An Associated Press article in yesterday's Napa Valley Register ("Teen girls to Teen Vogue: Stop altering photos") told how a group of young women (evidently affiliated with the protest group SPARK-a- Movement) were able to get first Seventeen Magazine and now Teen Vogue to agree to stop altering body shapes in their magazine photos.
These girls wisely pointed out that "Teen Vogue and other magazines read by vulnerable young readers present an unrealistic notion of beauty, threatening their self-esteem and leading to depression and eating disorders." I'd venture to say that "Adult" Vogue does the same.
In addition to protesting and getting magazines to change their practices, one can simply refuse to purchase fashion or fitness magazines of any kind. Even if model's photos in these teen publications are no longer photo-shopped, there will still be articles and product ads aplenty telling readers how much better off they'd be if they just followed their "beauty" advice or buy their products. The bottom line is always about making money, not friends.
The great thing is, we do not need beauty magazine editors to be our friends. Instead we need to work on making friends with ourselves. To that end, I received an email a few days ago from a Health At Every Size™-friendly woman who happens to be a dietitian, wellness coach and psychologist conducting research for her PhD Dissertation on body image and meditation. Her name is Ellen Albertson, and the study is being done through the Department of Media Psychology at Fielding Graduate University. In recruiting women for this study Ellen described a bit about the goals and parameters:
The study utilizes meditation to help women feel better about themselves, their bodies and their lives. As you probably know body image, regardless of size, has a tremendous impact on lifestyle choices. Women with a positive body image are more likely to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Study subjects will be asked to listen to a 20-minute meditation podcast once per day for three weeks. They will also be asked to fill out survey questions regarding how they feel about themselves and their bodies to ascertain if the podcasts have had a positive effect on their personal body image and self-esteem.
Obviously, the hope is that at the end of three weeks participants (who must be over 18) will feel better about themselves, their bodies, and their lives. I did a bit of research on Ellen and found her project to be legit. Given my reaction to the video discussed in my June 22nd post, I even signed up. If interested in participating, I've copied the sample recruitment posting below my name.
Sending blessings until next time,
Meditate & Feel Better About Your Body & Yourself
You are invited to participate in an anonymous research study looking at the benefits of meditation on women’s health. This study is conducted by Ellen Albertson, MS, MA, RD, Department of Media Psychology at Fielding Graduate University. If you agree to participate you can expect to:
Answer questions at the start and end of the study online that ask about your background, thoughts, emotions, and eating behaviors. It is expected that each set of questions will take you about 20-30 minutes to complete.
Receive free meditation podcasts that last approximately 20 minutes. You will be asked to listen to them once a day for three weeks.
At the end of the study you will be provided with an email address to enter a lottery for a chance to win 1 of 5 gift cards (one $100 gift card and four $25 gift cards). Participation in the lottery is optional.
To participate please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/meditationwomenshealth