Expectations: Culture

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In the UK, where I study, I am a size 12. In the US, I would be an 8. We are often encouraged to tan our skin in the sun in order to look ‘glowing’ and ‘healthy.’ The clothing advertised daily on television and magazines promises to amplify our cleavage is.

But, try shopping back home in Japan, where I come from. I just barely (and sometimes don’t) fit into the clothes in the shops. “Pure white” skin is supposed to be beautiful, and flashing the tiniest bit of cleavage would give you more than enough looks on the street.

Can either country be deemed “correct” in their views about the perfect size, the perfect color, the perfect outfit? We don’t need promote other body images. Instead we should promote an understanding of differences and diversities across culture, genders, and lifestyle choices. We shouldn’t need to fit in – or stand out. We should all be able to be different and celebrated for these differences.

Submitted by Misa Ichinose

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