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Campaign For Real Beauty

Wow. I just watched a 1-minute film that completely blew me away. I had to watch it five times in a row. Please have a look here:

Please consider encouraging your friends to show it to any children in their lives. Ask your children to ask their friends to view it. Girls and boys.

The official website for the Campaign For Real Beauty has a plethora of great resources for improving one's self image.

Here are some simple exercises that can be found on their site:

  1. Remind yourself of all the things you are besides a body. "I am ... caring, worthwhile, growing," etc.

  2. Stop thinking that thinner thighs are the answer to all of life's problems. Deal with and set goals about the real issues in your life -- relationships, job.

  3. Scales belong on a fish. Try to wean yourself off the scales. Too many people allow the scales to dictate how their life is going to be -- "tell me machine, how should I feel today?"

  4. Make a list of things you are waiting to get thin (or pretty) to do (wearing a belt, eating a chocolate chip cookie, buying clothes, visiting an old friend or family).

  5. Begin by doing two things per day that you would have done in the past only if you were thinner (or better looking). It may be the same things that you repeat each day for a while, then try riskier activities. Behave like a person who is comfortable with her (or his) body. Watch what happens to the way you walk, interact, and eat.

  6. Give up judgments about your body. If you find yourself critical of fat thighs, counter the thought with "the sky is blue," a neutral thought to break emotional reaction to the negative one.

  7. Make friends with your body. You've tried wishing or hating body parts away. Try a tender massage.

  8. Get rid of all clothes that don't fit. Wearing tight clothing only emphasizes to yourself how "not right" your body is.

  9. Spend five minutes daily looking at your body in a mirror -- don't judge. Notice curves, length of arms, etc. Compliment yourself.

  10. Find ways to "nourish" yourself, reward yourself other than by eating.

Everywhere we look, we see overt and subtle messages that tell us to judge ourselves and others by the wrong thing.

Finally, here is a mainstream media campaign that is telling us to focus on the right thing.

P.S. To view the commercial that launched this campaign, click here:

P.P.S. If you have any additional thoughts on how children and adults can improve their self image and sense of self worth, please share in our comments section below. Thank you.

 
 

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Comments

Sarah said...

instead of moping around feeling bad about your appearance, get out and do something that will encourage you to appreciate all the beauty in the world and people around you. finding beauty in others helps in finding beauty in yourself. I find a walk in the park or a positive interaction with someone that includes giving a sincere compliment helps me feel better.

the funny thing is that I frequently admire and find beauty in the quirks others can't stand about themselves. if I can love their uniqueness, why can't I love my own?

"everywhere we look, we see overt and subtle messages that tell us to judge ourselves and others by the wrong thing." ... this is so sadly true. another recommendation is to turn off the television and put away the glamour magazines, especially if they are causing you to be more critical of yourself.

the truth is, it's selfish to be consumed with the way you look, when instead you can be focusing your energies on being giving and helpful to others. and that can make you feel better than any face-lift can, in my opinion.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006 5:27:12 PM
Anonymous said...

Though I agree with everything you are saying Dr. Kim, there is descrepancies on your blog. Not by your words, but the ads that show up on your blog. On point #2 you say to stop focusing on attaining thinner thighs (not those exact words, but the same thought) and then at the very top of your blog there is a google ad that says to "get skinnier thighs in just hours!" and then at the bottom of your blog there is another ad that says somthing about having fabulous legs, "click here for a free plan!" Is there any way you can change the ads or ban certain ads that show up on your blog?
Wednesday, October 18, 2006 7:48:36 PM
Anonymous said...

my 10 year old daughter looked over my shoulder when I played the video clip and remarked "Woo, that is so cheating" - I think that says it all - I hope this campaign makes all the difference in lots of people's lives.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006 7:55:30 PM
Ben Kim said...

Thank you to Sarah and two others for their contributions to this post.

I'd like to address the point made by the person who asked about the ads that are displayed on our blog.

There's no question that some of these ads are incongruent with the overall theme of our work.

Google uses their search technology to choose ads that are relevant to the words found on each page. Even though the theme of this particular post is to encourage all of us to detatch our feelings of self worth from our physical appearances, google's robots see specific terms like "fat thighs" and "tight clothing," and proceed to choose ads for this page that are related to these terms, without consideration for the true theme of this post. Such is the limitation of computers, for now at least.

It is possible for us to ban ads from sites that we do not endorse. The challenge is that there is no way for us to know of all the ads that are displayed on our pages. Google selects ads for each viewer based on a number of factors, one of which is geographic location. If you live in California, you will likely see different ads on this page than someone viewing this page from New York.

