What We Think About That

Have you seen ___?!

Many times every day, we get asked if we’ve seen/heard about [insert whatever body image-related hot topic is blowing up the web this week]. When the hot topic is just too relevant to ignore but we’re not about to write a whole blog post about it, we will generally come up with some sort of Facebook and Instagram post that gives the official Beauty Redefined statement. Since social media is so fleeting, we are sharing our most popular posts HERE! This way, they’re pinnable and shareable and can always be found by those looking to refer back to our genius (smiley face) on a variety of trendy topics. For best results, check back often.

Sandra Bullock on Media’s Treatment of Women

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People magazine named Sandra Bullock its Most Beautiful Woman of 2015. But we’re not celebrating that — we’re celebrating the fact that she’s using it as a platform to speak up about how women are treated in media! She said, “I laughed when [People] said they’re gonna be generous and bestow me this wonderful privilege, but I said if I can talk about the amazing women who I find beautiful, which are these women who rise above and take care of business and do wonderful things, and take care of each other, then I’m more than honored to be on the cover of this.” ThAT is Beauty Redefined! She added, “Little girls are having the hardest time with bullying and the internet … We are harming girls and women in a way and at a speed that is scaring me. It’s really scaring me.”

We fully echo Sandra’s words. We are so grateful for this wonderful example of a star using tabloid media — the very same source of the problem she’s calling out — as a platform to educate people and spark change in the ways we think about and talk about girls and women. We are more than bodies, and when we see more in ourselves and others, we can be more!

Mindy Kaling on Backhanded Compliments

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We rarely (if ever) openly endorse celebrities as being 100% Beauty Redefined-approved — in fact, we usually end up adding a disclaimer that we’re highlighting just one particular statement from a celeb when we post these quote graphics — but not in this case. We really, truly love Mindy. Her presence and voice as a writer, actress, director and showrunner is one of the most refreshing, hilarious, relatable and groundbreaking influences for girls and women we’ve seen in pop culture. And NOT because she’s anything close to a “sea monster.” She has paved her own path, made a name and created dynamic roles for herself, and gathered a huge fan base along the way. We are excited to see everything else she has yet to contribute to a media landscape that needs more brains, voices and faces like hers!

This quote in particular isn’t meant to be particularly empowering or inspirational, but it’s hilarious and relatable and we love it. It also reflects a point we make regularly about being super conscious of the backhanded compliments we all sometimes unwittingly give. No more, “You look so skinny!” or “I wish I had your stick-thin legs!” or “You have such a pretty face” or “All plus-sized women should have your confidence” or even “I wish I had the guts to wear tops like that at your size.” Lots of looks-focused compliments — even well-intentioned ones — can be triggering, depressing, or have the effect of causing people to be more preoccupied with their appearance. If that sounds hard to believe, please check out this post and consider the thousands of comments we have received from people backing up that claim: http://www.beautyredefined.net/when-you-look-so-skinny-doe…/. Let’s focus our compliments and discussion on so much more than people’s bodies. Dig deeper to add in compliments about character, talents, personality traits, and anything else that can remind us we are all more than bodies, and when we see more, we can be more.

Olivia’ Wilde’s Ideal World for Moms

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What a world! These are the kinds of ideals we believe in too. As more women learn to embrace their bodies as being valuable regardless of whether they fit today’s beauty ideals, and as we learn to define our health in terms of the way we feel and act instead of just the way we look, this world comes a little closer to the one #OliviaWilde described! When even a few of us make strides toward loving and accepting our bodies, that gives other girls and women permission to feel good about themselves too when they see that example. Project confidence and self-acceptance, even if you have to fake it sometimes, and it’ll grow and spread beyond yourself. It’s that whole Gandhi idea: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” How can you “be the change” this weekend?

Kelly Clarkson’s Perfect Reaction to Haters

 

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Right now, Kelly Clarkson is making the media rounds to promote her latest album, and one of the main things she’s always asked is what she has to say in response to really vile comments about her body. We love her response shown in this image, but what we really love is that she doesn’t give in to the pressure to just HIDE. Despite her weight fluctuations being a hot topic throughout her entire career, Kelly doesn’t wait to display her talent and promote her music until she fits the ideals media upholds as acceptable. She doesn’t hide herself or “fix” herself before she feels ideal-looking enough to be in the public eye. She is an incredibly talented singer in an industry that increasingly defines stars by their body shapes, but she doesn’t let the constant fat talk hold her back from proudly sharing her talents and herself.

When most girls and women feel body shame, which comes as a result of not living up to physical ideals in our minds, they resort to coping mechanisms that fit into the categories of either “hiding” or “fixing,” but we simply don’t have to do that — as Kelly demonstrates so well. More about how to recognize and proactively fight against that here: http://tinyurl.com/n4jduql. We’re grateful for Kelly’s example and we hope it can help other girls and women be a little more courageous in “letting [their] little lights shine.”

Kerry Washington on Her Best Assets

Kerry Washington Beauty Redefined

Little girls and teens who are primarily valued for how cute and pretty they are grow up to be women who struggle with their body image because they learn to evaluate themselves based on others’ validation regarding their looks. That’s why some of the women you think are the most ideal-looking are often the ones who feel the worst about their bodies. It’s a losing game because our “ideals” are perpetually out of reach and our self-perceptions are usually distorted. Looks-based validation isn’t always dependable no matter how stunning you are since our appearances change with age, babies, relationships, health and just LIVING. We have got to learn to value others and ourselves for so much more than our beauty. Yes, teach little girls to see beauty in themselves and others, but teach them that their beauty is not their currency. Their value and their power can’t depend on their ever-changing outsides and our culture’s ever-changing ideals! How about their talents, character, personality traits, etc.? We love how actress Kerry Washington’s mom would switch the focus to Kerry’s intelligence. It’s harder than going straight for the surface stuff, but well worth it. Try it!

Learn more ways to *see more* than bodies and *be more* than bodies here –> http://www.beautyredefined.net/more-than-a-body-prove-it/

Taylor Schilling on Being Real Online

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Actress Taylor Schilling worries about the tendency to present only glossed-over, perfectly filtered accounts of ourselves, and we are too. If you see people online more than in person, you’re likely to have a warped perception of those people and yourself! Social media use is linked to anxiety and depression because of self-comparison. We’re constantly comparing our real, wrinkly lives to everyone else’s highlight reel, altered by apps that smooth over every sign of life. We end up feeling abnormal in our perfectly normal skin because of endless images of poreless, wrinkle-less, zit-less, filtered faces. What if we preserved a little bit of our beautiful reality for others who need a glimpse of what’s real? And stopped hiding when we don’t live up to the ideals? That doesn’t mean we all need to post makeup-free selfies with reasons we’re beautiful (although yes,‪#‎girlyoudontneedmakeup‬!) — since that can lead to even more of a focus on validation for appearance. Let’s just live our lives (and our social media choices) with a little more truth and less concern about making our lives appear wrinkle-free (figuratively and literally). Let’s embrace reality to take the shame out of those signs of life we’re pressured to hide and feel ashamed about. Let’s connect person-to-person, recognizing our common humanity and exercising more compassion toward ourselves and the others we’re tempted to compare ourselves to. THAT is Beauty Redefined!

Read more here on how Photoshop culture affects our real-life beauty choices: http://www.beautyredefined.net/physically-photoshopping-ou…/

Rumer Willis on Constant Comparisons

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Margaret Cho on Permission to Be Beautiful

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Choosing to accept yourself and embrace what you’re working with right now is not only liberating and empowering for yourself — it can also be exactly what others in your life need in order to view themselves in a more positive light. When we own our bodies and live as if we have confidence in ourselves (even if we have to fake it or force it at first), we give others permission to do the same. It can be an amazing domino effect of positivity. Margaret Cho is a comedian and actor who was repeatedly told that she was too “ethnic,” not pretty enough and not thin enough to be successful. In an attempt to fit those ideals while working to star in her own TV sitcom, she developed a serious eating disorder and struggled with it for years. Her words show the amazing transformation she experienced by choosing confidence, recovery and resilience. We can all do the same!

Pushing Back Against More Sexism in the Sports World

Golf Digest does it again — celebrates almost *always* fully clothed male athletes for their accomplishments all year long until the May “fitness” issue comes out, which features a barely clothed (nearly topless) professional golfer Lexi Thompson. This is what objectification looks like. The harmful effects of valuing women only for their bodies don’t just disappear because Lexi agreed to do the photo. Women who make those choices are highly rewarded for doing so and are often ONLY valued in the sports and entertainment worlds when they take their clothes off. No surprise many women agree to it. Women are more than just bodies, but you wouldn’t know it by seeing the way we’re represented in the sports world. Get your own sticky notes to lend an empowering little reminder to your neighborhood Golf Digest copies (on stands soon) here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/merchandise/.
Learn more about why objectification under the guise of “sports” is harmful to ALL people here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/three-issues-swimsuit-issue/ And maybe drop a little note to GolfDigest <– if you feel inclined to share some reasons why you will be canceling your subscription or why objectifying women’s bodies is very unsportsman-like!

