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Body-Positive: 7 Women Are Photographed In Their Underwear And Get Real About What's Real

It's one thing to know it, but it's another to keep it from affecting how we view ourselves.

Body-Positive: 7 Women Are Photographed In Their Underwear And Get Real About What's Real

By now, most of us are well aware that the girl in the magazine doesn't actually look like the girl in the magazine.

But seeing those Photoshopped images over and over can affect us in ways we don't even realize.

Even though we know the images are Photoshopped, it's important to remember that we begin seeing these images when we're very young. And while some lucky kids will make it to adulthood unaffected, many others are negatively affected.


If we already know that these images are unrealistic but also know they affect our brains, what can we do about them?

We can keep pushing back against advertisers and magazines. We can demand that people look like, well, people. And we can celebrate our real selves. No matter our size — thin, heavy, or anywhere in between — our bodies are good.

She's right. We look at real, human people every day as we move through the world. We just don't look at real, human bodies "on paper," aka in the media.

Consider the rest of this post your paper.

Seven women volunteered to talk about their bodies and to be photographed in their underwear and tank tops. They were totally on board with doing it makeup-free and knew the photos wouldn't be retouched.

You might not be surprised by the results, but keep scrolling to remind your brain what un-Photoshopped human bodies look like "on paper" and hear what these women have to say.

On unrealistic standards of beauty:

Amen!

On learning to figure out what's been Photoshopped:

Double amen!

On rewriting the message:

Remember that you're real and you're good. Focus on what you like about yourself. Those clichéd sayings about the power of positive thinking really do apply here.

Now watch these women practice what they're preaching.

The video is worth the watch. We need to keep hearing the message and talking about this. We deserve it.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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