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28 Oct, 2012

High-Profile Backlash Against ‘Body Shaming’ a Welcome Trend


October 24, 2012 EDMONDS, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A publication for plus-size models recently joined a chorus of prominent women who have been criticizing the practice of “body shaming,” and the magazine’s actions could be another step in the direction of reducing the prevalence of eating disorders in the U.S., according to Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources in Edmonds, WA.

PLUS Model magazine’s October “Love Your Body” issue features revealing photos of women who make their living modeling, but who don’t possess the ultra-thin physiques that the media typically glorify. The magazine’s editor says her mission is to put an end to “body shaming” and weight-related bullying, and to convince women and girls to appreciate their bodies just the way they are. The “Love Your Body” issue comes during a year when several female celebrities have made news for publicly challenging media commentary about their size and weight.

“It’s encouraging to see women in the spotlight standing up and saying ‘Body shaming is unacceptable,’” says Dr. Jantz, who points out that research and his own clinical experience at The Center indicate that pressure on women and girls to be unrealistically thin can be a factor in the development of poor body image and the occurrence of conditions like anorexia and bulimia.

“When media commentators publicly evaluate and sometimes cruelly critique the bodies of female performers and models, it creates a very unhealthy atmosphere in our society,” says Dr. Jantz, a respected psychologist and internationally known author of several books on eating disorders and body image, including Hope, Help & Healing for Eating Disorders and I’m Beautiful – Why Can’t I See It?

Dr. Jantz established The Center for Counseling and Health Resources in 1984 in order to bring his philosophy of “whole-person” care to the treatment of eating disorders. The whole-person approach addresses the unique emotional, psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of each client. Today, The Center offers whole-person care and intensive counseling in a residential setting not just for eating disorder sufferers, but also for people facing major life challenges such as major depression, severe anxiety, addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other conditions.