Lexi Thompson Golf Digest Objectification Sexist Beauty Redefined

Porn, Mainstream Media and Objectification

JGL speaks some TRUTH about objectification here. The media we consume does affect us in real ways. One of those realities is that it teaches us to see parts of people rather than whole people, and it teaches us to see ourselves as parts for outsiders to view and consume. Women are more than just bodies, and it takes recognizing objectification in media to see more in the world and then see more in ourselves. Also, his reference to the blatant objectification of women by Carl‘s Jr. provides us with a friendly reminder to ‪#‎cutthecarls‬ because women are‪#‎morethanmeat‬! See more about our beliefs about how pornography affects relationships here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/lessons-from-porn-women-are…/

This quote comes from an NPR interview where Joseph Gordon-Levitt talked about the movie he directed and starred in, “Don Jon,” which dealt with the reality and negative effects of pornography addiction. The full interview is here: http://www.npr.org/…/joseph-gordon-levitt-on-life-and-the-l….

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Gina Rodriguez on Fighting for her Own Body Confidence

Gina Rodriguez, star of the new hit TV show “Jane the Virgin,” got a great start on learning to accept herself, including her appearance, from her dad at a young age. Even though she’s always being told she’s too fat, too short and not “ethnic” enough for TV and movies, she credits her confidence to her ability to question those beauty ideals early on. Everyone can develop and teach media literacy in simple ways by being critical of media and not ourselves. Ask your kids (and yourself), “Do you see female characters on TV or movies that look like the girls and women you know in real life?” and “How do you think girls feel when they don’t get to see people who look like them on TV or in magazines?” Teach them in simple terms that companies want women to feel bad about their bodies and faces so they will spend their money on things to make them look prettier. Teach them to recognize the ways media manipulates our emotions to sell absolutely everything, from junk food to eyeshadow. They can learn to recognize those lies about beauty and worth and reject them. Replace those lies with the truth — that their reflections do not define their worth and their bodies are instruments, not ornaments! More inspiration here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/more-than-a-body-prove-it/

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Conquering Stealthy Self-Hate with Serious Self-Love

Too many of us have a constant script of mean thoughts about ourselves running through our minds. That kind of negativity is not motivational or inspirational — in fact, it’s debilitating. That mean mumbling under your breath when you catch your reflection in the glass door is actually a pretty powerful self-hating force that keeps us stuck in our own body anxiety. Seeing that guy you like stare too long at a magazine blatantly objectifying a woman while you blame yourself for not being sexy enough is stealth and stifling self-hate. It takes conscious effort to turn off that negativity and replace it with anything — seriously, anything — else, but it has to be done! The best replacement for that negativity is positivity. Yes, you’ll feel like a dummy, but you’ve gotta slay those mental demons with some mental self-love: try “My body is an instrument, not an ornament.” “I’m capable of much more than being looked at.” “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” “I’m enough.” Whatever mantra helps you embrace you, say it every time self-hate comes creeping in.

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Jennifer Garner’s Refreshing “Baby Bump” Revelation on “Ellen”

THIS is how you “get your body back!” You TAKE it back, by claiming your post-baby body as your own, including your “baby bump,” whether you’re pregnant or not! So much love to Jennifer Garner for responding today to the constant pregnancy rumors sparked by her perfectly normal body shape with such refreshing pride and honesty. We have lots more tips for how you can reclaim your body post-pregnancy body *without* products, services, surgery or body shame: http://www.beautyredefined.net/you-had-a-baby-this-is-how-you-get-your-body-back/

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Colbie Callait’s Awesome New Music Video, “Try”

We live in a world where SO MUCH emphasis is placed on how women look and the bar is constantly raised out of reach. We are constantly sold the vicious and dangerous lie that women are bodies to be looked at, fixed, and judged. But the truth is, there is no “beauty” finish line you have to cross before you deserve the good things in life. You deserve happiness and love and success in life simply because you are. You are more than a body. You are capable of much more than being looked at. You are not a decoration. You are YOU on purpose. You have things to do that no one else can do. You have a life to live and happiness to find and love to give. The world is more beautiful because you are here and it has nothing to do with your looks. Colbie Callait’s latest song and video are speaking our language. This is the most Beauty Redefined music video we’ve ever seen. Enjoy! 

Celebs Opening Up About Their Own Eating Disorders

Yet another celeb, Nicole Scherzinger, is speaking up about her battle with what she calls a “paralyzing disease,” bulimia. Kesha and Demi Lovato have been vocal about their own struggles recently too. Our new post helps you decide if you or a loved one is one of millions struggling with disordered eating and a warped sense of self-worth: http://www.beautyredefined.net/recognizing-eating-disorder-recovering/. If you aren’t dealing with this, we promise you know someone who is. We’re here to help! On the outside, people with eating disorders look like anyone else — in all shapes and sizes. Inside, they are clawing for survival. Their days are made or broken by the number on the scale. Some go binge on food and then purge, excessively exercise, or restrict food. Some constantly calculate how many calories have been consumed vs. burned. Some abuse laxatives and diet pills. Our new post helps you recognize if you are facing an ED and points you toward recovery. You deserve better. You can get better. See what pop stars Nicole, Kesha and Demi Lovato have to say about their own thoughts on recovery:

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Demi Lovato Body Image Beauty Redefined

People Dismissing Your Words and Actions Because of Your Looks (A Rant)

“Honestly, if you two were stick thin you couldn’t have the company you do.” We (Lexie & Lindsay, bR directors) were told this today by someone debating our stance against companies that profit off of female insecurity with things like magic body wraps, and she didn’t see it as an insult. If you speak up about body image you’ve probably heard similar remarks. Here’s why that idea is baloney, harmful, and needs to die.

1. Positive body image isn’t just for non-thin people. Body shame and self-objectification are equal opportunity offenders. If you think thin girls always feel great about their bodies and non-thin girls always feel bad about their bodies, you’re dead wrong, and you’ve bought into the LIE that thinness=happiness and anything else equals sadness and unhealthiness. Plus, did you know “fixing” your body doesn’t fix your body image? Those lies benefit companies selling beauty ideals and really hurt people trying to improve their confidence and body satisfaction.
2. If we were “stick thin,” we still could’ve gotten PhDs in the study of media and body image and started a nonprofit to promote body image resilience. No weight requirement for that. Promise.
3. Dismissing someone’s work or words because of what you think they look like is wrong. It happens to women constantly because our looks-obsessed culture teaches women are ornaments, and that our value is dependent on how those ornaments look. When you discredit or mock someone’s efforts to promote positive body image because of their appearance, you are proving *exactly* why our work is necessary. You objectify and silence them. Women are more than bodies. Women speaking up about positive body image are more than bodies, regardless of what they look like to you. We have to start evaluating people’s words and actions rather than reducing them to objects whose only contributions are related to their looks. 

We will keep doing this work no matter what, and we hope you do too. We know how hard it is to risk criticism — especially embarrassing and hurtful looks-related criticism — by speaking up about harmful beauty ideals and those who profit from selling them. But do not let their words silence you! Here’s a post on how to respond to people who dismiss you because of your looks –> http://www.beautyredefined.net/not-pretty-or-ugly-enough/. We are more than bodies to be looked at, fixed, and judged! Are you with us?

