How I’ve been Killed softly…

Now before you read todays post, I highly recommend that you watch the entire (40 min long) presentation/speech by Jean Kilbourne!

I have posted many times about the importance of staying fit, it’s the way I’ve been raised, and it’s the influence of oh so many episodes of The Biggest Loser that I’ve watched. I have also emphasized the importance of eating healthy, of bringing all sorts of vegetables and fruits into your diet, if you don’t believe me – ask my husband. I also have covered a subject as sensitive as violence against women, based on a story of a high school friend of mine. But after watching this I couldn’t help but wonder – Have I also been killed? And killed softly?

I am going to have to say yes to this, admit that I, too, have been influenced by the ads, commercials, the many many TV shows, movies and everything that comes in between.

Growing up in Russia you’d think I was only exposed to the images of healthy looking peasant women, popping babies left and right:

You’re so wrong, I grew up reading Cool Girl, OOOPS! and YES! (if I remember all these titles correctly), an Eastern European version of Teen Vogue and Seventeen:

When we got our first VCR all we had were work out tapes. My mother was extremely obsessed with her self-image, she worked out at the gym 3 times a week after work, I was in 8th grade then. Needless to say I got hooked onto the Cindy Crawford workout videos, as a matter of fact up to this day, her workouts remain some of my favorite ones. Thanks to those workouts I always ran track in high school and college, nothing wrong with being athletic!

I was 16 when I got my first highlights. I was never happy with my hair color, I always thought it was dull and flat. How crazy is it to realize that this was 9 years ago! I haven’t dyed my hair since 2009 and I couldn’t be happier. But yet again, I am thinking of getting high lights this spring (Blake Lively obsession, unhealthy, right?)

Now I have always been anti Botox, Implants and all the other body “alterations”. I remember watching an episode from one of the earlier seasons of Nip/Tuck where a surgeon put the implant in the wrong way, so he then had to take it out, and there is blood and silicone and mess everywhere. I am a B cup and always will be, so I am pretty happy with what I’ve got!

Moving on to the subject of violence – I think some women should stop dressing slutty. I remember the SLUT walk Sam and I came across once walking around Minneapolis. No won’t mean no when you are dressed like a hooker. Growing up at a church we were taught one golden rule that applied to clothes – Would you wear it if you were going to go hang out with Jesus? And by hanging out I don’t mean death or anything, just a usual stroll in the park with the Lord. I am pretty sure Jesus would’ve been proud of my fashion sense, I am 25 and finally know how to dress myself!

Now how did this documentary affected me personally? Well they say step 1 is acknowledgement, and then what? Am I going to stop dressing up, using make up, reading Vogue and trying to achieve the unachievable? NO! Call me stupid, call me anything you want, but when we are walking the streets of Minneapolis my husband is proud he is married to me, everyday he tells me how pretty and sexy I am, and that’s what matters the most. I am sure a lot of you are getting madder at me by the second, especially now that I brought my husband up, but you can tell this same thing to yourself! You don’t need a guy to approve of you! When I lived in Manhattan my hair was two different colors for crying out loud! Yes, I can always say I was trying to pull off the ombre look, but who will I be kidding?

Anyways, it’s everyone’s personal choice whether to be affected by it all, or not, and it all depends on the way you’ve been raised, and what values have been implanted into your brain, because trust me, I never leave the house, unless I think that Jesus would’ve been proud of my outfit 😉












  1. Very impactful video. Thank you for sharing it! I think more people need to see it in fact.

  2. The video was amazing, loved your post too. The sooner we understand this game the better. Thanks for sharing.

  3. It’s fascinating how people will mix up the messages from different ads and products. Why are people so willing to jump up and be against making smoking look cool but not when it comes to being stick thin? I hear students of mine saying, “Oh, I have to lose five more pounds here. And why can’t I loose weight on my thighs and just put it on my chest?” At fifteen, they are already being killed by what they are seeing. Just look at the new Jenny Craig commercial with Myriah Carey practically naked. While she isn’t a “perfect size 2,” she is sending the message that it’s all about how sexy you can look. I can remember saying that I needed to be on a diet at age 10. We kept comparing ourselves to the Olsen twins, and with their cute little blonde faces, there was no way my Canadian French body was going to compare to what I saw on my video tapes. I wish we had more ads (because we all know they aren’t going away at any point) that put the emphasis on being healthy, not being a size 2. I would look sick as a size 2.

    Thank you for sharing these videos. I do a lot of work with this with my Senior Survey of Literature class when we talk about feminism. I will definitely be using clips from this this year.

    • Ah, the Olsen twins, they come to mind a lot too! I don’t have a TV at home, so I don’t watch it that often, sometimes at my in-laws, sometimes when I am babysitting. I think the diet pills/food plans commercial are absolutely horrible, and some of the celebs they are featuring in those are completely misleading. When I was little I had a few friends who wanted to be models, and we constantly played runway 🙂 I hope that more magazines and designers choose healthier looking women, so that girls don’t grow up to be confused women!

  4. I find this post very interesting. I heard a program on NPR last week about the “princess culture” and how little girls are taught that everything pink and pretty is wonderful, and then the girls (it was argued) grow up to be divas who use sex to manipulate and are viewed as sexual playthings. Not sure I agree with this, but it did get me to think: Do I need painted nails and highlighted hair and padded bras to be/feel pretty? A century ago, a farmer married a woman because she was strong and could work in the fields and wouldn’t die during childbirth and could churn butter, etc., and he didn’t care if she owned high-heels and lipstick. Does a woman need high-heels and lipstick to feel attractive and attract a man? Maybe I’ve been killed softly, too, because I enjoy how I look when my hair is colored and I’m wearing flattering, body-conscious (not hooker-like) clothes. Hmm. Thanks for the thinker.

    • Thanks, I personally find the whole Toddlers and Tiaras shocking and scary. But I do want to look pretty and feel pretty, maybe it’s my self-esteem issue, maybe it’s the fault of the society, but I am as happy as I’ve ever been!

  5. “No won’t mean no when you are dressed like a hooker.”

    I’ll try to ignore how horrendously triggering that is to point out to you that rape very rarely has anything to do with what the victim is wearing.
    Most rapists do not even remember what their victim was wearing, rape is about power not attraction.
    A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only 4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part of the victim. In murder cases 22% involved such behavior (as simple as a glance).

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I appreciate it, from all the self-defense classes that I took, I know that you and the statistics are absolutely right. I think here I just have more of an issue with women who dress provocatively, that’s all.

      • I have to agree with Alexandria. I think women have a right to choose how they dress, as much as men have a choice in choosing whether to commit rape.

        A thought-provoking question from a campaign out of Scotland that addresses this very issue: “What does the assumption that dress can contribute to rape say about men? That they are so completely unable to control their sexual behaviour that it is quite possible for them to launch a sexual attack if sufficiently provoked at any time? Is this how men want to see themselves?”

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