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So. Are you happy with your body. A look tonight at the role body image plays in self-esteem. Plus Hunter Valley Mall on the rebound and getting ready for safe night. This. Is really. Good evening. When you look in the mirror do you like what you see. Or is there something about your appearance you'd like to change. If you're like millions of Americans chances are you're not happy with your body image. In fact it's estimated that one third of Americans are truly dissatisfied with their appearance. Women more so than men. And tonight it's Maryland why we're going to be taking a look at body image what it means and how you can start accepting how you look.
No I'm not content with the way my body looks and I've actually started a new health and diet regime to try to resolve that. Get rid of the hips and the belly. I wish I could have better abdominal definition of body image. These days it becomes almost an obsession with Americans. Millions of ppl will diet exercise even resort to cosmetic surgery to achieve that. Perfect look showcased on fashion runways and in magazines. In fact women's and men's dislike of their appearance has nearly tripled since 1972. Back then 23 percent of women and 15 percent of men said they didn't like how they look compared to 56 percent women and 40 percent men. In 1996. Women have had more problems with body image especially historically and that is because women's worth has been traditionally more
identified with their looks. But isn't that women's body image is getting better it's that men's is getting worse and at least in the western culture. Here's an interesting fact for you. Studies have shown that over the past few decades models have gotten steadily taller and thinner while at the same time the average American woman has gotten steadily heavier. We have an increasing problem with the ideal body type being narrower and narrower thinner and thinner. And in most cases it's a very unhelpful idea for us to aspire to. So for many people body image becomes a physical and mental soap opera which many health care professionals say is constantly fueled by the media and advertising. It's understandable because the advertising usually about selling a product making somebody some money is trying to convince you as a woman that you don't look good the way you are that you need to be dieting probably on the special diet of sorts or you need to be seeking some sort of liposuction or cosmetic surgery and don't forget that cosmetic surgery is the fastest growing medical
specialty in this country. However psychologist Beth Williams Plunkett says the media and advertising aren't the only villains in the body image soap opera. The first is really your basic feelings about yourself. If you feel like you're a good enough person which comes basically from your your genetic makeup and how your parents treat you you will tend to feel you have a good enough body. The second source is how your parents deal with your body and their body. If they feel positively about your body and can accept it in its unique variations you will tend to feel that way. It isn't a good idea to be as thin as most of us want to be. It is not. What's important is being healthy and fit and that isn't to be equated with minutes. Linda Gephardt isn't then but likes the way she looks in the past year I've lost 117 pounds and I just feel terrific and I'm if I don't lose another answer I'll be happy for the rest of my life.
The most important. You're concept is to begin really questioning and investigating your own assumptions. For example the assumption that. I am overweight. Therefore. Nobody will like me or love me. And is it really true. And begin to look around and also goes question is then always beautiful it is only thin beautiful may look at diversity. And how many shapes and sizes are beautiful. In the end. And joining us now are Helen Moody a fashion consultant Debra Kauffman director of largely positive workshop and Dr. Steve Crawford from the Center for Eating Disorders at the St. Joseph Medical Center and as always we are asking you to join our discussion just
call that number on the bottom of your screen. Dr. Crawford How is body image for now. Beth Williams Plunket gave us some idea but could you expand on that just a little bit please. Well the body image is the picture that a person has in their mind of their body size and shape. And it's developed over the lifespan it's formed by the messages we received from our parents and it's formed by how our parents feel about their own bodies. And it's also developed as we start interacting with peers in school and throughout the life time. And finally society's message to us about what the ideal body should look like has a major role in how we end up feeling about our bodies. Deborah I see you nodding on that point that you know society xyzzy plays a major impact. Yes I think it does. What other aspects when you work with people in your workshop which I do want to talk about what other kinds of issues are these people dealing with do you think in terms of their body.
Well with some of the topics that we discuss in the workshop how to build a support system for people who are large which may start out with family and friends who are supportive and may we may talk about how to deal with family and friends that aren't supported. Some other things we talk about are hard to find a position that's open to the idea that someone can be large and healthy at the same time which is very true it's a lot of misinformation about the relationship between health and weight it's very distorted. We always talk about that. One of the first things that a physician does no matter what you go to him for is to put you on the scale and get your weight. And it could be for a cold or anything. And he's checking your way to help in the message is. That if you were thinner you'd be healthier. And you're right and so when I go to the doctor I refuse to weigh myself I've already decided on that. And Helen you're a fashion model. You're also a fashion consultant. We we look at these people I'm looking I was just looking at that fashion show and I was saying
my goodness I would die for one of those bodies. Is that is that normal. It can be very normal and it probably is normal by the time someone gets to me. My approach is very unclear Michel. We deal with a mirror. I want to see what is best about you. And I point I don't deal with any of the negatives when we when we're working with clothes we look in the mirror and we see we're part of you is wonderful and we start there because that part that that is wonderful if you focus on it long enough it will chip away at some of the negative. Briefly explain what you do so people will understand when you talk about only work with clothes. Well usually somebody comes to me for one of three reasons because they want to develop a style of their own. They're unhappy with what they have or they own all the clothes in the world and they still don't have anywhere. And my job is to make sure that they have the appropriate clothes for whatever the event or occasion is.
