The video shows how people, especially women, born in the 90s had to deal with unrealistic beauty standards.
A recent report by the UK parliament mentioned that 62% of women feel negatively about their bodies. This disturbing trend is a result of body image not only being associated with mental health but also the insane expectations the media puts forward. Fortunately, with the resources available today, there are plenty of safe spaces for individuals to get the right guidance. But that was not always the case. In the 90s, there was no source of inspiration to tell people that there's no beauty standard and that each body is special. This viral video uploaded by fitness expert Hayley Madigan (@hayleymadiganfitness) takes a look back into some of the disturbing pop culture moments that happened in the 90s and directly or indirectly resulted in a bad relationship between women and their bodies.
The video starts with a woman looking like she is reminiscing. The text overlay reads, "You grew up in the 90s and now realize why your relationship with your body was so bad..." After that, the video begins to show all the moments in the mainstream media that painted being healthy as ugly, sending millions of women into a frenzy of doubt. The first shot is an interview of Pop princess Britney Spears with journalist Ivo Niehe. The only thing the journalist could think of asking Spears, arguably the biggest star on the globe at that moment, was about her "breasts." Spears blasted the invasive interest and wrote in her book, "Everyone kept making strange comments about my breasts, wanting to know whether or not I'd had plastic surgery," as reported by PEOPLE.
The next shot is of an interview between Howard Stern and Anna Nicole Smith. In this, Stern unabashedly tells the actress, "The way you dress and stuff — I don't think you're aware that you're a heavy-set woman." Clearly taken aback by his remark, Smith tells the host, "I know I am a big woman. So what?" He then goes ahead and asks her to go up on a weight scale. She was there to talk about her work and got hit on by a question about her weight.
It is followed by a private conversation between Scott Disick and Kourtney Kardashian. After giving birth, Kourtney gained a few pounds, and Scott had some words to say about that. He stated, "If I would've fallen in love with you a couple of pounds overweight, this would be my ideal weight. But I fell in love with you when you were super skinny..." It implies that because she was "overweight" by his standards, it was hard for him to be in love with her. The couple has since parted ways.
As reported by Grazia, in an episode of her reality show, Kourtney, now in a new relationship, expressed love for her body, "Having a partner who's so supportive of me and always complimenting me no matter what, it's just like helped me to really embrace the changes, and actually to the point where I love the changes now."
The next shot was from an X-Factor audition, in which a contestant, Samantha, as per Mirror, was called a "shop girl" and "overweight." Despite having decent vocals, she was taken upon for her weight on a singing show. The next shot had Victoria Beckham being put on a weight scale by famous talk show host Chris Evans. She had just given birth to her son Brooklyn, and what everyone was interested in was whether she had gotten back to her past physique. Victoria Beckham bravely shared her view on body image after being in the spotlight for so many years with Grazia, "It's not about being a certain size. It's about knowing who you are and being happy with who you are."
The video concludes with another celebrity, Khloe Kardashian, being asked to lose weight by her stepfather. Khloe, years later, lashed out against the impossible body standards, sharing on her Instagram, "In truth, the pressure, constant ridicule and judgment my entire life to be perfect and to meet other's standards of how I should look has been too much to bear."
The video shows how there was so much more to all of these women rather than just their weight and this was not only a disservice to them but all the little girls at home. Harper's Bazaar did a detailed analysis of how these conversations and the culture of the 90s led to a filter-obsessed generation. Fortunately, all these clips have received criticism in recent years. Women coming forward to dispel these remarks is hugely important, as it sends the important message that these comments by men do not matter.
Sharing the video, the fitness enthusiast wrote: "We watched men talk negatively about women’s appearances, about their weight, about their body autonomy… and this complete disregard for women’s dignity forced a societal pressure amongst many of us who were growing up watching it. I constantly compared myself even at the young age of 12 I remember wanting to be as skinny as possible like the models on the TV. I had no desire to be anything but exactly what they looked like and I deemed them to be perfect. I constantly heard negative opinions about women who weren’t perfect, women who weren’t small and women who didn’t fit the ideal stereotype that men created."
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In the comments section, people criticized the culture showcased in the video. "Seeing Anna Nicole respond the way she did makes me wanna cry. She was so vulnerable," commented @melodygeneart and @ash_laaayy added: "This makes me so sad for all the little us growing up watching this."