One of my aspirations is to do my part in undoing the feelings of insecurity and incompleteness people feel in trying to measure up to society's "ideal" beauty standards.
As an elementary teacher, media literacy and critical literacy skills take a central role in many of the lessons, activities and experiences that I share with my students... teaching not just media literacy and critical literacy, but combining the two into critical media literacy, takes on a role of, dare I type it, critical importance.
Beyond Images, a free, online self-esteem and body image media literacy curriculum, developed by NEDIC, for Grades 4-8.
Recently I went to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to get my new Illinois license. The man behind the counter was extremely chatty and we exchanged pleasantries and conversation while he processed my paperwork. He told me about his wife and his plans to move to Colorado soon, I shared a story about my kids and our recent move from Pittsburgh.
We were simpatico – until he asked me what my weight was, and I lied right to his face.
The relationship between body image pressure and eating disorders is complex. As a former competitive dancer, I experienced the most harmful and impactful messages through subtle means, rather than overt statements regarding my body and weight. When I was 10 and getting measured for my dance costumes, I had to wear a body suit with a giant number on the front indicating what size I was. That year, I needed one of the largest sizes in my class.
Dealing with an eating disorder is a daunting, disheartening and isolating experience for anyone. It is an especially difficult struggle for those who identify as transgender or claim a gender identity that falls under the larger trans umbrella of gender diversity.
When I was first approached by NEDIC with the opportunity to submit a blog post several emotions overcame me. The most overbearing emotion was guilt. Although I felt minimal feelings of honour, accomplishment, and a sense of pride, just because my recovery has not been picturesque, that same voice who fed my ED for years was still screaming at endless decibels that I was not good enough. I was a false example of life in recovery. My lost count of slips since leaving residential treatment were by no means something I should have any pride in.
By now you must have heard about the controversy from NBC’s The Biggest Loser reality TV show. This season’s winner lost 60% of her body weight and her physical appearance caused outrage across the nation. How could they let that happen? GASP!
It's splashed right across her face.
The waves gently touch the shore as she stands half-hidden behind a palm tree, busying herself with sunscreen and sunglasses and one more do-I-have-everything?
She's wasting time. She's gathering courage.
She's surrounded by strangers who will never see her again but she looks at their faces and tries to imagine what they'll think of her.
An In Touch article, printed at the height of Kardashian’s pregnancy, was entitled something like: I’ll Never be Sexy again; Even my Armpits are Fat! Let me say for the record that I do not care about Kim Kardashian’s weight gain and I don’t care which celeb’s beach butt cellulite it is under the cutesy “Guess Who?” label.