Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Love Your Body Day -- today and every day

Tomorrow, Oct. 21, is Love Your Body Day.

I love this idea. I support pretty much anything that calls out media's, Hollywood's, society in general's use of fake images of women and explains how those images hurt us all. Forget about the negative, damaging, impossible, overly-sexualized images. Love your own body. Stop worrying about every little detail and "flaw" you see in yourself and instead use that now-free time on something positive. Keep yourself healthy -- that's important, obviously -- and realize it's OK to let go of some of your hang-ups.

I am not perfect, and I'm glad. It is far too time consuming. It's too much pressure. It is exhausting. (I don't know how people can even take the time to do things like fix their hair in the morning; I run a brush through mine and go.) I am a little overweight. I have a belly, to be sure. For my health, I probably need to lose 10-15 pounds. And I think I'm pretty lucky, because I know that, for me, whenever I do take the steps get in better physical shape, it will be for health reasons, and not some kind of obligation to be thinner/prettier/whatever. I long ago gave up the "battle" with my looks. I look how I look. You don't like it, don't be my friend or date me or flirt with me or whatever. Fine by me. Why would I want to associate with someone who can't see past my size 12 waist anyway?

Here is the National Organization for Women's press release for Love Your Body Day:
Unrealistic Images of Women Make Love Your Body Day More Important Than Ever
October 15, 2009

For years now, advertisers and fashion magazines have airbrushed photos to turn models into the latest beauty ideal. Women and girls are constantly bombarded with these artificial images -- fantasies they can't possibly live up to in real life.

This Photoshopping of models and celebrities has really gotten out of hand lately. Self magazine felt the need to digitally slenderize singer Kelly Clarkson before putting her on the cover of its "total body confidence" issue, even though Clarkson has said that she is comfortable with herself just the way she is. Model Filippa Hamilton recently revealed that she was fired by Ralph Lauren for being too big, despite being a size four. Hamilton is the same model who appeared in a Ralph Lauren ad that was so aggressively retouched that she appeared emaciated and completely out of proportion.

If models can't catch a break, how can the rest of us hope to have a healthy self-image? Starting at younger and younger ages, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and a preoccupation with appearance plague women and girls, sometimes with disastrous results. "In my teenage years, I was hospitalized for anorexia," said eating disorder survivor and NOW Action Vice President Erin Matson. "I remember a fellow patient winning a modeling contest while she was on a pass from the hospital. The only way to end the glorification of unhealthy beauty stereotypes is to stand up proudly for real women's bodies."

That's why the NOW Foundation is celebrating its 12th annual Love Your Body Day on Oct. 21. This campaign is a giant shout out to the fashion, beauty, diet and advertising industries: No more fake images! Show us real women, diverse women, strong women, bold women. And to the women and girls who are targeted by messages telling them that the key to success and happiness is manufactured beauty, we say: It's okay to "Be You" -- the true you is beautiful.

Many different kinds of Love Your Body events will be held across the country on Oct. 21. Contact the NOW Foundation to learn more.

Here's the Web site for the NOW Foundation: loveyourbody.nowfoundation.org. The site has all kinds of information, resources and ideas -- you can even send e-cards and browse positive and negative ads.

Also be sure to check out endfattalk.com. This week, Oct. 19-23, is Fat Talk Free Week,
"an international, 5-day body activism campaign that draws attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the thin ideal on women in society."

I first saw this video with the headline "Every teenage girl should see this." I'd say every person should see this:

Happy Love Your Body Day everyone.

1 comment:

Kelsey G said...

I absolutely love your post! It is so important to spread the "love your body" message. We had the same idea because I wrote a similar post on my blog http://mytexture.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/love-your-body/

Thanks for writing this!


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