Just before I sat down to write this blog, I stumbled across an article about how 1/5 South Korean women have had some kind of plastic surgery. Often it’s to lighten their skin, widen and round their eyes, and even to shave their jaw bones to make their chins come to a heart-shaped point rather than look square. They basically want to look more western and go to great lengths to achieve this arbitrary standard of beauty.
I think the knee-jerk reaction to an article like that is, “Thank god we don’t live in a crazy country where those kind of extremes are so common!” But really when you think about it, American women do go to some pretty amazing extremes and hold ourselves up against standards of beauty that are pretty much impossible.
Some of the things we’d like to change about ourselves can be addressed in healthy ways. Each time we eat some veggies and not a Snickers, we’re making a healthy choice to change the way we look and feel. Each time we choose a bike ride over a TV show or a video game, we’re choosing to honor ourselves and add to our fitness. And all that’s great, but too many women, especially young women, get so caught up in the pursuit of beauty that it becomes destructive. These women might be suffering from diseases like anorexia, bulimia, or depression. They might have internal struggles with weight and beauty that cause a lifetime of self-doubt that affect every facet of their lives from relationships to careers.
Prevention of those kind of struggles is exactly why I’ve never more strongly endorsed a program than the one I’m about to tell you about.
A local fitness facility called NuFit for You is offering a new pilot program called the Mirror Image Project. Owner of NuFit Angie Asmann explained, “The purpose of the project is to focus on building healthy body image and self-esteem in women of all ages. Total wellness starts from within. We plan on revolutionizing the way women view themselves internally and externally, and to raise awareness on what a healthy women is supposed to look and feel like.”
This initial program is designed for mothers with daughters ages 8 to 12 years old. The best part is that the program will be FREE for these mothers and daughters.
“8-12 years old is a crucial time for young women,” Asmann explains. “It’s when they’re really developing a sense of who they are and who they want to be. It’s the right time to teach them positivity about who they are.”
The program will be led by Tiffaney Rains, a personal trainer and Master’s Degree in Community Counseling candidate at Quincy University. She’ll be teaching classes on Understanding Self Image, Learning about yourself, Media Messages and Myths, Beauty Within and Positive Self Image Lifestyle Choices. The course begins February 3rd and lasts for 6 weeks (meets every Sunday 7pm).
If you know a mother/daughter pair who would benefit from these important classes, DO NOT DELAY! Since I was writing this blog today, I talked the NuFit crew into extending the deadline to apply to the program through Monday, Jan. 21st at 8 AM! All you or the mother need to do to apply is write a paragraph about why you should be considered for the Mirror Image Project and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org This first program will be limited to between 6 and 8 mother/daughter pairs. (I should say, if you’re an aunt/niece or … you know, any other arrangement of important woman to important young woman, I’m sure you can apply too.)
I think it’s wonderful that NuFit is helping young women to find their voices and believe in their own beauty. I hope this program really blossoms and that all the women of the area can learn just a little more self-confidence because of it.
“Throughout a daughter’s childhood, mother and daughter become like mirrors for each other’s sense of self.” – Doctor Laura Arens Fuerstein, author of “My Mother, My Mirror.”