beau·ty noun \ˈbyü-tē\
: the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind
It’s funny, the way that society defines beauty. It places emphasis on a certain shape, size, facial feature, style, and overall image. Yet, in the actual dictionary definition of beauty, we don’t find anything about a specific physical appearance. To the contrary, it defines beauty as qualities that bring an individual pleasure. I don’t know about you, but I definitely do not find society’s beauty standard to be pleasurable; I find it to be sad and sick. So let’s go back to the basics; listen to the dictionary. If you adhere to the definition, how would you define beauty? For me it would include: confidence, honesty, compassion, loyalty, courage. My list could go on and on, but I can honestly say that the first qualities that come to mind have nothing to do with physical appearance. I think each and every one of you are beautiful, not because of your body or your face, but because of your soul.
This is where Purple Love comes in. Let’s show the world some of that strength and bravery that I find so very beautiful. We don’t want the focus to be on your body, your face, or your physical state; we want the focus to be on your message. Throw on some purple and make a sign saying “I wear purple because…,” and insert your reason for supporting eating disorder awareness and recovery. Then, take a picture of yourself holding your sign and send it to us! Every Friday, Where I Stand will feature Purple Love submissions on our blog. Pictures can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also taking applications for Purple Love guest bloggers. Applications can be found here. If you are solid in your recovery and want to help us spread hope, please consider applying!
Learn the REAL Numbers that Really Matter:
- 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
- In elementary school fewer than 25% of girls diet regularly. Yet those who do know what dieting involves and can talk about calorie restriction and food choices for weight loss fairly effectively (Smolak, 2011; Wertheim et al., 2009).
- 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (Mellin et al., 1991).
- 46% of 9-11 year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets, and 82% of their families are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets (Gustafson-Larson & Terry, 1992).
- Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005).
- 35-57% of adolescent girls engage in crash dieting, fasting, self-induced vomiting, diet pills, or laxatives. Overweight girls are more likely than normal weight girls to engage in such extreme dieting (Boutelle, Neumark-Sztainer, Story, &Resnick, 2002; Neumark-Sztainer&Hannan, 2001; Wertheim et al., 2009).
- Even among clearly non-overweight girls, over 1/3 report dieting (Wertheim et al., 2009)
- Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who don’t diet (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005).
- The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 165 pounds. The average Miss America winner is 5’7” and weighs 121 pounds (Martin, 2010).
- The average BMI of Miss America winners has decreased from around 22 in the 1920s to 16.9 in the 2000s. TheWorld Health Organization classifies a normal BMI as falling between 18.5 and 24.9 (Martin, 2010).
- 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years (Grodstein, Levine, Spencer, Colditz, &Stampfer, 1996; Neumark-Sztainer, Haines, Wall, & Eisenberg, 2007).
- 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders (Shisslak, Crago, & Estes, 1995).
- Of American, elementary school girls who read magazines, 69% say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape. 47% say the pictures make them want to lose weight (Martin, 2010).
- The rate of development of new cases of eating disorders has been increasing since 1950.
- There has been a rise in incidence of anorexia in young women 15-19 in each decade since 1930 (Hoek& van Hoeken, 2003).
- The incidence of bulimia in 10-39 year old women TRIPLED between 1988 and 1993 (Hoek& van Hoeken, 2003).
- The prevalence of eating disorders is similar among Non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, African–Americans, and Asians in the United States, with the exception that anorexia nervosa is more common among Non-Hispanic Whites (Hudson et al., 2007; Wade et al., 2011).
- Research dollars spent on Alzheimer’s Disease averaged $88 per affected individual in 2011. For Schizophrenia the amount was $81. For Autism $44. For eating disorders the average amount of research dollars per affected individual was just $0.93. (National Institutes of Health, 2011)
If you are struggling. YOU are not alone. If you know someone who is or are supporting someone suffering from a life threatening eating disorder, know that you are not alone.
“We are Beautiful.”
By: Erin Elizabeth Casey
We all have walked our own journey
stumbled on our own two feet
These very things cause a variety of emotions, fears, frustrations
We feel shame, anxiety, depression,
guilt and regret, hurt and distress
So what do we do?
We hide and lie
pretend and mask
run to or from
We convince ourselves that we are alone, while everyone is….
Streaming through our brains
reasons we are unfit, unwelcome, ugly
“They will never understand…”
“….so different; so broken.”
But listen for a moment
This very journey will shape you,
Give you your passions, your convictions
teach you right from wrong,
show you to get up when you feel down,
foster compassion for those who
have fallen…. again.
On this journey open your eyes
you may feel all alone
We are actually beside you.
We are your fellow travelers,
navigating this life,
our own path.
You are not alone.
So when we feel the shame
the anxiety, depression
the guilt and regret,
hurt and distress
What do we do?
We share; we say “I’m not Ok”.
We tell the truth,
we take off the mask;
We grab someone’s hand and…
I will tell you this:
We will not always understand each other,
all different and broken,
but that does not make us ugly at all.
That makes us beautiful.
“We are Beautiful.”
Body Image Issues? Well This is straight from the mouths of Purple Fighters. Read this. Embrace it. Believe it…. because it is true.
There are so many things I love about you and I know you are feeling sad right now, but when I look at you I see beauty. The scale doesnt define you and the mirror doesnt reflect the beauty within you. It is a concept often warped by society. You are worth more. Your eyes sparkle, your smile is filled with joy and your heart shines through filled with inner beauty- your confidence, your compassion, your intelligence…The world teaches us that beauty is on the surface; skin deep, but it’s not beauty comes from within it isn’t a number on a scale or the reflection in a mirror. Anyway didn’t you know? The mirrors lie. Mirrors distort and our eyes play tricks. But my heart knows your true beauty. The truth is…You are more beautiful than you even realize. While you’re beautiful on the outside, you also have a radiating beauty that shines through from the inside. Never look at others or what others expectations are of you in order to determine your beauty or worth. Look at what makes you, you. Celebrate the things that are your own individual “quirks”. Know that even on your worst of days, there is a beauty that only you can possess. I love you. You are beautiful inside as well as outside! You are very special just being you!! Let me hug you, not because of anything superficial but because I love your beautiful soul!!