When I recently came across a website solely devoted to rumors of celebrity weight gain, celebrity diets and celebrity weight loss (mostly women’s weight loss, of course), I was struck by the seemingly innocuous disclaimer of the website (which I will not promote by naming). It reads “All content on this website should be considered harmless speculation and gossip.”
That’s certainly debatable. Study after study shows the detrimental effects of celebrity weight obsession in the media to young women’s self-esteem and body image.
Body hatred is a learned phenomenon (read Body Hated is Learned), and celebrity gossip websites such as these, which ridicule famous, beautiful and accomplished women for a slight bulge here and there is a insidious self-hate training ground.
While readers may ‘entertain’ themselves by reading such drivel in the short-term, over time the criticism turns inward as women tend to start judging themselves by the same impossible beauty standards they witness in the media.
Three Resolutions for Positive Body Image in the New Year
- Don’t contribute to the problem. Reduce or eliminate visits/purchases of websites and magazines that treat women’s weight loss as a spectator sport.
- Be a force for change. You can take action by obtaining a Turn Beauty Inside Out (TBIO) kit, which helps teens, parents and educators build awareness and promote positive body images in young women.
- Be a postive example. Learn techniques to help build a better body image for yourself and to set a positive example for other loved ones in your life. A great book to consider is The Body Image Workbook: An 8-Step Program for Learning to Like Your Looks by, Thomas F. Cash, Ph.D.
- Best wishes for a Bright, Healthy, and Happy New Year!