March has arrived, and for millions of college students around the country, it means Spring Break is just around the corner! If you’ve got hot spring break plans that involve a trip to somewhere warm, sunny and sandy, you’ve probably already started working on that beach-ready body, and you may have been scoping out swimsuits for months now! It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of looking fun, playful and sexy – whether you’re trying to impress someone special or hoping to meet someone new – but it’s important to remember to be good to yourself, too! When swimsuit season arrives, it’s all too easy to be negative – this year, break the cycle!
Grad Students Take On Sexism in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
Yesterday, an article popped up about two female grad students who have put together a campaign against media sexism. They say that women are portrayed in the media in a very unhealthy way – a way that encourages us to feel that we’re lacking or flawed. In fact, one of these women campaigning against media sexism said:
“We know that most women and girls feel terrible about their bodies. The word ‘disgusted’ comes up more often than not within studies. When women see themselves, especially in comparison to idealized images like these on the swimsuit issue, then they learn to view themselves as sub-par, and then they treat their bodies that way.”
We’ve all been guilty of it at some point. We feel like if we just lose that last 5 pounds, or if only we could get a little more toned, we’d look perfect. Unfortunately, this kind of negative self-talk could be hurting us more than we realize. Why? Here are a couple more quotes from this great article:
“Research shows us that women and girls are greatly affected by these billions and billions of images that this generation has seen like never before. [Self-objectification] happens when girls and women live in this objectifying media culture. They learn to view themselves as ‘parts that need fixing,’ and that’s where their success and happiness will come from.”
“When you are self-conscious of your body and you’re picturing yourself being looked at, it stops female progress in every way that counts. The ability to help women feel empowered and understand their value a little bit more is what we are all about and we are so glad to do it.”
If you have a few minutes, read the article. These two women have done some great research, and they have an important message for all of us swimsuit-wearing women!
With spring break right around the corner, don’t get so caught up in “looking great” that you forget to be good to yourself! Forgive yourself for having a “normal” body – one that doesn’t look like everything you see in the magazines – and get out there and have fun!
(And next week, when we start talking about hot swimsuits that will help you look great – know it’s because we want you to feel confident, sexy and empowered! Not because we want you to conform to some sort of media ideal of what women in swimsuits should look like!)