Promoting a Healthy Body Image


Today is Turn Beauty Inside Out Day, an effort by Mind on the Media, whose mission is “to inspire independent thinking and foster critical analysis of media messages.” Their initial project is this campaign, with which they hope to foster participation, discussion and awareness of images of girls and women in the media.

I don’t think it’s possible to explain this better than they do on their site:

“Turn Beauty Inside Out” (TBIO) began with the Girls Editorial Board of New Moon® Magazine, a group of 8-14 year olds from Minnesota.  In 2000 they decided to produce a special issue of the magazine to counteract and protest People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” issue which focuses on physical appearance and celebrity.

They feel such a narrow, exclusive idea of beauty, prevalent in our culture, is very harmful to girls like themselves.  So they created the special issue in May of 2000 and were excited by the fantastic response it received from kids and adults alike.

Can’t argue with that.

Here are a few of the ideas the girls came up with for the advertising industry:

Don’t just think how it’s going to affect the target audience but everybody that is going to see the ad (boys, girls, kids, etc.)

Don’t assume that the people who are going to see the ads are “mindless droids”; their opinions really matter.

Only show women and girls when you NEED them to sell the product.

Don’t cut up body parts…show the woman as a whole person.

Use a variety of body sizes and shapes in your ads.

We need more diversity in ads, use more people of color.

Just try to sell the product without presenting it by using “sex” or any other provocative suggestions.

Ads make girls self esteem really low and depressed, we want ads to not do that, they should encourage and build the self esteem not take away from it.

Use the body in the appropriate way, stop dressing them in skimpy (or no) clothes.

“Girlcaught”…girls are going to catch the bad ads and call companies on them.

Can’t argue with that, either.Whether advertisers will ever listen is another story.But we can, and profit from the experience.It’s all about self and size acceptance.Just reading these ideas makes me feel better.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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