Are you a mom to a teen or preteen daughter who struggles with body image issues? Do you feel overwhelmed and even hopeless when faced with the barrage of media images your daughter encounters every day? Maybe you are dealing with your own body image issues and fear you are passing those along to your daughter.
As mother to two preteen girls I have dealt with these same concerns. Working as an international fashion writer exposed me to many of the harmful tools used by the industry, especially in advertising media, to keep us feeling bad about ourselves by promoting an unreal standard of beauty. Believe me, Photoshop is only the tip of the iceberg.
I wanted to start a conversation with other moms who are dealing with the onslaught of negative media messages to which their daughters are exposed every day. To that end, I created a free report which outlines 7 lies the media tells that hurt your daughter’s body image (and maybe yours, too) and some concrete tips for improving self-esteem in practical and simple ways. You can access the tool by clicking here and signing up. You can opt out at any time if you find it is not for you.
Sign the petition to stop Barney’s misguided Disney holiday campaign in which the company alters Minnie Mouse’s frame to unrecognizable proportions: “give girls a chance to celebrate the actual bodies they have instead of hating them for not fitting into a Lanvin dress. Then maybe enough girls will get together and demand dresses that look good on their actual, non-digitally altered bodies and designers will just have to become talented enough to design a dress that looks good on them.”
Also, thanks to iFabbo for placing this blog on its list of 50 International Bloggers to Watch and Learn From.
You may have read the post here on the Barney’s New York rep who convinced Disney to alter its characters’ silhouettes for a holiday campaign. He said designer clothing would not look good on the original characters unless they were super skinny and tall.
Besides insulting the vast majority of its clientele, Barney’s line of thinking is outmoded and has been proven by sound research to be bad for business.
Elena Miro’s For.Me collection which showed at Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday challenges the idea that only super slender types are qualified to walk couture runways. Thanks to 12+ UK Model Management for the pics (that’s US size 8).
What do you think of this collection of bare-faced celebrities? I think they look fantastic and you probably do, too, in your natural state. Make-up is fun but much more so when it is a want-to rather than a must-do part of your routine.
What’s your relationship with cosmetics: must-do or want-to?
I grabbed the pictograph from The Illusionists Facebook Page and I encourage you to click over and discover the upcoming documentary on the media’s commodification of the human body.
Next Image Consulting (NIC) & From Do’s To Shoes Styling (FDTSS) are proud to announce Fashion Flip 2012– a unique ladies night out that will include a professionally executed clothing swap, complimentary food & beverage service, on site spa services, vendor booths selling jewelry, skin care products, and more. All proceeds from the event benefit Sheena’s Place, a non-profit support house that focuses on aiding people suffering from eating disorders.
Nicole Schwartz, a Certified Image Consultant, founded Toronto based Next Image Consulting. She strives to help individuals present their “best self” possible. From Do’s To Shoes Styling was founded by Jana Stern. Her sensitivity to people’s comfort levels and her sincere and direct honesty coupled with her knowledge of the female form makes Jana a five star stylist.
Inspired by the body image struggles some of Nicole and Jana’s clients face on a daily basis, Fashion Flip will be an evening filled with fashion and fund raising. Women will bring between two and five articles of swappable clothing to be exchanged for “fashion flip bucks”. The event will also showcase vendors from around the GTA.
Tickets will only be available online at fashionflip2012.eventbrite.com
You’ve probably read about Disney’s collaboration with Barney’s New York in which its characters are rendered unrecognizable in an attempt to couture-ize them for the high fashion market. After reading the well-considered rebuke from the Academy of Eating Disorders provided by Ashley at Nourishing the Soul, I have to ask: “What was Disney thinking?”
Disney made the change to their iconic figures after a Barney’s rep said their original forms would not look good in designer clothing.
Disney might be excused for being out of the loop when it comes to fashion and body image discussion, but does Barney’s not keep up with the most mainstream fashion news including Vogue’s manifesto to clean up its body image messaging and Ben Barry’s latest research that women intend to purchase more when the model looks more like them?
How many of its own clientele is Barney’s insulting by saying designer clothing only looks good on ultra-tall super-slender body types?
The ridiculous assertion that only a certain body type is qualified to model designer clothing because it “hangs better” (let’s call it the draping philosophy) is completely outmoded and has been thoroughly debunked at this point.
If you are a mother, you have the best reason to seethe at this offensive ad campaign…your children. As AED states in its release:
Viewership of such images is associated with low self-esteem and body dissatisfaction in young girls and women, placing them at risk for development of body image disturbances and eating disorders. These conditions can have devastating psychological as well as medical consequences. [Barney's] campaign runs counter to efforts across the globe to improve both the health of runway models and the representation of body image by the fashion industry.
Love to hear your thoughts.
“You are more than the choices you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes.”
Time for a reality check. Just in case you haven’t seen the well-distributed evidence of Lady Gaga’s photoshopped cover in Vogue (who, by the way, recently agreed to present a healthier body image among models on its pages), here it is.
