May 6 was International No Diet Day and quite frankly, if it were up to me, every day should be a no-diet day. The fashion and beauty industry’s obsession with body image have resulted in more and more women treating themselves in the cruelest ways with destructive negative body image thoughts. According to an exclusive Glamour survey of more than 300 women, women have an average of 13 negative thoughts a day regarding their body image—that’s one per hour. Worse yet, a disturbing number of women confess to having up to 100 condemning thoughts about their bodies every day.
Thoughts like, “You’re too fat!” “Don’t eat that cupcake! You’re on a diet!” and “I can’t be seen in a swimsuit!” aren’t reserved for the clinically overweight women, either.
According to statistics in the film Miss Representation, an important documentary on the impact of media on women and their body image:
- 53 percent of 13-year-old girls are dissatisfied with their bodies.
- By age 17, that number increases to 78 percent.
- About two-thirds of women and girls have an eating disorder.
Maybe if Marilyn Monroe were still alive with her wisdom, women might perceive themselves differently today. Here are a few body image and beauty tips I imagine she would have taught us:
1. “One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I’m a woman. That is the way all females should feel.” Marilyn revered her femininity, her curves, her body with its flaws and imperfections. Being a woman was sufficient enough for her to love her body. When we are completely confident in our womanhood, we are confident in accepting our body no matter what the shape.
2. “There isn’t anybody that looks like me without clothes on.” Every woman should think: “My uniqueness is an asset. I am happy in my own skin and while people can dress like me, underneath, I am my own unique woman. I am not in competition with my body for something better or different.”
3. “A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.” Why would a woman choose to be only a sex symbol, rather than seeing herself as a woman who is sensual, sexy, and not affected by the way media and society portray women?
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