May 4, 2018  

 

Dear, Middle School Teachers and Students:

 

We are choosing to write to the middle school teachers because from experience we know during these years teenagers struggle the most with showing self-love. We believe that if our teachers during these years would speak to us about loving ourselves more we would struggle less with it. The middle school teachers are our allies because they are the people with most power in our lives during those years of middle schoolers. Being aware and building this type of connection with the students can be an area of improvement.

 

The issue that we are trying to make a movement for is focused on middle school students that are developing into teenagers because they struggle a lot with showing love and respect for themselves. This issue is caused by social media and society expectations because young teenagers push themselves to follow and be average like everyone else because that is what social media and society tell us. Having a specific body image expected of us causes teenagers to become self-conscious and unable to express themselves and love who they are. The young teenagers are the people who are being harmed because they are not taught to love themselves and this leads to them internalizing their oppression. The effects of this issue on this community are that middle schoolers oppress themselves  (internalized oppression) because of their body image. They start believing that they do not meet the expectations of society. The people that benefit from this inequity are people that advertise for waist trainers, models, medicine to keep you fit, and celebrities because they are selling their products and having these teenagers change. This issue is impacted by ideological, internalized and interpersonal oppression because these types of oppression can work as a cycle. Society constructs this ideological oppression of needing to have a specific body image and the people oppress one another when they feel like they do not meet society’s expectations on body image. Young teenagers are taught to follow these rules made by society and this causes them to become self-conscious and internalize their oppression and harm themselves. We want young people to love their bodies and see their beauty.

 

A tactic of social change that has been used in the past is through media. Since most of the time messages about body image are shown in media. Media has become such a big part of our world and it is one of the most effective ways to spread awareness about our cause since everything about anything is posted on here. A group of women uses social media to protest. These writers described that their protest,  “is a form Social organizations online have become very popular in the last few years, as hoards of women have taken to platforms like Tumblr to talk about body image and reject our culture’s body shame. Body positivity is trending and it’s pretty awesome!”(Bustle).

These women were effective because they spread their awareness they got people to not only think about this issue but make others fight for it. Even some people who had no idea about this movement began to learn. When people who body shame themselves and begin to see this moment, they felt no shame in their appearances and began to express themselves and love themselves the way they are. The people who were addressed were those who are ashamed of their body and how to believe they are anything less than beautiful. The also addressed the people who advertise in order to have a perfect body you need to be skinny. But that is completely untrue. There is no size requirement to be beautiful and now people are starting to realize these and begin to love who they are and how they look like.

 

Another tactic that has been used in the past for this subject is a protest. Protest is important with this issue because in order to be heard you need to be loud and in order to do that you have to have people on your side and help you be strong and powerful to be able to get the demands you want, in this quote the brand Victoria’s Secret launched lingerie and this is what people did when they saw the models for the brand. This author wrote, “a friendly, half-clothed protest in front of a San Francisco Victoria’s Secret store. The demonstration was organized by About-Face, a group that aims to promote women’s self-esteem and body image by empowering them to understand the strong media messages that influence them”(HuffPost). These people were successful because they got to get there voice heard. They wanted this brand to show people that we see in the streets with different color, size, ethnicity, height, and not just all the same people. And they got their voices heard from the company since they were outside of their facility. We think this will further the awareness with this issue because this was public and in a big space where people walk by all the time, people will see this and think the same thing they think and want to make a difference like them. We think with using these two tactics this will spread all over the world and begin to make a chance. By this it won’t only change our lives now but it will change the world for future generations.

 

To begin with our plan we will first have a conversation with Ms.Bowman, our school principal, by Friday, May 4th to see if it possible to have the middle school students wear blue on Thursday, May 10th to support the #ILoveMyBody movement. Our next step will be taken on Monday, May 7th, we will hand index cards to every middle school advisor and ask them if they can take about 5 minutes from their Tuesday morning or afternoon advisory to have their advisees and themselves write a statement on their index card saying at least one thing they love about themselves. After all advisors are aware of our movement, we will collect the index cards by Wednesday at 12:45am and give every advisor the ribbon with ¨#ILoveMyBody” to give to their advisees on Thursday. On Thursday while the middle school students wear the movement color which is blue, each advisory will take their advisory picture and email it to 719gonzalez@gmail.com. By Friday May 11th we will have a bulletin board in the middle school hallway which will include our hashtag #ILoveMyBody, the index cards that were filled out by the middle schooler students, and the advisory pictures that were taken on Thursday will be posted up as well. If we face any big barriers this year we will make a more precise plan and follow through it next year. To be able to follow through with our plan we will need enough blue ribbon to make bracelets with our hashtags for every middle school student  who would like to participate in our movement. Additionally we will need index cards and bulletin board letters to decorate the bulletin board. In our opinion our movement will hopefully follow at least 13 out of the 16 achievements on the checklist. Our movement is creative, and will include many youth and will hopefully impact their actions towards themselves and one another in the future. We are confident with our plan because we believe that by helping the middle school students become aware that we have been through this struggle and helping them increase their self esteem is already an accomplishment or a step down the road to success.

 

We have made a page on instagram in which we will be posting every step we take in our movement to allow anyone who wants to be part of the movement follow it. Our hashtag is #ILoveMyBody we want people to post and follow this hashtag so that words are spreading about this movement. We want others to know that you, yourself have power and size, color, ethnicity/race, and etc should not stop you from showing love to your body. Society shouldn’t put down who you are as a human, your body is yours, own it because there is no such thing as rules or boundaries when it comes to your how your body looks.

 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth G, Melany B, & Ying Y

 

Annotated Bibliography

McKelle, Erin. “9 Social Media Campaigns That Are Changing Fashion.” Bustle, Bustle, 25 Apr. 2018, www.bustle.com/articles/75539-9-body-positive-social-media-campaigns-that-are-changing-how-we-perceive-beauty-both-in-and.

 

This article explains about the struggle most women have about their body image. why this is reliable is because this was made less than a month ago, this shows how current it is and how people can use still tactic now for this cause.

 

Organization. “PHOTOS: Half-Nude Victoria’s Secret Protest Outside San Francisco Store Demands Body Diversity.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/17/victorias-secret-protest-bras_n_3454063.html.

 

This is a very trustworthy source not only because it is current but also because it speaks about a protest that was ran by women and includes pictures and quotes from these women. This protest was about diversity in the models that advertise clothing specifically in Victoria Secret lingerie.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Body image and Expectation by Ying is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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