Sunny 9 for 2008 February 26 (entry 0)

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[Comments] (18) Re-evaluation : I totally stole this post from off my sister's friend's blog. I am just really fascinated by this. Just recently I looked at a website that talked about before and after pics of celebrity plastic surgery. You wouldn't believe how many have had something done. Tons had nose jobs, and almost all had Botox. It vindicated my suspicion of Nicole Kidman's whole face overhaul. She looked so different when Moulin Rouge came out and now I know why (eye lift, nose job). Fergie doesn't even look like the same person. Anyway, enough of that...here's AnneMarie's post:

The Pursuit of Beauty "I've been reading a book called "Deadly Persuasion" which is a book on the influence of advertising on women. Wow! Some very eye-opening information! Here are some of the facts I've gathered lately on body image and how it's possibly affected by the media.

*The average model today is 5' 10" and weighs around 110 pounds (that is not even enough body fat to have a normal menstrual cycle!).

*The average model today is 23% lighter than what is considered normal weight; 25 years ago, the average model was 9% lighter than normal weight. (The models are only getting skinnier!)

*78% of normal-weight women are dissatisfied with their bodies.

*The original Barbie would have had proportions of 39"-18"-33". In 1997, after serious concern about her unrealistic body, the toy company did expand her waist and shrink her bust somewhat (an 18" waist wouldn't have even allowed for all her normal organs!). I know she's only a toy, and I played with Barbies as a little girl, but it's part of the whole package of portraying unrealistically proportioned women.

*The #1 wish of teenage girls is to be thin.

*At age seventeen, 78% of girls are unhappy with their bodies.

*In a study on fifth graders, 10 year old girls told researchers they were more dissatisfied with their own bodies after watching a music video by Britney Spears or a clip from "Friends".

*When three weeks of Saturday morning toy commercials were analyzed, it was found that 50% of the ads aimed at girls spoke about physical attractiveness.

*The more media consumed (magazines, movies, music videos), the higher the body dissatisfaction among teenage and college-age girls.

*In a popular picture used to advertise the movie "Pretty Woman", the face was Julia Roberts' but not the body. Someone else's body was used because apparently even Julia Roberts doesn't have the ideal body!

*More than half the adult women in the U.S. are currently dieting (and this often means short-term, quick-working methods which are unhealthy and result in yo-yo weight gain and loss, instead of looking at changing habits for life).

*About 60% of Caucasian middle school girls read at least one fashion magazine regularly.

*Women's magazines have 10.5 times more ads and articles promoting weight loss than men's magazines do.

*Most models are thinner than 98% of American women.

*46% of 9-11 year old girls are sometimes or very often on diets.

*40-60% of high school girls are on a diet at any time.

*42% of 1st-3rd grade girls wish they were thinner.

A quote that does a great job summarizing much of the author's work: "Girls of all ages get the message that they must be flawlessly beautiful and, above all these days, they must be thin. Even more destructively, they get the message that this is possible, that, with enough effort and self-sacrifice, they can achieve this ideal. THus many girls spend enormous amounts of time and energy attempting to achieve something that is not only trivial but also completely unattainable. The glossy images of flawlessly beautiful and extremely thin women that surround us would not have the impact they do if we did not live in a culture that encourages us to believe we can and should remake our bodies into perfect commodities." Jean Kilbourne

The week of February 24th is National Eating Disorders Awareness week. Five to ten million Americans are directly affected by eating disorders. Check out http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ for some great info. Here are some tips I gleaned from the website about what parents can do to promote a positive body image and help prevent eating disorders:

*Practice taking people seriously for what they say, feel, and do, not for how slender or "well put together" they appear.

*Help children appreciate and resist the ways in which television, magazines, and other media distort the true diversity of human body types and imply that a slender body means power, excitement, popularity, or perfection.

*Encourage your children to be active and to enjoy what their bodies can do and feel like.

*Do not talk about or behave as if you are constantly dieting.

*Convey to children that weight and appearance are not the most critical aspects of their identity and self-worth.

*Discourage the idea that a particular diet or body size will automatically lead to happiness and fulfillment.

*Don't constantly criticize your own shape ("my butt looks so big in these pants", etc.).

*Don't support pornography or other "institutions" that cast women as objects for the pleasure of men.

*(specifically for men) Demonstrate a respect for women as they age, in order to work against the cultural glorification of youth and a tightly controlled ideal body type. (Why is that only men should become distinguished as they age, while women become wrinkled and need face lifts?).

It is such a struggle to maintain a healthy attitude about our bodies. The pictures of women on magazine covers are airbrushed and enhanced. Many models and celebrities we admire have resorted to different "enhancements" and "jobs" to fit the "ideal" body which has been created, not to mention they probably have enough time and money to work out 2 hours a day with a personal trainer. What I would love to see is more "everyday" people in the media, people of different shapes and sizes, people who have disabilities, more people of different races, and more women who are older than 40 and actually look like they've aged (ever feel like once an actress reaches 40, she is almost never seen again?).

