Tag Archives: expectations

in honor of fashion week

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In just a few hours, the ribbon will be cut to kick off New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and I can think of no better time to pay homage to the models who make these events possible. For upwards of the past decade I have listened to first-hand accounts of the fashion industry and the experiences of models, at large. The dehumanization and objectification of men and women and the expectation of compliance only chip away at self-esteem and wield extraordinary power to perpetuate personal problems and societal issues, such as eating disorders.

Over the past couple of years, it seems that the industry is gaining momentum towards empowerment.

Two years ago, Coco Rocha penned her concerns about the prevalence of eating disorders within the fashion industry in an impassioned open letter to the New York Times. She is one of the few models who have been outspoken about the ubiquitous issue of eating disorders within the industry.

Last year, Sara Ziff founded The Model Alliance, a not-for-profit organization working to establish fair labor standards for models in the U.S. Specifically, the initiative addresses healthcare, compensation, sexual harassment, working conditions and education, along with encouraging a “safe and healthy work environment that protects models’ mental and physical well being.” The Model Alliance is becoming a place where models can find support, voice their concerns and build a community.

Please visit their website, spread the word, share this post, do whatever you can to keep the conversation going, to support The Model Alliance and all of the men and women it protects! Thank you!

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not so happily ever after

What little girl doesn’t like princesses? Most of them have been swallowed up by the whole phenomenon. While these princesses frequently have strengths, what is front of mind for most tots is that these princesses are beautiful, wear fancy dresses, jewels and shoes.

Sometimes these messages are covert. Typically, the “bad” characters in Disney films are overweight.

Sometimes these messages are overt. In Gnomio and Juliet, just before her first date, the frog says to Juliet,”You know he’s going to ditch you when he finds out how much you weigh.”

In the film Ice Princess, there were a few scenes about food. In one, the mother gave her daughter a hard time because she wanted a cheeseburger. In another, a skater wanted the server to measure out the cheese in her salad at the skating rink snack bar.

Our little boys are taught that good looks, money and charm are the things that matter.

Parents are in a very powerful position, believe it or not, even more powerful than the messages in these films. What we can do is watch these films WITH our children and talk about what was portrayed. We can offer a different message, dispel the warped belief systems illustrated and empower our children to view themselves, their friends and people at large, in a different way.

How are you handling this issue with your children? Is there anything you can you do differently to be more effective? What do you notice when you have these conversations with them?


vanity sizing

Vanity sizing is the phenomenon of ready-to-wear clothing becoming larger over a period of time. It has been shown that both women and men are willing to pay a higher price for clothing deemed a smaller size. Presumably, designers are more than happy to appease consumers by gratuitously down-sizing their clothing.

There is no consistency between retailers anymore. Shopping has become incredibly difficult for many, perhaps even most. What does true-to-size really mean these days?

For those struggling with self-esteem and body image issues, it is stressful enough to go shopping for clothing, but facing this extraordinary inconsistency between designers makes the arduous process of shopping merciless.

Aside from confusing our perceptions of our bodies, what message does this send to women and men about how much size actually matters? What have you noticed? What has your experience been?


honor your body – part 1

All too often, and for a variety of reasons, we internalize negative thoughts, expectations, images and ideas and use them destructively against ourselves. These internalizations turn into damaging whispers that are full of judgment and contempt.
Last year I asked the people in my life to consider the negative messages that they have heard, and perhaps internalized, about their bodies and their selves. Here is the list…
pain is temporary, pride is forever
you can never be too rich or too thin
nothing tastes as good as skinny feels
if it tastes good, spit it out
bigger snacks mean bigger slacks
think thin
dieting is not a piece of cake
a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips
little pickers wear bigger knickers
you’ve got to move it to lose it
in through the lips and down to your hips
don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork
no pain, no gain
eat, shrink and be merry
supermodels always go to bed hungry
it only tastes good for a minute
if you indulge, you bulge
thin has a taste all of its own
thinner is the winner
every time you say no to food, you say yes to thin
don’t do anything today that you’ll regret tomorrow
hunger hurts but starving works
i may as well just apply it to my hips
fat makes you fat
What is on your list?

Don’t go anywhere yet… continue here!