Melissa McCarthy Rocking It and Owning It

Do you “rock it and own it?” We want you to! We love that attitude, and so does the wonderful Melissa McCarthy. The award-winning actress is standing up against body shaming and double-standards for men and women in media, all the while beautifully demonstrating that success and confidence are not dependent on fitting narrow beauty ideals. Whoever, wherever, however you are right now, you can “rock it and own it” by understanding that your value is not defined by your appearance and that you are capable of *much more* than looking hot. When we shift the focus off of our looks, we are able to develop true confidence in every aspect of ourselves — including our bodies. Learn to handle body criticism (from inside your mind or outside) and other tough body image burdens in life-changing ways through resilience. Read up here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/not-picture-perfect-bounce-back-from-a-body-image-blow/

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Comparison to Fashion Ideals

You are a dynamic, multi-dimensional, thinking, feeling person with a body that allows you to experience and enjoy so many things — regardless of what it looks like. The media images we compare ourselves to are flat, one-dimensional, altered ideals designed to cause you to feel physically inadequate. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Recognize those messages and feelings that reduce you to an ornament to be looked at, and reject those lies! You are so much more than that. Read more here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/more-than-a-body-prove-it/

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Entertainment Weekly‘s Increasing Sexual Objectification

“To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren’t is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men’s sexual–and hence social–confidence while undermining that of women.” -Naomi Wolf

Entertainment Weekly has gotten in the habit of showing successful women in the entertainment industry barely clothed next to their fully dressed male counterparts. It is a blatant declaration that a woman’s successes and accomplishments come second to what her body looks like. So let Entertainment Weekly know you are #notbuyingit! Cancel subscriptions. Encourage employers (dentists, doctors, therapists, salons, etc) to cancel subscriptions that bring the magazine into the waiting rooms. And while you’re out and about, stick it to them with our sticky notes! You can get them here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/support-beauty-redefined/sticky-notes/. And you can read about how to let go of self-objectification here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/running-from-self-objectification/.

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Emma Stone’s Response to Body Policers

Actress Emma Stone has been getting a lot of flak for her weight lately, and we love what she has to say in response to those comments. You are the only person who truly knows if your choices are healthy and respectful to your own body. And even though others will voice their own opinions, for good or bad, the only person you truly have to answer to about YOUR body and YOUR health is YOURSELF. Let’s lay off the body policing, even when it’s under the guise of concern for someone’s health, and especially when it’s directed toward a person whose health you know nothing about. Let’s also be generous with ourselves, exercising self-compassion and understanding no one is perfect, no matter how they may appear. And then let’s move on to more important things than worrying about our own or others’ appearance! Like, say, anything else you can think of. Literally anything is more important than that. 

Read these posts for more on how and why to curb the body policing: http://www.beautyredefined.net/call-the-body-police/ & http://www.beautyredefined.net/when-you-look-so-skinny-does-more-harm-than-good/

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Using Pain for Progress, Featuring Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe unleashed some serious wisdom at a Ms. Foundation gala this week, including these powerful words about where her confidence comes from. What she is describing is a huge part of our research: RESILIENCE. Turning pain into power. Growing after difficult experiences, rather than sinking into shame. By tapping into four sources of power and utilizing strategies that are often innate, but can always be learned, anyone can develop or increase their body image resilience. Dig deeper into this topic here: http://tiny.cc/92nbfxShe also described overeating for comfort, and this post tackles that widespread topic beautifully: http://tinyurl.com/myedlp2Read the full transcription of Gabourey’s excellent speech here:  http://tiny.cc/l4nbfx (be aware of a little harsh language).

Gabourey Sidibe Beauty Redefined

The Difference Between Feeling Beautiful and Positive Body Image

We have to stress this point: Having positive body image isn’t believing you are beautiful. Instead, it is feeling good about your body in general. So many times we confuse “my body” with “how my body looks” and think of them from an outside perspective. This self-objectification showed up in more than 3/4 of our doctoral study participants from the very first question. When asked, “How do you feel about your body,” most answered with a description of how they looked! Your body is far more important and powerful as an instrument for your use than it is as an ornament to admire from the outside. This is one of our problems with the idea of using selfies to promote positive body image. Self-esteem and confidence are crucial, but they are NOT dependent on what you look like. More on the selfies issue here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/selfies-and-objectification/. Women are more than just bodies, and when we learn to *see more* in ourselves and others, we can *be more* than just objects to look at. Getting past the obsession with the outsides of our bodies is key to developing a positive perception of our own bodies, which is the definition of positive body image.

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Meryl Streep’s Advice to Young Women (It’s Amazing)

After accepting an honorary doctorate at Indiana University last week, Meryl Streep offered some AWESOME advice that is sooo Beauty Redefined. One of our slogans is “Women are more than just bodies. See more. Be more.” (found on sticky notes here!->http://www.beautyredefined.net/merchandise/). When we see ourselves and others as more than just bodies to be judged and fixed, we can invest that time, energy and emotion into greater things! Join us and Meryl in doing exactly that!

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Comparisons and Embracing Your Reality, Featuring Serena Williams

Many of the women in our studies described feeling body shame from comparisons to other people — and not just celebrities. In fact, sisters (including sisters-in-law) and friends were the most commonly named people our participants felt inadequate in comparison to! These feelings of competition and jealousy are so divisive and harmful. It doesn’t have to be this way. When we unite with other women — acknowledging our strengths, weaknesses, and experiences — we can increase our own happiness and lift others at the same time. Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and this statement rings very true in the world of body image! Start today to embrace your own beautiful reality, regardless of what ideals you do or do not fit, as superstar tennis pro Serena Williams describes. Please understand that another person’s beauty (or your perception of it) does not diminish your own beauty or worth. Join us in redefining beauty in more all-encompassing, attainable, and empowering ways and viewing ourselves as more than just bodies in order to move on to much more important things! Start here for practical strategies:  http://www.beautyredefined.net/more-than-a-body-prove-it/

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Amy Adams and Her Post-Baby Body

If you haven’t seen an ad on how to “get your body back!” after giving birth or seen a “news” story on how some celebrity new mom “got her body back,” you have not LIVED! Seriously, it means you are probably not alive. You should get that checked out. Because the rest of us are being beaten over the head with the lie that women with post-baby bods have no bodies at all. Until we “get our bodies back” through fitting into the narrow and nearly unattainable ideals, we’ve got nothing. Except shame, depression, and anxiety. We can have all of that we want! We love Amy Adams’ attitude toward her post-baby body and can help you learn to cultivate the same feelings! Read more at http://www.beautyredefined.net/you-had-a-baby-this-is-how-you-get-your-body-back/

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Body Shame During Weight Fluctuations, Featuring Valerie Bertinelli

Body shame is an enemy to healthy choices. So many forces in our culture teach us to feel ashamed of our aspects of our bodies, often in order to convince us to buy their products and services to “fix” ourselves. But when we recognize where shame-based messages are coming from, and how they hold us back from empowering health choices, we can resist the shame! Actress Valerie Bertinelli (who very publicly lost 40 pounds with the help of a multi-million-dollar weight loss company) is recognizing the role shame plays in her body image, and we’re grateful she spoke up about it this week. This serves as a good reminder that even the women whose bodies are used to sell “weight loss=happiness” messages are vulnerable to body anxiety, and that holding ourselves to those body ideals is nothing but trouble. Read more on how body shame affects our health and how to resist it here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/body-shame-on-you/

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Troian Bellisario’s Call to Move Beyond Appearance Compliments

We love these words from “Pretty Little Liars” star Troian Bellisario, which she posted on her own Instagram page in late March 2014. We work to redefine beauty to a place that is happier, more attainable, and more inclusive than the narrow ideals we see in media. You can start this in your own life by digging deeper in the compliments you pay other girls and women! See more about this idea here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/more-than-a-body-prove-it/

Anne Frank and How to Enjoy Beauty

We LOVE Anne Frank. These wise words are just as true in our day as they were in hers. Despite your trials and difficulties relating to your body image, please take a moment to be still and recognize the goodness and beauty that will always exist in and around you. 

Anne Frank Beauty Redefined

Selfies

Selfies aren’t inherently evil. Taking 55 pictures of your face at slightly different angles is not fundamentally wrong. BUT when we put this female-driven phenomenon in the context of our culture, selfies aren’t just a trivial trend. We see a new form of “selfie-objectification” happening as people capture photos of themselves, analyze them, often edit them, and share them for others to see and comment on. We have to consider how this practice affects our lives — sometimes in harmful ways without us even realizing it. Please read our latest post before you think we’re bashing anyone who loves selfies! –>http://www.beautyredefined.net/selfies-and-objectification

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Emma Watson Reminding Us Our Bodies Have a Function

We agree with what Emma Watson has to say, and we hope you’ll listen in, too– our bodies are functional, not ornamental, and we deserve a life full of living rather than degrading ourselves as we try to work to look a certain way. For more on how to love your body, check out http://www.beautyredefined.net/loving-your-body-101/.

Emma Watson Body Image Beauty Redefined

What Positive Body Image REALLY Is

Regardless of what you look like, or what you think you look like, you can feel good about yourself because you are not your appearance. Your body is an instrument you can use for good, not an object to be admired. Believing this is life-changing. Our culture teaches us to constantly picture ourselves from an onlooker’s perspective and to gauge our worth based on what we and others think about our looks. This hurts us. This limits our ability to fully experience life and contribute good to a world that needs us – not just a pretty vision of us – but ALL of us. When we learn to recognize the ways a fixation on looks gets in the way of us doing anything more important, we can consciously push back. Want to have positive body image? Experience your body as an instrument instead of an object by using it! Swim, dance, run! Your body is an amazing instrument for your benefit, and not a burden in need of judging and fixing. THAT is Beauty Redefined. www.beautyredefined.org.

