Being Skinny Is Not Your Job

Amy Kuras

thin womanWe all know that watching TV is generally not all that great for your self-esteem. The actresses are prettier, have nicer hair, and are thinner than we are ... sometimes lots thinner. And some people believe it's actually harmful for us to see images of women who are painfully skinny. One British shrink is even calling on the government to limit the images of very thin women that are shown on TV there.

That seems a little extreme, but Aric Sigman, who wrote the report to the British government, cites a study that says confident women who are exposed to images of skinny women report increased feelings of anxiety, unhappiness, pain and self-loathing.

Sheesh ... really? Maybe because I have never been skinny; even at my thinnest point I was more Jennifer Aniston on the first season of Friends than, say, Courtney Cox ever, but I can't imagine that women who know they have it going on would be confronted by a image of someone thinner than them and feel like crap.

One of the best ways to fight this effect is to limit your exposure to regular media. If you don't see it, you can't be bothered by it.

It's also helpful to focus on what your body can do versus how it looks. Your body carries you around, runs, walks, dances, and maybe even carried and nursed a child or two. This is big stuff, right? So show yourself a little love.

And most importantly, but hardest for pretty much everybody, is to knock it off with the negative self-talk. No, you won't ever look like Dianna Agron or whoever is the hottest TV actress of the moment. But that doesn't make you someone who should never show their face on the street, either. We tend to hold ourselves up to these impossible standards and find ourselves wanting, but it's these actresses' job to be beautiful. And honestly, if you've ever seen those "celebrities without makeup" pictures that the celeb mags like to run, you'll see that even some famously beautiful women are more on the pretty side of average without all the trappings.

How do you combat the media's impossible standards of beauty?

Image via Katie Tegtmeyer/Flickr

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