By Scott Stenholm - Editorial Producer, 'Larry King Now'
According to Merriam-Webster, the official definition of 'body image' is "a subjective picture of one's own physical appearance established both by self-observation and by noting the reactions of others." Far too often, it is the latter that can negatively impact one's self-observation. A fair share of the blame for body image issues in women and girls around the world can be placed at the feet of a global media that has long celebrated and obsessed over an all-to-often unrealistic narrative as to what is defined as "pretty" or "sexy".
While there is much to be done to ensure that young girls (and boys) grow up knowing that as long as they are healthy, their natural appearance is beautiful on it's own merit, there have been several recent examples of how governments and popular culture are trying to stem the tide:
FRANCE ADOPTS LAW CLAMPING DOWN ON "ULTRA-THIN" MODELS
The Guardian reported that "models working in France will now need a medical document from a doctor or proving they are healthy and not dangerously thin under a new law approved by French Members of Parliament."
"Failure to provide a certificate will be punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine. The bill also forces magazines to flag up photographs that have been “touched up” or Photoshopped. The tough new legislation is aimed at combating the growing problem of anorexia in models and rising numbers of young people with eating disorders."
— VOGUE.CO.UK (@BritishVogue) December 22, 2015
MATTEL RELEASES NEW BARBIE DOLLS WITH DIVERSE BODY TYPES
As the New York Times reported, Mattel "unveiled curvy, petite and tall versions of its iconic fashion doll whose unrealistically thin shape has attracted criticism for decades. The three body types will also be sold in an assortment of skin tones, eye colors and hairstyles." The paper goes on to write that, "The move is about more than just making Barbie look different. While Barbie was once Mattel’s powerhouse brand, sales have plummeted in recent years as the doll has struggled to remain relevant to little girls who do not look like her and who play with toys other than dolls."
— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 28, 2016
LARRY KING NOW GUESTS TALK BODY IMAGE ISSUES
During a discussion on how to prevent young boys from becoming future sexual assault offenders, Amber Rose says that it is often young males who write degrading things to her on social media. ‘OITNB’ star Matt McGorry also gives his take on derogatory language used towards women and girls.
Health and fitness icon Jillian Michaels praises stars like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian for celebrating their curves but warns that while “you can be beautiful at any size” you can’t necessarily be healthy at any size. Plus, her advice for keeping kids fit and active.
YouTube style icon Grace Helbig discusses the pressures she felt to be “sexy” when she was growing up and offers a word of advice for young girls today who might be feeling the same pressures.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.