We are Lindsay Kite and Lexie Kite, 28-year-old identical twin sisters with PhDs in the study of media and body image from the University of Utah (’13). We have a passion for helping girls and women recognize and reject harmful messages about their bodies and what “beauty” means and looks like. Beauty Redefined represents our not-for-profit work through the Beauty Redefined Foundation (501(c)(3)) to take back beauty for girls and women everywhere through continuing the discussion about body image, women’s potential and media influence through this website, our Facebook page and most prominently through regular speaking engagements in both secular and religious settings, from universities and high schools to professional conferences and church congregations for all ages. Read or download our speaking engagements packet for information on what we do and how to book us for your audience here: Beauty Redefined Info Packet.
Our co-authored master’s thesis and complementary doctoral work forms the basis for a one-hour visual presentation on recognizing and rejecting harmful media ideals about beauty and health, which we have presented to thousands of people across the state of Utah and beyond since March 2009. We will also post the dates of our upcoming speaking engagements if they are open to the public and links to informative articles and resources where you can find additional information on the (mis)representation of women in media.
Beauty Redefined is all about rethinking our ideas of “beautiful” and “healthy” that we’ve likely learned from for-profit media that thrives off female insecurity. Girls and women who feel OK about their bodies — meaning they aren’t “disgusted” with them like more than half of women today* – take better care of themselves. With obesity and eating disorders both at epidemic levels, this point is crucial!
Researchers* have found that overweight girls who were more comfortable with their bodies were more likely to make healthy choices as they entered young adulthood. The girls who felt good about themselves were more likely to be physically active and pay more attention to what they ate. Meanwhile, the girls who were the most dissatisfied with their size tended to become more sedentary over time and paid less attention to maintaining a healthy diet. This shows that encouraging women to love and care for their bodies – whether or not they match media beauty ideals — may be one way to reverse or at least slow the progression of the health crises on both ends of the spectrum, from eating disorders to obesity. Beauty Redefined aims to continuously promote the idea that all women are worthwhile AND beautiful while fighting against the harmful ideals we’re sold at every turn.
“While we cannot directly affect the images [in media], we can drain them of their power. We can turn away from them and look directly at one another. We can lift ourselves and other women out of the myth.” - Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth, p. 277*Dove International Survey, 2007 *Patricia van den Berg & Dianne Neumark-Sztainer. (2007). Journal of Adolescent Health.