We constantly judge. We constantly compare. We constantly damage our view of self-worth and beauty and often times, in turn, damage everyone around us. From reality tv programs to social media, judgment is rampant.
The reality is that low self-esteem, skewed body image, and self-hate are overwhelmingly present in the world around us. And these things are contaminating our society. Don’t believe us?
The statistics speak for themselves.
- Body dissatisfaction in males has more than tripled in the past 30 years. (shapingyouth.org, accessed 10.27.12)
- The number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed in America increased by 457% from 1997 to 2007. (Keep It Real Campaign, 2012)
- Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents. (Council on Size and Weight Discrimination website, accessed 10.27.12)
Our programming is designed to educate and empower students so they don’t become part of these statistics. With a combination of in-school activities, community activism, classroom education, and parent training sessions, we are fighting for a better future in which individuals are valued for who they are rather than how they look.
HOW IT WORKS:
In-school activities are typically designed, planned, and executed by our trained peer educators, with the approval of school officials. They are focused on promoting positive body image and driving awareness of the organization and our mission.
Previous in-school activities have included posting body-positive messaging throughout the schools, hanging posters in school hallways, and conducting school-wide awareness and education campaign including recognizing National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
Participants in REbeL also work outside of the school’s walls to impact their communities by promoting positive body image and fighting body dissatisfaction. Adult leaders serve as mentors and advocates to support the efforts of peer educators within the community.
Previous examples of community activism have included distribution of “compliment cookies” at community events, placing body-positive messaging in appropriate places in the community and promoting the REbeL message through social networking sites and #WhiteBoardWednesday, a social cause campaign encouraging individuals to share a “selfie” with a whiteboard stating what they love about themselves.
Presentations, done by Dr. Laura Eickman and peer educators, are available for classrooms and student groups addressing issues including:
- critical thinking regarding cultural and media messages about food and appearance
- how to help a friend with eating issues
- the practices of mindful eating and exercise
- the concept of “fat talk”
- how to fight prejudice based on body size and shape
Peer educators and adult leaders provide regular workshops to educate parents. These workshops are programmed to inform parents on how to make their homes body-positive environments for their children, stimulate thinking and dialogue about ways in which they can model healthy relationships with food and their bodies, and where to find treatment resources within the community.