This Is Beautiful PARTICIPANTS WORDs

Their WORDS

What pisses you off more than anything else, relating to body image issues? "That women and men don’t have equal drooling rights."
CAUTION: Complications associated with being extremely underweight include not experiencing normal maturation in sex organs or in height, heart irregularities, osteoporosis, impaired kidney function, infertility, hormonal imbalances, and electrolyte disturbances. Some of these problems result in death.
It’s funny how women are the only ones who are supposed to have a boyish figure. A man with a boyish figure gets sand kicked in his face, but the woman is blessed.

"For the next 20 (after sexual abuse by a family member, when I was about 14) I was solely focused on “fixing” myself and rebuilding my body image. It felt as though my body did not belong to me."

"I've spent my entire life covering up what and who I am. And by putting that one picture of me in the paper - I can't hide it anymore. So as surprised as I was to see it, I am totally okay with it now."

"The media image of woman has become so ridiculous AND so mainstream, so much so that we don’t notice it enough to get angry any more. And when a woman does get angry, it’s attributed to the fact that she doesn’t measure up."

"Sadly, I think women don’t really grow into their bodies until they are much older. I am near 40 and my strength comes from knowing myself and trusting in my talents."

"I was called “monkey lips” and “fat ass” when I was a kid. I was called “hairy monkey” and “dirty Indian” and “nigger” ALL these were racial slurs that I heard day in and day out when I was a child."

"Depression (cause there was not enough food in my brain to have it work for me) drugs, alcohol, rape (I had not esteem to say no) Self-mutilation. Suicide was a thought I contemplated since I was 9 years old maybe even younger."

"That’s when my father turned his attention to me and said, “Remember this: The whole world is run by what’s between your legs.”

"I realized that my beloved eye shadow irritated my eyelids. My eyes got puffy and swollen. One night at dinner, my dad called me “cow eyes.” I haven’t worn eye shadow since high school, but now whenever I look in the mirror after a hard night of crying, I see big cow eyes staring back at me."

"I have always liked Kelly Osbourne's image since the Osbourne's appeared on TV. The fact that she has a heavier set figure and a curvier body makes her a beautiful media icon to look up to. She's not paper thin, and she's absolutely fabulous."

"As a child growing up in “White” culture I was picked on because of my body, my body hair, and my skin color. Racism had a lot to do with my ‘feeling inadequate’. All the figures I saw in the media were and still kinda are white. So I knew naturally that I am not that, therefore I thought and was made to feel not beautiful."

"I was 9 years old when I was 1st diagnosis with Ovarian Cancer and then again when I was 12 I was put on hormones “the pill” and then I gained a lot of weight. I starved myself. I would go days without eating having only ice water an aspirin. To kill the hunger headaches."

"Traveling to Cuba was a big eye opener. Cuban womyn are mostly bigger womyn with a “BIG BLACK BUTT” that’s what most of these womyn called it and they know there big womyn and they love it and there partners love it, it’s totally natural."

"I eat what I want, I front of womyn without any negative comment. I don’t put a “good” or “bad” value on food. Example: “I’m so bad, I’m gonna eat chocolate ice cream” Or “be a good girl and eat all your food”"

"I was at a family dinner (extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins et al) and after dinner, someone thought it was a really good idea for everyone to weigh themselves. And I didn’t want to, but my uncle grabbed me (literally tackled me) and got me on the scale in front of everyone. I was 10."

"When I was in high school, my mom once said to me, “You’ll never find anyone on your own to marry, so let us do it for you”. That was her argument for arranged marriages."

"I’m most certainly not blaming parents everywhere. I just truly believe, knowing what I know now, that if you grow up in a home where you are acknowledged for your accomplishments and for who you are…body image may not be an issue."

"I wonder how I would feel if I spent as much time accepting myself as I do trying to change myself. What would my life be like."

"I want other women who are like me – and I know there are a lot – to know that every time they look in the mirror they can start their sentences with ‘I AM’ rather than ‘AM I…'"

"One of the first times my husband (at the time he was still my boyfriend) looked at me naked in the light he told me how beautiful I was. And that he wanted to caress and touch my body because it was beautiful (and still is!)."

"My mom used to tell me ‘I will pay you $500 if you lose 50 lbs’. I took diet pills because they wanted me to try them. I joined weight watchers while still in junior high because they wanted me to try it. During the evenings, we would watch tv and I would have to run up and down the stairs during the commercials."

"My mom used to tell me ‘I will pay you $500 if you lose 50lbs’. I took diet pills because they wanted me to try them. I joined weight watchers while still in junior high because they wanted me to try it. During the evenings, we would watch tv and I would have to run up and down the stairs during the commercials."

"A family member tried to take advantage of me. I remember someone, not sure who, saying that they knew it would happen given what I looked like. I don’t know if they meant because I was so beautiful or because I was huge and looked older than I was. Doesn’t matter, because me being beautiful never entered my mind. How could it? I was always the big one. It was an extremely difficult time in my family, and I was told never to talk about it, so I turned to food."

The FACTS

Women and girls are also consistently taught from an early age that their self-worth is largely dependent on how they look. The fact that women earn more money than men in only two job categories, those of modeling and prostitution, serves to illustrate this point. (Wolf, 1992)

The average size of idealized woman (as portrayed by models) has become progressively thinner and has stabilized at 13 - 19% below physically expected weight. (Garner, Garfinkel, Schwartz & Thompson, 1980)

This thin ideal is unachievable for most women and is likely to lead to feelings of self-devaluation, [depression] and helplessness. (Rodin, Silberstein & Striegel-Moore, 1984)

A poll conducted by a popular women's magazine found that 75% of the women thought they were too fat. (Glamour, 1984)

…the relentless pursuit of thinness has become a normative behavior among women in Western society. (Rodin, Silberstein & Striegel-Moore, 1984)

…over 90% of patients with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa are women. (American Psychiatric Association, 1994)

[In one study] 81% of ten-year-olds reported that they had dieted at least once. (Mellin, Scully & Irwin, 1986)

Negative body image is associated with suicide risk for girls, not for boys. (American Association of University Women, 1990)

Dieting is more common than not dieting, with 95% of the population having dieted at some time. (Polivy & Herman, 1987)

The tendency to compare oneself to models that are portrayed by the media increases with age. (Kennedy & Martin)

The average person sees between 400 and 600 ads per day…one of every 11 comericals has a direct message about beauty. (Dittrich)

Subjects exposed to slides of thin models consequently presented with lower self-evaluations than subjects who had been exposed to average and oversize models. (Irving, 1990)

Exposure to the thin ideal produced depression, shame, guilt, body dissatisfaction and stress. (Stice & Shaw, 1994)

[Researchers have found] a direct relationship between media exposure and eating disorder symptoms. (Stice, 1994)

America…leads the world in female anorexia. (Wolf, 1992)

Women and girls are also consistently taught from an early age that their self-worth is largely dependent on how they look. The fact that women earn more money than men in only two job categories, those of modeling and prostitution, serves to illustrate this point. (Wolf, 1992)

…over 90% of patients with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa are women. (American Psychiatric Association, 1994)

[In one study] 81% of ten-year-olds reported that they had dieted at least once. (Mellin, Scully & Irwin, 1986)

The average person sees between 400 and 600 ads per day…one of every 11 comericals has a direct message about beauty. (Dittrich)

America…leads the world in female anorexia. (Wolf, 1992)

In 1920, women established the right to vote. 1920 was also the first year of the Miss America Pageant.

Created By
Amanda Koster
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