Sunday, April 15, 2007

Real Beauty?




Some Sad Statistics....

-70% of girls ages 15-17 aren’t even bothering to participate in
normal every day activities due to a lack of self-worth

-Today’s “beauty ideals” create “appearance anxiety” for 86.9% of all
teenaged girls

-92% of the young women in the USA want to change some aspect of their
physical appearance

-By age 15, clinically depressed girls outnumber boys with depression
2 to 1

-At age 9, at least half of all girls report having been on a diet.
Eighty percent of eighth grade girls say they are on diets."

-7 million girls and women have eating disorders, compared with 1 million
boys and men.Ten percent report onset at 10 years or younger; 33
percent ages 11 to 15.

-Research also shows that messages girls receive from the media can
damage their feelings of self-worth and negatively affect their
behavior. More than one in four girls surveyed feel the media pressure
them to have a perfect body.

I admire Dove for their Campaign For Real Beauty. Someone needs to expose the fashion and beauty industry for what it is. How did we get to a point in society where over half of 9 year old girls are already on diets? I've read elsewhere that even by the age of 5 or 6, girls are already worried about their looks. My weight and appearance were the last thing on my mind during my elementary school years.
Girls with low self-esteem are far more likely to suffer depression, have eating disorders, abuse drugs and alcohol, and get pregnant in their teen years. I'm glad the discussion has started so that we can come up with a plan to reverse this trend.....

In the meantime, hug your girls and other women in your life and let them know how beautiful they are! :)

20 comments:

Anna said...

I am with you and completely admire Dove and what they are trying to do here. As the mom of a teenage girl, I can see that she is bombarded....not just by media but my friends that speak about these issues and then put them in the forefront of her mind.

Scary.

Thanks so much for sharing this. I am going to share it with my daughter and all the girls her age...

Tracy said...

I agree that this is very scary. I have two girls 14, and 8. The pressure is so great to look a certain way. Thankfully they are homeschooled, so that does relieve some of the pressure.

I think our daughters need to be reminded that they are valuable because God made them. As we look around, there are so many different body types, skin types, hair types. You get the point... God thinks that we are all beautiful. To say that only one way is beautiful is to limit His creativity. That is just so wrong!

Christianne said...

I know -- these statistics are so crazy! I worked on a book last year called "You Are Not What You Weigh" by Lisa Bevere. Ever heard of it? It's a great one for giving a spiritual perspective on women's body image.

What I find so amazing is the power and influence and seduction of the media. We're bombarded all day long! And especially in the grocery aisles. And despite my best efforts to believe God's truth for myself, I find myself comparing, comparing, comparing too many minutes (and hours?) of the day, eventually wishing I could take a scalpel to my own flesh to make it comply to what I want! :(

Andrea said...

I like that video a lot. Powerful music and images. I think it's sad that our culture can affect girls that way. With a 13 year old I am conciously aware of that.

bluemountainmama said...

christianne- i haven't heard of that book, but it sounds like a good one.

and tracy....i love what you said!

colleen said...

Barbie Doll plastic beauty gone mad! Talk about airbrush. This video really gets the point across. Is she wearing Victoria's Secret?

bluemountainmama said...

colleen- she just might be! :)

Moi said...

i like the Dove ad....and was shocked to hear that the ad was refused to be aired on US television -----too much skin!!! tho' it's viewable at the website....and those statistics that u have shared sure sound crazy......wish media wud let girls be......

dani-hermit-be-gone said...

A video clip every woman should see, thanks for sharing dear. Perfect timing. Someone very close to me is starving themselves these days and it's been heavy on my mind. I absolutely agree about Tracy's comment; how perfect, "limiting God's creativity"..

bluemountainmama said...

moi- i didn't realize it wasn't allowed to be shown in the us...but, i guess that make sense b/c the only place i could find it was on the web. that reasoning is bullox in my opinion, as i've seen a lot more skin in other commercials.....look at victoria's secret commercials, which in my book are almost soft-core pornography. a shame!

Ash said...

I loved the Dove campaign video too.

Anna S said...

I study nutrition, and used this video as one of the illustration for a project we presented recently - media's influence on distortion of body image. There's definitely something there. Researches from "International Journal of Eating Disorders" show it clearly. I don't know many women who are content with their current weight.
Going to post about it in a day or two.

Rosie said...

Wonderful cause to do a PSA for! Cudos to you. The sad thing is that our screwed up western view of body image and beauty infects other countries as well. I also think the "obesity epidemic" is more than likely a backlash to this weird preoccupation we have with thinness. Health and moderation are such better ideals to push.

kirsten said...

As someone who has dealt with anorexia, this is an issue that is near & dear to my heart. It may have been a decade ago, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't struggle daily with body image & how I perceived myself.

This country is obsessed with appearance. I hate that no matter what magazine cover you look at, the latest female celebrity is being lambasted for being too fat or chastised for being too thin. It's just a little ironic that the same industry that pushes Barbie-doll thinness criticizes those who manage to achieve it.

I applaud Dove's campaign for Real Beauty. I definitely think it's a step in the right direction: toward moderation, health, and expanding our minds to include not thinness, but health & well-being as beautiful.

Great post!!

UKBob said...

I agree completely. I blame the TV myself. We have a TV show here called 'Ugly Betty' wouldn't it have been nice to see Betty being played by a tall slim blonde!! I guess it wouldn't have worked for the show but it would have put out a better message than the one it puts over now. We get a lot of TV shows from the USA here and if you didn't know any different you would think that all American's were tall and slim with great hair and a dazzling smile. Anyway thats what I think but then I'm bald with middle age spread so maybe I'm just jealous - my legs aren't bad though. Bob.

bluemountainmama said...

kirsten- thank you for being open about how you have struggled with this. i totally agree with what you and Rosie said: that the ideal should be health, moderation, and well-being.....

ukbob- thanks for stopping by. we have "ugly betty", too, but i've never watched it. your comments are funny! :)

Elise said...

Thank you for this reminder. I shall hug Eliana and whisper the words, "You are beautiful, into her ear when she awakes in the morning.
And here is one for you, (((beautiful Amy))).

bluemountainmama said...

thank you, elise....and back at ya! :)

busybusymomma said...

Oh, thanks for posting that one! A friend told me about it but I hadn't seen it yet.

It's amazing to me that girls worry about their figures so young. :(

L.L. Barkat said...

I remember this great clip (had it on my blog last year, and it really brought me to tears)...

Age 9? diet? Wow, I guess keeping them home for school has really made a difference. Mine eat me out of house and home, and are regular sized and quite content with their appearance.