National NOW Times >> Summer, 2000 >> Article
Love Your Body Day Promotes Positive Body
by Holly Fodge, Foundation Intern
Mark your calendars NOW! On Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2000, the NOW
Foundation will celebrate the third annual Love Your Body Day. As in past
years, activists will continue to protest advertisements that are
offensive and disrespectful to women and girls. Love Your Body Day
provides a day of action to speak out against the tobacco, fashion,
cosmetic and diet industries' promotion of unrealistic, dangerous body
These images are everywhere, and they aren't a joke. Since
the introduction of tobacco advertising that equates liberation ("You've
come a long way baby!") and thinness with smoking, lung cancer has
surpassed breast cancer as a leading killer of women. Today's supermodels
weigh 25 percent less than the average model did 20 years ago. Currently
80 percent of fourth grade girls have already been on a diet.
preparation for Love Your Body Day, the NOW Foundation is working to
increase awareness of the campaign and what people can do to counteract
and stop the negative effects produced by the harmful images of women. The
Foundation is displaying posters, distributing fact sheets and petitions,
and compiling results from a national survey on body image.
campaign is also collecting examples of advertisements that are
particularly exploitative in preparation for a new corporate education
project that will encourage advertisers to highlight responsible and
accurate images of women and girls.
The NOW Foundation held a
poster contest in May in order to find a design for the 2000 Love Your
Body Day poster. Art students, graphics professionals and first-time
designers-young and old-participated in this year's contest. The winning
design by Annette Granack will be used to promote this year's action.
NOW chapters, schools and others across the country have already
planned events for this year's Love Your Body Day. New York City NOW again
will hold its annual Love Your Body Day rally aimed at denouncing the
billboards featuring emaciated women that dominate Manhattan's streets.
National NOW interns, in conjunction with Capital City NOW, are planning
to hold an alternative fashion show in Washington, D.C., in which
participants will express why they love their bodies, and what kinds of
clothes make them feel comfortable and beautiful.
In the past NOW
chapters have organized events including: holding speak-outs and news
conferences; giving awards to local merchants for their positive, and
calling attention to their negative, portrayals of women; performing plays
and readings; hosting house parties; writing letters to, or petitioning,
magazines and advertisers whose ads are offensive to women and girls; and
presenting workshops on body image, self esteem, nutrition and
Activists can contact their local NOW chapter to find out
what they're doing or organize an action of their own like the ones
above-just don't miss out on this energizing day.
Foundation has developed kits to help activists and organizations
celebrate the day. The 2000 Love Your Body Day kit has information on how
to get involved, as well as some fun new items. Available in the
organizing kits are stickers, books, t-shirts, new slogan ideas and the
new 2000 Love Your Body Day poster. This year the Foundation also plans to
release a new video, "Redefining Liberation Too!" which illustrates the
contemporary issues of women's health, including the negative effects of
tobacco advertising geared toward women and girls in today's society.
The goal of Love Your Body Day is to let companies and advertisers
know that women refuse to accept ideas and body images that are insulting
and unhealthy. It is a day to take action and take back the definition of
what is considered beautiful.
"Through this campaign, women and
girls will take control of our own images and lives," said NOW Foundation
President Patricia Ireland, "so that we can love our bodies every
For more information and to review results of the National
Body Image Survey, please visit www.nowfoundation.org. To receive an
action kit, call (202) 628-8669 ext. 117. Please send offensive
advertisements, with an explanation of where the ad came from, to Donna
Hazley, NOW Foundation, 733 15th St. NW, Washington DC 20005.