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Former Survivor Contestant Turns Body Image Activist

There are numerous ways to have an impact on how the media represents women. But sometimes it’s difficult to know where to turn.

If you’re like me, you have days when you want to take a baseball bat to your TV, shred every fashion magazine in the supermarket, and go on a spray-painting rampage to black out all the sexist billboards you’re confronted with on your morning commute. It’s easy to get frustrated and feel like you’re drowning in an abyss of media and advertising – like there’s no escape from the constant reminder that you’ll never be OK until you look like the unrealistic, computer-generated, flawless image staring back at you.

We both know the industry needs to change if we as women and girls are going to start feeling better about ourselves. It’s true that this is a HUGE issue and it can be daunting to know how to go about making positive changes. But, the good news is this: you’re not alone. Here on the About-Face web site, you’re among thousands like you who are fed up with the lies and false promises advertising promotes. You’re among a collective of critical thinkers that don’t accept things at face value.

And, it doesn’t just stop there. There are other people like us who have female-empowering messages. For example, I AM THAT GIRL, founded by the 26-year-old body-image activist and former Survivor contestant Alexis Jones.

Her mission is similar to ours — building community, rallying for healthy media, and empowering girls to reach their full potential by believing in their unique beauty, intellect, and strength.

She specifically wants to remind girls and women that we are on the same team, a good reason to give her a shout-out.

But who exactly is That Girl?

According to Alexis, she’s the “best version” of yourself -– the strong, confident girl who is fully aware of her gorgeousness both inside-and-out -– the girl who doesn’t let the media dictate how she should look or behave.

The aims of I Am That Girl are BIG, because, as I mentioned, Project Tackle The Media is no small job. But when enough voices come together, things get done, as Alexis and her team have already proved by taking this issue to the White House, where they presented to the Council on Women and Girls (a Council Obama signed into executive order in 2009) about the current state of media as an actual global crisis.

Wow. I’m inspired.

Hey, don’t worry. You don’t have to go to the White House to make a difference. Your voice matters and you — yes you — can have a serious impact. Want to get more involved and put your frustration into action? Check out About-Face Actions for inspiring ways to challenge our relationships to weight, body image, and media messages, and make sure to let us know what you’re up to.

Joy Robbins is a Professional Counselor and Yoga Teacher living in Australia. She specializes in the treatment of disordered eating and negative body image. Read more about her work here and here.

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