Media and a Healthy Self-Esteem

The Prevention Program of Hope Clinic for Women exists to provide targeted education to teens and young adults in the community, not only on the risks of becoming sexually active, but also the importance of healthy relationships and healthy self-esteem. One area that we discuss in our prevention presentations is the importance of understanding true empowerment. This is the empowerment that comes from having a healthy view of self and pursuing the things in life that bring lasting results.

A major topic of this discussion of empowerment is the cultural view that states if a woman exposes her body or poses provocatively, she is modeling empowerment and a healthy view of self. One problem we highlight with this view is when an individual is posing for these types of pictures, she may feel empowered for the moment, but once the photos are published she loses all power of what others do with or say about these images. While entertainment reporters might state that “owning” one’s sexuality is empowering, it ultimately takes away the power of the woman posing and impacts the prevalent view of women as a whole.

Sometimes I end up being out of the loop on things that are going on in pop-culture, so just this week I was made aware of a story that aired in February of this year drawing attention to the impact this type of exposure had on a model in her relationships and view of self. Kylie Bisutti, a former Victoria Secret Angel publicly stepped down from modeling lingerie and other provocative and revealing fashions in order to align her professional work with her personal faith and views. She credits this decision to the fact that she wanted to honor her husband by not sharing her body with the general public and the impact she felt her modeling was having on the views of younger women who look up to her, including her cousin who had expressed that she thought she might want to stop eating so that she could look more like her model cousin.

I applaud Mrs. Bisutti for taking a stand for what she believes and publicly making a statement to younger women who look up to her. This story further emphasizes the need provide education on these topics. Hope Clinic for Women is that source of education in the Nashville area.

For more information on our prevention program, contact Amy Moseley amoseley@hopeclinicforwomen.org

To find out more on this story you can follow the links below:

ABC Good Morning America video: http://youtu.be/5CDKLrsUyco

BLAZE February 7, 2012 article http://www.theblaze.com/stories/kylie-bisutti-quits-victorias-secret-lingerie-modeling-career-because-of-her-christian-faith/

Amy is the Client Programs Manager at Hope Clinic for Women. She has worked in the field of Mental Health Advocacy and Counseling since 2008. In addition to her work at Hope Clinic for Women, Amy has experience working with victims of sexual assault, special needs foster care, and individuals dealing with issues related to trauma as well as over 10 years of experience in full-time Christian Ministry.