Our beauty-obsessed culture creates an environment that is very damaging for young minds. Children grow up with negative messages surrounding them, constantly being told that they are somehow not good enough: they're not tall enough, or are too tall. They're not thin enough, or too thin. Their hair is too meager or too thick or the wrong texture or the wrong color. Their nose is too big, or too crooked or too small. The list goes on and on.
A world where children grow up feeling that there is something inherently wrong with them, is a world where children do not grow up loving and respecting themselves. When a child does not love and respect him/herself- he/she does not respect others. When a child is not kind to themselves, they are not kind to others.
We live in a world where too many children are taught that if they do not meet impossibly high standards of cultural beauty, they are worthless. They are not taught the value of developing their inner beauty. They are not taught the values of respect and kindness towards themselves and others. They are not taught integrity. Children are not taught to develop their own special and unique qualities, of which everyone has, that make them their individual selves.
We believe it's time for CHANGE. We envision a different world where children are given a different message.
Imagine a young girl. She is given permission to accept herself. She learns from a young age to love herself. She is taught that there is nothing wrong with her- that she is good enough, just as she is. As this child grows to love herself, she learns to respect herself. She learns to be kind to herself. In turn, this child learns to be kind and respectful towards others.
One child after another growing with these values creates a generation of children who are kind and respectful of the unique qualities in themselves and others. A generation of children who grow up learning to develop these unique traits. They learn to value the qualities about themselves that truly matter, and they begin to feel empowered. A generation of children that feels empowered is a generation that will change the world.
And it all starts with YOU.
Reach out to Realize Your Beauty today, to find out how you can get involved.
Learning Goals of Realize Your Beauty:
Our goal at RYB is to plant a seed of critical thought into young minds.
Our goal is for young people to begin to question the images of beauty that are placed in front of them.
Our goal is for students to discover a new way of thinking about themselves, their bodies and about beauty. We help them to understand that teasing others for how they look is not only unkind, it is damaging, and that only by being kind to ourselves, can we be truly healthy.
Our workshops focus on fostering inner beauty- taking the focus away from societal standards and the pressure to be 'pretty'. We encourage students to put their energy into kindness, integrity and respect towards themselves & others, and focus on developing their own unique inner qualities.
Research & Statistics
- The prevalence of eating disorders is similar among Non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians in the United States (with the exception that anorexia nervosa, which is more common among Non-Hispanic Whites) (Hudson et al., 2007; Wade et al., 2011)
- An estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. (Carlat, D.J., Camargo. Review of Bulimia Nervosa in Males. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 1997)
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. (American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 152 (7), July 1995, p. 1073-1074, Sullivan, Patrick F.)
- There has been a rise in incidence of anorexia in young women 15-19 in each decade since 1930 (Hoek& van Hoeken, 2003)
- In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) (Wade, Keski-Rahkonen, & Hudson, 2011).
- For various reasons, many cases are likely not to be reported. In addition, many individuals struggle with body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical disordered eating attitudes and behaviors, and the best-known contributor to the development of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is body dissatisfaction (Stice, 2002).
- By age 6, girls especially start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat. This concern endures through life (Smolak, 2011).
- Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents. (Public Health Service’s Office in Women’s Health, Eating Disorders Information Sheet, 2000)
- 81 percent of girls would rather see “real” or “natural” photos of models than touched-up, airbrushed versions, yet 47 percent say fashion magazines give them a body image to strive for. (Girl Scouts of the USA and The Dove Self-Esteem Fund; 2010)
- 63 percent of girls think the body image represented by the fashion industry is unrealistic and 47 percent think it is unhealthy, yet 60 percent say that they compare their bodies to fashion models, 48 percent wish they were as skinny as the models in fashion magazines, and 31 percent of girls admit to starving themselves or refusing to eat as a strategy to lose weight (Girl Scouts of the USA and The Dove Self-Esteem Fund; 2010)
- The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females. (The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, “Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources,” 2003.)
- Eighty six percent (86%) of participants reported that bullying had contributed to their eating disorder. (b-eat.co.uk/reasearch - 2012)
- In 43 percent of cases, the bullying began before the age of 10 and for approximately half of the cases that bullying went on for more than four years.
- Three quarters (75%) of participants who had experienced bullying and an eating disorder answered that the bullying they experienced still affects them now. (b-eat.co.uk/reasearch - 2012)
Dangers of Dieting:
- 35 percent of normal dieters progress to pathological dieting and, of those, 20-25 percent progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders), eating disorders typically begin in adolescence or early adulthood. )Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., & Estes, L.S. (1995). The Spectrum of Eating Disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3): 209-219)
- An estimated 24 million people suffer from anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, all of which can be triggered by “garden-variety” dieting. ("Eating Disorder Statistics." ANAD.org. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc, n.d. Web. 29 July 2013 http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/)
- Up to 4.2 percent of women have suffered from anorexia; up to 4 percent will have bulimia; 2.8 percent of American adults will struggle with binge eating disorder. (Eating Disorder Statistics & Research." Eating Disorder Hope RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. eatingdisorderhope.com/information/statistics-studies)
- Over 80 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat. ( Andrist, Linda C. "Media Images, Body Dissatisfaction, and Disordered Eating in Adolescent Women." MCN: The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing 28.2 (2003).
- By middle school, 40-70 percent of girls are dissatisfied with two or more parts of their body, and body satisfaction is lowest between the ages of 12 and 15. (Cash, Thomas F., and Thomas Pruzinsky. Body Image: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice. New York: Guilford, 2002. Print.)
- 46% of 9-11 year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets. (Gustafson-Larson & Terry, 1992)
- 35-57% of adolescent girls engage in crash dieting, fasting, self-induced vomiting, diet pills, or laxatives (Boutelle, Neumark-Sztainer, et al. 2002; Neumark-Sztainer & Hannan, 2001; Wertheim et al., 2009)
- Females first experience a decline in self-esteem between the ages of 12 and 13, a time when most females have entered puberty.(Hoffman, J.P., and S.A. Baldwin. "The Dynamics of Self-Esteem: A Growth-Curve Analysis." Journal of Youth and Adolescence- 2002)