My daughter brought the issue to my attention. She pointed at the magazine cover while we were in Indigo book shop and stated matter-of-factly: “looks like Photoshop”. I’m pleased about her media savvy but many women and girls will look at that cover photo unaware they are viewing a lie. I’ve heard even Lady Gaga is upset about the adulterated image.
My daughter asked me an interesting question while we were finding the above before and after photo through a Google search: “Do you hate fashion magazines now?” I wasn’t sure what to say. I love fashion but I can’t stand when it is portrayed in such a narrow way, making beauty and style one-dimensional and unattainable.
The more subtle the Photoshop job, the more damaging the image to our psyche because it gets into our subconscious in a way that an obvious or botched attempt at altering an image cannot.
Although it helps to be aware of the lies media tells, most helpful to me has been my understanding of God’s all-encompassing love and that my body’s purpose is not to be admired or judged, especially by myself.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Hey there lovelies! My name is Rocquelle and I blog over at Consider Me Lovely. I was beyond honored when Laura asked me to guest post for her but also a bit nervous and intimidated, because I blog mostly about personal style, what I wore, my nail polish addiction, etc., and Laura has an awesome and completely different writing voice than my own .
I created a weekly series last year “Your Body Is Fabulous” in which I feature various women, they answer 6 questions and share their style, in hopes that someone may be encouraged and inspired by what they read or see. I am of the belief that clothes, fashion, style, etc., mean nothing if a woman doesn’t love the body she is dressing! A recent theme among some of the ladies I’ve featured has been focusing on the things you love about your body, which got me to thinking about what we say to ourselves and techniques I use to maintain a positive body image.
We all have times where we look at ourselves and think of how something can be improved or what we wish looked a bit different, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s what you do after that thought that makes the world of difference! So here are some things I do and say when I have such moments:
- • Stand in the mirror play my favorite music, dance and tell myself I look good until I believe it! Nothing like some Beyonce to make me think I am super fine .
- • Shift my focus. I am starting to gain a bit of weight, and when I see my stomach I think I need to do some crunches, but then I say “but the extra fat in my hips and booty look good!”
- • Remind myself that I am wonderfully made by God (for you it may be any being higher than yourself that you believe in or your momma). If God made me, how can’t everything about me be wonderful?!
- • Wear clothes that make me feel good! A skirt with a high waist, a belt, to cinch my waist, and a great pair of heels are the best medicine for my body image/bad day woes.
- • Surround myself with people who think I’m beautiful. Nothing worse than a boyfriend/husband, friends, or family members who put you down and don’t build you up.
- • Stop comparing my body to someone else’s, since comparison is often the root of many body image concerns.
- • Say aloud positive things about my body. “My skin is gorgeous.” “I am smart and pretty (I don’t have to be one or the other).” “My hair looks good.” “I am uniquely beautiful.”
- • Remind myself that we are all perfectly imperfect! No one is perfect, so I can’t expect myself to be.
What are some things that you do to maintain a positive body image or maybe want to start doing?
Deborah Peniuk is a Freelance Writer, Blogger , Owner and Founder of AYA Life, a Full- service Travel Consulting Company and Creator of a new lifestyle blog : Life, Bliss and All of This… A Contemporary Spin on “A 40-something doing it all”
How many times have you questioned yourself or been asked, “What do you believe people think about you?” A person’s self-image is the mental picture, generally a picture that is very resistant to change or alteration, that presents those personal details that are open to objection by others (height, weight, hair color, gender, I.Q. score, etc.), but also details that have been learned by that person about himself/herself, either from personal experiences or by internalizing those judgments by others.
Let’s be clear on the titles – Self-Image is not to be confused with Self-awareness, Self-concept, Self-perception, or Self-consciousness.
Self-image may consist of the following:
• How an individual sees himself or herself.
• How others may see the individual.
• How an individual perceives how others see him or her.
Some studies say that poor self-image may be the result of accumulated criticisms that he or she received as a child which have led to damaging their own view of themselves. Children in particular are vulnerable to accepting negative judgments from authority figures because they’ve yet to develop the skills to really be understanding in evaluating such “reports” that can form lasting effects. But poor self-image is not always caused by other people.
Negative self-images can arise from a variety of factors such as personality type. Perfectionists, high achievers, and those with “type A” personalities seem to be prone to having negative self-images. This is because such people constantly set the standard for success high above a reasonable, attainable level which can lead to being constantly disappointed in this “failure.”
If we can take the time to change the messages we are sending to our youth and one another hopefully we can adjust some of our unhealthy images we hold in. Just this week I had to give myself a reminder and then I saw the photo below from hundreds of people – all shapes, forms, sexes ,sizes ,ethnicities doing a favourite pastime – Yoga, not just anywhere but New York’s Time Square for all the world to see. I’m sure some people were fighting with their own Self-Image but they went without judgement – something we should all try to do every day.