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Turn Beauty Inside Out Day

Many of us are pretty tired of the way beauty is portrayed in our culture. Like the popular bumper sticker goes, if the definition of beauty gets any thinner, no one will fit—and this works on both a symbolic and a literal level. Our children are continually led to believe that if they do not fit the standard of beauty set by airbrushed models that no one looks like, they must change themselves to be loved—which works fine for the beauty industry and economy, but gives all people, of all ages and sexes, the self esteem of a tree stump, and often leads to deep unhappiness and overall dissatisfaction in life.

Just take a peek into any average high school classroom and you’ll see it—from guys dying their hair to girls slathering on makeup or even taking diet pills, way too many people are trying to change what they were born with. And sure, if it’s an artistic statement, or a way to be creative, why not do it? Except… how often is that really the case?

Today marks a day that young people are using to take back their identities from the beauty companies and magazine ads. Dubbed Turn Beauty Inside Out Day, it was started back in 2000 by a group of girls ages 8 to 16 who were tired of how the term beauty has been warped and sold among society. The idea of the day is to celebrate the images that we are given that actually promote a healthy sense of body image, as well as to critically examine those that don’t—and demand that they be changed. It’s a day when people not only call for the accountability of the media to stand up and stop fostering self-hatred, but also to help others see the harm that is there in the first place.

To participate, there are a number of things you can do, such as the following actions. Whatever you do, just remember to help promote positive body image and self-love in all that you do—and especially within yourself.

  • Download the Turn Beauty Inside Out Day Action Kit and use it to help spread awareness and action in your own community. There are fact sheets, curriculum materials, and things to use in just about any setting.
  • Refuse to subscribe to fashion magazines. Write to them and tell them why. Cancel the subscriptions you do have.
  • Take kids to see movies that portray them in a healthy, realistic light—such as this summer’s Judy Moody. Provide them with other media, such as books and music, that promote a healthy body image as well.
  • Be brave and don’t wear makeup to be a positive role model. Explain why you don’t—especially about the harmful chemicals found in cosmetics, as well as how you know you are beautiful the way you are—and foster healthy ways to celebrate your beauty, such as staying hydrated for healthy skin.
  • Make this cool Inner Beauty Mirror and have your kids make one, too!