” It’s this mindset that causes so many developing teenagers to manifest such low self-esteem. If they don’t look like the model on the front of Vogue, or in this case, ELLE, then they’re raised by society to believe that they’re not good enough.
This is why the Elle cover of Melissa McCarthy continues to cause such controversy. Look at all the past female covers of that magazine, and they’re almost always seen in something tight, something revealing or something risqué in general.
Then there’s McCarthy, whose figure does not resemble a supermodel and she’s buried beneath a bulky winter coat! The thing is though, who cares if she doesn’t have the body of a supermodel? She ought to show a little skin.
You know what sort of message that would send off to the little kids and the self-conscious teenagers who are bound to see that magazine in the store aisles? Well, it may very well have the opposite effect that the photos of supermodels do. It can make them realize, “Here’s someone who isn’t stick-thin and doesn’t have a set of abs and yet she’s beautiful.” And she is!
The media need to stop bundling all the other types of beautiful under thick, dark coats simply because it doesn’t abide by their own definition.
So stop telling yourself you can’t wear something that you think you look great in just because you’re afraid of what others will think. Don’t try to starve yourself so you can look like someone you don’t even know. It would be a much easier conquest if it weren’t for how beauty is perceived in today’s media. McCarthy glowed in her ELLE magazine cover, even with her body hidden from the public’s eye. What ELLE doesn’t seem to understand though is that she would’ve glowed in anything else she wore too. There has never been just one type of beautiful. There shouldn’t be certain guidelines we have to follow in order to feel accepted. We are all just the way we’re supposed to be. So please, for your sake, stop letting the media tell you differently.