We live in an image-obsessed, fat-phobic, thin is in, skinny jean-wearing, thigh gap-measuring, binging and purging, forever dieting, body-hating society where kids barely out of preschool are begging their mothers to keep them home from school because they feel like they're too fat to fit in.
And that pisses me off.
I'm offended by the magazines that use Photoshop and other tools of destruction to completely erase every wrinkle, line or crease on their models' faces in an effort to create an unrealistic expectation of beauty that we'll spend our entire lives trying to attain but never will.
I'm angry at casting directors who cast 30-year-old women to play the wives of 60 year old men, because nobody would believe that a woman his own age could ever be attractive.
I feel sad for actresses with faces full of Botox and bellies never full, who spend more time with their trainers than their toddlers and who when asked, "How do you stay so young looking?" respond with the lie, "I drink lots of water and do yoga twice a week."
I'm irritated by the entertainment industry that tells them it's what they have to do in order to stay relevant and employable.
I'm disgusted by the media outlets who criticize pregnant celebrities for getting "fat" while growing actual human beings in their bodies.
I'm worried about moms who let years of negative messages telling them they're not good enough affect the way they treat themselves and then inadvertently pass those same messages on to their kids.
I'm heartsick for parents visiting their children in eating disorder clinics because despite how many times they told them they needed to eat to be healthy, all they heard was society telling them they needed to stop eating to be beautiful.
I'm frustrated with men's health magazines that perpetuate the myth that a real man is judged on the strength of his muscles instead of his character.
I'm outraged by a government that releases study after study telling us our kids are FAT and that they're fat because WE'RE lazy and then cancels their gym classes and keeps them seated in their chairs all friggin' day.
I'm confused by toy companies that say pink is for girls and blue is for boys and that boys don't like art and girls don't like trains, making any kids who have to cross the gender aisle to get to the toy THEY want, feel like they're doing something wrong, and are therefore wrong themselves.
I'm offended by fitness professionals who sell one-size-fits-all fitness programs that promote weight loss over health gain while encouraging us to listen to what our scales say and ignore what our bodies need and think the best trainers are the ones who yell the loudest and get us skinnier the fastest.
I'm insulted by diet companies who tell me I can eat whatever I want as long as it's made, packaged and sold by them and that the minute I try to make my own choices will immediately gain back every pound they've had me counting.
I'm appalled at the way "Reality TV" has turned losing weight into a spectator sport by giving strangers permission to judge the contestants almost as harshly as the contestants already judge themselves.
And I'm sickened by seeing toddlers in tiaras, fake teeth and tans being told to "Sparkle, Baby, Sparkle!" by misguided mothers who think their daughters are better off winning prizes for their ability to flirt with the judges than playing outside or reading a book.
But, I'm grateful to actress Kate Winslet for forming the British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League and promising to appreciate the process of getting older instead of wasting her energy trying to reverse it.
I'm thrilled that fellow thespians Rachel Weisz and Emma Thompson have signed on as well.
I'm excited that people have begun to stand up and speak out about the damage being done to our children by a society that idolizes the prettiest faces but ignores the most brilliant minds.
I feel hopeful when I'm speaking at schools and hear the anger in the voices of the students as they learn how they're being manipulated by marketers trying to profit from their low self-esteem but know that they have the power to reject the nonsense and the right to ask for something better.
I'm optimistic that the day is coming when our daughters would rather be elected President than crowned America's Next Top Model and our sons understand that muscles don't mean manly and being sensitive isn't for "sissies."
Self-worth isn't measured in pounds.
The Golden-Globe winner told HuffPost Live how her father shaped her perspective on beauty: Beauty was very much on my mind. I had a father that would -- we would look up at billboards and he would say, "That's one version of beauty. You're another version of beauty. And she's a version of beauty. And that girl? She's another version of beauty." He always said that beauty came from within, and as much as you're younger and you're [sarcastically] like, "Yeah, beauty comes from within" -- no, beauty does come from within. I've met some of the most beautiful people, and sadly their heart is just not smiling, and that destroys it all. And then other people that aesthetically aren't considered as beautiful are the most gorgeous people I've ever seen in my life.
After the media focused on her alleged weight gain in September 2012, Gaga hit back at critics by baring her body in photographs, sharing her struggles with an eating disorder, and inviting her fans to join her in a "body revolution."
Adele says she tries not to worry about her body image and doesn't want to be a "skinny minnie." "The first thing to do is be happy with yourself and appreciate your body -- only then should you try to change things about yourself."
The actress took to Twitter to say, "I'm not trying to be hot. I'm just trying to be a good actress and entertain people."
In a powerful 2012 piece for Jezebel, the comedian responded to people who criticized her appearance: I grew up hard and am still hard and I don't care. I did not choose this face or this body and I have learned to live with it and love it and celebrate it and adorn it with tremendous drawings from the greatest artists in the world and I feel good and powerful like a nation that has never been free and now after many hard won victories is finally fucking free. I am beautiful and I am finally fucking free.
After the March 2012 frenzy around Judd's "puffy face," the actress fought back in The Daily Beast, calling the media out for making women's bodies "a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others."
The "Orange Is The New Black" actress wrote a powerful essay for Glamour about her struggles with self-esteem and journey to body love. She's now dedicated to making sure all body types are seen on-screen: "Ideally, I want to see all beauties, all shapes, all sizes, all skin tones, all backgrounds represented in my profession. Now that I am blessed to be that reflection I was once looking for, I’m making a promise to speak out for that little girl that I used to be."
Tate's essay about body image and motherhood not only broke the Internet; it has sparked a movement of "moms who stay in the picture."
The fitness blogger and personal trainer posted a poignant video in response to online commenters' criticism of her physique. "In this video, you will experience what it feels like to be constantly bombarded with outrageous negativity," Ho wrote in a blog post introducing the video. "You will see what it looks like to have your self-esteem stripped away. You will read real comments left by real people. You will see me struggle with my own appearance."
The "Precious" actress had the most incredible comeback to cruel comments about her weight.
On her informed, thoughtful blog "The Beheld," Autumn writes about beauty, body image, appearance and her two -- that's right, two -- mirror fasts.
Gruys went on a year-long mirror fast during which she did not study her reflection in mirrors or other reflective surfaces, or look at photographs of herself.
"I am always in support of someone who is willing and comfortable in their own skin enough to embrace it," the singer said in a recent interview.
At the 2012 New Yorker Festival, the magazine's TV critic, Emily Nussbaum, asked Lena Dunham, producer, creator and star of the hit HBO show "Girls," why Dunham is naked in so many scenes. Dunham responded, "I realized that what was missing in movies for me was the presence of bodies I understood." She said she plans to live until she is 105 and show her thighs every day.
Chung responded to critics who suggested that her slight frame made her a bad role model for young women, saying: "Just because I exist in this shape doesn't mean that I'm, like, advocating it."
The NYU student started the amazing Body Love Blog, where she posted this picture of herself and wrote an open letter to those who feel entitled to shame others for the size or look of their bodies.
This 5-foot-tall, 200-pound singer spoke openly about her weight to The Advocate, saying, "I feel sorry ... for people who've had skinny privilege and then have it taken away from them. I have had a lifetime to adjust to seeing how people treat women who aren't their idea of beautiful and therefore aren't their idea of useful, and I had to find ways to become useful to myself."
In 2013 interview with Parade, Kaling said that she was tired of being discussing her appearance: "I always get asked, 'Where do you get your confidence?' I think people are well meaning, but it's pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, 'You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You're not skinny, you're not white, you're a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you're worth anything?'"
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