What Is True Beauty?

If a picture is a thousand words, what sort of story do the faces on Glamor, Vogue, and Redbook tell?

Those faces might be characters from a fantasy-land replete with idealistic images, wishful thinking, and thinly veiled smiles masking the lofty and unattainable goals of external beauty. And these periodicals with pretty pictures – tempting men, challenging women – can be had at any grocery store or magazine rack for the low price of a Starbucks latte – even cheaper with a yearlong subscription.

Tragically, not only has the marketing industry has tapped into some of the very things that makes us “tick,” it has exploited society and encouraged it to yearn toward these unreachable heights of beauty.

I temper this post with the understand that altering pictures is not inherently wrong. Amateurs and professionals alike adjust light, hue, and saturation to obtain the optimum image. Many even use blur tools to refine pictures to make them perfect.

Clearly, advertisers have a vested interest in promoting products with attractive-looking individuals; consumers respond positively to this.

The danger lies at the flash point – the instant where models-images cease promoting the brand and instead raise a Siren’s song to motivate individuals to reach an impossible beauty.

I’m not sure where this flash point is. I’m sure it varies from individual to individual. And I’m curious – where do you, reader, witness this flash point? When do billboard models cease advertising a brand and instead become a catalyst for young teenage women to sink to bulimia or anorexia? Should we even apportion blame to advertisers? Perhaps parents should serve as more stalwart gatekeepers. But does placing the culpability on parents release the social responsibility of advertisers?

Below, I’ve included a YouTube video of one billboard model. I’ll have more to comment Ralph Lauren’s most recent debacle later this week.

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What Can The Judiciary Expect In the Next Three Years

With the newest addition to the Arizona Supreme Court, Justice John Pelander, (a University of Arizona alumni) having his investiture ceremony last week, I couldn’t help but think toward the future of the United States Supreme Court.

Obama has already placed one Justice on the Court – Justice Sotomayor. Before his term ends, at least two more will secure his judicial legacy. Justice Stevens, already 89, will likely be the next one to retire. This year, he only hired one law clerk rather than the four he has customarily taken. Stevens is also considered to be the most liberal justice on the bench.

But if Stevens remains, the next probable candidate is Ginsburg. Nominated by Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg has been plagued with health issues – colorectal cancer in 1999, pancreatic cancer in 2009 and a brief hospitalization this past September.

The retirement of these two justice will not affect the dichotomy of the Court. Both Ginsburg and Stevens form part of the liberal-leaning block and Obama will certainly appoint two more with younger judges with similar ideologies.

However, the court still remains in delicate balance between conservatives and liberals.

Government Healthcare – DMV Style

A friend recently forwarded me this video and I wanted to pass it on here.

Brought to you by CatholicVote.org, the video is a satirical public service announcement explaining government heath care as promoted by many Hollywood celebrities.

Who wouldn’t want the government to run health care the same way it does the DMV? Think of the short lines and cleanliness at the DMV; it’s a role model of efficiency. Why shouldn’t big government run health care?