Selena Gomez recently had paparazzi photos taken of her as she relaxed with friends while yachting in Australia. Of course, those photos were a violation of her privacy, a consequence we've come to expect (and sadly accept) with high-profile celebrities. Further expected were the endless comments and critiques about her body — these days you're either underweight or overweight, but no one seems particularly interested in your mental health. The comments prompted Gomez to post a beautiful montage video from her outing. The caption read:
"The beauty myth- an obsession with physical perfection that traps modern woman in an endless cycle of hopelessness, self consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of flawless beauty. I chose to take care of myself because I want to, not to prove anything to anyone.
Wind in her sails."
While many outlets jumped to applaud Gomez for her wise words, something not entirely unexpected from the singer and actress, they failed to miss the reference behind the words. In fact, Gomez was word-for-word quoting Naomi Wolf's 1990 book The Beauty Myth. A little light research would've immediately brought up the text — Gomez literally stated the title first in the caption. However, this is a great opportunity to introduce such a profound text to a new audience, especially a generation grappling every day with the pressures of social media, something Gomez has talked about at length in interviews. It should be no surprise that Gomez is familiar with a book with a tagline that reads "How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women."
The book is well worth reading, it's as relavent now as ever. Buy your copy here.