A Feminist Icon Reveals the Truth About Female Body Image

Aired on 01/19/1993 | CC
Why do we elevate the appearance of some women above others? Gloria Steinem, feminist icon and one of the founders of Ms. magazine, has spent decades examining society's perception of women, as well as how women perceive themselves, including concepts of beauty and body image.

First, Gloria explained on a 1993 Oprah Show appearance, you must understand the politics of body image. "I think we think that there's some ideal out there that we don't meet, you know? And the truth is that rich societies value thinness in women, and poor societies value plumpness in women, because they value whatever is rare, but all male-dominant societies value weakness in women."

"There is no ideal," Gloria continued. "Beauty isn't about how we look. It's about trying to get us to do what society wants us to do, and once we realize that, it helps, I think, to honor ourselves as individuals and the uniqueness and the specialness and the greatness of our own bodies."

Here, the living legend offers a lesson on love that feels as relevant today as it ever was.

Original airdate: January 19, 1993