Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Strength to Resist

Here is a list of links that will support you in this quest. videoIn the video called The Strength To Resist; The Media's Impact on Girls, the film makes the case that young girls grow up happy and excited about life and then sometime around middle school, these girls learn to become critical of them selves and their bodies. They develop an unhealthy obsession with trying to fit in to an ideal that is not real but still has been shaped by our families, friends and the media. Do you see how this image has been created and validated by US culture?

One of the girls in the film raises an important sociological question, one that we have been touching on throughout our course. She said,
It is hard to be sure I am being true to myself all the time. I think sometimes, 'Do I try to look nice because I want to? Or is it because I feel I have to?' I don't know how I make the decision about what looking nice is, or whether I do look good or not...
How do you know whether you are dressing or acting a certain way because you want to and you are being true to yourself, or whether you are reacting to all of the messages that are socializing you? What advice would you give to young girls that are wrestling with this issue?

One of the criticisms of the video was the focus on athletics as a way to get to know your own body as something more than a reflection. The idea that the film meant to impart was that your body is your own and it is more than an object. Your body is useful, strong and powerful. What are some other ways for you to accept your own body and see it's strengths and powers that go beyond athletics?

Hopefully, you can separate having a healthy body from having an obsession. Ultimately, the point is that you can have a healthy and beautiful body and healthy self-esteem even if you don't have a body that falls into the mainstream culture's definition of beauty.

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