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Body Image and Confidence Lessons from Classic Hollywood Starlets

Body image is no new topic to ShoutOut!. I know it has been discussed a hundred times, but that should only reflect the strong persistence of growing stigmas and standards that our society’s media is still promoting so ridiculously hard. It’s difficult enough being a young person trying to find yourself, but add to that the multiple stresses that negative or hyperactive body images can create, and it can be downright unhealthy.

It’s no secret that Hollywood likes its beautiful people. But my faith in humanity is once again restored every time I hear or read a positive story about the beauty inside one of Hollywood’s finest. For instance, who could not bring up Jennifer Lawrence in this moment when speaking about pro-body image stars?! She’s the epitome of strength and support when it comes to promoting positive body images and not allowing the media to dictate who she is and/or how she will be perceived. I surprisingly discovered another female actress recently, who is taking a stand against ridiculous media standards as well! Apparently “Secret Life of the American Teenager” and the upcoming “Divergent” starlet, Shailene Woodley, has stopped wearing makeup to events to downplay the “perfections” of beauty that celebrities represent.  After seeing herself in a magazine once, entirely photoshopped with big red lips, enlarged breasts and a completely toned stomach she commented,

“It was not a proper representation of who I am. I realized that, growing up and looking at magazines, I was comparing myself to images like that — and most of it isn’t real.”

And has ever since, tried to downplay the Hollywood-perfect expectation, and instead represent herself at events and celebrity functions as a normal, youthful and fresh young woman. Hence, the mad respect I have gained for Shailene recently!

Of course, these actresses were not the first to speak out against impossible beauty standards. Though the pressures were not quite as intense or specific as they are today, some classic Hollywood starlets still felt the intense criticisms about being seen as perfect in the limelight and spoke up about their views of what was/is most important in a woman (though also applicable to men) – and SPOILER ALERT: it is not outer beauty. This is a compiled list of pictures and quotes that I found on Huffington Post and the lessons we can learn from these classic starlets.

Portrait Of Sophia Loren II

To Sophia Loren, it is all about the confidence and the attitude. It is that spark from your own personality that will show through and make you beautiful.

Audrey In The Park

Most of us have heard this quote from Audrey Hepburn. Coinciding with the last lesson, it is your positivity and happiness that you reflect in your personality that makes you truly beautiful.

Young Lucille

Possibly the most important lesson (to me) is Lucille Ball’s “Love Yourself” quote. I cannot imagine anything more important in life, or more beautiful than to simply love being you.

Bette Davis

And of course, the quote that Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley exemplify to the core of their stardom – Bette Davis’s lesson that you can’t let outside sources (the media) set the standards of how beautiful you think you, and others, are.

I only highlighted my 4 favorites, but I urge you all to go to this HuffingtonPost Article to read more quotes from inspiring Hollywood starlets that inspire these positive body image lessons. I don’t know about you all, but I know for me, it is easy to forget these lessons in the modern age where skinny celebrities with perfectly photoshopped bodies are in the media everywhere you look and “thigh gaps” are an actual trend, but I’m going to continue to follow and support actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley who are such positive role-models for being happy with who you naturally are and keep these classic quotes somewhere in mind (or hung on my wall…?), and I urge you all to do the same!

What do you say bloggers, is it possible to forget the modern day media pressures and bring back the body-image positivity of the classics??

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