Yes, I do believe in establishing healthy eating and exercise habits, so that we are taking care of our bodies. But the messages of the media would often have us feeling that we are never good enough, creating in us a discontent and a void, causing us to feel that we are never thin enough, stylish enough, or pretty enough (and yes, outward appearance is of the utmost importance in our image-obsessed culture). I can speak from personal experience that being thin is not inevitably associated with greater life happiness. During my adult years, I have been underweight, overweight, and normal-weight for different periods of time. When I weighed less, I was no happier than when I weighed more. Happiness for me has been much more closely linked to the quality of my relationships, my spirituality, good health habits, and my level of gratitude.

After reading and thinking about women's bodies and the messages we receive each day, I feel there is a greater need than ever to examine how we view ourselves and each other. We definitely have to filter and criticize the unrealistic images we are continually viewing. By so doing, hopefully we can feel more self-acceptance and more peace with the imperfect, beautiful bodies given to us by God."


Comments:

Posted by John at Wed Feb 27 2008 10:25

I am not trying to say that girls bring this upon themselves, because they certainly do not. But I think the media lends girls to have incorrect perceptions towards men.

I remember at BYU every time I broke up with a girl it was always something like "What, I'm not pretty enough for you?" or "It's my hips, isn't it?" Please. If you weren't pretty enough for me, I wouldn't have asked you out in the first place. The fact that I asked you out signifies that you are pretty. The fact that I wish to discontinue asking you out is due to personality incompatability (which at BYU, for me, usually meant that I wasn't on board with the notion that once we wed you planned to drop out of school to make babies instead of finish your education and get a job).

I would say over half of the male population does not befine beauty by model standards. I looked for beauty, and certainly found it. Susie doesn't even wear makeup and she looks hot. But I certainly did not marry a model, and I will never regret that.

Posted by Joseph D. Walch at Wed Feb 27 2008 14:56

That's true. That's why I actually like living in San Antonio instead of Laguna Beach, CA. I feel my (future) daughters will be more free to feel better about themselves in the San Antonio culture.

If you were to go to Latin America, for example, being plump is really not a bad thing (sometimes it unfortunately has negative health consequences though).

All these fashion rags and Hollywood good looks are simply evidences of a deeper cancer of hedonism in our society.

Posted by Hailey at Thu Feb 28 2008 11:22

This is why the "f" word in our house is "fat." I grew up with a mom who was always commenting on her own weight and so I NEVER say anything like that in front of my own kids.

Posted by Hailey at Thu Feb 28 2008 11:23

This is why the "f" word in our house is "fat." I grew up with a mom who was always commenting on her own weight and so I NEVER say anything like that in front of my own kids.

Posted by Hailey at Thu Feb 28 2008 11:23

Your blog won't let me comment!

Posted by Kristen at Thu Feb 28 2008 19:59

I don't know why the comments weren't working but I think they are working now...now what were you going to say? :)

Posted by John at Fri Feb 29 2008 09:52

Twas me. My post went something like this?

I am not trying to say that girls bring this upon themselves, because they certainly do not. But I think the media lends girls to have incorrect perceptions towards men.

I remember at BYU every time I broke up with a girl it was always something like "What, I'm not pretty enough for you?" or "It's my hips, isn't it?" Please. If you weren't pretty enough for me, I wouldn't have asked you out in the first place. The fact that I asked you out signifies that you are pretty. The fact that I wish to discontinue asking you out is due to personality incompatability (which at BYU, for me, usually meant that I wasn't on board with the notion that once we wed you planned to drop out of school to make babies instead of finish your education and get a job).

I would say over half of the male population does not befine beauty by model standards. I looked for beauty, and certainly found it. Susie doesn't even wear makeup and she looks hot. But I certainly did not marry a model, and I will never regret that.

Posted by Julie Browne at Mon Mar 03 2008 01:11

I just attended a workshop on eating disorders and media effects on women, for extra credit in a health class.. Anyway, the speaker showed a video on how magazines put celebrities faces on other women’s bodies, now I ask myself this, if Jennifer Aniston’s body (which is worked out 8hrs a day) is not good enough to put on a cover then who will ever measure up? No wonder these women go through surgery after surgery and diet after diet.. Their bodies are never perfect enough and their job relies on the way they look. It is hard enough just being a girl, imagine having that perfect body and it still not be good enough for a magazine!
p.s. did you know in Pretty Women they used a body double the whole movie?? It was never Julia’s body, just her head.. another interesting fact, like you said models are skinner today than they have ever been in the past but the average women is the larger now than she has ever been. They also did a study in Fiji during 1995. Eating disorders were unheard of but with the introduction of television 3% of girls reported to vomit to control weight control, and within 36 months it became the same as the U.S..

