Sunday, June 15, 2008

Body Activism

Here's a really interesting article on Body Activism. It's something that researchers are working on at the University of Texas - basically, to counteract tendencies toward anorexia and bulimia, they have a workshop with teenagers in which they examine the way that body images are portrayed in the media, understand where the impulses come from, and then encourage non-violent forms of activism, like slipping notes that say "Love your body the way it is" into dieting books and writing letters to Matel about Barbies. Another was hanging a sign in a high school bathroom that said
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. DON'T BE SOMEONE THAT YOU'RE NOT. BE YOURSELF.
The article is short and fascinating - seems like it combines practical education with the teenage tendency toward rebellion in a very healthy way. I've love to see our school teach something similar. I wonder if there's a similar approach to be found regarding self-injury.

2 comments:

Maitreya said...

In regards to something similar for self-injury, there's a Scottish-based campaign called "See Me" which aims to reduce and eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. In 2006 they aired a tv ad about a boy dealing with self-injury. The campaign also has worked to develop a curriculum to help educate the public and especially young people about self-injury. Affiliated organizations include Positive Mental Attitudes and Penumbra... I don't know too much about it, but it seems like a step in the right direction.

Joshu said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check it out!