Body Image Perceptions and Plus-sized Models ~ Krystyna Brandt

The media has been buzzing about the recent news that Sports Illustrated Magazine’s annual swimsuit edition will have its first “plus-sized” models in it. At the same time, special ad campaigns like “This Girl Can” are promoting women of all sizes working out hard, without shame. Could this be the beginning of a shift in the media, where more realistic images of the human body are normalized?

Many standards of beauty prized by our society are unattainable for a portion of the population–no matter how much they might work out, or how expensive their clothes are. These discrepancies can have real effects on a person’s health (and more than just physically, too).

The way that we understand our bodies directly influences our mental health. Whether we go on a diet to try to look more like the beautiful model on the cover of a magazine, dye our hair to hide the grays, or binge on packs of cookies and fast food, how we treat our bodies is reflective of something more: our inner lives.

How do you see your body? Is it a machine that supports your mind? A thing of beauty? Too big or fat or short or ugly? Can you say that your body reflects who you really are, or is it somehow just not right?

If you are suffering because of how you see your body, help is available. There are resources available to you on the internet, in your community, and  here, at the IPS Center for Psychological Services. We all deserve to flourish, in our minds and bodies.

National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)  http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) helpline: 1-800-931-2237

Find your local support groups: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-support-groups