Posted by Julie Browne at Mon Mar 03 2008 01:12

I just attended a workshop on eating disorders and media effects on women, for extra credit in a health class.. Anyway, the speaker showed a video on how magazines put celebrities faces on other women’s bodies, now I ask myself this, if Jennifer Aniston’s body (which is worked out 8hrs a day) is not good enough to put on a cover then who will ever measure up? No wonder these women go through surgery after surgery and diet after diet.. Their bodies are never perfect enough and their job relies on the way they look. It is hard enough just being a girl, imagine having that perfect body and it still not be good enough for a magazine!
p.s. did you know in Pretty Women they used a body double the whole movie?? It was never Julia’s body, just her head.. another interesting fact, like you said models are skinner today than they have ever been in the past but the average women is the larger now than she has ever been. They also did a study in Fiji during 1995. Eating disorders were unheard of but with the introduction of television 3% of girls reported to vomit to control weight control, and within 36 months it became the same as the U.S..

Posted by Julie Browne at Mon Mar 03 2008 01:12

I just attended a workshop on eating disorders and media effects on women, for extra credit in a health class.. Anyway, the speaker showed a video on how magazines put celebrities faces on other women’s bodies, now I ask myself this, if Jennifer Aniston’s body (which is worked out 8hrs a day) is not good enough to put on a cover then who will ever measure up? No wonder these women go through surgery after surgery and diet after diet.. Their bodies are never perfect enough and their job relies on the way they look. It is hard enough just being a girl, imagine having that perfect body and it still not be good enough for a magazine!
p.s. did you know in Pretty Women they used a body double the whole movie?? It was never Julia’s body, just her head.. another interesting fact, like you said models are skinner today than they have ever been in the past but the average women is the larger now than she has ever been. They also did a study in Fiji during 1995. Eating disorders were unheard of but with the introduction of television 3% of girls reported to vomit to control weight control, and within 36 months it became the same as the U.S..

Posted by Julie Browne at Mon Mar 03 2008 01:12

I just attended a workshop on eating disorders and media effects on women, for extra credit in a health class.. Anyway, the speaker showed a video on how magazines put celebrities faces on other women’s bodies, now I ask myself this, if Jennifer Aniston’s body (which is worked out 8hrs a day) is not good enough to put on a cover then who will ever measure up? No wonder these women go through surgery after surgery and diet after diet.. Their bodies are never perfect enough and their job relies on the way they look. It is hard enough just being a girl, imagine having that perfect body and it still not be good enough for a magazine!
p.s. did you know in Pretty Women they used a body double the whole movie?? It was never Julia’s body, just her head.. another interesting fact, like you said models are skinner today than they have ever been in the past but the average women is the larger now than she has ever been. They also did a study in Fiji during 1995. Eating disorders were unheard of but with the introduction of television 3% of girls reported to vomit to control weight control, and within 36 months it became the same as the U.S..

Posted by Hailey at Mon Mar 03 2008 20:19

I was going to say that these statistics are why the "f" word in our house is "fat." I grew up with a mom who always obsessed about her weight and I really don't want that for my kids.

Posted by Hailey at Mon Mar 03 2008 20:19

Testing...

Posted by Hailey at Mon Mar 03 2008 20:19

I was going to say that these statistics are why the "f" word in our house is "fat." I grew up with a mom who always obsessed about her weight and I really don't want that for my kids.

Posted by Hailey at Mon Mar 03 2008 20:20

So my real comment doesn't work--maybe it WAS inappropriate

Posted by John at Fri Mar 07 2008 10:09

Testing.

Posted by John at Fri Mar 07 2008 10:12

It was I who tried to post. I'll try again:

I am not trying to say that girls bring this upon themselves, because they certainly do not. But I think the media lends girls to have incorrect perceptions towards men.

I remember at BYU every time I broke up with a girl it was always something like "What, I'm not pretty enough for you?" or "It's my hips, isn't it?" Please. If you weren't pretty enough for me, I wouldn't have asked you out in the first place. The fact that I asked you out signifies that you are pretty. The fact that I wish to discontinue asking you out is due to personality incompatibility (which at BYU, for me, usually meant that I wasn't on board with the notion that once we wed you planned to drop out of school to make babies instead of finish your education and get a job).

I would say over half of the male population does not define beauty by model standards. I looked for beauty, and certainly found it. Susie doesn't even wear makeup and she looks hot. But I certainly did not marry a model, and I will never regret that.

Posted by John at Fri Mar 07 2008 10:12

That was me before. It's only letting me post like two sentences apparently because it keeps rejecting what I had to say. I guess I'll have to email it to you or something.


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