Archive for November 26, 2012

Media Monday: Curvation

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer
Whenever I see media that portrays natural body shapes and sizes, it’s a relief. There are so many ads that include emaciated models or models whose features have been computer-enhanced. The worst part is that many of the people viewing the ads have no idea that the images being portrayed aren’t even real. Young adults, who come across such ads in a magazine or on television, may naturally have the desire to look like that, which is unfortunate, because “that” isn’t reality.
I am thankful for ads that attribute similar positive characteristics to heavy and thin people of diverse identity groups, including age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and ability. Ads that incorporate images of people eating balanced meals, including desserts, to fuel one’s body as a part of a healthy lifestyle, are ads that give me hope. Ads that include women and men in situations, which imply equal social power and understanding that women are more than objects of beauty, are ads that give me hope.
Curvation lingerie was created for the countless curvaceous women who made it known that they couldn’t find intimate apparel that was both beautiful and functional. Real women with real curves were heard. For the first time, curvaceous women in America have an intimate apparel solution that is sensual, livable, and affordably priced. The goal of Curvation is to translate design expertise into a wardrobe of intimate apparel that offers women figure-enhancing options to celebrate their curves. The lingerie has created a new language to convey a very positive message of confidence and femininity.
Curvation sells their products at various department stores including Sears, Kmart and Walmart. Their products are also available online through Amazon, Beso, Her Room, Hoisery Street, Pronto Style and more. Their ads include pictures of real, confident women who are proud of their curves and natural beauty. These images can be found on their website at The target audience for the products is teens, adults and the elderly as well. The products are for women who have a larger build, so bras come in bigger sizes, as do their other undergarments. The product is very appealing because each item appears comfortable, well-made, and modeled on beautiful women.

The Curvation ads create a feeling of comfort and hope in society. It reminds me that there are many women out there who are proud of their bodies and want others to feel the same. It is a breadth of fresh air and a reminder, that society accepts you for who you are. I am thankful for companies such as Curvation, specifically for the amazing message they portray and vision they stand for

Media Monday: Snake Peel Body Wash

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer

Though Axe brand products are no stranger to sexual exploitation, my recent discovering of the Snake Peel Body Wash advertisement was beyond reprehensible. This advertisement, unfortunately found in both magazine print format and commercial, focuses on the premise of partying, drinking, being hung-over, and then scrubbing away the skank from last night. The advertisement is clearly targeted to the young male heterosexual population. The message of not remembering and scrubbing off the skank that the man “accidently” slept with promotes a negative, sexist agenda of how women are to be used for a good time and easily forgotten. I don’t find this message appealing in any way, on the contrary, I feel very offended by the derogative message of negatively characterizing women as skanks being social objects not worthwhile of remembering the next day. Furthermore, the fact is that there is no way a body wash can help a man get girls in the club; remember what had happened the previous night of partying, nor waking up in the morning. The advertisement is unrealistic and socially irresponsible. I would hope that other people would recognize how this advertisement and the corresponding message are not acceptable to promote in our society.

Media Monday: A New Outlook

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer
According to a study done by Durham University, the more pictures of plus-sized women shown, the more women preferred that body type. One hundred women participated in the experiment and were shown pictures of very thin models followed by plus-sized models. The exposure to the plus-sized models increased the participants preference towards that body type and lowered their liking towards the thin body type.
This study could significantly alter the way society views body image. If the media increases the variety of body types in their ads, people could start having a new outlook on their own body image and feel less pressure to look a certain way.
According to the article, a couple fashion magazines have already agreed to start using different types of models. Vogue has decided to use models over the age of sixteen who are in healthy shape. Also, Seventeen has made the move to use only unedited photos in their magazine. Although this is a small portion of the fashion world, these first steps could change the outlook on body image for the better. 

Media Monday: Dressing up gone too far?

Submitted by TEPF Volunteer

Dressing up and wearing mommy’s high heels are a favorite pastime for young girls, but when does it cross the line? In the popular T.V. show, Toddlers & Tiaras, dressing up is taken to the next level. Pageants in their best form should be for showing off a girl’s natural beauty, their knowledge, and accomplishments but in today’s world, pageants have been going off course. In the show, these young girls are made up so much; there is hardly anything natural about them left. Not only do they have to wear fancy dresses costing thousands of dollars, but they also are made up with spray tans, false eyelashes, wigs and dentures to cover up their missing teeth. Being that these girls are so young, how will they be able to accept themselves as they grow older? In an article from People Magazine, a social worker describes the effects that this show could have on these girls:
“Little girls are supposed to play with dolls, not be dolls,” says Mark Sichel, a New York-based licensed clinical social worker, who calls the extreme grooming common at pageants “a form of child abuse.” Playing dress-up “is normal and healthy, but when it’s demanded, it leaves the child not knowing what they want,” he says. Accentuating their appearance with such accoutrements as fake hair, teeth, spray tans and breast padding “causes the children tremendous confusion, wondering why they are not okay without those things.”
Knowing this, why aren’t producers taking these kinds of shows off air?  It’s the millions of people tuning into the show that are supporting it to continue. To see a change, we must stop watching these types of shows, write in letters to producers and realize the large effects on the girls. Young girls should be stumbling around in their mom’s high heels with their friends instead of in front of millions of people judging their every move. 
Read more by clicking here.

Vote “NO” on November 6th to protect the rights of those in treatment

By Kitty Westin
Advocacy Director, The Emily Program Foundation
On Tuesday Nov. 6th each of us have the opportunity to vote in the General Election, and this year there are two proposed Amendments to the Minnesota Constitution on the ballot. As Advocacy Director of The Emily Program Foundation I am writing to urge you to vote “NO” on the “Photo Identification Required for Voting” Amendment. You might be asking why I oppose this seemingly reasonable proposal. On the surface it seems to be a sensible requirement, so how could it possibly hurt anyone?
I am very concerned that the Voter ID Amendment will disenfranchise eligible voters who live in residential treatment facilities, hospitals, or in other out of home placements.  If passed, the voter ID Amendment will require all voters to have an ID with a current address. The proposed amendment will make it very difficult for people who live in residential facilities (like the Anna Westin House) to vote by eliminating vouching. The current rules give residential facility staff the authority to verify the identity (vouch) for people living in the facility so they can register on Election Day.  Many people who live in residential facilities are far from their home and would have a difficult time getting to their district to vote. This is why it is important to have a system in place that allows them to vote in the district that houses the treatment program. It is unjust for people to lose the right to vote because they happen to be in a treatment facility on Election Day.
Another concern is the cost associated with obtaining the required photo identification. While there will be no cost for the ID itself, people will need to pay for the required documents such as a birth certificate. In some areas of the State people will have to travel up to 100 miles to a location where they can get the photo ID card and this could make it difficult for people who do not have access to good transportation.  Many people who are being treated for eating disorders and other mental health issues are either temporally unemployed or strapped financially because insurance has denied to pay for the cost of treatment, the need to make co-pays and other expenses. Adding additional costs and financial burdens is unnecessary and unfair.
 And finally, amending the Constitution is a big deal! When something is in the Constitution it is “written in stone” and extremely difficult to change if, down the road, there are unintended serious consequences like disenfranchising eligible voters in Minnesota. 
I urge you to exercise your right to vote on November 6th and to consider these arguments as you make your decision on how to vote on the Voter ID Amendment.  Please vote “NO” and protect the right to vote for people with eating disorders and everyone who lives with a mental health disorder.