And what I do is I first go through the closet and make sure that I get rid of all the things that are working and hold onto things that do work and I then I start working with you in putting together things in the mirror. We look in the mirror and see whether it is that we have and we see the wonderful part of you and we deal with that part. How many women do you work with are model thin. Well probably about. Maybe 30 percent of my clientele. So the vast majority are not model no. Most of them are then I was thinking and it's interesting because actually 5 percent of American women naturally would fall into the category of being a model for them. So that 95 percent of American women actually don't have that body type naturally. Actually the average size in American women is size 14 and one third of American women are size 16 or above. And yet when we look at Helen when we look at the fashion shows let's take
the plus size models out of it. You hear women talk about this men too. Well I can't wear so this designer's clothes. I mean there are also people who are size 4 6 and 8 who can't wear certain designers clothes and that's the mist that never gets out. Everyone assumes that just because you're small everything is wonderful it is that poorly dressed people come in all sizes. Well I think what you were saying earlier about focusing on the positive aspects of what an individual has is really important because the message that society is constantly giving in commercials and advertisements is what needs to be fixed and what's wrong with your body and how you buy buy in this particular product. You can look better or be better and be a better person. Let's go to the phones we have a phone call Nicole from Montgomery County Good evening you're on the air. I have a platform to make a comment about for you doctor or I forgot that you have made your comment about the physicians are they going to focus on the fact that
you are obese and I was recently went to a physician for. A physical and he put on my report that I was morbidly obese and I thought that was inappropriate for a company you didn't want to drag me. You know I don't view myself as morbidly obese and I just felt like you focused more on the fact that I was overweight then my overall physical B. Deborah do you want to take that. Yeah actually the problem of the medical community is that they've characterized obesity as a disease and actually obesity is just a body type characterized by high body fat percentage. And as that there is no difference between in terms of hells between someone who is obese and someone who is thin it really has to do with lifestyle has not really very little to do with weight. I want to show we before the show we took a couple of pictures of me because the camera adds 10 pounds could we take a look at those. OK now I am a size 8 but if you look at that
I look I don't look that does not look like a size 8 doesn't look like a size 8 to you Camilla. You don't think you think that's a snow but that is not when we look at that picture another way. Let's bring that back. A lot of women are looking at and looking at their look at a picture like that then they compared to what they saw on the runway and they assume that they're fat we'll probably do whoever was on the runway was a size 4 6 and there was a reason for that. It's to sell the club no. No because you were probably looking at a designer show. Designers cut as little fabric as they possibly can when they are putting a lot of that out and they use the A model who is very small so they don't have to use a lot of fabric it has nothing to do with the size of the woman. Well I frankly I think it's the image that they're portraying is why the ideal woman should look like. And so that image is one of a very thin with Kate Moss waif like appearance. And so women are constantly comparing themselves to that image and feeling as though they don't measure up
because they are larger and I don't want women to carry this mantle by themselves because men are also much more body conscious correct. Oh increasing numbers recently the advertising agencies have really targeted men with a focus on on their abdomen and bulking up. Body mass is very important and so men are constantly nowadays barraged with images that they need to compare themselves to. And it is impacting on the self esteem of men as well. One of the things that is going to happen in terms of the ad campaigns it's got to it's going to take a while before the men realize that that in order for them to look like they look in the ads they would have to have a beautiful woman. Right now it is still the handsome man who has to have the beautiful woman which is why we get this negative female body image that we're talking about but but it's a visually going to come around and guys are going to be. Catching the disease too.
