Archive for October 29, 2012

Media Monday: Gaga Creates a “Body Revolution”

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer
In response to media scrutiny over her apparent weight gain, Lady Gaga revealed her own struggle and launched a body revolution. She began her initiative by posting four unedited photos of herself wearing only a bra and underwear with captions reading “anorexia and bulimia since age 15”.  Her goal of the body revolution is to breed compassion and inspire bravery. She also encouraged her fans to embrace their own perceived flaws and post pictures/videos to her website, Little Monsters.
Thousands of fans have responded to Gaga’s initiative by sharing their own stories and offering support for others. This body revolution has created a comfortable, shame-free environment for people to join in on the conversation and stand up against discrimination.
Most celebrities lack credibility when promoting self-love and body acceptance. It is part of their job to look and act a certain way. However, in my opinion Gaga has pulled it off! I applaud her for standing up against the ‘thin ideal’ that is ingrained in our society and promoted endlessly by the media.  I admire her courage and ability to turn negative, hurtful scrutiny into a positive movement aimed at embracing one’s flaws.

Media Monday: A close look

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer
Flipping through an issue of Cosmopolitan, I came across an ad for Torrid, a clothing store that advertises “Fashion for Sizes 12 & Up.”  I was thrilled that a popular magazine like Cosmo was considerate enough to post this ad alongside its pages of photo-shopped headshots and sculpted fitness models, yet I still had a bone to pick with the editor of the photo.   

The model in this black and white Torrid ad is kneeling on a couch while wearing a pair of Torrid form-fitting capris.  It is a profile shot where the model is topless yet completely covered by a fur blanket being desperately clutched to her body.  What I find interesting is that despite this ad being geared toward fuller, more natural-looking women, the fur blanket covers a vast majority of the model’s body, giving off the illusion that her thighs and waist are half their size.  If a brand wants to market themselves as catering toward fuller women, wouldn’t you think they would show-off their models with a little more pride?  Let’s pretend the same exact ad was re-created for the brand Guess Jeans.   I’m willing to bet that this ad would have a size-2 model facing the camera with a cold, blank expression.  She’d be in a straddle position, exposing her concave waist and covering her bust delicately with her bare hands.  This is quite a far stretch from the Torrid version that uses camera angles to appear slimmer and a blanket to cover bustier body parts.  Why should the larger model have to hide?  Did she ask for that blanket?  Maybe the size 2 model would prefer to have a fur cloak in her shot as well.  She does look cold with that icy glare… 

 Any jean size can be sexy. What matters most is the confidence that’s emanating from the person wearing them.  Quite simply, whether a size 12 or a size 2, models should be made to feel proud about their size and shot through the lens of a camera that will capture their best spirit, not their best side. 

Media Monday: Fox Studios’ Hit show Glee pokes fun at body dysmorphia and ipecac use. Wildly inappropriate or a candid look at our society’s issues with body image?

You decide. 

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer
Airing on September 24th, Fox Studios GLEE season 4 premier started off with introducing a scathing new character by the name of Cassandra July, a cut throat New York dance instructor. Within the first 60 seconds of the episode, Ms. July openly criticizes her students’ bodies, calling one student “muffin top” instead of her real name and tells her “ It’s only rice cakes and ipecac for you, or cutting off a butt-cheek.”  Watch.
Fox labels itself as a “family network” and GLEE is one of its top viewed shows among every age group. While younger generations may be more impressionable and susceptible to negative messages about our bodies, it is something that affects our entire society.  There is a reason why this character and her scathing persona has hit a nerve. It is difficult to be so blatantly confronted with the types of messages that we are inundated with every single day.  How many times have you heard the phrase “muffin top”? How many times has that phrase come out of your own mouth?  How many times a day do you get the message that you aren’t “good enough?”  How many times a day do you judge others based on the way they look?
The answer is too often.
I stand in solidarity with those who have been victims of our society’s obsession with unrealistic expectations to be thin, to be perfect, to be “good enough.” I encourage you to stand with me and take action. What that action is, is up to you.
If you want to boycott the Fox network and it’s sponsors, here is a link to sign a petition started by a mother her lost her daughter to ipecac abuse.
If you want to let Fox know what you think of the messages they are sending click here.
We can make a difference by continuing the conversation.


Art and Eating Disorders 2013: Call for Artwork!

If you have ever created artwork inspired by eating disorder recovery, please submit to this very unique show!  Themes include, but are not limited to, eating disorders, body image, and recovery. 

Don’t wait to take part in this show; space is limited.  Submissions are accepted on a first-come first-serve basis.  Art pieces must be framed and ready to hang on a wire upon submission. Artwork will be displayed anonymously (unless otherwise requested). 


Please submit the entry with submission form to 

Keri Clifton no later than January 7th, 2013. 

Submit works to Keri Clifton, Community Outreach Coordinator 

1295 Bandana Blvd. W., Ste. 210, St. Paul, MN 55108 

Contact Keri at or 651-379-6134 with questions or to receive a submission form.

Media Monday: Thank you for standing up to weight-related bullying

An open letter to Jennifer Livingston,

On behalf of the over 10 million people who suffer from eating
disorders in the United States, thank you for publically addressing
the issue of weight stigma and weight bullying.

We are a group of advocates from The Emily Program Foundation and we
have all been deeply affected by eating disorders in one way or
another. Some of us have battled eating disorders and are in recovery,
some of us have supported family and friends fight these devastating
diseases and some of us have had a loved one die as a result of an
eating disorder.

We commend you for not shying away from this issue. Your willingness
to publically address the severe harm that can result from weight
bullying is admirable. Your declaration that we all deserve to love
our bodies makes you a wonderful mentor to the millions of children
and adults who are teased about their appearance. The media attention
surrounding your reply also makes it evident that individuals can help
the public understand weight bullying is not acceptable.

Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your remarkable work.

Kitty Westin, M.A., L.P. and Emily Program Foundation Advocates
Advocacy Director
The Emily Program Foundation
5354 Parkdale Drive
St Louis Park, MN 55416