Why is it that we choose to allow google to place advertising on our site despite the lack of congruency that can exist between ads and our material?

We have to find ways of supporting the cost of running this site.

The cost of maintaining a private server, having our site monitored with the best security measures available on the world wide web on a daily basis, and using a top class newsletter delivery service all add up to hundreds of dollars per month. And this doesn't bring into consideration a number of smaller expenses that come with running a secure site on a private server.

Subscribers who haven't been with us very long may not know that my wife, Margaret, and I produce every single page that goes up on this site. We don't have a staff of writers who write our articles for us. We don't hire ghost writers to do our work. We don't have programmers taking care of day to day technical matters.

Since we began a site for our clinic back in 2003, we have consistently worked several hours a day, six to seven days a week, to create everything that exists today.

Our primary goal has always been to make this site a resource that people of all socioeconomic levels can access to learn how to take care of their own health.

At one point, we thought about turning this site into a fee-based membership site that would not require ads, but we decided against this because we want our information to be available to anyone with internet access. We are well aware that many of our readers can only afford to access our web site from public libraries.

Another route that we considered to keep our site ad-free was to add more health tools to our recommended health tools section. Ultimately, we decided against this because we want to keep that section of our web site limited to those products that we actually use in our own home and clinic on a regular basis.

Some web sites engage in clever marketing techniques that package material that can be found in 30 dollar books into extravagant products that are sold for massive profits. At the risk of sounding self righteous, we prefer not to follow this path, so this is yet another ad-free route that we chose not to take.

Please know that we feel real physical twinges of discomfort when we see some of the google ads that appear on our site. Whenever we see ads that we do not endorse, we add them to our filter to be banned. Again, the challenge here is that we will never be able to see all the ads that all our readers will see from their computers.

Our hope is that over time, as our readers continue to tell their friends and family about our site, the modest profit margins that exist on the health tools that we recommend will reach a point that will support all of the expenses associated with producing the material on this site, including fair compensation for the time that we continue to put into it. At that point, we can say good bye to third party advertising.

I hope that this note helps to clarify any questions that our readers may have about the google ads that appear on this site.

The experience of working on this site and meeting and/or corresponding with good spirited people from all over the globe has been and continues to be extremely gratifying.

My earnest hope is that this web site can make a measurable, positive impact on the quality of people's lives for many years to come.

Ben Kim
Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:29:17 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Kim,
I've only been a subscriber for about 2 months, but I've really enjoyed you're insight and the care you give in bringing that knowledge to your readers.
The Campaign video was an eye opener. I have just recently lost 30lbs, but not because I felt insecure about my looks, because it was uncomfortable, and unhealthy.
I appreciate, the depth of your explanation, about the advertisements on your blogs. I hope that your reader understands that what the excercise advertisements promote are a wonderful and necessary part of achieving good health and happiness, even though the wording of the advertisement needs help.

Thank you again, and I wish you continued success with all of your venues.
Sincerely,
David Judy
Baltimore, MD
Thursday, October 19, 2006 11:40:20 AM
Elsie Collie-Daley said...

God created us all different but each with its own beauty. When we look at ourselves we should be able to see the inner beauty that we have like compassion, love, kindness, love for others, happy attitude, gratefulness for all the blessings of life, trusting attitude. All of this make a person who she or he really is. Beauty comes from inside and shines on the outside. It doesn't come from the size of your body or how much make/up you wear.
Thank God I am beautiful.
Elsie Collie-Daley
Brossard, Quebec Canada.
Thursday, October 19, 2006 1:25:37 PM
Anonymous said...

Cosmetics is big business. People come up with ideas about how they want you to smell and how they want you to appear. I think that lipstick and rouge are absurd and no woman should feel obligated to throw their money away on these products. In many cases they may even be harmful to one's health.
Friday, October 20, 2006 3:43:11 PM
Anonymous said...