I don't know there are growing numbers of men with eating disorder and I want to return to that but let's go back to the phones to you from Charles County Good evening. Hello. Yes my call is for Dr. Crawford. I was wondering how do you feel about it. Person having a life but such into the abdominal area when they've lost weight with it they've got five 24 down to 5. And the EP domino that just won't go away. My my focus and my work is constantly to try to encourage women to work toward self acceptance of their size and surgical procedures that change the body size and shape really are dangerous procedures. And I really think that if our society was more accepting of people's different body types we all be better off for it. OK but I think we've established that perhaps society is not more accepting of certain body types it's getting better or worse Helen. Deborah it's getting better that right now we have Mode magazine which isn't really for large sized women it's more for average size because I think it ranges from about 12
to 16 or 18 and yet and yet the perception out there is that that is a large size woman. And you just said that's the average size the average size but that's a brand new market because the because you have you know you have teen magazines you have magazines for full figured women and there was nothing for that in-between woman which is you know which is very good and I love with the doctor's fit about. All of these surgical procedures being big being dangerous How often do you hear this said you know give a man a chair that doesn't get said very often. Deborah how do you do you have people do you work with people who are considering surgery to control their their weight. Do you work with people. Probably would have a very poor self esteem. How do you how do you deal with those people. Well hopefully we get people to come to a largely positive group I do individual counseling nutrition counseling and. And sometimes an individual basis I work with people but we really try to get people to come to the largely positive support group to get support from
each other in combating what's going on in society. And of course there are some positive changes happening and to realize the positive changes that are happening and take hold of that and use that to help increase self-esteem. I want I want to go I want to return to that but I want to go back to the phones Hugo from Allegheny County. Good evening. Don't you have a question or comment sir. Yes. Most people always talk about how women think through everything. But I'm kind of the opposite. One male but two I sort of gathered that. I have a lot of muscle mass. My fiance tells me that I'm big enough and everything but I still look in the mirror and I still do that you know little guy. What do I have to do to look at my films. No you know I don't have to be like you know believe me still. Matt I could vomit but I don't do the vomit part I just you know workout workout don't eat more than a workout
or more. Dr. Crawford Well again our goal was really to try to help people shift off of basing their self-esteem and their feelings about their self-worth on their appearance. And so for a man the bigger you are in the more bulk you felt doesn't necessarily equate with being a better person. And we try to help individuals find their better attributes that may not be related to their bodies. Let's cut to the chase here then. How. I don't know. I'm going to ask each of you this question. How does a person feel. What do you tell a person to make them feel better about their body image i.e. what homework do they need to do. Deborah Well the first step is to get educated educated about the factors that determine size and weight so that especially for large people they don't think that this has something to do with something that they have done that they're to blame because it's genetic factors that determine somebodies weight. By and large it's not lifestyle factors.
And also education about the real relationship between health and weight so patients aren't going to the doctor's office like that one woman that called in and that and and feeling somehow that she's going to be more at risk for all kinds of health problems which she isn't. CRAWFORD Well I think to recognize that the body image treatment is probably the last thing that gets better and learning to take care of yourself and do what you need to do despite perhaps not feeling good about your body size and shape will in the long run help you to end up fueling the women's health advocate Judy or CGM suggested that one way of doing this in is to get involved in other activities get involved in things outside of yourself that that might make you feel better about yourself. Helen. You know I just really believe that. You know the one thing that we all come with regardless of how many problems we have about our self-images is is the need to work with us and we have to we have to learn how to make the mirror
our friend. You look for those things that look good on you. Find someone to help you dress you in a way that so that your positive part shows your beautiful lips your wonderful hands your gorgeous complection your really nice healthy thick hair and not based that on what you see in a magazine right. And that and that allow the person to indulge themselves in me as a friend as a family member or whatever don't we. You know when they say oh poor me poor me what are you talking about. I want to try to get one more phone call Stephanie from Carroll County. You're on the air. Yeah yeah. I have a question for Helen and I am in Marseilles. Beautiful woman. Good for you Robert. We have to make this quick because we're running out of time. You mentioned a large magazine the only one I know of. Mode. Is there something for larger women that you know have a good fashion magazine.
Yes there are there are two others one is a style plus and I can't remember the name of the other one however. But when you do you call and yes I will use color help line we definitely do that. All right beautiful woman and I'd like to thank all three of you thank you. And that's Monday on Marilyn life. Do you ever have trouble talking to your kids. Our experts will make it easier for you. Have you heard about safe night USA. Coming up later on NEWSNIGHT Marilyn we'll preview this national effort to give teenagers a safe place to go for a fun night out. But first the Hudson Valley Mall makes a comeback just as the story in the Maryland beds right there. Absenteeism at Maryland schools more than doubled today because of Internet fueled rumors of violence at schools. Officials say absenteeism is normally less than 10 percent but today it was between 20 and 30 percent. First eight items from Frederick County
are on the way to refugees from Kosovo a Walkersville church wants to send 30000 kids to the war torn Iraq. Law enforcement officials say a strong economy and police community partnerships have helped push serious crime in the District of Columbia to the lowest level in 20 years. It was a centuries old dream to carve a 50 mile waterway through one of the most deadly terrains on earth. But science found a way. Now a journey through this masterpiece of engineering reveals the great human drama that produced it. When a can out. Animal. Next time on NOVA. Mind altering TV. Tuesday night at 8:00 on MBT. A Baltimore County Mall is changing gears. Jeff Falcon has more in tonight's Maryland is the.
