Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Love Your Body

On October 19, 2011 the NOW foundation celebrated its 14th annual Love Your Body Day. On this day, “women of all sizes, colors, ages and abilities come together to celebrate self-acceptance and to promote positive body image” (NOW.org). A major aim of the campaign is to challenge the unrealistic standards and stereotypes that are present in the media. Gill argues that it is “possession of a sexy body that is presented as women’s key (if not sole) source of identity” (Gill, 255). Particularly problematic is the notion that if this “sexy body” cannot be achieved it is considered a failure.  Additionally, the female body is “constructed as a window to the individual’s interior life…indicative of her emotional breakdown” (256). The Love Your Body Day emphasizes a valuing of women for their character not their outwardly appearance.

Dove has done much in the media to help promote positive body image. In an ad in which Dove asked women what they loved about themselves the women initially responded with a resounding “uhhh…?” The ad concludes with the statement “If we can see the beauty in others, shouldn’t we be able to see it in ourselves?” The media presents an unrealistic image of women that sets a standard of beauty that many women believe they do not live up to. Organization such as NOW and Dove that help dispel stereotypes of what is beautiful and promote positive body image should be more abundant in the media.

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