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The Naked Truth

Reality: We currently live in a world driven by the media. From the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Magazines, TV shows, “Reality shows”, Commercials, Billboards, and everywhere.
 
 
Fantasy: We should all look like the men and women that we see in the media.
 
 
Reality: Everyday we are flooded by images and messages of the “ideal self”. The covers of magazines are consistently flashed with headlines stating “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days” or “How to have Flatter Abs.” These headlines are then plastered next to the picture of a celebrity that looks flawless. We then consciously or unconsciously compare ourselves to these same celebrities or images. The images are everywhere that they are difficult to escape even if you are self-aware.
 
 
Fantasy: If I do what the article says then I will look like the person on the cover.
 
 
Reality: These images are NOT REAL.
 
 
Reality: These images are airbrushed, Photoshopped, taken with the best lighting, the most expensive camera, and the most flattering angles. However, they leave the viewer with the message that this is what we should strive to look like. These images don’t just affect adults, but they are shaping and modeling teenagers and young children causing a drastic increase in eating disorders, adolescent plastic surgery, self-harm behaviors, and feelings of low self-esteem.
 
 
Fantasy: Beauty is looking like the people in the media.
 
 
Reality: We have no idea what an actual person looks like. We have no idea what a typical women looks like naked without airbrushing or Photoshopping. Magazines such as ESPN with it’s the Body Issues (http://espn.go.com/espn/bodyissue) and Allure (http://www.allure.com/celebrity-trends/2011/the-naked-truth-four-celebrities-go-nude-for-allure#slide=1) have done such issues on showing the human body in its naked form. However, they miss the mark again as they are portraying images of athletes and celebrities. These celebrities and athletes make their livelihood on being in shape.
 
 
Fantasy: If only I looked like that then my life would be better.
 
 
Reality: Celebrities and athletes make up a small percentage of the population.
 
 
Then why not create a magazine article or series using images of the majority of the population as your models and role models? Photos of the stay at home mothers, the business women, the teachers, the saleswomen, the sisters, the best friends, the everyday role models. Since the media is not accepting its role and responsibility in the images and messages they send us and our youth then it is up to us. It is up to us to ensure that we and our youth know the difference between REALITY and FANTASY.
 
 
Wondering how you can make a difference in yourself and others? Here are some quick tips:
 
 
  • Avoid criticizing your body or self in front of others. Children are always listening and soaking it in. If you point out your flaws they will start to feel like they have flaws as well.
 
 
  • Limit the amount of media influence. Monitor the images you receive as well as they receive.
 
 
  • Say at least 3 positives statements to yourself and the youth each day. These statements are not focused solely on outward appearances either. They are words of encouragement and affirmations. To make it easy you can split it into morning, afternoon, and night. Positive statements can be simply: “Thank you for being ready on time” or “Your eyes look especially beautiful today.”
 
 
  • Increase your own level of awareness of unfavorable comparisons. Be aware that you just NOTICED the cover of Redbook with Sofia Vergara on it and the little voice in your head said, “Man, I wish I had her body.”
 
 
  • Once you have increased your level of awareness, then CHOOSE to correct that fantasy thought.
 
 
  • Once you make the choice to make the improvement then ACT by replacing it with a realty thought such as “I have a great complexion.”
 
 
  • This process is called NOTICE-CHOOSE-ACT. Practice these steps with the youth. Teach them how to follow the steps as well.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

6 Comments to The Naked Truth :

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The images are everywhere that they are difficult to escape even if you are self-aware.
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