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Appreciating What You See in the Mirror

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With summer fast approaching, major media sources are preparing the special magazine features and brand new tips, tools and techniques to get that “summer body” or “beach body” that you’ve been told you’ve always wanted.  The countdown to summer is on and it’s only a matter of time before the advertisements emphasizing slimming down to the perfect size and working hard to be swimsuit-ready for the beautiful summer weather.

Magazine covers deceive you with their ideal image; promoting all the ways we, as women, can meet this ideal. With headlines like Shed Two Sizes!, as shown on the cover of the May 2011 edition of Women’s Health magazine, the media works towards making us feel that we should aim to look as though we would be on the cover of a women’s magazine. Not all of us are meant to have a body like Julianne Hough’s, and that’s perfectly normal. Having a normal body means having a healthy body and that can’t be measured exclusively the amount of food you eat or the amount of exercise you do per week.

The Australian counterpart to Women’s Health & Fitness magazine, seen above, shows both sides of the “ideal” picture. On one hand, there is still a headline about secrets to getting the amazing arms you should have always wanted to have, and on the other hand, there is mention of foods to eat that will promote winter wellness, how to improve relationships with others and how to make your favourite comfort food a healthy option too! With variety like this, there’s definitely no reason not to give it a try.

In 2009, Caitlin Boyle, then 28-year-old woman from Charlotte, North Carolina, who was already working on her Healthy Tipping Point blog, created a new project: Operation Beautiful. Operation Beautiful complemented her blog really well, as it was meant to serve as an anonymous confidence boost for ladies everywhere. What started as a small gesture of post-it notes on bathroom mirrors has turned into a big, inspiring, and positive initiative. She created a book based on the founding principles of Operation Beautiful, geared towards young girls between 8 and 14 years old; however, all of the advice given in this book is relevant to ladies of all ages! Operation Beautiful: One Note at a Time emphasizes the importance of positive reinforcement. Rather than constantly finding flaws with your own body, realize how useful your body is and how much good it has done for you.

Dr. Margo Maine and the National Eating Disorder Association collaborated to create a fantastic list of 20 reasons why you should love your body. These reasons include various statements that allow you to think critically about your self-perception. Number 8 advises you to “count your blessings, not your blemishes” and by doing so, you can ensure the body you’ve always wanted: a healthy and happy one.

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The human equivalent of a Universal remote. I do everything. Third-year honours political science student at the University of Ottawa. Sister of Delta Delta Delta, Canada Delta chapter. Political, International and Development Studies Student Association Vice-President Internal Affairs. HerCampus uOttawa writer, Health & Lifestyle section. University of Ottawa Public Relations Association Vice-President Media Relations.
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