Ever seen these hashtags before?
A new movement is evolving in the beauty and fashion world—an uprising of women against the fashion industry to include women of ALL sizes in ads, magazines and fashion runways.
If you missed it from my post earlier this week ABC News in Houston recently ran a story this past week (see below) on this movement: concerning the ongoing desire of womenkind to be considered beautiful and what some women are trying to do about it…
And the beat goes on…
It is a tale as old as time—or least as old as my own time.
Over the past couple decades, the beauty standards and ‘ideal’ have been heavily covered in mainstream media and blamed for the epidemic of eating disorders, disordered eating and low self-esteem of women(and men)kind, particularly in America.
Check these statistics:
- 75% of American women have unhealthy thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to food or their bodies (1)
- Nearly HALF of all American children, between 1st and 3rd grade, want to be thinner, and half of 9-10 year old girls are dieting
- The average U.S. woman is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds whereas the average U.S. model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds.
- One study exposed undergraduate women to 40 full-page photographs from Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Glamour magazines. Young women exposed to images of idealized models indicated more eating-disorder symptoms than women in the control group, as well as more negative mood states and lower self-esteem. [Zurbriggen and Morgan, 2006]
- For females between 15 – 24 who suffer from anorexia, the mortality rate associated with the illness is twelve times higher than the death rate of ALL other causes of death
Heard ‘em before?
Sometimes these stats fall on deaf ears…
We KNOW the media, and magazines, and models are NOT realistic…yet in the same breath…
What is it about them that still makes us want to look like them?
What is it within us that desires and yearns to be beautiful (even if we know that it’s what the INSIDE that really counts)?!
We can tell ourselves that until we are blue in the face, but when will we truly BELIEVE it in our hearts without feeling like cliché Girl Scouts chanting mantras about girl power and our inner beauty?
Standing in the grocery store check out line the other day, I caught a glimpse of this month’s Shape magazine.
The funny thing about mainstream beauty and fitness mags to me, is that it is often the SAME OLD STORIES…with a different cover model.
Faster Weight Loss…
How to Keep Slim…
Burn fat like Crazy in Less Time!…
Drop 2 Sizes!…
The Best Abs Exercise from Every Type of Workout…
And while those smart brains of ours know about these ploys are not what we should care about…there’s still that little thought in the back of our heads that wouldn’t mind…
- A slimmer waist
- Defined abs
- Sleek arms
- A cute or rounded booty
- Bigger boobs
- A flawless face and skin
- A slender nose
- Perfectly wavy hair
- A super fit bod
- A ______ (YOU FILL IN THE BLANK)
What is your genie wish?
Close your eyes for a minute and envision the cover of a magazine yourself.
You choose which one.
There’s a girl on the cover.
What does that girl look like to you?
What kind of hair and eyes does she have?
What does she care about? Do with her time?
Even if you don’t READ magazines, there’s no question that for each one of us, an ‘ideal’ of some sort exists.
And while it’s NOT a crime to have these thoughts of admiring beauty and inwardly desiring to be prettier, (or healthier, toner, leaner, fitter, etc.)…the ‘dangling carrot’ fact of the matter is:
When we look to these things to be ‘complete’ or happy with ourselves, we will ALWAYS come up short.
How many of you have ever lost some weight or body fat—worked hard towards a goal of genuinely improving your health with some inches lost…only to get to a goal, or experience some success, and yet still not be 100% satisfied?
Or looked back at old pictures of yourself and thought: Why didn’t I see what I had going then?
Or a more tangible example: Gone shopping only to find an AMAZING outfit at Anthropologie, and pair of jeans you just HAD to have…only to, 2-3 months later (even 2-3 days later) forget about that gratification of that fabulous outfit, consequently wanting more—a new style, another million-bucks feeling?
In other words: Beauty and contentment with it are always fleeting, and there’s always ‘more’ to be attained.
So what are we going to do about it?
When all else fails, I love this poem inspired by Audrey Hepburn on her timeless beauty tips:
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.
Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!
Kindness. Loving others. Confidence. Helping others. Heart. Soul. Passion.
A THRIVE challenge for you today?
Grab a pen and piece of paper and make a list of your top 20 things that make you feel ALIVE.
Chances are…it’s not what the scale says today…or the size of your jeans you put on this morning…or what you look like in the mirror today…it’s things like:
- Spending time with a good friend over coffee
- Serving a meal at the homeless shelter or volunteering kids in an after-school program
- Driving around on a pretty day with your windows down (and country music on…in my book at least)
- Sand between your toes
- A fresh new haircut, teeth cleaning or pedicure
- Belting the song “Mmmm Bop!” at the top of your lungs (#TrueConfession)
- Making time for meditation or 10-minutes of quiet time in your day to re-charge
- A powernap
- Being outside on a pretty day
- Lunch dates with the girls
- Snuggling up in a blanket with hot chocolate on a cold winter day
- Getting a letter in the mail
- Making someone else’s day
- Time spent with your kids, family and/or loved ones
- Playing the park like a kid
- Watching your all-time favorite football team on a Saturday afternoon
- Going out on the town to dance the night away with friends
- Getting inspired
- Reading a book that you choose or browsing at the bookstore for hours
- Cooking a new recipe in the kitchen
- Entertaining and hosting a great power
- A great workout that makes you feel strong and powerful
The world is your oyster.
Live your passions, and magically, this inner turmoil or inner critic to be something more…begins to fade (#WhiteNoise).
- Three Out Of Four American Women Have Disordered Eating, Survey Suggests, Science News, Retrieved July 18, 2011, from (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080422202514.htm)
- Rate of Eating Disorders in Kids Keeps Rising, US Department of Health and Human Services, Retrieved July 18, 2011, from (http://home/laurynlax/public_html.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.aspx?docID=646574)
- Statistics on women and media. (2005). Retrieved from http://home/laurynlax/public_html.mediareporttowomen.com/statistics.htm4.
- Zurbriggen and Morgan, 2006
- Information obtained from the National Association of Eating Disorders, Retrieved July 18, 2011, from (www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/index.php)