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Target’s Thigh Gap Photoshop FAIL

Have you seen Target’s latest Photoshop Fail on a JUNIORS swimsuit model? Industries are coming up with unattainable ideals for us at every turn, including the “thigh gap” (which most women don’t have naturally). These ideals are so unreal that even models and beauty icons can’t meet these standards, so they are #Photoshopped EVERY TIME. Read more about why we need to MIND THE [THIGH] GAP and reject this as an ideal for everyone here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/mind-the-thigh-gap/

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On “Modesty”

If you are an advocate for “modesty,” specifically in the context of dressing appropriately based on a set of personal or religious standards, we hope you’ll help us change the conversation from one that is often harmful and objectifying for girls and women to one that is empowering. Read here for more on how we can reframe this idea and please pass it on if you agree! http://www.beautyredefined.net/modest-is-hottest-the-revealing-truth/

Modest is Not Hottest Beauty Redefined

On Demi Lovato and Being Real for Her Fans

Welcome to National Eating Disorder Awareness Week! This is a week to learn about the pervasive and growing problem of eating disorders and to find the courage to seek help if you need it. Actress and singer Demi Lovato is an excellent example of someone who has broken the silence about her eating disorder and sought treatment. She continues to support and encourage her young fans, and this quote demonstrates that. Many people turn to disordered eating as a coping mechanism to deal with body shame, which represents one factor that contributes to the epidemic. To learn more about how body shame creeps in to our lives, read here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/body-shame-on-you/. To learn more about NEDA week or to seek help, go here: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/node/687

Demi Lovato Beauty Redefined Quote Graphic

Lena Dunham and her Zen Body Image

Learning to experience our bodies as instruments instead of ornaments is key to developing a positive body image and good health! This quote from filmmaker and actress Lena Dunham illustrates that idea nicely. (Keep in mind this isn’t an endorsement of everything Lena-related — as with every celeb quote we post — just a fantastic quote from a popular and powerful woman.) For more on improving your relationship with your body, read here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/loving-your-body-101/

Lupita Nyong’o and Representing for Women of Color

In a media world where women of color are digitally and physically “whitewashed” to fit white beauty ideals constantly, award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o is showing us why representing women of all ethnicities is so vital. Check out this post for all the evidence you need of how “beauty whitewashing” happens and how it hurts us all: http://tinyurl.com/4e7b2ux

"12 Years A Slave" Portraits - 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

The SI Swimsuit Issue and How Much We HATE It

Did you know the three women on the cover of the SI Swimsuit Edition is MORE than the number of female athletes that hit the SI cover in all of 2013? Yikes. We are MORE than bodies to be looked at and we are #NOTBUYINGIT. Here are a few things you can do to spread the word that the normalization of pornography and the objectification of women are not something to be celebrated to sell magazines or Barbies. 

1) ARM YOURSELF. Get your mind wrapped around all the reasons this magazine and the Barbie spread inside is so harmful. Here’s what we have to say: http://tinyurl.com/mcsgrr8
2) TALK BACK. Target debuted a special SI Swimsuit Barbie, and we want YOU to go leave an online review letting them know what you think. Not really feeling the obscene objectification and sexualization of women (and girls!) through the promotion of a classic child’s toy in a pornographic magazine? Tell them. Make it funny. or ridiculous. Or so true they can’t deny it. Post it here: http://tinyurl.com/ka7hkv3
3) STICK IT TO THE MAN. When you do come face to face with the issue on the magazine stands, slap some sticky notes on it to give everyone a happy reminder that women are MORE than bodies: http://tinyurl.com/lzpz96b

Swimsuit Issue Cover 2014 Beauty Redefined

Melissa McCarthy and Appreciating Your Body Right Now

One of the best things you can do for your body image *right now* is to appreciate it. Appreciate what your body has allowed you to do – regardless of your abilities, appearance or health status – and acknowledge those strengths and gifts. Then, rather than being hung up on our bodies, move the focus to other areas of yourself and your life that bring fulfillment, whether that is relationships, talents, accomplishments, or service to others. We like the way awesome actress Melissa McCarthy described this idea. Learning to love your body at whatever state it is in now can be difficult in this objectifying, body shaming culture, but it is not impossible, and the process is incredibly rewarding. The sooner you make peace with your body, the sooner you improve your mental and physical health, and move on to bigger and better things than fixating on appearance! Get started with our new post! –> http://www.beautyredefined.net/loving-your-body-101/

Melissa McCarthy Beauty Redefined

Barbie Teaming up with the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

“From its earliest days, [Sports Illustrated] Swimsuit has delivered a message of empowerment, strength and beauty and we are delighted that Barbie is celebrating those core values in such a unique manner,” SI editor MJ Day said. Mattel added, “As with Barbie, every year the Swimsuit edition sparks conversations about women and body image, and Sports Illustrated stands unapologetically behind this issue that women, in reality, love.” Barbie and SI are certainly unapologetic. They’re unapologetic for selling full-blown, pornographic sexual objectification under the guise of “empowerment.” They’re unapologetic for constantly defending Barbie as harmless — just an iconic doll that doesn’t communicate anything about beauty or body ideals. Now they’re unapologetically blowing that argument out of the water in favor of a highly sexualized promotional platform for this toy. Just a doll? Not a chance. Mattel and SI have solidified Barbie’s role as a tool for teaching girls and women that they are sex objects, first and foremost. Barbie has officially rebranded itself (or at least admitted to what many of us recognized all along) as a vehicle for teaching sexual objectification. And they’re teaming with one of the most notoriously sexist, objectifying mediums to do it. Read more here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/unapologetic-barbie-and-sports-illustrated-teach-sexual-objectification-for-all-ages/

sports-illustrated_barbie beauty redefined

Complimenting People for Weight Loss, Even if You Don’t Know How or Why It Happened

Actress/Director Rosario Dawson played an HIV-positive drug addict in the movie “Rent,” and lost weight in order to play the role convincingly. Her experience being profusely complimented for that weight loss is an example of what happens to many women who lose weight for unhappy or unhealthy reasons, such as depression, disordered eating, and chronic illness. Her quote also highlights the need for us to redefine beauty in ways that don’t prioritize extreme thinness for all female bodies, especially since the pursuit of thinness often comes at the expense of health, life enjoyment, and survival. This post provides useful info for how we can avoid falling into those traps: http://www.beautyredefined.net/when-you-look-so-skinny-does-more-harm-than-good/

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The Biggest Loser and The Controversy Over the Latest Winner’s Size

Let’s talk about the Biggest Loser’s finale’s dramatic weight loss that has blown up the internet. Fit and Feminist put it best: “I don’t think anyone should be shocked by this. This was bound to happen.  I’m just surprised it hasn’t happened sooner…Basically, the show emphasizes weight loss to the exclusion of all else, contestants engage in some incredibly unhealthy practices to obtain the kinds of shocking weight loss that will keep them in the game…Losing 15 lbs. a week may happen at first, but it’s not sustainable, especially if that weight loss comes about as a result of Master Cleanses, dehydration and workout sessions lasting four to six hours a day…It is DANGEROUS.  These are the tricks of eating disorders dressed up with dramatic music and lighting and turned into mass entertainment. So the fact that The Biggest Loser has been promoting what basically amounts to glossy eating disorders for fifteen cycles now means I was completely unsurprised by the outcry surrounding the latest winner. 
 
Maybe it was easier to ignore when the final contestants were bigger, because we as a society have a hard time understanding that heavier people can and do have eating disorders.  Maybe everyone was okay with it because the implicit understanding surrounding a lot of weight loss talk in our society is that if you are fat, you should be willing to do whatever it takes to not be fat anymore.  You should be willing to cut out part of your stomach and have your fat sucked out of your body and take pills that turn into balloons in your stomach so you won’t eat as much and have patches sewed on your tongue so you can’t eat in the first place. Fredericksen took the game to its logical outcome.  She played the game and she played it hard, and in doing so, she laid bare the show’s messed-up, disordered premises for all the world to see.”
 
