By CHRISTINE PEAT
Published: July 8 2013
There seems to exist an all too frequent reminder that women have many obstacles to overcome with regard to issues like equal pay, objectification in the media, and access to fair and legal health care options. Even our own blog, in an attempt to cover important and relevant issues related to eating and weight-related disorders, has fallen victim to a somewhat myopic perspective of more negatively-valenced topics. We often discuss challenges that still exist in the etiology and treatment of eating disorders (e.g., insurance coverage, stigma) and the seemingly insurmountable work that still faces us in larger sociocultural realm (e.g., media images, thinspiration). Though these discussions are necessary and help motivate change, it is also equally important to focus on positive examples of inspirational people and ideas. The following is just a small sample of some pretty incredible people and projects that have the power to effect change by harnessing creativity, wit, and, occasionally, humor.
- A new online community called Smart Girls at the Party gives a fresh perspective on how young women can lead authentic lives to help change their communities (and the world)!
- 4 Every Girl is a media literacy group dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls.
- Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Wendy Davis’ dedication and perseverance in her 11-hour filibuster in the Texas state senate was pretty incredible.
- Abby Wombach is now the highest-scoring international soccer player!
- “9 Things We’d Rather Do Than Waste Time Counting Calories” is smart, funny, and reading it is an excellent alternative to counting calories.
- Kathy’ Benn’s petition to fight Thinspo on Google was inspired by her daughter’s struggle with bulimia nervosa, and now you can get involved in her campaign.
- Megyn Kelly’s frank rebuttal of sexist comments made by Lou Dobs and Erick Erickson was brave and an instant Internet sensation.
- “She Started It” is a documentary about the rise of women technology entrepreneurs, and you can help contribute to its production!
- Meghan McCain’s bold statements about recognizing the need for revival within her own political party demonstrate a dedication to her beliefs and the power of change.
- FLOTUS is on Instagram and something called “The Notorious R.B.G.” is on Tumblr. Just saying.
Of course, this list is far from exhaustive as people do inspirational things every day that may go undocumented or relatively unnoticed. In fact, it’s a great reminder that effecting change in the lives of others doesn’t have to take place in a large, public arena. It can be accomplished in the (seemingly) smallest of ways by taking the time to learn from the wisdom of your elders, by lending a helping hand to a friend, or even by making changes within and dedicating yourself to busting stereotypes – be they about women, ethnic/racial minorities, or eating disorders. So while examples of the negative may be abundant, challenge yourself to look for what inspires you and follow it with passion.