Our generation has grown up in a media driven society where being thin is associated with happiness, beauty and success. The beauty industry has created an ‘ideal’ standard that they sell through powerful and fancy ads which causes a lot of confusion in our minds as we strive to be of value and look for recognition. What we hear, see, and read provide a harmful context for people to learn about the definition of beauty and the value that is placed on being attractive.
The tabloid magazines in the grocery store check-out aisles portray only men and women that fit these standards accompanied by manipulative messages such as “How to get the perfect body in 10 weeks”, “How to lose weight”, or “How to get a thigh gap”. It’s concerning and shocking as they can easily result in the belief that “I am not good enough unless I…”. We accept what we’re taught by media and society and we lose ourselves in these unhealthy and unattainable standards.
The Beauty standard and weight
According to a study among college students 74.4% of the normal-weight women stated that they were concerned about their weight or appearance. Moreover, the percentage of adolescent girls that are dieting, engaging in unhealthy weight control behaviors and are obsessing over their bodies and healthy food lies between 35% and 57%. Meanwhile, 42 % of girls in elementary school want to be thinner and 81 % of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (National Eating Disorders Association).
At Recovery Warriors we promote a health at every size and body diversity. We believe that eating disorders are not caused by media. But we do believe that the daily stream of one particular unhealthy ideal plays a concerning role in which children and teens grow up believing that their worth depends on their looks.
Fortunately, there are some amazing companies, organizations and people that work hard to promote healthy body image and use real bodies in their real beauty campaigns. Here are 5 of our favorites.
“The Body Positive teaches people how to overcome conflicts with their bodies so they can lead happier, more productive lives. We are dedicated to inspiring youth and adults to value their health, unique beauty, and identity so they can use their vital resources of time, energy, and intellect to make positive changes in their own lives and in the world.”
“We are an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.”
“We will be promoting all kinds of beautiful women on our website. We love all bodies and we believe health is not one size fits all. We hope to reduce the judgments we make of others and ourselves buy exposing the beauty of being alive. Each body is a unique vehicle that we have been given to experience this adventure we call life. We want to inspire girls to go on a journey to discover what is healthiest for them. We will be showing all size women on our site, not to prove anything to anyone, but simply to celebrate the female spirit.”
“Since the dawn of the world wide web (or at least since 1998), AdiosBarbie.com has been the only site whose mission is to broaden the concepts of body image to include people of all ages, cultures, genders, abilities, sexual orientations, races, and sizes. We’re committed to creating a world where everyone is safe and at home with who they are.”
“As a model, host, and commercial actress for many years, I am thrilled to take on the next chapter in my career. I am currently working on my first book which recounts my story, as an attempt to help others with their life struggles. I hope my own recovery from a seventeen year battle with bulimia and anorexia can inspire you to take the necessary steps to walk the road of healing. Your mental and physical health are irreplaceable and I firmly believe it is rooted in the spiritual.”