This is why telling women that they are beautiful can be a problem.
I know right? It’s hard to imagine that anything about body positivity could be a bad thing. But according to Lindsay Kite, Ph.D., positive body image advocate and co-founder of the non-profit Beauty Redefined, feeling confident solely based on your physical appearance can’t be the healthiest thing you can do, no matter your size.
Kite believes that “all women are beautiful” is an awesome message but it doesn’t change the fact that women are being told to focus on their beauty and looks.
“Girls and women aren’t only suffering because of the unattainable ways beauty is being defined,” Kite said at a recent TEDx talk in Salt Lake City. “They are suffering because they are being defined by beauty. They are bodies first and people second.”
Source: TEDx Talks
Kite along with her twin sister (with whom she founded Beauty Redefined) wants women to be valued as more than their bodies. She said:
“Our work is founded on the premise that positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good,” she says. “It’s knowing your body is good regardless of how it looks.”
Thinking about your appearance constantly means that you are engaging some self-objectification. For women, that can sometimes get exhausting. The key is to love yourself and who you are as a person, behind the mirrors and social media.
“Because once we can see more in ourselves than ornaments to be looked at, we can move on to being more,” says Kite.
Even if you embrace your appearance and don’t feel any shame about fitting in the societal and beauty standards, remember that women are more than just bodies to be looked at.
“Be more by refusing to be defined by beauty,” she says.