Body image, part 2 (Or: Here, watch this video)

A big thanks to everyone who took part in the body image discussion we had on Monday. I really value everyone’s opinion, and you guys have me thinking so much more than I already was about this. So THANK YOU. One minor clarification I feel compelled to make, however, because my maybe my intent wasn’t clear. My only goal in stopping using the word “fat” is to cut off the flow of negativity. I recognize that the word is a descriptive term, just like “thin” is. But the way I was using it to describe myself, I was using it in a negative, hurtful way, and I was potentially teaching my daughter to do the same. And speaking as someone who’s struggled with body image issues for years, the LAST thing I’d want to do is to teach my daughter to use the word in a way that could hurt. I want her to learn that a body is a body and that big, small, short, tall, we’re all people and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. That’s all. Promise. (And now if the media could recognize that too, that’d be great, thanks).

Speaking of the media as a whole, Karen’s comment to Monday’s post mentioned the film Miss Representation, which, if you haven’t seen it, is excellent. I was originally going to include the trailer for the film at the end of Monday’s post but ultimately decided that post was long enough that I wasn’t going to then be all, “Here, now watch a nine-minute video.” And this trailer is so powerful that I think it even deserves its own post. It really hammers in my point from Monday. If all you see featured is one beauty ideal, we all start believing that that one ideal is normal and we start hurting ourselves to try to achieve it. It’s time to stop that. As best we can.

(And in case the link is broken and the video doesn’t embed like it’s supposed to, you can watch the trailer HERE).

Posted in Me, Miscellany Tagged

4 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    This video has left me in tears. Not in a bad way, just in a shocked, horrified, and ultimately moved way.

    I think my years in Germany have made me forget about how *dire* things have gotten in the US. Admittedly, that same negative message pervades the media here, but it is NOT on the scale that you see it in the US.

    Seeing all those images at the start and realizing that our brains are constantly accosted with this sexuality, with this males-in-charge lesson, with this you-can’t-be-a-success-unless-you’re-hot message, makes me want to take a stand right now.

    I went to the http://MissRepresentation.org site, took the pledge, and I hope we can all do the same. It’s time to raise our girls with a sense of self-worth that a lot of us didn’t get.

    Thanks for sharing, Meredith.

    • Meredith says:

      That’s pretty much the same reaction I had too. I had chills running all up my arms the first time I watched that. It’s so powerful.

      And good for you! That’s exactly what this country needs. Just one person at a time deciding it’s time for a change. If enough of us do it, we can make a real impact. So on behalf of myself and of women and girls everywhere, thanks. :)

  2. Karen Strong says:

    Thanks so much Meredith for posting the link. I hadn’t heard about this documentary until I saw it on the OWN network last week. It was a wake-up call for me because I didn’t realize how widespread and deep the effect goes. Like you, I didn’t even put boys/men in the equation but it affects them just as deep.

    Hopefully we can change that — at least as much as we can at least in our own families and communities.

    • Meredith says:

      Absolutely. It’s overwhelming to think about how widespread the problem is, but I know that if I change myself, it’ll affect my daughter in a positive way. And then she can go on to affect her own children and at least one cycle will be broken.

Leave a Reply