Have you ever felt like you didn’t want to participate in something because you were insecure about your own body? Studies today are showing that confusing messages from the media could be causing this.
Julia Bluhm is a 14-year-old girl activist who is putting the pressure on for magazines to show real body images of real girls. According to the article Women’s Magazines and the Cult of Hypocrisy by Laura Bates, Julia created a petition to have Seventeen place one unaltered photo in their magazine every month. The petition received 84,000 signatures and got a lot of media attention! In early July, Seventeen magazine responded by giving their promise to only publish unphotoshopped pictures. Although this is a huge step, Julia and many other girls across the globe are hoping for more magazines to follow in Seventeen’s path.
So why is it so important to see real girls in the media?
Luna explains how girls who do not look like the unrealistic images of models in the pages of magazines or actors on TV might begin to think that something is wrong with them. Girls have all sorts of different types of bodies, styles of hair, and other unique features that should be celebrated among all media sources!
But many types of media that girls are bombarded with don’t make it easy for girls to appreciate themselves. While one magazine might display a picture of an actor who they describe as being too thin and unhealthy, another magazine is posting similar pictures of the actor and writing that we should try to look more like her. It’s pretty confusing huh?
It becomes difficult to not believe what many magazines, movies, and TV shows consider “beauty”, when in reality girls should be able to love themselves and their bodies just the way they are.
It’s hard to see past these messages of what “beauty” means in the media, but here are some ways you can help yourself and your friends stay confident AND take action, just like Julia:
- Luna’s Inner Beauty Tip: Help Other Girls Smile When They Look in the Mirror discusses one action that can give girls confidence. By creating decals with positive messages on them to be put on mirrors in public places, they are helping to inspire others. Find even more Inner Beauty Tips here!
- If you have any questions related to body image, just ask Tori! Tori is a psychotherapist and answers one question every week, it’s even anonymous!
- In the Real Beauty Guide section of New Moon, girls can read what others believe beauty means to them!
- Does music always make you feel better? Check out these favorite inner beauty songs voted by girls!
- Feel awesome about yourself and help others out with Operation Beautiful!
On NewMoon.com, Luna wrote a story about some harmful effects gossip magazines can have on girls. If you are feeling upset or not good enough after being exposed to certain images in magazines, it might be best to choose a new way of keeping yourself occupied. Jesse, 13, Texas wroteabout choosing books who bring attention to brave, adventurous girls instead of reading stories that always have the same stereotypical girls and boys featured.
We want you to know how important we think you are, and that’s why we never use photoshopped images in our magazine or on NewMoon.com – we only use pictures of real girls, girls who are beautiful for what they do and who they are, not how they look.
Have magazine images ever affected you? Do you think the media is doing a better job now with using pictures of real girls? Or has it gotten worse? How do you stay confident and know you’re beautiful inside and out? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!
New Moon Intern