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Posts Tagged ‘body image’

We’re not all about that bass.

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

We’ve seen an inspiring and monumental movement in our culture encouraging the acceptance and promotion of realistic body images and beauty standards. Dove and American Eagle launched campaigns with only real women featured, instead of models. Dozens of celebrities have spoken out against Photoshop or unrealistically altered images, and who could forget Meghan Trainor’s music chart topper, All About That Bass? The lyrics are so catchy; it’s hard not to sing along…

‘Yeah it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two

But I can shake it, shake it like I’m supposed to do

‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase

All the right junk in all the right places…

…You know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll

So, if that’s what’s you’re into, then go ahead and move along…

I’m bringing booty back. Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that…’

A catchy and motivating message encouraging women to love themselves, unless of course they’re one of those ‘size two, skinny bitches’.

Somewhere along the way, the body acceptance movement derailed from ‘curves are beautiful’ to ‘only curves are beautiful’ or ‘real women have curves’. Pop culture has started to villainize skinny women. The truth is, this skinny shamming can be just as damaging as fat shamming. Putting one body type down in favor of another is a direct contradiction of the entire movement.

Some women are naturally thin with a high-metabolism that they can’t change, but wish desperately they had curves. It’s not because they don’t eat, or obsess over achieving a skinny figure, it’s just the body type they were born with and they should be allowed to love it. Some women exercise, eat healthy, and work hard to maintain a body that makes them feel healthy and beautiful. We should celebrate their hard work, and they should be allowed to love their body.

Some women have natural curves and love them, and they should be allowed to love their body and feel beautiful just the way they are. Some women have natural curves that they wish they could change, but can’t. It’s not because they eat too much, or they’re unhealthy, it’s just their natural body type, and they should be encouraged to love their bodies, too! All women, no matter what their body type, should be encouraged to love themselves, just they way they are.

So instead of calling skinny girls the ‘bitches’, let’s agree that the only real ‘bitches’ are those who shame others for their appearance, regardless of their body type.

Today’s woman can be anything she wants to be.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Mattel, the makers of Barbie, recently released a new Barbie Fashionistas line offered in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles, and four body types – petite, tall, curvy and original.

Barbie has been criticized for decades because of her unrealistic body shape and lack of diversity. According to The Washington Post, studies have found that Barbie’s exaggerated body shape may harm girls’ body images and cause them to restrict their eating. Recently, criticism has only increased as parents have become more informed by bloggers and advocate groups such as Rehabs.

Despite criticism, this new line comes as a bit of a surprise, as Mattel was continuing to defend Barbie and her body image just two years ago. What’s changed? Company profits surely have something to do with the equation… According to The Washington Post, Barbie’s worldwide sales have dropped annually since 2012, with sales down 14 percent in the most recent quarter alone. Today, Mattel spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni said the product is evolving to “offer more choices” to make “the line more reflective of the world girls see around them” a very different statement from the past.

But, can a brand make a comeback after falling so far behind the times? In a world that is increasingly more culturally diverse and informed due to the pervasiveness of technology, a brand can quickly become irrelevant. Today, it’s increasingly important that brands are using social media and technology as a tool for brand development and true consumer engagement.

Although Barbie is making positive changes, consumers are still not entirely happy with the overall message the brand sends. According to The Washington Post, “Barbie is still a brand that overemphasizes beauty. Although some Barbie Dolls have careers, the doll’s basic story and appeal is about fashion, beauty and physical appearance, at the expense of other potential interests or passions.”

Currently, none of the new dolls in the Fashionista line have any type of careers or passions and the next wave of available Fashionista Barbies simply come with extra outfits. Looking at the “boy” toy line from Mattel, there isn’t a single toy without a passion, hobby or career. The new, diverse line of Barbie dolls are definitely a step in the right direction, but when are we going to start telling girls they’re beautiful in their own skin AND they can do whatever they want in life, whether they want to fight crime in their stiletto heels or become a code analyst who prefers gym shoes and jeans?

69% of the nation’s population is overweight.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Being fat was not an option throughout much of human history. The active demands of simply maintaining life – hunting, gathering, and harvesting food – naturally produced slim individuals. As food became more stable, having enough to eat wasn’t a concern amongst the wealthier class and overindulgence was a common practice. A plump figure was a status symbol for excess and wealth.

In the 18th century, people first started worrying about the health effects linked to their obesity. Obesity belts, weight loss formulas, and special rubs were some of the early remedies for the fat struggle. Shortly there after, men became fitness and diet obsessed, with Lord Byron popularizing the ‘celebrity diet,’ in 1803. However, throughout this period women were actually encouraged to fill out, as a fuller figure was more desirable. Much changed for women in the 1920’s; shorter skirts, no corsets, and looser styles came on the scene. By the 1960s, Twiggy made super-skinny the ideal – just as the battle to stay slim was more challenging than ever before.

In the years that followed, waistlines kept growing, as did new diet fads. From the Grapefruit Diet to Slim Fast, Atkins to Weight Watchers, Liquid Diets to Low-Fat-Only options. The world was on a weight roller coaster, with no signs of slowing down.

Recently, gluten-free has become a nationwide diet and lifestyle trend. The option was first introduced targeting those with celiac disease. Celiac disease occurs where gluten consumption (found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye) causes inflammation in the small intestines. Celiac disease affects 1% of the population, but a quarter of Americans say they are cutting down on gluten or eliminating it entirely. Why is everyone hopping on board? 1 out of 3 people suffer from some form of food intolerance. Avoiding highly processed grains is known to help people who want to lose weight, reduce inflammation, and curb fatigue, and cure other health ailments. Gluten-free and its counterpart, the Paleo Diet which follows an eating plan based on what our Paleolithic ancestors would have eaten, are transforming eating as we know it. Just this past week, Taco Bell announced The Cantina Power Menu, which delivers high-protein options based off the gluten-free and Paleo diets.

Does the gluten-free trend have what it takes to help curb obesity? Maybe. Wheat drives weight gain and disease. Dr. Mark Hyman says modern-day wheat contains super starch, super gluten, and a form of a super drug. These are super fattening, super-inflammatory, and super addictive. Extracting wheat from our diet, or at least cutting back, could be the most effective and healthiest “diet fad.”