National NOW Foundation Times >> Fall 2008  >> Article

Love Your Body Campaign Urges Women to Question Beauty Ideals

By Bonnie Rice, Love Your Body Day Coordinator

The grand prize winner of the 2008 Love Your Body poster contest was designed by Whitney Calvert.
The grand prize winner of the 2008 Love Your Body poster contest was designed by Whitney Calvert.

Women and girls are continually bombarded with images from entertainment and advertising that help define our culture's beauty ideal. Fashion magazines, celebrity blogs and TV shows like Make Me a Supermodel continue to push girls and women to try unhealthy fad diets to achieve unrealistic body types. And while girls and women resort to compulsive exercise, starving themselves, and cosmetic surgery to achieve the media image of the "perfect" body and face, they may not realize that their health and lives are at risk. But you can make a difference!

The NOW Foundation's Love Your Body campaign helps raise awareness about women's health, body image and self-esteem. Since 1997, Love Your Body has given girls and women the tools and the encouragement to "just say no" to the air-brushed, cookie cutter images that Hollywood and Madison Avenue are trying to sell.

On Oct. 15, NOW chapters and campus and community activists across the country are celebrating Love Your Body Day with actions and events. Activists are holding fashion shows featuring women of all shapes and sizes; talking about embracing healthy lifestyles; and welcoming guest speakers to share information about the risks of silicone breast implants, the dangers of tobacco products, HIV/AIDS and other women's health issues. Some communities are holding mentoring workshops promoting self-esteem among women and girls, while several campuses are organizing "Girls Night In" events to discuss safety on and off campus.

The Love Your Body poster winner in the middle and elementary school category was designed by Jamille Bianca T. Aguilar of Manila, Philippines.
The Love Your Body poster winner in the middle and elementary school category was designed by Jamille Bianca T. Aguilar of Manila, Philippines.

This year NOW Foundation is partnering with the Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, founded on the growth and development of the college woman, and their Fat Talk Free Week. This five-day awareness campaign (Oct. 13 -17) challenges and begins to reverse the prevalent and damaging pursuit of the "thin ideal" by women of all ages. Delta Delta Delta has assisted in the development of the world's first peer-led body image program that has been scientifically shown to work - reducing negative body image and raising important awareness about a healthy ideal. For more information on the Tri-Delta campaign go to: www.tridelta.org

Love Your Body Day can be celebrated on any day and in many ways! For more ideas or to send us your ideas for ways to celebrate visit the Love Your Body Day website.

2009 Poster Contest

The NOW Foundation 2009 poster contest for the Love Your Body Campaign is underway! There will be five winners, and one poster will be distributed nationwide and featured on the NOW Foundation website, just like this year's winner (pictured above).

Prizes range from $100 to $600 in categories covering elementary and middle school students, high school, college, and non-student/professional. Entries must be postmarked by Dec. 1, 2008. Participation rules for the poster contest and more information on the campaign are online or call 202-628-8669, ext. 117.