A Middle Path Through the Summer Sizzle
By Christine Cupaiuolo — July 31, 2007
Heather Stephenson, in a commentary for Women’s eNews, has some good words of advice — and a plan for activism — as we enter the primetime of the summer sun-tanning season.
She believes “a middle path between worshipping the sun and staying indoors altogether does exist” — and she gives plenty of practical advice for negotiating the pros and cons of sunscreens.
But Stephenson also realizes that what prevents women from enjoying this time of year has as much to do with body image as with health concerns. With this in mind, she praises the work of the Dressing Room Project, through which young women offer encouragement to other women “when most women need it: as they’re trying on clothes.”
Female teens involved in the project write messages of affirmation on colorful small cards and post them around the edges of dressing-room mirrors. My favorite says, “Worry about the size of your heart, not the size of your body.”
Like missives from a secret sisterhood, these positive messages catch your eye with their perky colors and interrupt negative self-talk before it starts.
The project’s website includes cards you can view download and other resources — just in time for the hottest days of the year.
I have a hard time with this issue. I do not think that too much dieting is healthy for teens, but being overweight is just as unhealthy too. I think a happy medium is good. We certainly do not want to promote that being overweight is okay. We need to promote a healthy lifestyle including a healthy diet with exercise. Obesity in teens has reached enormous rates along with diabetes.