I KNOW MANY 'BEAUTIFUL' PEOPLE, AND SOME OF THEM ARE FAT, SOME SHORT, SOME TALL, SOME OLD, SOME YOUNG, SOME SKINNY, SOME OF DIFFERING NATIONALITIES AND RELIGIOUS OR NON-RELIGIOUS TENDENCIES. IT DOESN'T MATTER TO ME, I JUST LOVE THE DIVERSITY OF THEM ALL. SOME OF THEM CAN BE CANTANKEROUS, SOME EASY GOING. IT DOESN'T MATTER TO ME. I LOVE THEM JUST THE SAME. ALL ATTRIBUTES ARE PASSING MOMENTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS, AND EVER CHANGING. THE TROUBLE IS, WE GET CAUGHT UP IN THE PERMANENCE OF THESE ATTRIBUTES, ESPECIALLY THE ONES WE SEEM TO 'HATE' IN OUR SELF. AS SOME ONE ELSE SAID, THIS IS A FORM OF SELF OBSESSED BEHAVIOUR, AND THE WAY TO STOP SELF OBSESSION IS TO FORGET ABOUT YOURSELF AND THESE THOUGHTS YOU HAVE ABOUT YOURSELF, AS THEY CAN BE SELF DEFEATING. MAYBE A HARD TIME AT SCHOOL OR AT HOME WAS THE REASON, NEVER BEING GOOD ENOUGH! THE GOOD NEWS IS, THEY ARE JUST THOUGHTS, PASSING MOMENTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS. NOW IS THE TIME TO LET THEM GO BACK TO THE EMPTY SPACE FROM WHENCE THEY CAME AND FOCUS ATTENTION ON THE GOOD QUALITIES OF OTHER PEOPLE. WHEN YOU START TO FOCUS ON OTHERS GOOD QUALITIES AND LOVE THEM, YOU ARE LOVING THAT PART OF YOURSELF AND YOU ARE TAKING THE FOCUS AND ENERGY AWAY FROM THE NEGATIVE THOUGHT THAT WAS RULING YOUR LIFE. WE ARE NOT WHO WE THINK WE ARE, WE JUST ARE, AND LOVE IS EVERYTHING, IT IS THE CURE FOR ALL UNHAPPINESS AND THE DESTROYER OF EVIL. WITH LOVE TO YOU ALL.
Friday, November 03, 2006 6:59:34 PM

Parents have the ability to influence their children on how they view themselves. I think a greater amount of damage is done when a child is belittled, spoken cruelly to, and in otherwise made to feel like they are less than they are. I had an adopted Mother who made me feel that whatever I did was not good enough. So I would react in a negative manner. I refused to eat when I was a child and then when I was no longer under the gun as an adult I went the other way and over ate and then went bulimic. I have now lost most of my teeth due to the stomache acid reguritating over my teeth when I made myself throw up. I am now 60 years old. It has taken me this long to undo what wrong was done to me as a child. Children need to be taught and spend constructive, not destructive, time with their parents.
I feel that many children today, are neglected, as in most two parent families, they both have to work to maintain their households to look like the people shown on TV, and in other media. Children learn from example. The fact that it is difficult for a two parent family, it must be so much harder for a single parent family.

Dove is very brave with this ad campaign. For it to be effective it has to be bought by the programs that attract young girls as well as young women. But, it's really the very young girls who need to be influenced against the pervasive messages of the beauty and fashion industries who simply will not stop using the techniques of enhancement, such as we just watched in the video, to push their products. There is an old saying: "Powder and paint makes a girl what she ain't." There is something about the female psyche that will not stop longing for what she doesn't have in physical appearance. The mirror is a curse instead of a blessing. Men seem to be the opposite when they look in a mirror. They like or love what they seem. Narcissus was a young man who fell in love with his reflection in a pond. Body dysmorphic disorder is the opposite of narcissism. Many many women have BDD to some degree. Myself included. Years of advertising brainwashing are to blame. The advertisers know the psychological insecurity of the female human when it comes to her physical appearance.

Thank you Dr. Kim for the excellent explanation regarding ads on your website. Strangely enough I hardly pay attention to them because I am so focused on you and what you write. Your postings have my complete attention. Your website is so unique and your personality shines through all the time. I hope the website doesn't change much over time. I get so tired of the constant change going on in websites. There are too many webmasters graduating each year. They apparently thrive on constant change, to my mental detriment. Your website is like a haven of sanity. Love it, love it. I go to it every day for reassurance and inspiration. I can't express how much I appreciate it except to say over and over thank you, thank you.

I loved this. Thank you :)

She could have just smiled instead of scowling and that would have improved her appearance more than all that artificial crap

Thank you for keeping the material here free, without membership fees or the like. As the above writer said, many of us barely notice adds, because we are focused on your work and ideas.

I hadn't noticed the ads before either, and now that they've been mentioned, I've looked for them and still can't find them. I frequently see them on other sites, but none here. I'm currently living in Shanghai. So if anyone wants to know what kind of ads people in Shanghai see on this site, the answer is 'none'. Weird, huh? Unfortunately, I can't see the videos either because most Western video websites (especially Youtube) are not acessible in China. But I read the entirety of each article and I learn a lot from them, thank you Dr Ben Kim~~

 

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