BL and every single one of us have got to take our power back by getting the focus off of useless numbers and what we LOOK like to what we can DO and how we FEEL. Positive body image is the cornerstone of Beauty Redefined, and it is founded in the life-changing understanding that your body is an instrument to be used and not just an object to be adorned. It’s time to throw out the scale and get on to real life – happy, healthy, real life. See more about how we work to redefine “healthy” here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/healthy-redefined-part-2-forget-about-fat-and-get-fit/ 

On Dove’s Latest Ad Telling Us to “Redefine Beauty” Through Selfies

One of the things we hate most in this world is when companies try to commodify self-esteem to sell products to girls and women. And this time it’s hitting really close to home. Dove just debuted their latest viral video at Sundance named “Selfie,” which repeatedly asks girls to “redefine beauty” by taking selfies and realizing how beautiful they are. The take-home message: “The power is in your hands. Redefine beauty.” At Beauty Redefined®, we believe this whole-heartedly! (Duh). We even trademarked it in our name! But Dove is a beauty-peddling wolf in female empowerment clothing. Dove doesn’t so much “redefine” beauty as much as it merely re-centralizes beauty as the foremost priority in a girl or woman’s life. It’s not revolutionary to re-encourage females to fixate on their looks, or document their looks at any given moment through their cell phone cameras, and then discuss what they see. This is for-profit advertising that sells anti-aging creams, skin firming solutions, and underarm beautifiers under the guise of promoting life-changing self-acceptance through feel-good videos. This tactic allows a company to cash in on women’s insecurities by being a false ally in the fight for positive body image. Read more here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/dove-doesnt-redefine-beauty-reinforces-it/ 

Dove Beauty Redefined

Vanity Fair Whitewashing Lupita Nyong’o

Vanity Fair is at it again — whitewashing beauty right out of its pages. Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong’o was featured in the Feb. 2014 issue (yay!), but unfortunately her actual skin color was not. If you’re tempted to think this is not a problem, please recognize this is a “can’t see the forest for the trees” scenario, since this exact treatment of dark skin happens in for-profit media constantly. What message does this send to dark-skinned people? Who benefits from these depictions? (Hint: industries making billions off skin-lightening products.) See more on VF’s history of whitewashing here:
Lupita-Nyongo-Vanity-Fair-Whitewashed Beauty Redefined

JGL’s Thoughts on Objectification and Feminism

We love this clip of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s interview on “Ellen” (Jan. 9, 2014), where he calls himself a feminist and credits his mom for those beliefs: “My mom would always point out every time the cheerleaders would come on. ‘Okay, so look, here’s the story that gets told. The men get to be these heroic, skilled athletes. And the women just get to be pretty.’ And she didn’t mean any offense to any individual young woman who was a cheerleader, but just the concept of that—she wanted my brother and I to be aware of it. Because we see these images on TV and in movies and in magazines all the time and if we don’t just stop and think about it, it just sort of seeps into your brain and becomes the way you perceive reality.” (See clip from the “Ellen” interview here: http://www.ellentv.com/videos/0-dgbk4813/ — Notice, though, that in the first 41 seconds of the video, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is treated as eye candy– unfortunately, men are not immune to objectification.)

Girls, we love you. It’s time to reject the sexually objectifying situations that appear so normal to us and break free of the self-objectification that kills our happiness, sense of worth, and performance in all sorts of areas. You are capable of much more than looking hot! Go live that truth. It’ll change everything. Read more here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/pageants-dance-cheerleading-and-sexual-objectification-its-nothing-to-cheer-about/

Joseph Gordon Levitt Beauty Redefined White

The Victoria’s Secret “Fashion” Show:

Good Morning America, Letterman, cable news, and many more will be raving about the cultural event that is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show tonight on CBS, but while they’re normalizing it as something everyone can enjoy, we’re revealing the truth about what this endless stream of objectified, idealized bodies in mainstream media does to viewers’ self-perceptions and even their sex lives. Please help us share this research-driven post and image to help shine some light on the reality of Victoria’s Secret’s harmful marketing! Read more here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/victorias-secret-war-on-women/

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Men Over 40 Looking Like Humans and Women Over 40 Looking Like Cartoons in Media:

From nightly news to cartoons, people over 40 are drastically underrepresented in media, despite the fact that they make up the majority of the population. A whopping 62 percent of the female population of the U.S. is over 40! But get this: Older men appear as much as 10 times more frequently than older women in media. YIKES. It turns out mainstream media knows exactly what it is doing when it comes to that huge, money-packing demographic. Excellent (and incredibly harmful) business decision #1: Convince women their value entirely depends on their appearance, and that aging is the worst thing that could happen to their appearance. It’s done through under-representing older women, advertising anti-aging products and procedures, and Photoshopping the reality out of all women in media. Don’t buy the lies. Read on here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/anti-aging-and-symbolic-annihilation/

Clooney Bullock Beauty Redefined

Margaret Cho Talking About Her Eating Disorder:

We love this quote from comedian/actress Margaret Cho because she’s right — talking about body image issues has power to break silence and invite support from loved ones or professionals. If you’re struggling, don’t bear the burden yourself. Share it with someone you trust. You’ll find you are not alone in your struggles as you show others they are not alone either. I (Lindsay) got my start in this field after I found out I was not alone in my feelings of extreme insecurity about my body — and after I found out industries intended for me to feel that way. I share my story (and Lexie’s) here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/about-us/lindsay-and-lexies-story/

Margaret Cho Beauty Redefined Eating Disorder

Jennifer Lawrence and Beauty Ideals:

Jennifer Lawrence Beauty Redefined

A few major celebs have been speaking out on harmful beauty ideals lately, and Jennifer Lawrence is the latest as of yesterday! We love that she acknowledges we can take our power back through the way we talk to/about other women, and not supporting or emulating media that degrades women. Go J-Law! Learn about more ways to take back beauty here:  http://www.beautyredefined.net/more-than-a-body-prove-it/

Amy Poehler and Body Image:

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If you haven’t heard Amy Poehler’s advice on body image via her “Ask Amy” YouTube video, or even if you have, it’s time to take it all in again. All two minutes of advice in her video is very Beauty Redefined. PLUS, she gives a shout-out to us in the video description! “Check out www.beautyredefined.net to hear how two young women are encouraging girls and women to ‘take back beauty.’” That’s us! We love Amy, we love you, and we’re here to help YOU love you. Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOWqSPJZtmA

Gabourey Sidibe and Choosing to Feel Beautiful:

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We’ve always loved this quote from actress Gabourey Sidibe. Any girl or woman — regardless of race, size, ability, or any other appearance-oriented factor — can feel positively toward her body. When people feel OK about their bodies, regardless of what they look like, they make healthier choices for themselves. We teach people how to recognize and reject harmful messages about female bodies so they can learn to value themselves as something more than just a body to be looked at. Promoting positive body image is key to promoting health, happiness, and fulfilled potential among girls and women. If you think girls and women should feel bad about their bodies in order to push them to lose weight or make healthier choices, you’re wrong, and you should read this: http://www.beautyredefined.net/body-shame-on-you/

Tina Fey and Body Image: 

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Tina Fey is sooo Beauty Redefined! Taking back beauty depends on all of us becoming acutely aware of harmful ideals being sold about women’s bodies and then making more positive, informed choices for themselves. The influence of one example of positive body image can have a MAJOR impact on the way others perceive their own bodies. Like Tina, you can start by acknowledging the parts of your body you’re grateful for and then you can take inventory of ways you can redefine beauty in your own life to positively influence those around you: http://tinyurl.com/4ym8326

Fitness Blogger Marie Kang’s “What’s Your Excuse” Photo:

You’ve seen the photo. The mom with few clothes, chiseled abs, and 3 kids, saying “What’s Your Excuse?” No excuses here, just facts: Her photo is not about fitness. It’s not about health. It’s about beauty. Nothing more. If she were illustrating her health, she’d have posted her cholesterol levels, resting heart rate, blood pressure, etc. If she were illustrating her fitness, she’d have posted how many miles she runs, how far she swims, how heavy her weights are, etc. Look again at those “inspirational” fitness messages like this mom’s that has gone viral. Are those messages carefully crafted to appear to be health- and fitness-inspired, but are really all about the LOOK of your body instead of how it works and how you feel in it? When we believe health and fitness is about simply making our parts look attractive and sexy to people looking at us, we get nowhere toward real health and fitness. That’s why this photo is not about fitness – it’s about beauty. Next time you see one of these “fitspiration” messages, please ask yourself how it makes you feel. If these messages motivate you to respect your body as something that can do good, make and reach fitness goals, and maintain health, then they are appropriate for you. If they motivate you to worry about being looked at or to improve parts of your body to meet a beauty ideal you see in media, you must turn away. You’ll be trapped in a state of self-objectification that can lead to health-harming habits. Please, please, do not buy into the lie that you are a body to be looked at, fixed, and judged. You are capable of so much more than being looked at. Read here for our research on how to move on to real health and fitness, not body shame or appearance fixation: http://tinyurl.com/7fxvwad

