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Love Your Body Today!

Updated on August 18, 2012

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty began in 2004 with the goal to widen the definition of beauty in advertising and around the world. While the campaign challenged beauty stereotypes and advertising norms, the anxiety to be “beautiful” has grown. In 2010, Dove evolved their campaign to include the Dove Movement for Self-esteem, trying to make beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety. (Dove) The pressure to be beautiful has increased especially with the adolescent market, where the conceptualization of femininity and sexuality begin. “In a study of over 1,200 10-to-17-year-olds, a majority of girls, 72%, said they felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful.” (Dove)

Girls and young women, who are exposed to this frequent type of media that use women as sexual objects and in sexual stereotypes, begin objectifying themselves and value physical appearance over other qualities. This leads to many other issues like eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem. “Self-objectification has been linked directly with diminished sexual health among adolescent girls.” (APA) This means more young women are contracting STD’s and getting pregnant, because they are not using protection when they should. “In the emotional domain, sexualization and objectification undermine confidence in and comfort with one’s own body, leading to a host of negative emotional consequences, such as shame, anxiety, and even self-disgust.” (APA) Women need to speak out against this type of advertising and show their love of themselves and their bodies.

The NOW Foundation has been doing a Love Your Body Campaign since 1998, to challenge the unrealistic beauty standards of mainstream media and multiple “beauty” industries. They created a presentation to describe how the media enforces certain views and expectations about women onto not only women, but also men. It can be seen here.

Every year in October, NOW has a Love Your Body Day where all over the U.S. NOW activists and supporters are holding events raising awareness about women’s health and body image issues. There are even workshops and programs that deal with eating disorders and being positive about your body and lifestyle. NOW’s Let’s Talk About It project encourages women to speak up about their body image issues and post the videos online to their website and help others. Women need to spread the message that every one of us is beautiful in our own way. This year Love Your Body Day is October 17th, so get online and let people know how you feel about yourself and the beauty industry. Women can change the standards and all girls should learn that.


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