That's what I'm talking about.


2008 is starting out with a bang. Here’s a highlight of some leaders in the effort to bring some real, healthy, interesting perspective on beauty:

Real Magazine

Fed up with “Impossible Princesses,” Erin Young, 20 set out to create Real Magazine debuting this month in Australia. Her 18 year old sister Jean, joined in the effort, and together  they set up the magazine with funds from the State Government and distributed more than 5000 copies. The girls, from Stanhope, in north-central Victoria, are seeking sponsors for the second issue.

“I just wanted to be thinner. Even though I was so skinny I still thought I was fat. Every one of my friends in high school had some level of eating disorder and was worried about the way they looked,” Ms Young said as she explained her motivation behind her magazine.



Indigo founder Leanne Koster with cover girl Gemma Patista, 14, at home in Barwon Heads.
Photo: Drew Ryan

Mother of two Leanne Koster founded Indigo, a glossy magazine for girls aged 10 to 14, with the catchline “Giving Girls a Voice”.  More than 250 schools have taken out subscriptions, and many of the stories — tackling topics such as cyber-bullying, self-esteem and fashion — are written by girls whose mothers are thrilled with a positive media role model.

Reality Diaries

It appears Dove is in it for the long haul, defining real beauty, creating the term “pro-age”, and now Reality Diaries. Their goal is to reach 5 million women by 2010.


The diaries follow the lives of several young women and highlight their struggles with self esteem, body image, and beauty. I’d like to see the production of this a bit less polished, but overall I think the message is great.

Are you media smart? Do the quiz, it’s kind of interesting (you should know that Dove is owned by Unilever, a company that owns several other beauty brands for both men and women. Some have issues with this, I do not, but I like to point it out since this topic tends to come up with I post about Dove).

Girl Scouts


The good ole’ Girl Scouts are still plugging along, strong as ever after 95 years. That’s really incredible if you think about it.

If you are not a Scout, join.

If you are, get more involved.

If you are a mom, be a leader.

The highlight of my year is when I lead my daughters troop for a week at camp. The sharing and experiences that happen out in the wilderness are something to be experienced. There still is something about getting away from it all that puts things in perspective.

So who do you think is doing a good job fighting for the “real beauty” cause?


This entry was posted in Body Image, Fake Beauty, Self Esteem and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to That's what I'm talking about.

  1. Sass1948 says:

    i luv the young women setting up their own magazine. fabulous :-) not bothered about dove, their ads don’t speak to me because i’m not plain or fuller figured, which some of their models seem to be. Scouts? It’s brownies & girl guide over here, of which i was a part as a child & thoroughly enjoyed…no connection to my self-esteem though, they made us clean church & loos & stuff :-(

  2. amandafox says:

    Theyre setting a very good example for girls these days since the media seems to be telling them the opposite. More girls need to be like this.
    thanks MamaVision.


  3. Limafan says:

    It’s nice for the younger crowd of girls. Any girl under 13 perhaps. I don’t think this post is directed towards people of my age range (I’m 18) so yeah I don’t really care. The dove thing is kinda cool, I’m going to try to keep my GS bashing under control, so I say whatever works. I admit that the whole Girl Scout cult is very useful for tagalongs though so as long as they keep making those amazing over priced cookies I’ll refrain from talking shit.

  4. Ju Ju says:

    Learn more about cyber bullying from They have great resources for kids!

  5. Julia Stone says:

    Have fun advertising your site in our space, why don’t you?
    (Sorry, I’m going on topic, now…)
    The efforts in the media are great but few. They barely help those girls whose disorders are media-created and only those age thirteen or younger in my view of it.
    How do these things help me? How do they help the women who’ve been battling various eating disorders even longer than I have (seven years)?
    So far as I’m concerned, it’s too little, too late, and being addressed as a problem created by the media alone, when these things are created by society at large and familial relationships.

  6. AlexaaaA says:

    i was a girl scout for almost 6 years, and it was the best time in my life ever.

  7. kjosie says:

    I guess these might make a little difference. But the problem with body image and beauty goes back deep into the history of our culture – into feminism, advertising, economics, politics. These kindof things are like plasters on gaping wounds.

    These are mostly aimed at little girls (i guess tackling stuff before the problems start), and typically certain girls and women too – as Sass says – it’s mostly for the full-figured person.

    Haven’t heard of a lot of this stuff because i’m British, a foreigner like a lot of your readers.

    We do have Girl Scouts though, but we call them Brownies and Guides. I was a Brownie, a Guide, a Young Leader with both Brownies and Guides, and then a Guider (adult Guide leader).
    Unfortunately, upon becoming an adult it’s all about piles of paperwork, qualifications and legal checks – that’s not what i became involved to do, and can’t deal with when severely mentally ill.

  8. whitenoisemachine says:

    Proud Scout of twelve years, currently on my thirteenth. Great organization. And high fives for DIY’s and little things making a big difference.

  9. Amber/vanity900 says:

    Hey, we need to have a magizene like that in the USA, Australia has healthy modles that are so pretty, why can’t we do that to? do people think that really pretty? come on..these modles are hangers…the cloths look good but he modles make me not want to buy cloths ever again! Also…proud girl scout since 1st grade ^^. hazzah.

