UnmaskED Gala 2017 UnmaskED Gala 2017 UnmaskED Gala 2017 UnmaskED Gala 2017 UnmaskED Gala 2017

Tag Archive for thin ideal

What’s Less Isn’t Always More

Eating disorders affect over 30 million Americans…200,000 of these are in the state of MN.

The Emily Program Foundation shares a number of statistics, like the one above, demonstrating the profound impact that eating disorders have on people. The Foundation has also shared the most common behavior that will lead to an eating disorder is dieting. 25% of American men and 45% of American women are on a diet on any given day. There is nothing wrong with wanting to eat nutritionally or consume a healthy proportion. However, it turns dangerous, fatal at times, when this goal becomes a fixation to lose weight, feeding into a $40 billion dollar industry that tells people they are not enough. Articles like 50 Things Your Doctor Wishes You Knew About Losing Weight from Reader’s Digest neglects the fact that everyone is different, and weight is not always directly correlated with health.

This article perpetuates a negative view of being “overweight”, clearly emphasizing the number on a scale, rather than focusing on how a person can be healthy regardless of weight. Remember, dieting is the most common behavior to lead to an eating disorder, and one of the main focuses within the article is dieting. One slide actually claims dieting is more important than exercise, which ignores the necessity of a holistic approach to sustaining one’s health; especially when exercise will give you those feel-good endorphins, while dieting might lead to feeling crummy about yourself and your relationship with food.

The article shouldn’t have to focus on weight loss and maintenance to offer ways to be healthier. In fact, it mentions a number of beneficial habits to maintaining a healthy mind and body. For instance:

  • Eating routinely and not skipping meals for one big meal
  • Getting your thyroid checked (it’s important to get regular checkups as a precaution for more serious health problems regardless of weight)
  • Getting enough sleep and exercise
  • Remembering it’s about progress not perfection.

Only once did the article allude to unhealthy dieting leading to eating disorders, saying that deprivation leads to binging.

While the intention was most likely to promote good health, the article’s focus on weight in controlling one’s lifestyle to lose it isn’t necessarily helpful or healthy either, particularly for those who struggle with personal insecurities. For those of you reading, think about what it means to be healthy. Keep in mind that weight isn’t always indicative of healthy habits, and it especially does not reflect the beauty of an individual. What is more important than weight or dieting, is how you feel! So be sure to get lots of sleep, exercise, eat well, and surround yourself with supportive friends and articles.

“White” Wedding

By Agustina Suarez

From a young age girls dream of the “perfect” wedding, and the “perfect” dress. Some women dream of the day when we will get engaged, and then we dream of the excitement of planning for this special day that only comes once in a lifetime. Thank goodness we can rely on the 50 billion dollars a year wedding industry and abundance of media promotions that will help us to create our special day, right? WRONG!

Brides Magazine published by Condé Nast is filled with “perfect” images of women who almost look unreal. Brides Magazine targets both women in general who fantasize over their potential wedding and women who are in the process of planning their weddings. They advertise wedding dresses, accessories, and other miscellaneous wedding items for women to wear on their special day.

2016_bridescom-Runway-April-hayley-paige-wedding-dresses-spring-2017-Large-hayley-paige-wedding-dresses-spring-2017-001.jpg>.

The purpose of this magazine is to sell wedding related products to all types of women. Unfortunately, Brides Magazine idea of all types of women only includes white, skinny females. This magazine is telling its audience that curvy women and/or women of color do not fit a beauty standard of one impossibly thin white female image after another.

Brides Magazine has failed in reaching all of the women in this country with gorgeous bodies that vary in size. A study conducted by The Today Show in 2016 revealed that the average American woman is actually a size 16. In avoiding to market to women above a size two, this magazine has alienated a majority of the women in this country who dream of their perfect wedding day, despite their size.

Not only that, but this magazine has also failed to reach the beautiful women of color who live in this country. After sifting through the pages of Brides Magazine I was shocked to find that there were no 2016_bridescom-Runway-April-j-mendel-wedding-dresses-spring-2017-Large-j-mendel-wedding-dresses-spring-2017-009Latina, Black, or Asian women featured among its pages. This is a misrepresentation of what our society actually looks like. Brides Magazine has created an unrealistic world in which all women are thin and white and all women portray unattainable beauty standards. This magazine goes far beyond bridal beauty. It turns beauty into an impossibility.

In the film Bride Wars (2009), Liv Lerner, played by actress Kate Hudson says, “You don’t alter Vera Wang to fit you. You alter yourself to fit Vera.” This line mirrors the unhealthy “whitewashing,” thin ideal and beauty standards portrayed in Brides Magazine. It is ideas like this that tell women they are not good enough to get married the way they are. Ideas like this encourage women to abandon their true selves and embrace impossible weight and beauty ideals.

The fact of the matter remains though that all women are different shapes, different sizes, and different skin tones and we are all beautiful. We do not need to alter our appearances for a wedding to be perfect. A wedding is supposed to be an event that celebrates the love which two people have created. Love existed before the wedding industry and it will exist after we come together to resist some of its harmful ideas and images.

Questions To Consider

  1. What can Brides Magazine do to appeal to more women?
  1. How can women resist beauty norms put in place by the wedding industry?

