For there are two kinds of forgiveness in the world: the one you practice because everything really is all right, and what went before is mended. The other kind of forgiveness you practice because someone needs desperately to be forgiven, or because you need just as badly to forgive them, for a heart can grab hold of old wounds and go sour as milk over them.
As soon as a woman's primary social value could no longer be defined as the attainment of virtuous domesticity, the beauty myth redefined it as the attainment of virtuous beauty. It did so to substitute both a new consumer imperative and a new justification for economic unfairness in the workplace where the old ones had lost their hold over newly liberated women.
Vogue began to focus on the body as much as on the clothes, in part because there was little they could dictate with the anarchic styles...In a stunning move, an entire replacement culture was developed by naming a 'problem' where it had scarcely existed before, centering it on the women's natural state, and elevating it to the existential female dilemma...The number of diet-related articles rose 70 percent from 1968 to 1972...The lucrative 'transfer of guilt' was resurrected just in time.
If you don't feel you have any choice in a situation, self-esteem and confidence plummet. But once you understand that you do have a choice, self-esteem will improve. You aren't a helpless victim anymore. You decide how you deal with a situation. You aren't just reacting to life; you're creating your life.
In drawing attention to the physical characteristics of women leaders, they can be dismissed as either too pretty or too ugly. The net effect is to prevent women's identification with the issues. If the public women is stigmatized as too 'pretty,' she's a threat, a rival--or simply not serious; if derided as too 'ugly,' one risks tarring oneself with the same brush by identifying oneself with her agenda.