For over a decade now the National Organization for Women Foundation’s Love Your Body campaign has countered the unrealistic beauty standards, gender stereotypes and sometimes harmful images imposed by media and advertisers with a simple but powerful message to women and girls — Love Your Body. On October 15, we celebrate another year in our campaign to educate and encourage women and girls to say “no” to negative stereotypes and “yes” to awareness, health, and a positive body image.
“We are constantly bombarded by media’s ideals of what beauty should be”, says NOW Foundation President Kim Gandy. “The standard of beauty is highly sexualized and perfected to fit a stereotyped image, but what impacts could these unhealthy and unrealistic images have on the self confidence and health of women and girls?” asks Gandy.
On our campaign website, we show examples of positive media ads, but also many ads that are offensive to women, promoting violence, eating disorders, and gender discrimination. But it’s not just the advertisers. Media sexism reared more than its ugly head throughout this election cycle. “The vitriolic language used to describe Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Sarah Palin is a direct effect of the way media and advertising have created a world in which even the most powerful women are reduced to objectification,” said Gandy.
The NOW Foundation will continue to counter this daily bombardment through activism and education, like our popular slide show “Sex, Stereotypes and Beauty: The ABC’s and D’s of Commercial Images of Women,” which is being used in classrooms across the country. Our campaign will continue to provide resources for women and girls to use in helping to counter the damaging and dangerous messages in their communities.
This year we are introducing the second annual Love Your Body calendar, which celebrates the artwork of our Love Your Body Poster Contest winners and encourages all women to feel good about their bodies. The Love Your Body poster contest deadline for designing the 2009 poster is December 1, 2008. For more information, visit our campaign website.
“Beauty comes from within, and loving your body leads to personal empowerment and healthy living,” said Gandy.