In today’s media and culture, we are bombarded with messages of what a perfect and desirable body should look like. In the United States we receive about 5,000 advertising messages a day, many showing us thin, tanned, toned, and unrealistic bodies.  About 50% of teens and young adults report the need to lose weight and burn calories. Take a look at the video from Dove below, and see how much can be done to manipulate someone’s appearance:

http://www.dove.us/#/features/videos/default.aspx[cp-documentid=7049579] (Campaign for Real Beauty)

Some important things to remember:

-The average size of woman on television is size 2, while in the United States in general it is 14 (Marilyn Monroe was a size 10 by today’s standards)

-You never know what someone may be doing to maintain their body or if that is even their real body! Most magazine images are digitally retouched, sometimes erasing inches off thighs or the waist.

-When you look at an image, ask yourself if that really represents America’s women. Is it realistic for a woman or a man to look like that?

-A healthy amount of exercise consists of minutes a day 5-7 days a week

-A healthy, balanced, adequate diet is the best and most healthy way to live life to the fullest and look your best

-You are beautiful just the way you are!

Some tips to improve your own self-image:

-Look in the mirror every day and point out three things you like about yourself.

-Buy clothes that fit you well, you can certainly be big and beautiful!

-Counter every negative thought you have about yourself with a positive one!

Check out this site about Media Awareness

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