Body Image: Bigger Can Be Beautiful (cont.)

According to Otis, people who hire models should have the courage to broaden their view of what beauty means. That means using models of varying sizes, ages, and ethnicity.

Otis points out that in an earlier era, images of beautiful women included Marilyn Monroe and Mae West, who were more like curvaceous size 12/14. And here's a newsflash for all the women out there: "The truth is, men like curves," Bayou says.

Otis also urges women to pay attention to what magazines and other media make us feel bad about our bodies and which make us feel good and inspire us.

Emme urges girls and women to go a step further and write letters to editors in favor of depicting a diverse view of beauty. And until things change, she urges all of us to keep our filters on when viewing unrealistic images.

"When are we going to wake up and reclaim our lives from decision makers who have a warped sense of what it is to be human, no less a woman?" she asks. "The time is now to start feeling better about yourself without judging your self-esteem on the bathroom scale!"

SOURCES: Lynn Grefe, MA, chief executive officer, NEDA, The National Eating Disorders Association. Emme Aronson, model; clothing designer; model, host, "Fashion Emergency" on E! Entertainment Television; author, True Beauty. Carre Otis, model and producer. Bradley Bayou, fashion designer, author, Science of Sexy: Dress to Fit Your Unique Figure With the Style System That Works For Every Shape and Size. Linda Smolak, PhD, professor, department of psychology, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.

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Last Editorial Review: 4/9/2007