I bet if you pick up your phone or grab your computer right now, you can’t spend five minutes on the Internet without running into a beauty or fitness trend that ask women to alter the shapes of their bodies in ridiculous (and sometimes dangerous) ways.
Our friends at Shape Magazine have spoken with experts about these beauty trends and what trying to achieve them will cost you. We’ve got our own take on the beauty and fitness buzzwords that seem to be sweeping social media.
Body image is a tricky subject. It’s something we deal with every day, whether we realize it or not. “Do I look ok in these pants?” “Wow, she’s gotten thin.” “He has great muscles, why don’t mine look like that?”
We have thoughts like these so many times per day, we barely even notice any more. Even those who normally have great body image can catch themselves having negative thoughts about their bodies, or someone else’s.
Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to remind us that you can be happy and healthy without being supermodel thin or bodybuilder built. Here are five films that we think are worth your time to watch.
Though this documentary isn’t out yet, we were inspired by Taryn Brumfitt’s story and her now infamous non-traditional “before and after” photo. In it, the before image is Taryn during a fitness competition, the very picture of a “perfect body,” but unhappy with how she looked. The after photo is her today, less “fit” but much happier.
“The day I learned to unconditionally love my body was the day I became unstoppable.” <– CLICK TO TWEET THIS QUOTE
After making that realization, she decided to create a positive body image movement and share it through, among other channels, a documentary she’s crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Embrace.
It’s a happy ending for all involved in the controversial story of the week. After Brooke Birmingham’s swimsuit photo was mistakenly declined for publication by a freelance writer at Shape Magazine, she turned to her blog, BrookeNotOnADiet.com, to tell the tale.
During the past several days, her story fanned the flames of an on-going and necessary conversation in this country about body image and self love. This morning, we were glad to learn that she and the editors at Shape Magazine were able to connect, clarify the confusion, and get Brooke the photo shoot she and her 170-pound weight loss story so deserve!
“My intention was to start a conversation, but I had no idea it would come to this,” Brooke told Savannah Guthrie. “[The picture was] important to me because that is my body and I felt like I needed to put it out there to show people what a real weight loss looks like.”
It used to be that eating disorders were just about being thinner than everyone else. But that’s no longer the case. Now you have to be stronger, fitter, and healthier than everyone else too. Since this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 24-March 1) it seems like the perfect time to talk about the new ways disordered eating is surfacing.
Though not an officially recognized eating disorder, there is a growing trend in orthorexia or an obsession with health. Many people, especially teenagers, associate health with the number on the scale or how they look in the mirror. Both of those can be good baseline for determining health, but there’s a lot more to it than how big your thighs are.
There have been a number of sea changes in modeling, advertisements, and the way women and models are depicted in the media lately. Fashion shows have started to ban models with Body Mass Indexes that are under 18. Retailers like J. Crew are using regular people in photo shoots instead of models and even some stores that employ models have committed to no longer dramatically retouch photos. Even magazines are taking the pledge to stop airbrushing models. But, surprisingly enough, it’s lingerie companies that are being the most bold in the shift in how they depict women’s bodies, going from unattainable to ordinary-and-awesome.
First up: Forever Yours Lingerie, a company based in Vancouver, CA. The company offers intimates for women of all sizes: bras start at a B cup size and go up through K. And, while the company has always featured a models representative of their broad demographic, they recently stepped up to show support for one plus size model they adore, Elly Mayday, who is undergoing treatment for a rare form of ovarian cancer.