Can You Imagine A Beautiful Life?Written by Nancy Hill
Imagine waking up one morning to find that you are using your unique talents in a fully satisfying way, that you feel wonderful in your body, and that your life feels rich and complete.
Now ask yourself, how much time and money have you spent trying to live up to cultural ideal of female beauty? Every year Americans spend over $40 billion on dieting. People put massive life energy into studying latest diet, planning menus, agonizing over food choices, depriving themselves, and doing forms of exercise they don't even enjoy. There is so much more to life than endless quest to make body look like cultural beauty ideal.
It doesn't have to be that way. Before dieting craze began, people defined themselves much more by who they were and what they did in world. They spent their life energies enriching world around them instead of spending their time trying to look beautiful. They focused on their family, their community, and their unique talents.
Today women are subtly taught to define themselves strictly by how they look. And look we're taught to desire isn't even obtainable. Only 5% of women are underweight, yet 87% of actresses we see on television are. And models? Not only are their photos heavily airbrushed to remove any "flaws", they generally stand 5'9" and weigh 110 pounds. The average American woman, at 5'4" and 140 pounds just isn't ever going to look like that plasticized model no matter how hard she tries.
How to Stop the Media Attack on Your BodyWritten by Nancy Hill
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of ongoing message that natural, curvy, womanly body I was born into is unacceptable. I'm tired of being horrified when I hear that five-year old girls already criticize their bodies and think they need to lose weight. I'm tired of media forcing their limited, unattainable version of beauty on us.
The underweight beauty ideal of today is a complete invention of media machine. Nature never intended women to look like teenage boys with large breasts, but relentless media depiction of this body type powerfully defines it as ultimate in beauty.
Without starvation and plastic surgery, it's impossible for 99% of women to achieve this ideal. So we learn to dislike our naturally gorgeous bodies and try desperately to change them. The toxic body messages we are deluged with every day cause eating disorders and widespread unhappiness.
53% of 13 year-old girls and 80% of adult women spend every day disliking their bodies. It doesn't have to be this way. People naturally have all sorts of different body shapes and sizes. We don't have to let media continue to define just one type of beauty as ideal. We don't have to let them continue to ruin countless lives in their quest for more profits.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Media Watchdog program is working to change toxic media message. You can help by joining free program and monitoring magazines, television, and radio. Keep track of what you see then send your positive and negative findings to NEDA.
Every quarter they write at least one letter of praise or protest to companies on behalf of Watchdogs and post results on NEDA Media Watchdog website. Since inception of program in 1997, over half ads they protested have been discontinued.