Whole Hunt Valley open with great fanfare 18 years ago but then are in the unfortunate nickname Death Valley Mall where new competitors stole much of its business. Well you can call it Hunt Valley again after phase one of a rebuilding plan. Phase one included new restaurants outside the ball and new stores like Dick's Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart. It's also helped that the light rail line was extended to the shopping center at a number of big employers like MBNA have set up in the area inside business is still a bit slow. That's where phase 2 comes in. He's always been a regional it's competed head to head with Owings Mills White Marsh in town some town and that's one reason it hasn't really quite lived up to its potential. We need to find another niche to fill another service for the people in the York Road corridor and what we feel is needed here is the right venue in retail services that are needed. If you want to price shopping in one central location you've got to go to White Marsh or to Columbia and we want to fill that
void in this New York Road corridor. Managers are talking with chains like Old Navy Saks OFF 5TH and Kohl's. There will still be some local specialty stores but most of them will have to be relocated within the mall when phase two begins. The timetable for that is still up to the Equitable Life Insurance Company which is all in this mall since it opened 18 years ago. That is today's Marilyn big second Jeff. One night one goal and millions of people we're talking about safe night USA. Mark your calendar for June 5th. Tonight's newsmaker LARA BREMAN is here. It was all about. What you said. Safe night is a function for youth and for adults and for family. That. Resolves of revolves around the premise of no alcohol no drugs no violence or weapons so it's a place to party to come together and have a place where you can also feel sorry for you doing exactly how did it get started. It was started back in 1994 by a
gentleman by the name of a Lou so way and he is located in Wisconsin and he worked for and still does work for the Department of Health for Milwaukee and they asked him to develop a program that would focus around youth safety and at risk youth and drugs and up all those things. And he came up with the premise of safe night. And ever since then they've been having safe nights very often in Milwaukee and it has spread out over the course of time and this year they're going to have a national nationwide June 5th. Safe night. OK what's involved in that. Nationwide one. Well there are locations and each in every state and basically each state or each location within a state has its own special type of tailor made functions. We have areas out in the rural area that will have different programs versus what might be held in an inner city and then. But you're all being sort of hooked together once you sort of be able to
see what kids in other states or other parts of the country had 9:00 Eastern Standard Time everybody has to cut on their TV screen and it will be televised nationwide all of the safe nights at one point in time. There's four major safe nights that will be televised specifically. And they'll each have three different focuses one will be focusing on drugs and alcohol. Alcohol won't be focusing on drugs and another will be focusing on nonviolence. They'll be coming out of New York City Los Angeles as well as in Milwaukee. And I think one out of Detroit as well. And for one hour it will be nationwide and then they'll be sneaking up on some of the other party station wide. And we should say PBS and T exactly are airing that exactly PBS and BT. Who organizes the event. Obviously you do here. Who organizes the events locally. Well it's up to the individuals it's up to the communities. I became involved based on the fact that I was with an American program connected Corps and we worked with service learning
within the Maryland Public state schools and so I looked for large projects to get a lot of students involved in order to meet their service learning hours. But it can be a community advisor It could be a parent who might see it on TV or get information about it could be virtually anybody who is interested in providing a safe haven for their youth. Do kids really go for this or do a lot of them say this is just some way that they're going to try to keep us under control and corralled here. I put my youth around the table and I said I need you to throw a party for me. For your friends for your schoolmates. And I just need you to add in three specific components. No alcohol no drugs and let's have some conflict resolution in there to teach each other about working through arguments and issues. And who wouldn't want to throw a party. So they do go. They do go for it. And those are the rules basically those are the rules where in Maryland will they be there is roughly about 30 being held.
Maryland state wide and just about and at least five different counties Baltimore City Baltimore County and I think I've seen some in Frederick. Montgomery and Prince George's County in Annapolis and around the county itself will be throwing three actually in Annapolis in the old Intan Severin area. Does anybody know does anybody have a guess as to how many kids are going to be out there saying at this point in time you're looking at close to a million maybe a million and a half. So it's an event I mean this is something that kids can really love this is spectacular. How do people find out more about this. You can call 1 800 9 2 7 2 9 4 2. Pardon my manners when 809 4 2 3 7 2 3. Or you can go to your e-mail PBS safelight or you can go to the website which is w w w PBS and org backslash safe tonight. OK so they can get it on our site they can also get it on the exact line if they if I've left the
Newsnight Maryland
Episode Number
Body Image
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Maryland Public Television
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Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
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NewsNight Maryland Show #462 Body Image
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NewsNight Maryland is a local news series that covers current events in Maryland.
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Producing Organization: Maryland Public Television
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Maryland Public Television
Identifier: NNMD 462 (MPT12532) (Maryland Public Television)
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Chicago: “Newsnight Maryland; 462; Body Image,” 1999-05-10, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 21, 2022,
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APA: Newsnight Maryland; 462; Body Image. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from