If you’ve glanced at a magazine or turned on the TV in the last decade, you’ve got a good idea of what media’s definition of an attractive woman looks like: she’s tall, young, usually white, has long, flowing hair, is surgically enhanced, blemish-free and very thin. In fact, academic research tells it like we see it: studies show the women we see in media these days are thinner than ever and very often severely underweight. On top of that, surgical and digital enhancement has become an unquestioned standard. And in a world where a constant flow of media images far outnumbers women we could ever see face to face, this unrealistic ideal has become the norm in our minds. A counterfeit, dangerous, unattainable norm. When we only see a certain type of woman presented positively in media, from fitness magazines to TV dramas, it’s no wonder media is consistently linked to body hatred, disordered eating and an unhealthy focus on appearance. Profit-driven media, hand in hand with the multi-billion-dollar beauty and weight loss industries, rely on us believing a lie. The lie tells us beauty comes in one form that anyone can attain with enough money, time and effort. It tells us that women who don’t fit the ideal are doomed to be undesirable and unhappy. This sinister lie that female worth is dependent upon appearance is incredibly successful, but now that we recognize we’re in a battle for women’s worth and well being, we can actually start to defend ourselves!
Beauty Redefined is dedicated to taking back beauty for females everywhere through teaching people to recognize and reject harmful messages about female bodies in media and cultural discourse. We do this through speaking engagements in a wide variety of settings, publishing our research on this website, and continuing the conversation through social media. For more on our work and how you can join the battle to redefine beauty in healthy and empowering ways, please follow the links above through Step 1: Recognize, Step 2: Redefine, and Step 3: Resist.