America the Beautiful

A while back, I went to the documentary and discussion on the film America the Beautiful. I took the following weeks observing and reflecting on what was said, and was more aware of the judgments people pass on each other. Truthfully, I was disturbed by the film which gave a greater insight into our country’s unattainable obsession with perfection.  It’s discouraging that society expects us to look one way, when most of the time what we wish to become is either computer generated and or otherwise impossible achieve.

This documentary covers many important topics that are put aside and not discussed frequently. I would recommend this film to anyone who is having a hard time with their body image because it states that most of what we see is not reality, which is an important concept for people to know.

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May 6, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

How Do You Feel About Your Own Body?

Please take a quick 10 question survey regarding the topic of body image. Some of the questions may be personal, however the entire survey is confidential so please answer honestly. It will only take a few minutes, and it provides a general sense as to where average people fall into the struggle with body image.

Love yourselves, we are all beautiful in our own way!

http://polldaddy.com/s/282DA144B744307C

May 6, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

What Makes Us Sexy?

I found this video that explains what makes two people attracted to one another.  Lisa Debrine, a psychologist that studies peoples faces and investigates what makes a woman appealing to a man and vice versa. She conducted a study where she took apart and combined three average people’s faces to construct the ‘ideal’ person.  She then asked several random people what they believed was most attractive about the person and found that the men found the woman with the more feminine faces more attractive, and the women found the more masculine features the most attractive.

Sex appeal varies individually and that’s the beauty of self-acceptance. If we are able to find ourselves attractive simply as we are, maybe the idea of perfection won’t be something that people go to great lengths to achieve.

What do you think? Is wanting sex appeal a main contributor for why people have issues with their body image?

Watch the video of her experiment here- http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/science-of-sex-appeal-attractive-facial-features.html

May 6, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Barbie in Real Life

I was rummaging through my attic this past weekend to help my mom rid the house of some old clutter. I came across a box labeled ‘old toys’ and quickly opened it in hopes that it would trigger memories from the days of making Barbie kiss Ken, pretending my American Girl Doll Josephine was my real child, and destroying my brother’s masterpiece built from Lego’s. I was somewhat successful as I opened a box full of Barbie Dolls.  I pulled out one with brown hair, one with no hair, one half-dressed, and of course, the original Barbie doll. As I held her, I couldn’t help but notice how disproportionate she was compared to what a real woman looks like.

Barbie would not be able to survive if she were human. She would not menstruate, hold up her neck or head,  and would have to crawl on all fours due to her legs and feet. Who would want to live such a life (or lack there of)?

Barbie would be 6 feet tall and weigh a mere 100 pounds. Her measurements would be 36-18-33 (bust, waist, hips).

The Average Woman is 5 feet, 4 inches and has the measurements 35-27-37. (bust, waist, hips)

It’s no wonder that young girls learn at a young age to think that they need to resemble Barbie to be beautiful. I know that I personally believed this is how real women were built. Would it be so difficult to make dolls resemble realistic people?

April 26, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Diet Pills-Are They Worth It?

What extent would you personally go to in order to obtain the “ideal” body? Some stop at diets, while others continue on to more drastic measures such as eating disorders and the usage of diet pills. But, at what point does ones obsession with being thin become harmful to their health?

Infomercials and advertisements are all over the media about the so-called ‘guaranteed results’ from diet pills. Many times, it is not worth it to begin using diet pills simply for some of the side effects that can coincide with taking them. Such effects range in severity, but are those such as increased heart rate, constipation, sweating, excessive thirst, anxiety, dry mouth and many more that to me, just don’t seem worth it.

I strongly believe that altering ones diet and exercise habits can have the same, if not a greater impact on achieving optimal health for an individual.  I also know that in reality people do experiment and no one wants to wait to see results.  With that said, it is important for the consumer to research products prior to using them. Whether you’re interested in trying a diet pill yourself, or just simply want to see reviews about a pill that you’ve heard about, please take a look at http://www.dietpills.org.

It’s worth it to know the background to all of this hoopla spread throughout the media because we’re only given one body and it’s our job to take care of it!

April 26, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Real Beauty and the Media

Whether you’ve seen the products on the shelves at the convenient store, or personally used the body products, you’re bound to have come across the logo “Dove.”  Well, the Dove Company you’re thinking about is one advocate in the fight to help women develop confidence with themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin. I stumbled upon these videos that they’ve released to the public, and was instantly drawn into their honesty and compassion they show towards the sensitive topic of body image.

Take a moment to watch this short video. I think that you’ll be shocked at how much the media controls the way that we see beauty. What we see is the sculpted version of the reality that the media is too scared to show. It’s no wonder people aim to look a certain way without completely understanding that it’s virtually unattainable.

April 20, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Negative and Positive Body Perceptions

The first step to loving yourself is to recognize how you look at your own body. People can either have a negative or positive body image perception, both of which are defined clearly below.

