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'Stop the Beauty Madness’ uses disturbing ads to make a statement about women

Jenna Birch is a health and lifestyle writer, lipstick enthusiast, aspiring yogi and diehard Wolverine based near Ann Arbor, MI. For more information, visit jennabirch.com or follow her on twitter @jennabirch.

25 surreal photos that confront body shaming

You don't believe becoming thigh-gap thin will make you more beautiful — or do you?

A new, super-honest ad campaign is trying to challenge the ludicrous physical standards to which we hold ourselves. "Stop the Beauty Madness" is a series of 25 ads that are meant to shock us. From conventionally pretty young women ignored for their brains to extremely thin young women automatically branded anorexic, each ad is meant to make its audience second-guess the insanity of our initial impressions on surface beauty… because sometimes we still subconsciously believe beauty is only skin deep.

Stop the Beauty Madness

Photo credit: Stop the Beauty Madness

According to the campaign creators, the idea behind the campaign is simple: to "[call] out the ugly truths hidden in our culture and our own minds... It's about strong words that reveal the ideas that need to be seen for what they are. It is not always pretty to see what is hidden deep in our psyche (or even just slightly under the surface)."

Stop the Beauty Madness

Photo credit: Stop the Beauty Madness

Because no one wants to admit they want the thigh gap, or dread the idea of getting wrinkles, or confess that they tie their worth to their dress size — but we often do, whether deep down we know it's ridiculous or not, and that is a reality worth evaluating.

Stop the Beauty Madness

Photo credit: Stop the Beauty Madness

The idea of beauty has been so skewed in our culture, it's rendered virtually meaningless. And guess what? That's OK. (It really is.) If we can let go of what it means to be beautiful on the outside, untie it from self-worth, and just live fulfilling lives based on our talents, passions and relationships — not the size of our waists — we'd probably all be a lot better off.

Stop the Beauty Madness

Photo credit: Stop the Beauty Madness

So, maybe you're not cookie-cutter attractive like the models in magazines. Or maybe you are. Either way, it doesn't matter. Remember that whether or not you fit the quintessential beauty mold does not define your value as a human being.

Stop the Beauty Madness

Photo credit: Stop the Beauty Madness

The next time you see a message that indicates getting pretty is most important, you can stop and say, "Whoa. Do I really believe this?" Don't let the whispers of your subconscious drown out the truth: that your value runs deep below the surface.

See all 25 #StopTheBeautyMadness images here >>

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