I am utterly mortified by what I read recently. I woke up to see these words uttered by someone with whom millions of Americans believe should be the leader of the free world. Here's what Donald Trump had to say about his female opponent, Carly Fiorina:
"Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!" And adding: "I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not s'posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"
Here's what I want to know: Are the standards of our society floundering to such a low level that we are willing to stand idly by while our "leaders" send destructive messages about body image issues in which most girls and women suffer? Wasn't it over a half a century ago we learned to consider the content of the character of a person?
When will we start connecting all of the dots required to paint the true picture of the tragic degradation of the value of girls and women in our society? Not just the dots that allow us to place blame on advertising or social media. We must include those which compel each of us to come clean about our own role in perpetuating such misplaced values.
We contribute our individual energy, whether good or bad, to something larger than ourselves. Anyone lending support to a presidential candidate with a fundamental disrespect for half of humanity without rising in revolt to this behavior cannot claim to be an advocate for a healthy body image of girls and women. Who would want the speaker of these put-downs to chart the direction and future of our country -- and it's values and principles -- only to turn around the next day and call it "entertainment?" No one with a passion to contribute to a cultural shift of empowering women and self-confidence for girls.
It's not an excuse to look with a half smile while saying the lack of political correctness is refreshing, or declaring that these words shouldn't be taken personally. Why? Because the 81 percent of 10-year-olds who are afraid of getting fat do not care about political correctness. The estimated 30 million Americans with eating disorders do take it personally when they perceive they are not good enough because of their looks. And the 25 percent of college-aged women who binge and purge for weight control do not consider such messages as entertainment.
Here's what 16-year-old Elise wrote in her diary, and later shared for inclusion in my book, My Diary Unlocked, illuminating self-confidence issues of females nationwide.
I feel like a complete failure. Seriously, I'm not pretty enough, smart enough, sweet enough, happy enough or good enough for anyone. The image of myself has been changed from beautiful to lost and broken-hearted.
What is Elise supposed to think when she hears rhetoric that somebody with less than a perfect face should not be a leader -- that she deserves to be mocked on a most public stage in America, with the culprit behind these shallow words leading the pack -- in fact, surging above all others -- in one of the major political parties of our country?
It is time to embrace the words of Albert Einstein, who said, "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." Let's take a stand for the truth of a woman's worth, with the passion of mama bears by flooding the press to the point that even Donald Trump is knocked out of top billing for air time.
Let's share ideas in the comment section below to become positive role models for the girls who will one day be true leaders. Then check out my My Diary Unlocked website to join the movement to keep the conversation going. I love to hear from readers. firstname.lastname@example.org My book, My Diary Unlocked, is available on Amazon.
If you're struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.