Negative Body Image-A person with this outlook often has a distorted perception of their shape where they perceive parts of your body unlike they truly are. They believe that other people are attracted to them solely for their looks, shape and size and that other factors such as personality are foreseen. They feel ashamed, uncomfortable and self-conscious about the way that they look and are unable to accept their bodies for how they are.

Positive Body Image- A person who has a positive outlook on their body is able to see their body for how it truly looks and does not imagine it being smaller or larger than reality.  These people are able to appreciate their body shape, size and form and are aware that a person’s body size does not determine their personality or how they are as a person.  They embrace their form and are proud of their genes and show this through confidence and self-acceptance.

It is important to recognize the way that a person looks at themselves and recommend that they seek help if you suspect that they have a negative perception towards their body. Prevention is crucial with eating disorders, and the earlier that you detect a growing problem, the better off the person’s future will be.

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/index.php

April 14, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Springing into Change

Are you suffering a post-winter slump? Does your activity level need a lift? Did you opt for the couch rather than the slopes these past winter months?

If you answered yes to any or all of these, you may be in need of a remedy that will provide you the energy boost that you’ve been lacking. Did you know that a mere 30 minutes a day of activity has been proven to increase your energy levels, improve your memory and help you sleep more soundly.

Here are some quick ideas to incorporate into a busy college lifestyle and help you spring back into a healthy you while at school:

1. Grab your sneakers and go explore. There are maps provided by Campus Recreation for students to explore the college woods. If this type of activity interests you, check out their trails!http://campusrec.unh.edu/index.cfm?id=90A283AF-003D-7C62-B3DE7468C1041CFD

2. Organize a group of friends to throw a frisbee or play basketball outside (or even inside, just play!)

3. Go for a walk along the beach.

4. Ditch the bus as your source of transportation around campus. Rather, hop on a bike or walk to and from class.

5. Sign up for the intramural teams that are offered on campus. For spring, Campus Recreation offers Intramural Soccer, Intramural Floor Hockey and Intramural Softball. Who knows, you could meet a whole new group of friends while trying something new! http://campusrec.unh.edu/index.cfm?ID=64C90BA5-FF84-832D-1D49C62B4D505888

Remember that achieving fitness and optimal health isn’t a race. It takes dedication, time and trial and error to find what active lifestyle works best for you. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Also, it is important to keep in mind that achieving 30 minutes a day does not necessarily mean all 30 minutes must be reached all together. Take a brisk twenty-minute walk during lunch and one ten-minute walk post-dinner. Or, throw a ball around with some friends when the weather permits and then walk around campus together.

People often have a misconception that you have to intensify and alter your lifestyle dramatically in order to become fit. However, every little step counts when it comes to achieving a healthy mindset and lifestyle and the choice to take the stairs rather than the elevator will truly makes a difference in the long run.

Take the challenge to incorporate healthy habits into your day, and see your body, mind and attitude change alongside the incoming spring season.

March 30, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Prevention is Crucial for the Young

It’s time that we become models. Not that we see on magazine covers or strutting down the runways.  I mean models for children who look up to us and observe and then mirror how we act. What we hear and see through the media about body image is often flawed. Most of what we hear is solely opinion based and can often be the start of a person developing problems with self-acceptance.

The website http://www.BodyImageHealth.org is an educational site revolving around the often sensitive subjects of obesity, eating disorders and our overall health. It is directed towards professionals, teachers and parents in an effort to prevent children and adolescents from developing body image related problems. They stress the point that “a culture is formed by the stories that it’s children are told. ”  This meaning that children are greatly affected by what they observe from their role models and that even the smallest observations can effect a child’s future immensely.

We all need to be more conscious of our word choice and how other people could interpret what we say. Let’s try to help each other love ourselves just as we are and hope to teach our children that nobody is perfect.

March 30, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Quick Tips from The Professionals

I admit that I’m impatient. In fact, I think that it’s our upbringing as American’s to crave quick and easy fixes to problems that can take years to develop . Whether it’s resorting to quick-fix dieting, popping weight loss pills or endlessly searching the internet for quick and easy exercises, people take many various measures to obtain the ‘ideal’ body. Not many want to actually take the time to implant permanent changes to their lives and some simply just don’t know  where to begin.

The American Dietetic Association strives to help people reach an overall healthy state of being. Their website  www.eatright.org offers advice in various topics ranging from proper nutrition, exercise specific to a person’s lifestyle, prevention of health-related illness and healthy weight management tips.

I’ve found that this website is specifically useful for people who are like me- impatient. It is organized into several easy-to-navigate tabs specific to the broad range of health needs people seek help for. For example, I was in a hurry today to get to class, but wanted a quick energy-boosting snack to help get rid of my mid-day slump. I simply went to the site and navigated to the Food and Nutrition Topics tab. Wah-lah! There were several sub-categories at my fingertips that I was able to quickly scan through to get an answer. Twenty minutes later I purchased a small pack of almonds and a banana in the local store without having to think twice about my decision.

I advise you to take the few minutes out of your day to poke around the website. They provide great tips to achieve overall health and wellness in a widespread of areas. After all, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

March 11, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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