A Fashion Rule Worth Breaking

By Angie Michel

Fashion imposes on us a long list of rules: No white after Labor Day. No mixing prints and patterns. No silver with gold, no black with brown, no socks with sandals, and so on.

While these rules seem made to be broken, another seems all-important and unbreakable: Wear clothes that “flatter” your silhouette. Dress for your body shape. Accentuate your figure and mask your “problem” areas.

In other words, dress to look thinner.

An example of this styling commandment is found on People Magazine’s  website in their article star-tested ways to dress yourself thinner. The article uses images of celebrities to show how wardrobe changes can slim a body. Among the fashion choices it celebrates are Julianne Hough’s waist-cinching belt, Jennifer Lopez’s leg-lengthening hemline, and Salma Hayek’s hourglass-highlighting V-neck.Flattering Clothes

Like so many other media messages, these fashion tips promote a thin body ideal. They glorify slimness and place value on achieving a “perfect” figure.

It’s time we break these rules. It’s time we redefine “flattering”—define it not as slenderizing or elongating, but rather as confident and body-positive. It’s time we own our bodies for what they are, in clothes that make us feel comfortable and content.

Despite what media suggests, our stomachs are not too round for crop tops. Our shoulders aren’t too broad for halternecks, and our legs aren’t too stocky for shorts. Horizontal stripes make you look wider? So what. A tunic camouflages your waistline? Big deal. Wear what you want, regardless of what media tells you.

You have the body for it.

Children Body-Shaming Themselves

It can be a struggle growing up in a thin-obsessed world. Seldom are people immune from the effects that media images of unrealistic bodies show us, including children. Cartoon characters, toys, and people in picture books are some of the first images kids are exposed to, with very similar body types. What happens when a child realizes their body does not look like all of the bodies they see?

Body shaming or fat shaming: a term used to describe shaming someone for their body type. It can come in the form of inappropriate negative statements or attitudes, or discrimination against individuals who might be a particular size.

Body bashing has become normalized in our culture, and we are unaware we’re doing this. Kids are catching on. Sadly they are not only doing this to other kids, but to themselves. Ragen Chastain, a Health At Every Size Activist is aware and asks the question:

So how can we support kids who have internalized our cultures thin obsession and turned it in on themselves?

Hateful words are damaging, and hateful thoughts can be fatal. We, as adults have the power to combat the shaming thoughts and actions. But, with most of the media images and messages pointing to the thin-ideal, how do we do it? Ragen’s recommendation:

We can start by modeling it ourselves.

Read more about what to do when a kid is fat shaming themselves on Ragen’s blog.

 

This post brought to you by:

Triple Tree    Mortenson Construction Logo

#foodforthought: Disordered Eating Disguised as Healthy

By an anonymous Foundation volunteer

Eating disorders and disordered eating come in all shapes, sizes, and guises. Individuals who say they’ve never known an individual with an eating disorder may not realize that they actually have. For example, bulimia goes undetected quite often because many who suffer from this disorder tend to have a normal weight. In addition, many individuals (in my experience) do not even realize that the behaviors of binge eating, may also be a full-blown eating disorder.

One type of disordered eating — not yet categorized as an eating disorder — that was coined by Dr. Steven Bratman in 1997 — and has recently become more prevalent — is orthorexia nervosa: “a fixation with healthy eating, to the point where it becomes a crippling compulsion, described as ‘a disease disguised as a virtue’¹.”

This disorder — like other eating disorders — is also greatly impacted by the media. Not only are we constantly bombarded by images of thin women and men — we are also bombarded by ads and marketing for “clean” eating. I just googled clean eating and the webpages and blogs seem to go on forever. Not only that, but “Instagram has 26 million posts with a clean eating hashtag.”

While there is nothing wrong with eating the types of foods that eating ‘clean’ promotes, it can become unhealthy when an individual starts to cut out food groups entirely. Heavily restricting and only eating a few types of foods, actually can create malnourishment- even though the misconception is they are eating healthy or ‘clean.’

For example, individuals who decide to completely cut out animal products may become iron deficient or anemic. There is nothing wrong with that lifestyle choice, but one has to be extremely mindful of their diet (and possibly take an iron supplement). Also, individuals who decide to cut out all grains may be missing out on insoluble fiber and a variety of B vitamins, and may need to find the nutrients in something else.

“One of the problems with orthorexia is that in some ways it is more socially acceptable than other disorders. Stand in any gym locker room and you can overhear a woman admit she allowed herself a piece of fruit that day, or a man bemoan messing up his macros.”

Another danger of orthorexia is the obsessing that happens in the mind when we say this food is “good” and this food is “bad”. It starts to distort thinking and can end up leading to other disordered eating or eating disorders.

Carrie Armstrong, a London-based author and TV personality said she became orthorexic that “left her unable to walk.” She became obsessed with what she put in her mouth, cutting out most foods. In the end before seeking help, her hair was falling out and her teeth were crumbling because of the lack of nutrients her body was getting.

What does healthy eating really mean?
How about a hashtag of #eatwell or #foodvariety

#foodforthought

¹Bratman, Steven.  Health Food Junkie.  Yoga Journal 1997; 
September/October:42-50.

Sources: 
www.independent.co.uk
http://europe.newsweek.com
www.heart.org