Kristen Bell’s Post-Baby Body:

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Want to know Kristen Bell’s secret for looking so great after having a baby just a few months ago? It’s all any woman in media gets asked about after giving birth, and we FINALLY get to hear the secret! Check out our new post on how to get your body back after childbirth! http://www.beautyredefined.net/you-had-a-baby-this-is-how-you-get-your-body-back/

Miley Cyrus Twerking at the VMAs:

Guess what Miley did last night?! Nothing new! Miley’s VMA performance (and many others) symbolized the culture we live in, where women are routinely naked and men aren’t; women are sexual objects and men can do lots of other things. Many are calling Miley’s performance “empowering,” because she CAN DO WHAT SHE WANTS! It’s feminism, duh! No, it’s definitely not. “Doing what we want” is completely distorted by our current culture that sells us faux feminism as “girl power!” with a fist in the air and then punches us in the face with that same fist because this power is maintaining the status quo of females as bodies alone. “On the one hand, young women are hailed through a discourse of ‘can-do’ girl power, yet on the other their bodies are powerfully re-inscribed as sexual objects; on one hand women are presented as active, desiring social subjects, yet on the other they are subject to a level of scrutiny and hostile surveillance that has no historical precedent.” (Gill, 2006, p. 25). Miley just symbolizes our epidemic levels of self-objectification, which lead us to evaluate and control our bodies more in terms of our sexual desirability to others than in terms of our own desires, health, or competence. We can do better. We are capable of much more than being looked at: http://www.beautyredefined.net/sex-sells-more-than-we-bargained-for/

Being Manipulated by the Beauty Industry:

Yesterday a “media planning agency” revealed their research on the times women feel least attractive. The survey was designed to identify when women feel most vulnerable about their appearance throughout the week in order to determine the best timing for beauty product messages and promotions. The results are used to help media makers concentrate beauty messages and advertisements during “prime vulnerability moments.” How thoughtful, right?! The agency said, “Identifying the right time to engage with consumers with the right message is Marketing 101, but when you are trying to connect with women on so personal an issue as appearance, it can be even more important to understand the WRONG time as well.”

Please use this one example as major insight into the beauty industry. Media makers are coming up with new “flaws” to sell us at every turn. They design their ads and products to capitalize on our insecurities when we feel our worst and induce major body shame. If you feel like you need to hide or fix parts of yourself after viewing media, rest assured that company is trying to shame you into spending your hard-earned money, energy, and time to improve your parts. But guess what? You are more than your parts! You are capable of so much more than looking hot. So when you are in one of those “prime vulnerability moments” of feeling bad about your looks, don’t give in to “the man” trying to capitalize on your pain by selling you stuff you don’t need. Instead, turn away from those lies. Go for a walk. Call a friend. Find a pet to say hi to. Go visit a nursing home – they’ll LOVE YOU. Bake cookies for neighbors. Eat some of the dough. Rebel against the system designed to keep you obsessing about your parts instead of getting on to everything more awesome in life.

Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches and Objectification: 

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Ready for another talented, high-profile woman who is speaking out on women’s worth? We’re saying another AMEN to musician Lauren Mayberry – Chvrches for this statement (among others) she wrote in a blog post for The Guardian.
For more on how males can avoid perpetuating objectification, see this –> http://www.beautyredefined.net/guys-guide-to-seeing-women-not-objects/

Our Love for Mindy Kaling:

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Amen to Mindy Kaling for her interview in Parade magazine this weekend. She is definitely Beauty Redefined! For more on women being more than just bodies go here –>http://tinyurl.com/k8heluq. For more on women of color in a culture that worships white beauty ideals go here –> http://tinyurl.com/4e7b2ux.

On Modesty:

Today I listened to a discussion of modesty that made me feel uncomfortable. It was one we’ve heard 1000 times to encourage “appropriate dress” for women: Guys of all ages often say that girls and women have NO IDEA how much their choice of attire affects them. They say if we did know, we’d cover ourselves up a bit more. Here’s the thing with this line of thinking: First, if we keep reinforcing this statement, we’re teaching the myth that men are powerless to the sight of female bodies and can’t be held responsible for their own thoughts and actions. We believe boys and men deserve more credit than that. They’ve got more control and agency than that. It is impossible to shelter males from a world of “immodest” females, and we believe teaching boys and men that the female body is more than just something to be looked at is vital. Second, when we teach women to cover up to protect from their “inappropriate” or “too-tempting” bodies, we are once again teaching them that their power is in their bodies and their displayed “sexuality” or shoulders, knees, etc. We’re still reinforcing to men and women that women’s bodies – whether deemed “modest” or “immodest” – exist for the male view. We are teaching girls that exposed shoulders or knees are inherently sexual, which they are not. That’s a lose-lose situation. We are putting the responsibility for men’s thoughts on girls and women, who are made to feel guilty or sinful if they are “immodest,” which is a different line for everyone. If you’re pro-modesty (by whatever definition that means to you), then live it and teach it as a means for empowerment and benefit for many reasons above being a protection for men. Read our valuable research in this post to get somewhere much more powerful than the shallow waters of “modest is hottest.” Read our post here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/modest-is-hottest-the-revealing-truth/

Boys’ Lives Versus Girls’ Lives:

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BOYS LIFE Magazine:
Take the Plunge
High Adventure Awaits You
True Stories of Scouts in Action
Gear Guy Fixes Your Old Boots

GIRLS LIFE Magazine:
127 Fall fashion ideas
Look flawless: The Skin Secret You Need
Get a Hot Mane Makeover
The NEW guide to guys
1-Minute Makeup tricks

Girls, we are capable of so much more than just looking hot. Like and share this image if you agree! Read here for more: http://www.beautyredefined.net/taking-back-beauty/

What You’ll Gain When You Lose:

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The answer to Special K’s question is: nothing. Losing weight guarantees you absolutely nothing. We’ve had a few companies approach us to help modify their marketing to be more positive for women’s body image, but now we’d like to offer some unsolicited advice to Special K. The whole “What will you gain when you lose?” campaign that promises women — only women — they’ll drop a jean size by replacing 2 meals a day for 2 weeks with a serving of their cereal … well, it’s THE WORST. 1) The already very thin women in your ads do not need to lose weight. And it is not safe to assume all women to drop a jean size, as your ads do. 2) Anytime a person foregoes two well-rounded meals for a 110-calorie serving of ANYTHING, they’re likely to lose weight (if they had weight to lose in the first place, unlike your models), and losing weight does NOT mean they’re gaining health (for more info: http://tinyurl.com/7fxvwad). 3) Most importantly: teaching audiences that females will gain joy, success, love, confidence and health IF they lose weight — as all of your advertising portrays — is irresponsible. It promotes the unhealthy mentality that for females, body size means EVERYTHING. If you want to be a woman-friendly product, try selling us on what we can GAIN by forking out our hard-earned cash for your product, not body-shaming us into sacrificing our nutritional needs in order to be worthy of confidence, health and attractiveness. Until you gain some respect for your targeted customers, you lose in our book.

On Marion Bartolli Winning Wimbledon:

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French tennis star Marion Bartoli is the winner of Wimbledon 2013 AND she is Beauty Redefined! We are in love with her response to being demeaned and objectified by a BBC announcer on air following her win.

Post-Baby Bodies: 

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While many forces shame mothers for the physical effects of growing babies within their bodies, our PhD research shows motherhood can offer a uniquely powerful opportunity to improve their body image. One way is to embrace and share reality instead of sinking into the shame of profit-driven ideals shouting they must “get their bodies back.” Our friend who is a mom of two, awesome runner, and even cooler woman, snapped this “I am Beauty Redefined” pic to show the world what one healthy, happy mother’s body looks like. Read here for more ways you can “get your body back”: –> http://tinyurl.com/mzbr7bo

Wanting to Feel Pretty:

It is NOT bad to care about your appearance or take efforts to be attractive. It is NOT bad to help young girls feel good about themselves and feel pretty. What IS bad is when we buy into lies that we need to buy certain underwear, makeup, cosmetic procedures, hair products or diet products in order to be attractive, sexy, acceptable or to feel good about ourselves. What IS bad is when we teach girls to see themselves from an outsider’s perspective and value them for what they look like above all else. Beauty Redefined is dedicated to promoting positive body image by teaching people how to recognize and reject harmful messages about female bodies, from objectification to body shaming. When we are more critical consumers of profit-driven messages and less critical of ourselves and other women, we feel better about our own bodies. We are better able to recognize the attainable, empowering beauty that exists in real people and in ourselves — whether or not it looks like the Photoshopped, carefully crafted ideals that have become so normalized in media. When we feel beautiful, we take better care of our bodies. We eat healthier foods, exercise more, are less selfish and more happy. Despite what every diet, beauty and fashion company will tell you, you can FEEL beautiful regardless of what you look like. Their products or services will NOT do it for you. It’s your job to redefine beauty for yourself in ways that are more inclusive of YOU and less inclusive of body shame and media manipulation. We are here to help! You are BEAUTIFUL. Believe it and repeat it. Treat yourself like it’s true and it will be true.

