It is sad to say, but when most women hear the words “beach season,” we brace ourselves to feel bad about our bodies. This is something I have come to expect from women’s magazines and diet-pill commercials, but I didn’t expect Oprah to join in with a swift kick to women’s body image.
On Oprah’s web site there is an article titled Summer Body Shortcuts. As the word “shortcuts” implies, all of the suggestions on the list are cosmetic surgery. They suggest everything from breast implants and tummy tucks to porcelain veneers and Botox. Some procedures aren’t even FDA approved, and still the reader is corralled into thinking “I could use that…”
It is disheartening to see Oprah put up things like this on her website. She has an extremely large following of devoted fans who excitedly watch every episode of her show to see the next “must-have.” For someone who has had her own public body image issues, it is surprising that she would help foster body insecurities in this way. I think it is incredibly irresponsible of Oprah to tell women their bodies aren’t good enough as-is.
We need to stop looking at our bodies as something to be fixed and stop listening to people, like Oprah, who tell us we aren’t perfect by telling us how to “fix” our bodies. Instead of constantly picking apart body “flaws” we need to refocus and set our sights on becoming comfortable with our bodies the way they are.
Here are tips to love your body WITHOUT expensive, risky, and unnecessary cosmetic surgery:
- Cut out the negativity and make a pact with your friends to only say good things about your bodies.
- Write a list of things that you like about yourself (i.e. your hair or sense of humor) and pin it up on your bathroom mirror. Then read it while you brush your teeth in the morning. Reminding yourself of how great you are will put that little extra spring in your step.
- When you are hanging out with your friends, notice all of the different ways to be beautiful (i.e. a person’s boisterous laugh or their loving nature). Remember that people are not meant to look exactly the same. Variety is the spice of life!
- Go for a walk outside. The combination of the fresh air and the light work out can really boost your overall mood.
- Walk around your house in your underwear or bathing suit. This can help you to become comfortable with your body. The more comfortable you are with your body, the more confident you will be when at the beach.
CHALLENGE: Come up with more ways to feel good about your body and share your ideas with the About-Face community by writing them in the comments for this blog!
You can also share your thoughts on the Summer Body Shortcuts article with Oprah by emailing her: click here.