Deirdre Cowman is coordinator of Endangered Bodies Ireland and (our New!) Social Media Manager for A New BMI.

Originally posted on Reposted here with the author’s permission.

There’s big money in making us feel bad about our bodies. Think about it! Entire industries rely on making us feel crappy and insecure so that they can sell us fad diets, magic pills, quick fixes and unnecessary surgeries (I swear if I see another pop-up ad online that tells me I can ‘cut down on belly fat every day using this one weird trick’ I might hurt my laptop!) Of course the diet, pharmaceutical and cosmetic surgery industries are just the tip of the iceberg! The fashion, beauty and advertising industries thrive on our insecurities by constantly presenting us with digitally-altered images of unattainable beauty and promoting products that promise to fix our every imperfection. We may like to imagine that all of these unhealthy and negative messages don’t really get to us, but the reality is that the diet industry is booming, eating disorders and body dissatisfaction are on the increase and recent survey of Irish young people suggests that body image interferes with taking part in things like swimming, dating and putting photographs on Facebook for more than 50% of those surveyed.

If you want to get involved in challenging the culture of body hatred, a great place to start is the Endangered Bodies movement.

Endangered Bodies Ireland is the Irish branch of an international organization that works to challenge the industries that promote body hatred and turn us against our own bodies. The different branches of Endangered Bodies, based in cities all over the world, have taken action against these industries in a variety of ways and on a number of levels – from small, personal actions like supporting brands that promote body positive messages, to higher level activism like holding demonstrations, working with industry stakeholders and getting involved in political lobbying.

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