Celebrate The Body You’re In!

National Eating Disorders Awareness WeekWe’re bombarded every day by millions of messages  about the “right” way our bodies should look. What we see is not always the truth. Most photos we come across in magazines have been retouched to make the person seem slimmer and more defined. Not only are the images distorted, but many of people in the images may struggle with some sort of disordered eating. Did you know that the average American woman is 5’4″ and 140 pounds and the average American model is 5′ 11″ and 117 pounds?

It’s easy to get caught up in body image obsession.  From an early age, girls and boys are taught that they should try and fit a certain mold. Girls are shown that they should be skinny, beautiful, and perfectly proportioned like Barbie. GI Joe shows boys that they should be tough, muscular, and handsome.

Today, we have swimsuit models, professional athletes, and celebrities. There are several people and campaigns out there that I applaud for their positive, body loving attitude. Kelly Clarkson, for example, said the following after a magazine completely and obviously retouched her picture to make her appear slimmer: “When people talk about my weight, I’m like; You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t. I’m fine!” Remember, this just isn’t about girls or women; several scandals within the past few years involved professional male athletes using muscle enhancing substances such as steroids.

Other celebrities, such as Dennis Quaid and Elton John, have spoken openly about their adolescent struggles with body image and eating disorders. Dove, as well, continues to celebrate the natural physical difference in all girls and women with their “Campaign for Real Beauty”. These are the people who should be commended for their open and loving view of their bodies.

Distorted body image can lead to severe consequences, especially in teens. Everybody (and every body) is different and this is something we need to celebrate. Stand confidently and love the body you’re in!

– CYWH/YMH Staff