  10. ibiteback says:

    I am a girl scout, working on my gold award. But Girl Scouts fed my eating disorder. I thought I was fat compared to the other girls because I developed earlier. I was so happy when I was thinner that them, even though some of them are just naturally thin. I also love eating less than them in a mean way to prove I don’t pig out.

  11. Rachel says:

    I was never part of the Girl Scouts. It didn’t really interest me. I preferred to hang with the boys, play softball, etc. My brother was Tiger Scout and quit after they started in on the God thing. My family was atheistic, so that didn’t quite mesh… The whole pledging thing. I suppose that that’s why I wasn’t really into it, but what do I know? :-)

    Those of you w/ great experiences w/ Girl Scouts: AWESOME, I’m glad you found a female-friendly organization that fit you!! :-) We do need more of that.

  12. Tracey Z says:

    I don’t know if any girls are watching, I hope they are, but I have to say that I’m thrilled to death to see American Gladiators back on the air. How refreshing it is to see healthy athletic women being glorified for being strong instead of sickly! When I see the women competitors proudly weighing in at 155 pounds at 5’5″ I want to cheer. And the Gladiators are even bigger! Lots of the competitors in this new version are telling about how they watched the old version of the show when they were kids and it inspired them to be strong and healthy. What a great message. Hopefully this new version of the show will inspire a new generation of girls to be the same. Yeah, the show may be kitschy and all, but if it gets the message out, I’m all for it! Here’s to healthy, strong women!
    Tracey Z

  13. Josie says:

    Tracey Z –
    i have to disagree with you over “strong and healthy”. Body builders tend to have significantly shorter lifespans than ordinary people. Many are in competition with eachother to have the lowest body fat % which is very dangerous and unhealthy. Atypical eating disorders are not uncommon amongst body-builders, especially those in competition with eachother. I’m afraid it’s probably little better than ANTM, except maybe it’s less influential over young women.

  14. Sass1948 says:

    Have to agree with Josie x

  15. Amber/vanity900 says:

    I didn’t think having low or no fat was harmful if you had lots of musle…

  16. Leslie says:

    thank you for this post. i was a girl scout when i was younger and i just called to join again! i forgot how much fun i had and what a positive experience it was!

  17. Josie says:

    Amber – fat is extremely important to your bodies functioning. A healthy person has a body fat % of about 20%. It’s dangerous below around 10% and life-threatening below around 5%.
    Interestingly, anorexics and bulimics have a tendency to have a higher body fat % than normal people – when we lose weight we lose it too fast, losing both muscle and fat, but then when we gain weight, we gain 100% fat – and because many of us have weight fluctuations for years, our body fat % gradually increases.

  18. whitenoisemachine says:

    Josie, I love your brain full of knowledge. And my body is totally weird right now, all bones and fat. So my weight is still low but my body looks bigger than someone with muscle. I’m poky and fluffy and trying to deal with it.
    I love these projects. Support all of them 100%

  19. Mrs. B. says:

    I’m just a lurker, but whitenoise, you are so right. Josie has a brain just FULL of interesting information and wise perspective!

  20. Josie says:

    whitenoise and Mrs B – you two made me smile for the first time today :)
    This weekend is the anniversary of my friend Kristi’s suicide (which, mamaV, i’m still furious at you for writing about in such a way – nearly a year but i’m not letting it lie until you apologise or edit it). It’s gonna be tough.

  21. Mrs. B. says:

    You are an amazing woman. I mean that. So smart and so sensitive. I hope that you can honor Kristi in your memory this weekend a year after her death. I am sure that Kristi as a person was way more than just a woman who was Pro-Ana. But you can’t blame Mama V for her feelings when she was writing about Kristi. Kristi’s death was such a public demonstration of a human loss. I think MamaV just hurts for all the women who are suffering and doesn’t want to see one more woman face an ED. With the current rise in disordered eating in women at least some of it seems like it has to be fueled by pro-ana on the web. MamaV wants to see the trends reverse.

    Take care this weekend.

  22. x says:

    Screw the girl scouts. They totally alienated me as a 10 year old kid because I wasn’t christian, and the cub scouts actually actively kicked my 8 year old brother out for the same reason.
    Find a better cause.

  23. Tracey Z says:

    Josie and others,

    Most of the competitors I’ve seen on ‘Gladiators’ are NOT body builders, though some of the Gladiators are. They are all-around athletes and don’t appear to have particularly low body-fat ratios. Some are leaner than others, but I don’t think any of the women competitors on the show so far this season look like they have body-fat ratios so low as to be amenhorrheic (below 17%). I’ve seen female body-builders, and I don’t think that getting one’s body-fat that low is healthy either, and I don’t think that body-building is putting forth a healthy ideal for young girls. However, the competitors, and some of the Gladiators on the show are quite healthy and don’t look like they’re skipping a lot of meals. If you doubt me, watch she show and take a look at the Gladiator called ‘Hellga’. To be blunt about it, she’s a big girl, and it ain’t all muscle! Not that I’m knocking her, she’s built like me!


  24. Tracey Z says:

    Pardon my typo: I meant “amenorrheic”.


    Tracey Z

  25. Josie says:

    Tracey – i’m British, so i expect our version of Gladiators which was around in the 90s is a different thing to what you’re watching. If those women are healthy and fit, then that’s fantastic, and i take back what i said :)

  26. Pingback: Inspired Realists « mamaVISION

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *