“Start being You”

photo by: Olivia Braude
photo by: Olivia Braude

On Wednesday, March 5, in honor of Tri Delta sorority’s Body Image Week, Stacy Nadeau, a motivational body image speaker who works for Dove beauty gave a presentation at Miami University. Nadeau is part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, which aims to “make beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety.”

The campaign launched a much talked-about ad that displayed six different women of different body sizes and ethnicities, simply wearing their underwear. 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of this successful campaign.

Nadeau and the other five Dove women have appeared on “Oprah”, “Dr. Phil”,  “Tyra”, “CNN”, “The Today Show”, and numerous other TV productions. She said the campaign has inspired women to take great care of themselves by encouraging them to feel beautiful everyday, thus widening today’s stereotype of beauty.

Nadeau opened with a shocking statistic that captured the audience’s attention. She said that only two percent of women around the world described themselves as beautiful. This startling statistic launched the campaign in an effort to challenge beauty stereotypes and provoke discussion about “true beauty.”

Society has a perception of beauty from airbrushed magazine ads, which promote unrealistically thin models with small bodies and luscious hair. Nadeau said the only two advertisement campaigns that do not airbrush their photos are Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty and Aerie’s (American Eagle Outfitters Intimate Wear) newest campaign.

Nadeau said these airbrushed photos are constant reminders that women are not naturally pretty enough. She said that women have much more to offer than their hours spent at the gym, face structure, or body size, for example. The best a girl can do, she said, is achieve her best, healthy self.

This change starts by taking small steps. Nadeau suggested changing the conversation that girls have by focusing on positive aspects of themselves – not bonding over negative aspects of their bodies. She said girls need to support one another and change the conversation when it heads in a destructive direction.

Nadeau also said that one should never pass judgment — “the grass is not always greener on the other side.” She gave the example of her best friend who suffers from an over-active thyroid, causing her to be dangerously thin and unable to gain weight.

Nadeau said that just because someone is very skinny and fits the definition of what society views as “beautiful” does not mean that they want to look that way or have a problem-free life.

Nadeau concluded by saying if she had changed how even a single person views beauty, she and the Dove campaign had been successful.

The campaign founders never dreamed it would reach over seven million girls, while continuing to reach more today.

Even though this is a significant start, Nadeau said there is still much more to be done.

She closed her presentation by saying, “Respect and love YOU, so that others will do the same.”

Written by: Katie Corrigan



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