Monday, January 14, 2008

Would You Rather Be a Role Model or a Supermodel?

Since we're into post-it activism, we love this post-it from Karen Salmansohn's book, Quickie Stickies: 100 Pick-Me-Ups for When You're Feeling Unglued.

Sadly, the "would you rather?" game is no joke when it comes to women and their body image issues. A recent Fitness magazine survey asked readers how much they would be willing to sacrifice to get to their ideal weight. The results are predictably depressing:

23% would spend a week in jail (Hey, if Paris can do it...)
23% would shave their head (Too obvious. Insert your Britney joke here.)
21% would trade ten years of their life (emphasis ours because, well, wow.) [USA Today]

There's the bad news. The good news is that more than three quarters of women are not willing to make those kinds of ridiculous sacrifices to be thin, which makes us think that maybe the world isn't as hopelessly out of whack as we sometimes fear it is. So let's pass along some body image sanity to the next generation, ladies! If you would rather be a role model than a supermodel, ask a girl in your life how she would answer these questions:

Would you rather...

Skip lunch to save calories or enjoy a good meal with good friends?

Wait in line to try out for America's Next Top Model or volunteer those hours for a cause you care about?

Be thought of as cute, pretty, and skinny or as strong, smart, and bold?


CynthiaC said...

Question: Why does body image always have to be about weight? Isn't height part of it too? You may not realize it, but thin people who happen to be short have issues too. Clothes usually don't fit us length wise, and when they do, they're usually granny-like (J.Crew, Ann Taylor and Banana Republic excepted) We also have to constantly hear "ewwww! 95 lb/size zero? That's absolutely disgusting!" When you're like 5'2" tall, 95 lb is just plain skinny, not sick-skinny. I can go on, but you can visit my blog for all the details about roles shorter actresses play vs taller actresses, jobs, being treated like a child, etc...

I just wish that people who talk about body image would also include height, because being short can be just as bad as big.

Mami said...

OMG yes why does body image always have to be about weight? I read this post and got to thinking how thin I was and how unhappy I was then when I began taking this certain medication I began to gain weight and I began to feel better about myself. Was it that I felt more comfortable within and not have to compete with the worlds standards of being thin. Working out, exercising and making an impression to others as to being thin and thin is the way to be. But being HAPPY and HEALTHY at any weight or appearance is what is important. Being a role model to other women whether it be just for a minute or for a lifetime. We need more women to stand up and make a change and a difference in others lives, be an ear and a listener. Be someones voice, be someones shoulder to lean on...BE REAL! WOW~I love myself and thank you for giving me a chance to share!

GB said...

I completely agree with both of you! I too am tired of people thinking that I'm anorexic. I've been thin all my life and what people don't seem to realize is that whatever size you are, you're human first and that in and of itself comes with difficulties. We experience grief and broken hearts and have health problems just like everyone else. As women, we need to stop judging ourselves and each other.

Allison K. said...

Strong, smart, and bold for me, please ;)

The three "would you rathers" at the end of this post are great, and I hope they'll really resonate with those who are trying to opt for the positive.

Tanya said...

"Be thought of as cute, pretty, and skinny or as strong, smart, and bold?"

Those things aren't mutually exclusive, and it's about time people stopped thinking in terms of beauty vs brains. Since there's no definitive definition of beauty and everyone's tastes are different, it could be argued that we're all beautiful (cute, pretty, whatever).

And weight really has nothing to do with any of those things. A person can be skinny/fat tall/short whatever AND strong, smart and bold.

If we stopped judging each other so much on looks, maybe we could stop judging ourselves quite so much.