When I went to Healthy Living Summit this August I learned SO much about balance, blogging and social media. One of the people who was monumental in helping me gain some knowledge on these subjects, and a ton more, was Katy Widrick.
If you don’t know who she is, check out her site ASAP. She is an amazing resource about all things technology-related (and I will be the first to admit I am the least computer savvy person who blogs) and is just an overall super nice woman.
She is also the founder of Fitblog Chats , which are hosted every Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. They are so much fun, a great way to meet people with similar interests, and have become a weekly staple in my nighttime routine.
I was so bummed when I got my regular e-mail notification from Ms. Widrick announcing tonight’s agenda, and reminding us of an additional chance to converse this week; Monday afternoon.
Unfortunately I would be working during the time it was hosted but oh my gosh the topic totally peaked my interest; Does the Media Make You Hate Your Body?
Yesterday I discussed the difficulty I have NOT comparing myself to others, and this issue is not just relevant to me feeling inadequate to my fellow bloggers. I feel inferior to pretty much anyone…especially the super-hot celebs that are EVERYWHERE.
I am ashamed to admit that I do enjoy television. DVR has made it very easy to plow through shows without the commercials, and I almost always have something on as background noise when I am cleaning, doing work, or when I am on the treadmill. This means I am exposed to A LOT of celebrity images.
From the time I was little I have always idolized professional athletes, actresses, even famous chefs, and admired their exterior beauty, and immaculate physiques. When I got a bit older and started reading more magazines I got sucked in by the example workouts, diet plans, recipes, and remedies these stars claimed they used to maintain their “perfection.” And after I graduated from college I actually mastered the art of calorie counting from the tips provided in one of my favorite print materials.
“Make sure you have measuring cups, a food scale, don’t go over this amount of calories a day, exercise at least an hour to get the best results, drink excessive amounts of fluid to stay full…”
I swear these resources are never ending manuals for this stuff and all these things I read swirled around in my mind taunting me every time I wanted to get a post-workout snack.
Although I believe there is a responsibility for reader and writer, celebrity and admirer, to be smart about what they are saying and seeing, it is imperative that media corporations give an accurate representation of what is HEALTHY.
What I mean is, perhaps there should be a section in the articles referring to a restricted calorie plan, explaining that the numbers they print are not necessarily “one size fits all.” Some bodies require more, others less to maintain weight, lose, or gain.
I think it is horrible that I cannot go through the supermarket check out without seeing “The Best and Worst Beach Bodies” ridiculing women who have a few dimples in their thighs, or when an unflattering picture just happened to be taken while they were enjoying a day at the beach.
Women are not meant to have 2% body fat…not all females are going to have the same bone structure, shape, or statistics. Instead of making fun, or classifying non-stick figures as “bad,” maybe we should celebrate the fact that beauty is fluid and not defined by one stereotype.
I hate that I let magazines, TV shows, movies and sports impact my judgment on what is acceptable, and how my body NEEDS to look, because even though I begged my trainer in college to help me get arms like Jennifer Aniston (yes, I actually asked him to help me get arms like one of my favorite celebs) I needed to accept it just wasn’t in the cards for me.
A while back I posted about how I LOVE Anne Curry and Darrah Torres. They are both women who I consider gorgeous, hard-working, intelligent and dedicated to causes they believe in. I’m sure Victoria’s Secret Models are very nice people but rarely do I hear about their humanitarian efforts or philanthropic endeavors (with the exception of a few!!!).
And outside the celeb world there are a ton of awesome examples of females who can provide inspiration for you and me, every, single, day.
I think of a friend I met this year who is battling breast cancer AGAIN, after beating it several times. Every week I see her at Zumba with a huge smile, she gives me a hug, asks me how I am doing, when she is the one enduring a major hardship, going to chemo every week, starting to lose her hair, and having to deal with another bout of being sick after overcoming it many instances before.
She is so strong and a wonderful woman, and when I saw her Friday night and she told me she didn’t care about losing her hair because that was not what was important to her anymore, I just wanted to cry.
Here I am agonizing over the extra I have in the middle right now from refeeding Buddha belly, and she is explaining that chemo is giving her the opportunity to wear cool hats and scarves. Forget Angelina Jolie, HERE was my role model.
Yes, there are celebrities I love for both beauty and what they appear to do with their free time (one can never be sure how much of what is portrayed is accurate!) but there is no need for me to criticize myself because I can’t “work hard enough” to get Cameron Diaz’s abs.
I can’t change what the media is going to publish or show, but I can keep working to change my mindset. I can keep surrounding myself with friends, family and peers that motivate me in a positive way. I can keep working to reframe my thoughts.
Think about someone in your life who you admire. Aren’t they a better example than who is on the cover of US Weekly ?
I am sad I missed the official chat, but thankful that I received the e-mail and topic that allowed me to think about where I am currently with my relationship to celebrities, self-critcism, and wrongful admiration.
Obviously, I still have a long way to go.
If you are interested in what was discussed yesterday, go to Fitblogchats.com, or check out the questions that were discussed.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
Q1) Are you affected by the way the media talks about women’s bodies?
Q2) What words do you want to see banned by the media?
Q3) Do you think there is a fine line between being the media being objectifying women’s bodies vs. being a source of inspiration? Examples?
Q4) How can the media do a better job of inspiring women without preying on their insecurity?