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Don’t Tell Me My Body Isn’t Perfect, Oprah!

Oprah Says You Need Liposuction

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…”

Oprah Approves Botox Injections

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:

  1. Cut out the negativity and make a pact with your friends to only say good things about your bodies.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. Go for a walk outside. The combination of the fresh air and the light work out can really boost your overall mood.
  5. 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.


5 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Me My Body Isn’t Perfect, Oprah!

  1. It’s very disheartening to hear Oprah, of all people, essentially endorsing cosmetic surgery. I don’t think there should be a place for these things in the Oprah universe.

    I think you should add to the tips here that people avoid media messages (eg, cut out reading certain magazines and watching certain shows) that are constantly reinforcing the idea that women need to look a certain way to be socially acceptable.

  2. Hi Ashley, Jennifer et al, I just posted on your FB wall about a Shaping Youth series of articles I wrote on body image, thinspiration, the ATB movie, and Oprah’s yo-yo dieting and the ability for big name stars to lead the way with a mass media mindshift.

    Here are all the relevant studies and links for your readers, along with the promo of the ATB About Face/Beyond Hunger benefit May 27-28!

    There’s no question in my mind that you can alter your viewing preferences but the appearance based cues seep into psyches in surround sound at a far deeper level with our current pop culture…to me, THAT is the part that needs to change. And slowly IS…with the green movement and ‘natural’ beauty zeitgeist getting more traction…

    Amy Jussel
    Founder/Exec. Dir.

  3. This makes me really angry, and really sad, for multiple reasons. It’s not just the encouragement of plastic surgery which is bad enough – it’s the discouragement of wearing a swimsuit in public unless you look ‘perfect’. Pretty counter-productive from a society fighting the “obesity epidemic” considering that swimming is a GREAT way to stay healthy. Going to the pool is my main form of exercise – and if I was too ashamed to wear a swimsuit in public due to my small chest and cellulite I don’t think I’d be as fit as I am.

  4. Well, I used to watch Oprah years ago, so I can’t say I’m too surprised that she endorses cosmetic surgery. She’s a bit of an oddball because she seems to support natural bodies for women, but at the same time she approves of looking perfect in bathing suits.

    My Mom is still a fan of Oprah and buys the monthly magazine. I have never read the magazine and I no longer watch the shows, but every so often I get a peek at the front cover of the mag. The Oprah zine has pretty much become a Seventeen Magazine for adults. It shows the latest trends, how to be the perfect wife/mom/daughter, etc… Plus, in addition to this Summer Perfection this whole shebang is a kill-joy. Oprah no longer makes women feel good about themselves (even though she says she’s all for ‘natural’ beauty).

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve got cellulite on my legs and a big round jiggly butt, ‘but’ I’m not afraid to go and strut my stuff about in a swim suit. Confidence is what makes someone beautiful, not the ‘bodily perfection’.

    I wish people [women] would stop worrying about ‘swim suit’ season and start looking forward to the sunshine, the pools and the vacations!

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