As long as I can remember, I have had a great deal of respect and gratitude for the body. I like my body in particular. It works. It is the reason I am me. When I was three years old my mom gave birth to my little sister. Delighted to have a younger sibling, it was a hard pill to swallow when we came to find that she was born with some very severe disabilities, including something called Down Syndrome. Her body was very different from mine inside and out. It was always, and will always be, a great weight on my heart to know that she will never know what it is like to have a body like mine. Because of that, gratitude comes easy.
I’m 17 years old, a rising senior in high school, and I am unusual among a lot of my friends for this one reason: I don’t wear makeup.
That’s not to say I have never worn makeup, because I have, on occasion. I’ve worn it for two of the four high school dances I’ve attended, for the occasional band concert or dress-up day, and for the school musicals (although then it was stage makeup, a completely different matter). I have never worn makeup for a school picture. Why? It’s not like I’m heart-stoppingly gorgeous or anything. I am an average looking girl, but I’m comfortable with that.
There are a couple of reasons why I don’t wear makeup. One main reason is that I really like sleeping. I would much …
Saturday Vids: Andre’a – The 16 Year Old Body Image Role Model
This video needs little introduction – it speaks for itself – but I will say I originally saw this video on the website We Are The Real Deal and immediately wanted (want) to be Andre’a's best friend, because she is awesome, and we can all learn a thing or two from her confidence and positive message.
It sickens me that one of the most common issues plaguing young females today is that of body image distortion.
I say this as a person who once hated her body so much she welcomed the idea of going to extremes to obtain perfection. Whether it was by starving, purging, or over-exercising, if it “guaranteed” perfection, I would do it. It never occurred to me that the perfection I had in mind would never be obtainable. Nor did I realize that recovery would be a life-long struggle to relearn what it felt like to be full.
A year ago, I decided it was time that self-loathing relinquished its firm grip on my life. I did not consult a psychologist because I thought of my recovery as a journey I would …
Magazines, T.V. and Disney: The Negative Portrayal of Beauty in the Media
From a young age, I recognized a pattern in the movies I frequently watched. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White – their major goal is to find Prince Charming. Being young and impressionable, I too started dreaming of my prince charming I would one day come to meet.
As I got older, around my pre-teen years, I developed a collection of magazines due to my interest in style and fashion. I’d flip through so many each day, and without even noticing how and why, I began to feel less and less confident in myself. And more and more self-conscious about the way I looked. Pretty soon I felt as though no guy would ever want me because of the way I looked. I began to think I’d …
I remember hearing the truth about Barbie when I was in Middle School. I have no idea what the context was, but I remember feeling shocked at the fact that if Barbie were real, she’d have a 39-inch bust, an 18-inch waist and 33-inch hips. Of course, it’s hard to convert those measurements directly to a mental image, but it’s safe to assume that it’s pretty unattainable.
But “easy enough” to imagine wasn’t good enough for college student Galia Slayen. In honor of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Galia recently decided to create a real, life size Barbie, based on these measurements. Watch her tell her story in this week’s Saturday Vid:
Endangered Species Summit: Our Generation and Body Image
The Endangered Species Summit – an international movement focused on improving the way women around the world view and treat their bodies, in the media and beyond – took place last month. There were branches in London, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Sao Paul and New York. I was lucky enough to be involved with the New York branch thanks to the incomparable Courtney Martin, who is a goddess (and who flawlessly planned the NYC summit). I had the daunting task of representing our generation on the Intergenerational Panel, which also included such amazing women as Jean Kilbourne, Erica Watson and Rachel Simmons. So, you know. No pressure or anything.
Needless to say, it was an incredible experience, but more than talking about my impressions, I figured I’d share …