Filmmaker & YWCA partner to focus

on America’s unhealthy obsession with beauty


Buffalo premiere of America the Beautiful Nov. 11


In almost 40,000 media messages a year, young Americans are being told that unless you look like a supermodel or rock star, you’re simply not good enough.  This is a message that too many people are buying.


Filmmaker Darryl Roberts, in a unique partnership with the YWCA, goes on a two year journey to examine America’s new obsession; physical perfection. In America the Beautiful, secrets, confessions, and strikingly harsh realities are learned as Roberts unearths the origins and deadly risks of our nation’s quest for physical perfection.


“The concept of female beauty is exclusionary, alienating those who don’t meet the standards of an artificial ‘ideal.’ This issue affects every woman and girl in America,” says Lorraine Cole, YWCA USA’s CEO. “It is time we ignite a cultural change in this nation to end the harmful pursuit of the elusive beauty myth.” 


There is an epidemic of young girls who suffer from low self-esteem related to body image when exposed to models on glossy pages of supermarket magazines. They find themselves wishing they looked more like ‘that’.  The hope of achieving these 'ideals' has consumers purchasing cosmetics, toiletries, fashion and plastic surgeries at increasingly dramatic rates.


The YWCAs of Western New York, Tonawandas and Niagara, in a joint advocacy effort to confront the superficiality and health threats of beauty standards in this country, are hosting the Buffalo area premiere of America the Beautiful Tuesday, November 11 at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. Roberts will be on hand to lead a question and answer discussion after the film.  General admission tickets for the 7 p.m. movie are $10. A limited number of $50 tickets will include a pre-movie reception with Roberts. 


At the heart of America the Beautiful is the true story of Gerren Taylor, a teenager who went from being an innocent 12-year-old girl to becoming one of America’s next top supermodels.  As her career progresses, viewers watch the dichotomy between Gerren's adolescent struggles and her adult “rights of passage” on the catwalks of Marc Jacobs, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger and other top designers.  It becomes apparent how the same beauty that jump-started her career would ultimately destroy her young life.


Roberts delves deep into America's culture of fear, consumption, and idolatry for all things external and seeks answers from celebrities, media, academia, as well as everyday Americans. He asks Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Aisha Tyler, Anthony Kedis, Tisha Campbell, Julianne Moore, Michael Beach, Mena Suvari, Martin Short, as well as Ted Casablanca from the E! Channel and Susan Schulz, the Editor-in-Chief of CosmoGirl!, plus others, the major question at hand… Does America have an unhealthy obsession with beauty?


Advance tickets are available at the Riviera Theatre, and the YWCAs of Niagara, Tonawandas and Western New York.