Judgments Based on Body Type:

536728_568126316551851_274130962_n-1How often do we confuse women’s body types with personal style choices or stereotypes? Do we ever assume someone with large breasts or hips is automatically ultra-feminine or trying to look sexy and “va-va-voom” just because she’s built a certain way? Do we ever assume a woman with a thin build or less pronounced curves is androgynous or chic and “high fashion” (as opposed to a more “commercial” or male-gaze-oriented look)? Do our perceptions of what is “modest” or appropriate for certain settings vary depending on a woman’s body shape — even if the same amount of skin is covered? Do we assume women with smaller builds are physically fit or that women who are larger or more curvaceous are not fit? Stereotypes about female bodies are absolutely everywhere in media, but we also enforce these unfair judgments in our own lives. Whether you’ve experienced the demeaning, oppressive or just plain annoying effects of these stereotypes or not, let’s work to think critically about the judgments we have internalized about female bodies. Once we recognize these harmful ideals, we can actively reject them! More on redefining modesty: tinyurl.com/bgn9pxn and more on redefining health: tinyurl.com/4ru8foo (Image from Busty Girl Comics)

Fox News: 

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FOX, we’ve got a newsflash for you! Objectification is NOT “fair and balanced” and we’re NOT BUYING IT! Regardless of whether you lean left or right, it’s time to call out FoxNews.com for its blatant objectification of women. Just yesterday, their top trending story was a 70-image slideshow of “celeb clothing mishaps” (67 women baring their breasts and more). If you get your news from Fox, please be aware of what they’re selling as news. Watch how they use idealized parts of women’s bodies to advertise news about anything from random travel tips to blatant pornography. And then turn away. Blatant objectification hurts growing girls and women in major ways. It stunts our progress in every way that counts. We are capable of so much more than being looked at! Do you agree? Share this image! Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/nnr7lgb

Ugh, Abercrombie & Fitch:

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Abercrombie’s CEO has just reinforced the TRUTH and NECESSITY of Beauty Redefined. Thank you, Mike Jeffries! Ladies, we must not let profit-driven media makers sell us lies about our value and our worth. We are capable of so much more than that. We do not have to buy the lies sold to us by people who care about nothing but money and power. Beauty Redefined is here to tell you the truth about who you are, and once you understand the immensity of your value, your life will never be the same. SHARE THIS PHOTO! And FYI, the looks-bashing comments are not endorsed by bR because they go against what we stand for. We are more than bodies to be judged and fixed. (But we DO get your anger directed at him).

Star Trek’s Sneaky Sexism:

Have you seen “Star Trek: Into Darkness” yet? As avid movie-goers and fans of action movies, we liked it! But as media and body image scholars, we had some serious issues. If you’ve seen the previews, you know the writers somehow found a way to work a lingerie-clad sexy lady into this sci-fi thriller. What you find out during the film is that it has NOTHING to do with the plot, character development, or anything other than putting an idealized female body on display. What’s more obnoxious than just putting an idealized female body on display for kicks is that it’s the body of PhD-wielding protagonist Dr. Carol Marcus, an otherwise dynamic and powerful character (1 of only 2 named female characters) who was sexualized and objectified in one fell swoop. Even the film’s writer Damon Lindeloff acknowledges the scene was “gratuitous and unnecessar[y]” and, regarding the scene being called out as misogynistic, said “I take responsibility and will be more mindful in the future.” Assuming he means it, we LOVE that idea and say thank you, Damon! Additionally, “Into Darkness” brutally fails the Bechdel Test, with no two female characters ever speaking to each other. Here are two suggestions for those who decide to see this movie (and any other!): 

1) Recognize the ways gender is defined and displayed, such as drastically differing uniforms for men and women. (Really? A mini dress with cap sleeves for women as opposed to full pants and sleeves for men? Really?). Recognize when girls or women are visible or invisible in media, and how they are depicted when they do appear. 
2) Point out and discuss those normally unquestioned gender disparities and question them, both internally and out loud to friends or family. Who makes the decisions? Who profits from these decisions? How do those differing representations of female and male characters affect viewers’ perceptions?
3) Actively resist believing and behaving in accordance with those messages constantly reinforced for women. In order to be a powerful, dynamic, successful protagonist in real life, you do not need to look ideally beautiful, despite what you’ll see in 99% of media messages. Your value is not determined by the way you look with or without clothes on. 
Live long and prosper, bR friends!

Women Being Photoshopped Out of Reality: 

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Both renowned for their looks, in their late 40s, in ads for the same company. The difference? A sinister, dangerous, double-standard. THIS is why Beauty Redefined fights so hard for girls and women to see the truth! We aren’t meant to be plastic dolls with no signs of life. We are so much more. Our own features – pores, lines, hairs – begin to appear so abnormal and ugly when we don’t see our normalcy represented in media. Have you fallen into the trap of physically photoshopping yourself out of reality? Read the powerful post on it here, comment, and share: http://tinyurl.com/q5d9qzn

The Bikini and the Burqa:

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Ever noticed the bikini and the burqa often share a common ideology of female objectification? The bikini exposes female bodies to the outsider’s gaze, while the burqa hides the body from the outsider’s gaze. Obviously no one is beaten or killed for not wearing a bikini, and we aren’t claiming that the consequences of our culture’s take on objectification are anywhere near comparable to that of the burqa in areas it is required. But without a doubt, there is pressure from every angle for women to expose their bodies in order to be sexy, to even dress “normally” at the pool, and to prove their level of “fitness” by the LOOK of their bodies: Notice beauty pageant “fitness” segments only require strutting in a bikini; women prove they “get their bodies back” by posing in bikinis across media; “Get bikini ready!” is a very real standard. In areas where the burqa is required, the message to women is that their bodies are at fault for any sexual harassment she may receive or tempting thoughts she might conjure up. These ideals are social constructions that exert pressure on women to feel their bodies are meant for an outsider’s gaze – an object to be looked at above all else. Both ideologies about women’s bodies are harmful to both men and women. Are you more than a body? This post will help you PROVE IT: http://tinyurl.com/k8heluq

Body Shaming:

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We’ve been very straightforward about NOT being one of those groups that claims to be “body positive” while simultaneously bashing thin people or women who appear to fit current beauty ideals. There are plenty of those groups out there, and they do more harm than good. The people who run those pages or generate those images are people who haven’t spent a decade studying the effects of this body-obsessed culture on the girls and women who grow up under the pressure of these tall/young/thin/white/curvaceous/perfectly Photoshopped ideals. We have. We know exactly how toxic it is for people to be constantly fixated on girls’ appearance, and accordingly, how toxic it is for those girls to grow up being constantly fixated on their own appearances — whether they’re being complimented on their thinness or beauty or being teased for their weight (too small OR too big) and appearance. We work constantly to take the focus OFF appearance and help girls and women to feel good about themselves regardless of what they look like (or what others perceive they look like). Girls and women who feel good about themselves are more likely to take better care of themselves — to exercise regularly and make healthy eating choices. That is why we redefine beauty to be more all-encompassing of all of our appearances, experiences, and abilities. When people say “curvy girls are better than skinny girls” or tell a thin woman she should eat a cheeseburger, they’re doing a disservice to all women. Beauty Redefined means accepting a much broader definition of what constitutes beauty and then moving on to more important things — like REAL health, happiness, and positively influencing others. That’s why we tell women they are “capable of much more than looking hot.” Whatever your size, age, shape, or race, we’re all under pressure from the same profit-driven culture of appearance obsession, so let’s make sure we’re working TOGETHER to take back beauty for girls and women everywhere. We guarantee we’re stronger together — in all our beautifully diverse glory — than we will ever be apart. Read and share our latest! http://www.beautyredefined.net/taking-back-beauty/

“Skinny Wraps”

We respect the desire to make money and be part of a fun-seeming company, but we do not respect false advertising with claims of “lasting weight loss” and “skin tightening and firming” that prey on women’s body anxieties in order to make that money. If you’re selling body wraps and skin contouring creams or hosting “wrap parties” and persuading social media connections to “makeover your life” by magically melting away inches, please consider the influence you may be having. Please consider the girls and women fighting or recovering from all types of disordered eating who are very likely some of your FB friends in the long list you invited to check out your slimming products. Please consider the girls and women genuinely looking to improve their health (not just the appearance of “health” for 72 hours) and instead spending hard-earned money on products you push that will not decrease their likelihood of getting diabetes, heart disease, or any other chronic disease related to lifestyle. Please consider the girls and women who have been raised to believe their worth lies in the appearance of their body — especially in the thinness, firmness and dimple-free-ness of their bodies — and that many of those girls’ and women’s bodies look just like the undesirable “before” photos you’re promoting all over their social media feeds. 

