Is Positive Body Image an Endangered Species?

All of us are guilty. We look in the mirror and judge our bodies. We criticize our weight, hair, teeth, nails, legs, butts, hips and lips. We conjur up hundreds of ways to improve our overall image and concern ourselves with the latest fad diets and juices promising to curb our appetites. For some, we bring our body image issues to dangerous highs and dangerous lows, but we never seem happy with how we look, there always seems to be something we should be improving. And when we are happy we are criticized for that too. We become insecure all over again, this time for different reasons. It’s not just us women, by the way. Men too have had increased reports of body image issues. Why not? Men’s Health Magazine makes 12 pack abs look so easy, we should all have them, right?

Wrong.

Make-up, lighting, creative angles, Photoshop, those are just a few methods used to create these perfectly crafted body images. Last week I attended the Endangered Species summit, in New York City. The summit was intended to create a dialogue around the images and advertisments produced by the media and develop action plans to stop perpetuating the pressures to be perfect. We, as a culture are media obsessed. We, as a culture are exposed to thousands (the exact number is usually in the thousands, but often discussed and confused) of advertisements each day. The summit opened with Jess Weiner (you probably recognize her from all of her work from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty ) moderating a lively conversation with panelists Emme, Susie Orbach, Katrin Eismann, Charreah Jackson who all are, in their own ways working to improve the images in media considered to be in style.

So, today we dedicate Style Saturday to style that lasts, confidence and positive body image. Advertisements should reflect us. The real us. Not photoshopped, slimmed down, acne-free, airbrushed versions of us. So, today we dedicate Style Saturday to reclaiming our body. With campaigns like the Endangered Species summit we can create an education surrounding these issues and reinforce the importance of self-love to our younger women and youth. You will read more about the Endangered Species summit in the future, but for now let’s reclaim our body. The only pressure to be beautiful should be reinforcing the importance of the beauty of being us. Simply us. Beautiful us.

Do you have words to encourage other women, young women or girls to move forward with positive body image? Leave a comment. Encourage others. Encourage yourself!

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3 thoughts on “Is Positive Body Image an Endangered Species?

    1. Thank you, Karyn. I checked out your article, you made some great points. Most of what we think of in terms of beauty is physical (and is often the narrative of media advertisements). Thank you for reading, please keep visiting 🙂

  1. My advice to young women is this: cherish the way you look right now. I am 45 and look back at photos of myself in my 20’s. My skin, my figure, my hair appear absolutely flawless to me now, yet I remember every little detail I agonized over. Such a waste. Today, when I find myself studying my wrinkles or expanding hips, I remind myself that the way I look today will be the envy of my 65-year old self.

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