Pre-thinking:

About 10,000 people a month Google the phrase, “Am I ugly?” Meaghan Ramsey has a feeling that many of them are young girls, based on the pictures posted with the question. She talks about the surprising impacts of low body and image confidence—from lower grade point averages to greater risk-taking with drugs and alcohol. Listen for her ideas about some of the ways we can help change this.

Why you should listen:

Meaghan Ramsey gets giddy watching her 1-year-old niece admire herself in the mirror. Because she knows that, for too many girls, this admiration stops as they move into adolescence and self-doubt about their appearance creeps in. As the Global Director of the Dove Self-Esteem Project at Unilever, Ramsey and her colleagues aim to improve the self-esteem of more than 15 million girls and young women by 2015. She is a strong ambassador for helping girls and women develop resilience in the face of a culture that assaults with unattainable images of beauty and thinness.

Who is she?

Meaghan Ramsey is Global Director of the Dove Self-Esteem Project. Both as a brand developer and strategist, Ramsey has long worked to fuel business growth spurred on by social change. Prior to the Dove Self-Esteem Project, she worked with the World Heart Federation and the Dietitians Association of Australia.

Questions:

  1. If you posted a picture of yourself and got 13000 replies, many of which were derogatory, how would you cope? Could you have done this at 13?
  2. Ramsey says 6 out of 10 girls withdraw from classroom debate because of negative feelings about their appearance. Does this fit with your experience?
  3. Did you find yourself judging Meghan Ramsey by her appearance? If yes, to what effect?
  4. Sites such as Thinspiration, Bikinibridge, #proana, and #thighgap, promote the evaluation of self by appearance. Have you ever found yourself judging your body by a standard you knew you couldn’t meet? How did you feel?
  5. Ramsey says that today we are continuously in contact through our various screens and media. As an experiment, other than for schoolwork, try unplugging yourself for a full day, and see how it makes you feel.
  6. What are the three key things we can do to help young people escape the body image trap?

Making Connections:

A new Target Ad promotes body positivity in women. A step toward embracing every woman’s uniqueness

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/target-body-positive-swim-ads

Why thinking you’re ugly is bad for you with Meghan Ramsey

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