Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Love Your Body!

Women of the World
I decided a long time ago not to purchase "women's magazines" after it dawned on me one day that they made me feel terrible about myself.  It seemed that everything - from the editorial to the ads was telling me that I wasn't good enough.  I wasn't thin enough, pretty enough, well dressed enough, adequately coiffed, shod or made up.  It struck me as incongruous that they would throw in the odd "accept yourself for who you are" or "love your body just the way it is" article in between ads of gorgeous models airbrushed to perfection.

Unfortunately though, its not just these magazines telling women and girls their bodies are not acceptable - movies, tv, music lyrics, billboards . . . they are all reducing us to body parts, reinforcing gender stereotypes and portraying us as sexual 'objects'.

As a mother of two young girls, it angers me more than I can adequately express that they are growing up in a world that still undervalues women and actively seeks to undermine their self-esteem in order to turn a profit.

What can we do to ensure our girls grow up to value themselves in the face of such pervasive negative messages?
  • We can stop buying women's magazines!  
  • We can stop buying from companies that use unhealthy and unhelpful images of women to sell their products - and we can TELL THEM what we are doing and why.
  • We can be healthy role models for our daughters (and our sons!) - lets not focus on how much we eat, how much we weigh, how many wrinkles we have.  Lets show our daughters what REAL BEAUTY is all about.
  • We can donate to organisations like the NOW Foundation.  Check out their website for more fantastic ideas to help promote healthy body image to women and girls.
  • Share this great presentation from the NOW Foundation with as many people as possible: Sex, Stereotypes and Beauty: The ABCs and Ds of Commercial Images of Women

Image by angela7dreams via Flickr

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