Beauty Redefined is the personal and professional passion of Lexie Kite and Lindsay Kite, identical twins with PhDs in the study of media and body image. One of the most powerful ways we impacts individuals across the country is through in-person speaking engagements. We have traveled across the U.S. since 2009 offering a powerful visual presentation to tens of thousands of people in large groups of all sorts, including universities, school districts, treatment centers, and corporate events. Through a one-hour visual presentation, we teach crucial skills for media literacy while helping people of all ages (12+) to recognize and reject harmful messages about bodies and health in media.
While many well-intentioned speakers address the development of positive body image from the basis of helping women realize and embrace their beauty, we take a different approach that has proved successful in our research. At Beauty Redefined, we assert that having positive body image isn’t believing you are beautiful. Instead, it is having a positive perception of your body overall. So many times we confuse “my body” with “how my body looks” and think of ourselves from an outside perspective. As described above, this self-objectification showed up in more than 3/4 of our doctoral study participants from the very first question. Through both research and personal experiences, our visual presentation illustrates the vital point that your body is far more important and powerful as an instrument for your use than it is as an ornament to admire. Self-esteem and confidence are crucial, but they are NOT dependent on what you look like — or what you think you look like. We emphasize that getting past the obsession with the outsides of our bodies is key to developing a positive perception of our own bodies, which is the definition of positive body image.
Our engaging, live presentation is entirely backed by up-to-date research on body image, media literacy, health and fitness, and body image resilience. Audiences leave feeling empowered to implement strategies in four different areas to harness their body image resilience and live life as more than bodies to be looked at, fixed, and judged. Our visual presentation is entirely backed by up-to-date research on body image, media literacy, health and fitness, and resilience. Appropriate for all ages 12+, the visual and textual content is suited for any setting. We do not use explicit images or specific numbers to represent sizes, weights or measurements of beauty or health ideals. We tailor each presentation for each audience, and the structure of the presentation can be modified depending on the setting. We regularly speak on panels, as keynote speakers for conferences, at school assemblies, and give informal talks in a variety of settings for all ages.
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Topics Addressed in the Visual Presentation
Modified for each audience, based on age, genders, and setting
Distorted Perceptions: Current State of Body Image Among Girls and Women
Media Influence: Quantity and Effects of Media in Our Lives
Driven to Extremes: The Influence of Body Shame on the Prevalence of Eating Disorders, Sedentary Lifestyles, Cosmetic Surgery, and Poor Health Choices
Unreal Ideals: Examples of Photoshopping as an Industry Standard
Controlling Ideals: Thinness (thin ideals across all genres), Beauty Whitewashed (white ideals), Forever Young (age bias and stereotypes)
Health Repackaged: The Role of Objectification and Self-Objectification in Health Perceptions and Pursuits
Healthy Redefined: How We Currently Measure “Health” in the U.S. vs. How We Should Measure Health
Self-Objectification: How to Recognize It, Effects on Girls and Women
Why Media Does What it Does: Advertising and Gender Bias
Resisting Body Shame and Harmful Ideals through Body Image Resilience: Using Pain for Progress
Using Four Types of Power to Increase Resilience and Resistance to Harmful Body Ideals: Physical, Mental, Spiritual, and Social Power
Recognizing and Cultivating Skills and Attributes for Body Image Resilience: Improve Body Image, Improve Healthy Habits, Influence Others for Good