For Spirit Junkie Gabrielle Bernstein, Body Acceptance is Essential for Self-Love

Spirit Junkie cover

By Valerie Martin “For twenty years, I kept a journal. I wrote about heartbreak, anxiety, and eating disorders. I wrote about trying to quit drugs while high on drugs. Pages and pages are filled with self-loathing and self-doubt. My journal was my only outlet from the turmoil and deep-rooted pain I felt every day. I’d release my … [Read more...]

Expressing Disorder: Art Therapies for Eating Disorder Treatment

A still image from "Expressing Disorder"

By Valerie Martin Several years ago, David Alvarado learned that the woman he had recently fallen in love with was severely bulimic. Never having been exposed to eating disorders (EDs) at a personal level, questions swirled around his head, but answers were elusive. The more David read about EDs, the more he wanted to understand … [Read more...]

Terrifying Trend: Models and Mini-Liposuction

The size 2 model who sought mini-lipo featured on The Today Show

By Valerie Kusler Earlier this week, in my half-asleep daze, I flipped on the Today Show for background noise while getting ready for work. When I heard Matt Lauer introduce one of the segments, I stopped in my tracks, turned up the volume, and braced myself. “Why are thin, fit women getting liposuction?” he inquired. Oh boy. … [Read more...]

Media Literacy and Body Confidence: Is One Lesson Enough?

From Dove's "Evolution" video

By Valerie Martin This past year, as part of my graduate social work internship I conducted student counseling in a local high school, both one-on-one and in groups. For my final project, I created a presentation on Media Literacy that I gave to 10 classes. It provided an excellent opportunity to see the students’ reactions and … [Read more...]

The Sizing Nightmare: What do Labels Tell Us about Ourselves?

By dalvenjah on Flickr

By Valerie Martin A recent article at the New York Times has the web buzzing with rants about the inconsistency of women's clothing sizes, which, as any woman who has ever bought clothes in the U.S. knows, is nothing new. Five years ago, Newsweek did an article on vanity sizing (manufacturers' practice of putting a smaller … [Read more...]

“Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!” Tells Readers To Love Their Bodies—Or Else

shut-up-skinny-bitches

  By Valerie Martin “In America, we no longer fear God, or the communists, but we fear fat,” stated David Kritchevsky, a former professor with Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute and long-time advocate of health and nutrition issues. This is just one of many poignant quotations that Dr. Maria Rago and her friend and … [Read more...]

Tangled: Going Beyond the Disney Princess Mold

Actress and singer Mandy Moore

**SPOILER ALERT: Key plot details revealed** By Valerie Martin The new hit Tangled – Disney’s 50th animated motion picture – is in many ways what you would expect from a Disney princess movie: the beautiful, thin, white, green-eyed, blonde-haired heroine waits for her life to begin (AKA waits for her prince or other … [Read more...]

Celebrating Eating Disorder Recovery: Inaugural NEDA Walk in Texas

Team "Freedom is Beauty" at the Austin NEDA Walk - I'm the smiling blonde team captain!

By Valerie Martin When I was 15, I went on a diet. I was always a skinny kid, but as a freshman in high school, I was starting to fill out a little – and as a cheerleader freshman surrounded by dozens of beautiful, thin, dieting juniors and seniors in a gym with mirror-lined walls, I didn’t like it one bit. … [Read more...]

Body Image and Transgender Folks

lookingatboobs

By Valerie Martin The shopping and style blog, Racked, just introduced its newest guest blogger, Doll, who also happens to be its first transgender blogger. In Doll's first post, she talks about her transition to becoming a woman, and can you guess what her biggest concern is? Body shape. … [Read more...]

Pop Culture’s Relentless Battle with Body Image

TV shows "Huge" and "Thintervention with Jackie Warner." Photos from ABC Family and Bravo.

By Valerie Martin Mainstream pop culture's back-and-forth, wishy-washy affair with body image is nothing new -- but it seems to be rearing its head now more than ever. TV line-ups are springing up shows like "Huge" from ABC Family and the new fall series, "Mike & Molly" from CBS. At first glance, it's easy for mainstream … [Read more...]