Coinciding with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, The Today Show hosted Love Your Selfie Week, an event seemingly designed to promote positive body image. Today Show anchor, Savannah Gunthrie, set the tone during a promo for the event: “And, to kick off Love Your Selfie Week, all of us will forgo make-up on Monday. So be warned, it might be a scary morning.” Whatever optimism I had naively experienced quickly faded. The weeklong event turned out to be filled with superficially body positive messages accompanied by an underlying sense of self-hatred.
These contradictory messages pray on our insecurities and sucker punch us when we are least expecting it. While being encouraged to love ourselves, we also hear that we are not good enough as we currently are. On the topic of cellulite, Savannah says “I try not to wear a bathing suit in public. That’s my gift to America.” When it comes time to say her weight to the world (apparently this is supposed to be a body loving activity?), she hems and haws before she finally discloses (the range) of her weight and nervously jokes about her height, as if to excuse her weight. Other anchors describe their body as “subpar” and 2 female anchors express their dissatisfaction with their stomachs after giving birth. Yes, most of us have hang-ups about our body image. In fact, research conducted by The Today Show revealed that 67% of women worry regularly about their appearance. But even in the promotion of loving ourselves, the media can’t seem to help but also promote body hating.