By Lyndsey Gilpin

Long hair, big breasts, a tan complexion and a tiny waistline is the image that is painted for women every morning when they roll out of bed and turn on the television. It is desirable for many and it is a mold that they are told to fit in. It becomes a dream for many young women and, sometimes, an obsession.
The University of Louisville holds a special week of events to oppress these stereotypes. Body Awareness, Body Appreciation Week consisted of activities from March 22-26.
They showed films such as “Do I Look Fat” and “America the Beautiful,” held discussion sessions about cultural perspectives on beauty, and held a blue jean drive for The Healing Place, a center for alcoholics, addicts and the homeless. The most controversial of events that took place during BABA Week was The Century Project, a photography exhibit of nude women of all ages.
Young women at U of L were asked to give their opinions about the media’s portrayal of women and to give advice to others about appreciating their own body type, no matter what it looks like.
“I’d say that being happy with yourself is the most important thing. How others view you does have an impact on many women. But when you realize the only opinion that matters is your own, you will be much happier.” -Alecia Fuller, sophomore psychology major
“We’re not all supposed to be white, blond and skinny. We’re supposed to be diverse. It’s a part of what makes us unique individuals.” -Leigh Anne Hendricks, sophomore nursing major
“For most women, I think that self image comes from confidence in things that have nothing to do with looks. It has to do with confidence in your sense of humor, intelligence and kindness.” -Hannah Hudson, freshman biology major
“I think women should be comfortable in the skin they are in. Don’t compare yourself to others, ever.” -Anna Tarantino, junior nursing major
“I think that the media often portrays women as needing a perfect body type. While it is important to have a certain weight range for health benefits, the image the media illustrates is unrealistic and reaches an unhealthy extreme. Women need to be confident in themselves, no matter what.” -Kelsi Purdy, sophomore health and human performance major
“The media today portrays women in unrealistic ways. A jeans company recently air brushed a 110 pound model and fired her for being overweight. This is an unrealistic view. There are many different definitions of beauty out there.”  -Rae Martin, junior nursing major

Whatever the opinions, it seems that the media does not take into account the body awareness and appreciation campaigns around the country, and even around the world. And consumers still eat up the images they are given. Whether it is caused by Victoria’s Secret advertisements, music videos or simply television commercials, many women scrutinize their bodies constantly. What matters, however, is that those who realize the truths about the media continue to see them. And those who don’t see the truth need to understand that these images are unrealistic.