Edwards bookstore hosts body image talk | VailDaily.com

Edwards bookstore hosts body image talk

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

EDWARDS, Colorado ” Teenage girls are often hypercritical of their bodies.

They find themselves too fat or too thin. They agonize over acne or single out a body part to despise.

Psychotherapist Jill Zimmerman Rutledge wants to help girls combat body image troubles.

“A lot of times, girls feel these feelings about themselves and they think they’re the only ones,” Rutledge said. “Like I’m the only one that hates my body or I’m the only one that wishes I was different.”

In reality, body image woes are quite pervasive. “So there’s an awareness this is a very common issue and also an awareness we can do something about it,” Rutledge said.

An expert on teen issues, Rutledge will visit The Bookworm of Edwards today to discuss where body image troubles come from, how the media contributes to them and what girls can do overcome them.

Rutledge has a private practice in Illinois and wrote two books, “Picture Perfect: What You Need to Feel Better About Your Body” and “Dealing With The Stuff That Makes Life Tough: The Ten Things That Stress Girls Out and How to Cope With Them.”

Her talk will focus on things moms can do to help their daughters feel good about their bodies.

“I just think the role model of a mom can go a long way,” she said.

Heather Campbell, vice president of Samaritan Center of the Rockies, the organization sponsoring the event, said body image is embedded in American culture.

“It drives the huge economic engines of fashion design and the media and cosmetic surgeries and pharmaceuticals,” she said.

And trying to emulate underweight supermodels can have dangerous consequences for girls.

Poor body image can drive girls to under-eat, over-exercise, abuse laxatives or misuse diet pills, Campbell said. As a result, they can suffer from problems like missed menstrual periods and low bone density.

Nicole Magistro, co-owner of the Bookworm, said she expects 40 to 50 people to attend the presentation. Most of them will be mothers with their daughters, she said.

“The talk will be about body image and I think it’s a good sort of casual environment to talk about that rather than a mother and a daughter sitting down at home and having ‘the talk’ about body image and self esteem,” she said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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