Particularly during a popular time for eating disorder awareness campaigns, it’s important to talk about the tools and resources available to address the issues of low self-esteem and self-worth as they relate to messages about beauty and being thin.
About Face is a great site committed to educating women and young girls about the impact of media and societal messaging. Their campaign focuses on preparing females to resist the dangerous message that beauty is only skin deep, and it’s only yours if your body is perfect.
The name of the movement is a play on the idea of doing an about face, defined as “a reversal of direction, attitude, behaviour or point of view.” About Face wants to reverse the ideal of “thin” as morally and physically superior, and in doing so free women and Western society in general from some of the external pressures that might contribute to high levels of eating disorders, depression, and body image issues.
There are a couple really interesting parts to the website (and campaign):
- A Gallery of Offenders profiling industries, societal figures and movements pushing problematic messages
- A Gallery of Winners detailing campaigns, people, and aspects of pop culture focused on empowering women and sharing the ideal of strong, capable, intelligent women
- Resources to educate yourself and others about the issues of body image and the media
- Ideas for action, including making your opinions known to companies perpetuating harmful stereotypes and tips for supporting friends, daughters, and students