What’s more important: beauty or happiness? The "Stop The Beauty Madness" campaign aims to once and for all sever the tie between looking good and feeling good by helping us to “wake up from the crazy beauty hypnosis we’ve been under.” While the combination of startling photographs and painfully honest prose are sure to grab your attention, it is debatable whether this is the best way to get the message across.
Founder Robin Rice is tired of women missing out on all the joy and excitement of life because of a thirst for beauty that will never be quenched. She feels that beauty obsession causes some women to be “missing out on some really extraordinary individuals and some really important conversations.” “Women need to be helping the world move in a more beautiful direction — a genuinely beautiful direction,” Rice told The Huffington Post.
It’s not just the never-ending chase for a perfect waistline or the coveted “thigh-gap” that Stop The Beauty Madness wants to highlight. It’s also bringing the intense backlash that naturally thin women receive and the unattainable beauty standards that women of color have to face to the public’s attention. Although the ads are thought-provoking and get the message across, is forcing people to recognize stereotypes the best way to get rid of them?
Recognizing the presence of a stereotype is an important part of overcoming the prejudice, the University of Notre Dame counseling center advises. Something such as the ideal standards of beauty is an easily recognized image for most people in the world.
Although done in good faith, these photos are simply re-introducing well-known stereotypes with no suggestions on how to banish them. Some of the stereotypes, such as “Old isn’t ugly, it’s invisible,” aren’t even easily recognizable and may leave the reader more confused than enlightened. We’ve been bombarded with enough photos and messages depicting negative beauty ideas. Perhaps it’s time we start seeing photographs show these ideals being not only challenged but replaced.
View the campaign ads with a brutally honest message here.