When I shared my personal struggles with body image, the response was staggering. I was amazed by how many women and young girls were silently suffering. I was overwhelmed by your emails, your comments, your kind words – the resounding “me too” and “thank you for letting me know I’m not alone.” And while at first I felt validated, those feelings quickly turned to anger. Our generation has been duped. We’ve been lied to and manipulated. Our very psyche has been tampered with – we have been programmed to never be happy with the way that we look – all for someone else’s bottom line.
Think about it: How many BILLIONS of dollars would be lost if every woman woke up tomorrow and believed that she was beautiful? That she wasn’t some work in progress, that her body wasn’t in constant need of improvement? This about how much money is made by making women feel inferior.
We’re taught to never be happy – to never feel good about ourselves.
I’m telling you that it is a LIE. An ugly, greedy, manipulative lie. And I say enough is enough.
I’m fed up. I refuse to let another generation be led to believe the LIES that we have been taught to believe. Let’s not let our daughters grow up in a world where they never feel pretty enough or skinny enough. Let’s create a world for them in which their diversity is their greatest strength – a world where women are valued for their minds, their hearts, and their deeds. Where individuality is celebrated, where media portrayals are honest, healthy depictions of real women. Let’s put an end to the lies.
What can we do?
I have created the #NoMoreLies movement to challenge narrow socially constructed ideas of beauty, demand a more healthy, real, and diverse portrayal of women in the media, and teach women and young girls to love their bodies, break the cycle of hate, and stop believing the lies.
Dual Objective: 1. Bring awareness to body image issues, media bias, and societal pressures so that we can break the cycle of self hate through education, events, and social media. 2. Encourage women to be a voice for change in their communities, to demand an end to the “lies.”
Dual Audience: 1. Women – policy changers, mothers, those directing the social climate/popular culture – those who can make a difference in their homes, their schools, their communities. 2. Young girls – who can be taught the WHY behind society’s obsession with physical perfection, who can be taught how to be healthy: mentally and physically, who can be taught to separate self esteem from physical attractiveness.
Vision and Purpose:
- Hope for the next generation
- Shift to a culture of positive self image, diversity, and inclusion
- Expose the ugly truth behind societal definitions of beauty
- Celebrate individuality
- Encourage beauty – not socially constructed ideas of beauty, but the broader sense of beauty in all women – the beauty of our spirits, our works, our ideas – and seeing a reflection of these ideals widely embraced by popular culture.
- Promote healthy eating and exercise.
- End the physical objectification of women and the cultural obsession with perfection.
- End use of highly photoshopped images. You’re never going to look like the girl in the magazine because the girl in the magazine doesn’t look like the girl in the magazine. It. Isn’t. Real.
- Stop programming women to strive for unrealistic, idealized constructs of beauty – we are TAUGHT to never be happy with our appearance with our bodies all for someone else’s PROFIT – someone else’s bottom line. We are being objectified and controlled. Enough is enough.
- Understand that there will always be pretty girls, and skinny girls, and social norms for what is considered attractive, but to be able to recognize beauty is much broader than we have been lead to believe and that physical attractiveness is just a tiny piece of who we are.
We’re talking about creating a dramatic shift in our culture – one that won’t be easy – but wouldn’t it be nice if our daughters could grow up in a world where their wasn’t an obsession with physical perfection? Where women were valued for their minds, their hearts, and their contributions to society? Where we could see beauty in every type of woman? Where we could see beauty in ourselves each an every day in each and every season of our lives?
Take Action and Get Involved:
1. Link up your story. Have you struggled with body image? Are you ready to make a commitment to start loving yourself and be a better example for the next generation? Add your body image post to the link up below and be sure to use the hashtag #nomorelies and link to this page for people to go for more information.
2. Use #nomorelies on social media when sharing pieces that promote positive self image, expose media bias and societal pressures, and encourage true, diverse and meaningful beauty.
3. Become an advocate. Reach out to your local communities, schools, churches, and parenting groups. Plan events. Lobby for better self-esteem/body image/media bias education for young girls. Reach out to other bloggers, print publications and online magazines. Let your voice be heard. It’s time to speak up. It’s time to make a difference.
4. E-mail me with your ideas, thoughts, and success stories. Share resources. Let’s do this together. I can be reached via my contact page or at jennifersanzo at yahoo dot com.
Let’s put an end to the lies. Let’s stop telling them. Let’s stop believing them.