To the girls and women being constantly exposed to these promotions and invited to these “parties,” please consider your influence as well. Please consider declining these invitations, not “liking” or commenting on these seemingly miraculous before/after photos featuring headless women’s body parts, and skipping these events. Your children, family members, students, neighbors, peers and others who look up to you are watching, and many are in need of a positive example of body confidence and positive health choices that include proper nutrition and physical activity, rather than hopeful, expensive reliance on new tricks for looking hot and sexy. For more information on achieving REAL health that works for everyone, doesn’t cost $99 and last 72 hours, AND is backed up by decades of scientific research and good old fashioned common sense, read here: http://tinyurl.com/mwcyd3d

Taking a Media Fast:

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Want to lift yourself and others out of the myth that we are bodies to be fixed, judged, and looked at? Try a media fast. Choose a time period — 3 days, a week, or more — and avoid media as much as humanly possible. All of it. No Instagram, Facebook, TV, Netflix, movies, blogs, iTunes, etc. Without this never-ending stream of $-driven, idealized, Photoshopped, self-promoting messages (even well-meaning ones from loved ones), you get the chance to become more sensitive to the messages that don’t look like or feel like the truths you know in real life – face to face – with real people and your own body. You will become SO aware of how your feelings about your body and worth are affected by constant media. When you break your fast, you will be more sensitive to the messages that hurt your self-perception and those that are unrealistic for you. You can “hide,” “unlike,” or “unfollow” every harmful idea streaming in. You can make smart, savvy media choices that will uplift, inspire, and promote health – NOT objectification and unattainable appearance ideals that shame you back into the bodily prison of believing you’re only to be looked at. One of our awesome colleagues took on the challenge and changed her life. Read her story here and then start that media fast! —>http://www.beautyredefined.net/cleanse-your-mind/

Thigh Gaps as Beauty Ideals:

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It’s time to mind the (thigh) gap! Next time you see thin thighs with space between them being celebrated online (evverrryywhere), mind the gap! Recognize that what you’re seeing is just the latest symbol of objectification — not just a sign of female beauty and health. Sounds a bit extreme? Here are 4 reasons it’s time to mind the gap. Read here -> http://www.beautyredefined.net/mind-the-thigh-gap/

A Summer of Sexist Movies: 

So I could probably write a book about how much I hated the new Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson movie “The Internship,” which I saw in the theater last week (but left early because of feminist rage), but I’m going to hold back. I could write several chapters on how severely it failed the Bechdel test, since there were only 3 named female characters who never spoke to each other, one of whom was a super-smart Google intern but was mostly featured talking about sex or mindless “girl” stuff, and one of whom was a Google employee but only shown because she was also a stripper, which we got to see plenty of. Any females in this movie were eye candy, first and foremost, while the men got to be funny (or tried desperately to be at least), athletic, smart, clever, sweet, and entirely ran the show. This is nothing new, but DANG, it’s getting old! I even read/listed to reviews of the movie before seeing it and NOT ONE mentioned how frustrating or insulting it might be to watch this movie from a girl/woman’s perspective. There have got to be some decent options out there in terms of positive female portrayals in movies or TV. If you know of them, can you please share them? We’re talking women who are portrayed as dynamic, multi-dimensional lead roles who do more than get looked at, who don’t fit aaallll the boring stereotypes of only pursuing sex or romance, hating other women, and showing off their perfectly idealized bodies to get what they want. 

Being Looked At:

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Life is beautiful when you live it – really experience it – not when you are concerned about appearing beautiful as you try to live. When you think of your happiest times, were they only when you looked picture perfect? Were you happiest when you were working to appear happy or attractive or beautiful to others? Our amazing blogger friend Autumn at The Beheld undertook an impressive experiment to see what life was like without seeing her reflection for an entire month. What would your life be like without regularly surveying your own appearance? Could it help you live to BE, rather than to be looked at? You’ve got to read this –> http://www.beautyredefined.net/to-be-or-to-be-looked-at/

Tanning: 

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Girls, skin cancer stats tell us we believe a “healthy glow” is worth dying for. Melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) in young adults is higher than ever. MOST interesting is the fact that the rise is BY FAR most noteworthy in women ages 18-39, where melanoma increased eight-fold from 1970-2009, while it increased four-fold for men. This is a major gender-specific finding. There are lots of factors in the mass amount of diagnoses, but we’re ready to argue that this is, above all, a BEAUTY issue. This isn’t an issue of ignorance on the harmful effects of sun exposure or indoor tanning. This isn’t an issue of young white females just loving UV rays more than their white male counterparts. This isn’t an issue of girls desperately seeking more vitamin D while boys are less interested. This is an issue of Caucasian girls and women being totally convinced that having tanned skin is equivalent to looking more beautiful, and that beauty is worth every risk. You’re going to want to read, share, and save a life: http://www.beautyredefined.net/ugly-side-of-tanning/

Getting Married and Not Understanding the Beauty Pressure:

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Today I posted Beauty Redefined’s “Shedding for the Wedding” tips to help brides-to-be combat the wedding industry’s serious take over of the happy occasion. I shared my own tips for how I handled my wedding plans and the big day to make it as healthy and happy as possible. Inevitably, I saw this comment: “I would really like to be 100% behind her … but I am duty-bound to point out she is both thin AND blonde, with the added addition of being naturally pretty. I don’t think it was much of a leap for her to eschew dieting and plastic surgery for her big day!”

After years of studying and speaking about body image, the same brick wall loves to stifle any productive conversation about what we do: Our looks. Lindsay and I will never be pretty enough or thin enough or ugly enough or fat enough (or insert any looks-oriented factor) to be credible spokespeople for positive body image and media literacy. Regardless of how research-backed, profound, or crucially needed our messages are, there are — almost without fail — people who will dismiss us entirely as “just jealous of beautiful women” or “too pretty to know what body shame feels like.” Though those might sound like two radically different statements, they’re the exact same thing. Any comment or discussion that turns attention to our looks instead of our words minimizes us to just bodies. Nothing more than an object to look at, pick apart, and dismiss as never quite right. So girls, next time you’re speaking up about positive body image, don’t be surprised if you get a snarky comment about your own appearance. We are capable of SO MUCH more than being looked at! You’re not pretty enough or ugly enough to talk about body image – DO IT ANYWAY! To know exactly how to handle those snarky comments, read here: http://www.beautyredefined.net/not-pretty-or-ugly-enough/

Dove’s Unbelievably Popular Videos:

If you haven’t seen the latest Dove video, we welcome you back from your coma or congratulate you for holding out in the face of such extreme peer pressure. While it is a positive message, it barely skims the surface of promoting positive body image. It illustrates what research shows, which is that very few women claim to see themselves as beautiful. But it leaves us at a reminder about our “beauty,” according to the very narrow, profit-driven definition (white, young, thin), and goes no further. Beauty Redefined works to change the conversation by: 1) promoting positive body image to remind or convince women of their beauty — in a much more all-encompassing definition than media (and cosmetic companies like Dove) will ever show us. We focus on body image because research shows girls and women who feel OK about their bodies, regardless of what they look like, take better care of themselves physically. They make healthier eating choices and they are more physically active because they are less preoccupied with what others are thinking of their appearance. Unfortunately, most girls and women in the U.S. feel badly about their bodies, and many demonstrate that through the ways they treat their bodies. In addition to promoting positive body image, we: 2) remind girls and women they are capable of much more than looking hot, that their reflections do not define their worth and that their value and their power comes from who they are, what they do and what they contribute — not what they look like.

We remind women of their beauty and their power outside the confines of the very strict definition sold to us for major profit in media (including Dove’s marketing and products). So as you share and see the Dove video go viral, please know it’s mostly a nice, happy message, but there is so much more to know than the fact that you aren’t as ugly as you think you are. If you want to share the viral Dove video, please consider also sharing this list of strategies to start to see yourself as beautiful and help fight negative body image at its source! –> http://www.beautyredefined.net/resources/