She Needs Us: Girls, Self-Hatred and Toxic Hazardous Culture

By October 12, 2011beauty

by Kristie Vosper

This summer I was talking to a young woman in Malibu about the pressures she says the girls are facing at Malibu High. I know well that Malibu High is just one of the many many high school campuses where girls are epidemically struggling in a prison of self-hatred when it comes to their bodies. As someone committed to working with women to help them recover from this problem, as I have, I wanted to listen well to this girl.

She is 15, beautiful and articulate. I asked her permission to share this story and she has given it to me willingly. A few months ago she was approached by a modeling agent who said they would like to bring her on board. Once that conversation began, the agent said to the 15 year old girl, “you’ll need to lose about 30 pounds first.”

This girl doesn’t need to lose a pound. Seriously.

She looked at me with a rare confidence as she told the story. She said,

“Kristie, I just didn’t want to get into that kind of thinking. I know my body is healthy and I am at an ideal weight for my height. It just made me so sad that this is the standard.”

The next part of what she said is the part that haunts me to this day: With a serious, and undramatic matter-of-fact tone she said,

“You know, here’s the thing: Each summer a whole group come back from vacation thinner. Their clothes hang on their bodies. Their bones stick out. I look around and I think, ‘we’re creating our own holocaust,’ and is anyone doing anything about it!?”

Here is a video my friend Hugo Schwyzer and the wonderful people at Heathy is the New Skinny put together. It is a message to the fashion industry, and a message to each one of us. They’re doing something, Wonderfully Made is doing something, and it makes me excited. Watch, share, spread the word. Our girls are dying inside and many on the outside…and we must do something.

What do you think about “Healthy is the New Skinny”? Do you think the fashion industry will ever change?

P.S. Have you downloaded Allie’s Body Beautiful App yet? It’s the only iPhone app that promotes positive body image and self-esteem among women and girls!

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