To help filter through this negative media influence, Studio 5’s Brooke Walker identifies four media resources available to help girls and women establish a positive self-esteem.
Tall. Skinny. Young. Flawless. These words not only define the perfect body image, but they describe how media portrays what our bodies should look like. Because of this bombardment of negative media, raising girls with a healthy body image is more challenging than it may seem.
A trip down the magazine aisle, will have you believing the perfect body is life’s ticket to happiness. Women, and their bodies, help sell everything from cars to food.
In hopes of helping you sift through the negative images and messages out there, here are four examples of powerful and positive media:
1. Campaign for Real Beauty.com
The Campaign for Real Beauty was launched by Dove in 2004. The campaign supports the DOVE mission: to make women feel beautiful every, day by widening stereotypical views of beauty. They offer workshops nationwide, along with free downloadable workbook and DVD. The website reaches more than two dozen countries and features a “Girls Only” page that offers a self-esteem quiz, a look at how magazine images are edited, and much more! Be sure to check out their great articles, which provide tips and advice for women of all ages. Visit www.campaignforrealbeauty.com.
2. New Moon Girls Magazine
Eleven years ago, Nancy Gurver decided that she couldn’t keep her two young daughters safe from the attack of negative media on adolescent girls. That’s when she decided to do something about it. Nancy started New Moon Magazine to help females all over the world define their ideas of a healthy body image. This magazine is all about girls having power to create their own media, create their own world and, in the process, make the world a better place. The magazine gives girls an opportunity to voice their opinions through writing, podcasts, and artwork. The Magazine has since grown to a fully-interactive website. To learn more, visit: www.newmoon.com.
3. “Today, I Live” by Karen Eddington
This book takes a humorous look at a girl’s journey to self acceptance and shares a guide to inner peace. Women, no matter what part of the journey they are in, can find ways to relate to this inspirational story to their own lives. Local author and illustrator Karen Eddington discusses fears, anxieties and concerns of young girls. To learn more, visit: www.todayilive.com.
4. “Hip Hip Hooray for Annie McRaye!” by Brad Wilcox
While it doesn’t directly deal with body image, this children’s book (written by popular local author and speaker Brad Wilcox) teaches young girls they can turn inward for positive validation. The books depicts the story of a young girl who is so used to getting praise from those around her, that she doesn’t know what to do when, one day, everyone she knows is busy. She’s confused and it gets her down, until she realizes the power that she has within herself.
This book is enjoyed by kids of all ages while it teaches a valuable lesson about self-esteem. It is available at Deseret Book, or through www.bradwilcox.com