No More Body-Shaming: Supermodel Emme’s #BodyBeaUtiful Social Media Campaign Lifts Off in 2016

by Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008, National Eating Disorders Awareness Advocate, Community Relations Specialist

“A New Year, a New You!” We’ve heard this phrase countless times, usually in the latest diet or exercise ad. There is certainly something restorative and motivating about beginning anew. However, that’s no excuse for the outrageous lengths to which the diet and beauty industry go to cash in on widespread body dissatisfaction and insecurity that always seems to accompany post-holiday diet fanaticism.

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So, come 2016, Timberline Knolls is thrilled to support a powerful and passionate advocate and former supermodel on a mission to make sure that struggles with body image do not hold people back from their full potential. Emme, the first plus size supermodel and leader in the burgeoning reform culture in the fashion world, is launching a social media movement as a part of her #BodyBeaUtiful campaign in January.

Across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms, Emme is taking her efforts to the web in a call-to-action, using the hashtag #BodyBeaUtiful. According to her website, it is a campaign using photos, videos and words to inspire and encourage, share stories, and “to continue shedding light on this significant topic so that people can fully thrive in their bodies instead of wasting another minute feeling ashamed of their size.”

The social media campaign is a continuation of Emme’s bold work begun in 2015, when she and a crew of interns and other advocates took to the streets of New York City, challenging everyday people to answer deceptively simple questions, like, “If you’re body could talk, what would it say?” and “How would your life be different if you fully loved your body?” The authentic, emotional, and even humorous, answers to those questions are being compiled into a film to be released later in 2016. Emme and all of us here at TK are so inspired by the responses and the desires of so many to have honest dialogue about cultural perceptions of beauty and how to increase positive body image that we cannot wait to start of 2016 in a healthy way.

One thing that everyone – from those interviewed on the streets to clinicians who work with those struggling with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders – can agree on, is that the pervasiveness of technology in the digital age has not helped anyone to have a better body image. In fact, it seems to have increased self-consciousness and unhealthy comparison and competition, especially among young people. Yet, the prevalence of smartphones and connectedness via social media has also made the world smaller and vastly broadened the impact that just one person can have. That is why Emme and TK are so excited to launch the social media campaign #BodyBeaUtiful, to advance the scope of the mission and to include people all over the world in this movement to accept and love oneself and others.

There is power in numbers. Not the number on the scale or the measuring tape, but the number of passionate people in a community desperate for change. Obsessive dieting, body dissatisfaction, insecurity and disordered eating and exercise take a toll not only on the body, but on the spirit. Together, in person but also across the global web, 2016 will not be another year that begins with a diet of self-loathing, but a year that begins with radical peace and acceptance. Timberline Knolls is proud to support Emme and this movement, to challenge the status quo and motivate all of us to take pride in the skin we’re in, letting that confidence be contagious. We look forward to taking on the new year with a new goal – not to make war on the body, but to love and embrace it, through the #BodyBeaUtiful campaign. Happy 2016!

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