We are so grateful to receive a steady stream of wonderful messages from people who have felt empowered after attending our presentations, seeing interviews with us, or reading our messages and posts online. These are just a few of the kind words we have received from supporters of our work in recent months. Thank you to all who have offered feedback and praise — it means everything to us! If you haven’t reached out to us but have a story to share, we’d love to hear from you too!
I would like to thank everyone who makes this blog work, especially the girls writing the articles. I have been reading these articles for about a month and they have had an astounding influence on me. I come from a family where the girls (my sisters, mother, aunts, cousins) on a bad day wear size fives and body image is a big deal. I can honestly count the number of times my family has said I’m pretty or beautiful. Body hate is something I have lived with since I was 12 or 13. I’m writing you because today I looked in my mirror and I didn’t see flaws or fat.I didn’t rip myself apart. I liked what I saw. I like me. My body type is normal for people like me. The media isn’t right, my family isn’t right, I wasn’t right. I wish I could explain the type of confidence you have helped me achieve. In such a short time too. I think people want to believe that they are beautiful and worth something and all they need is a little nudge in the right direction. I still have a lot of work to do, but I am on the right track. I know I am because I’m happy.So thank you for nudging me. You are doing something truly amazing. Keep doing it! Thanks!!!
I am sitting here overcome with emotion at your article. I am a recovered bulimic. For 17 years I battled this disease. I was bulimic through some of my pregnancies even. For years I despised myself and even with a loving husband and loving Father in Heaven, I couldn’t see my value past what I weighed. Your research on BMI’s has lifted a burden from my shoulders like you can’t imagine. Even as I have grown in acceptance of myself, I had geared myself up to believe that I would have to love myself in spite of what BMI charts said I should be. Knowing that I can disregard them is a freedom I didn’t know I could have. I appreciate your website, your research, your obvious passion for reclaiming self acceptance as women in general. I feel like I have taken a deep long breath after breathing through a straw for too long. Thank you , thank you, thank you!
I started following your work a while back, and I was always very impressed with it and the things that you girls are helping uncover. I am naturally skinny. I am 5’8” and currently weight about 122 lbs. For me it’s just a little harder to gain the weight, and even when I was younger, and had a very fast metabolism, I fell into the trap. I started modeling very young, and my main ambition was to become a Victoria’s Secret model. Of course, I always felt big and disgusting when I watched the annual fashion show, because my body is “not shaped like that” and I needed “to lose more weight to be accepted as a lingerie model.” Needless to say, I became anorexic at 13 years old, and it took me about 10 years to recover. I still struggle with it, but having articles like yours to read when I feel guilty for eating an Oreo is more helpful than you will ever know. Like it was today. I am a little emotional about this! Thank you for all you have been doing in showing that what we are being fed in spoonfuls by the media is a lie! Keep up the good work!
Second year law student and Los Angeles native here. Thank you girls so much for this campaign. I will do everything I can to promote your work. I really can’t thank you enough from the bottom of my heart.
You don’t know me but I just saw your spot on the news and I want to personally thank you for what you are doing to change peoples perception. I have struggled with weight all my life and it was not until I hit 30 that I said the words ” I am Beautiful” and truly believed it. I would love to help and support you and your cause in anyway possible. You are Amazing!!
This may seem a little weird coming from a guy, but thank you so much for your work!!! It’s really important to me that there are people out there like you working on redefining body image. Obviously, you put your focus on how women are portrayed, but it resonates with me. I went into recovery from anorexia a little over two years ago and the that journey has led me to a place of completely reinventing my attitude towards my body and self and it’s become of vital importance to me to reinforce those values in people I associate with, but particularly women, because they are attacked so relentlessly by culture and the media. Part of my recovery process was spent participating in group therapy with women that struggled with a variety of eating disorders. They are some of my favorite people in the world, because they were all looking to stand up against the mentality that became their lives. It’s important to me that people know that we can all be positive about our bodies, and we can also respect women for who they are. Thanks again 🙂 I’m a huge fan of your work.
I stumbled onto your site and facebook page through a friend, and wow! I feel like my head has been reeling ever since. Thank you so much for all that you’re doing to empower and enlighten men and women! My husband and I love seeing the latest things you post, and we’ve now budgeted this next month to contribute to your organization. Keep up the great work!
I do not believe that we know each other in real life, but I would like to thank you. I have been following beauty redefined for some time now and I have been deeply inspired by you and your sister’s messages. These messages definitely came at the right time in my life (and a rather trying time at that) and definitely helped me realize my worth as a human being.
I grew up with the feeling that beauty was the most important thing. I got told right out that I was fat and I need to try harder. “It’s painful to be beautiful.” they would say, “You need to deal with it, it’s part of life.” And then give me the look of “you need to do this, try harder” or actually say things like “You’re getting fat. You need to lose weight.” I don’t know if I was really THAT bad. I felt it though. I gave up trying later on. The few times I did my friends would notice, “You look like you tried today” or something nice. In the end it didn’t matter. I gave it up again, I would never look like the girl holding the product in the ad. At the end of the day I was too fat and too ugly. I felt like there was nothing I could offer. I wanted to be loved so much. I tried so hard and did many things that I have come to cringe at the thought of. I got a chance to get out of my home town a little over a year ago. I moved up to Salt Lake and I was lost. I was “fat,” I was 17, and I was scared. But I started developing a relationship with God again, and I learned about the strong feminist history of women in Utah and my potential to do good. I began to lose weight because I wanted to take care of myself, and I did care. For the first time I was beginning to believe I was worth it. I think I sort of knew Lexie Kite. Me and my roommate went to one of her Beauty Redefined presentations by her and her sister. It stopped me and really made me think. The things and the people that I thought of as beautiful were not really what I thought, or they were often unhealthy. I kind of went crazy with this knowledge at first. I started to look at their Facebook page. I was so shocked.I wanted to tell everyone. I wanted to show everyone. I felt good. All the times I had just sobbed growing up because I was not like the girl on the magazine and I wanted that so bad hurt worse when I saw how unreal it all was. I would look at the Beauty Redefined work many times and get this feeling of, “Wow that’s not real.” The more they put up the more I learned. I was blown away. I had never really felt like I was a good size or anything of that sort. Suddenly I get that I am normal. I am good the way I am. There is nothing wrong with me. They way I look and feel is normal. What I see is not real – I am real! It is so empowering to learn what real people look like again. I had no idea how normal I looked. Even more, they helped me to question if the standard of health we’re using is true health or defined by these powerful beauty and weight loss industries? I feel like the Kite sisters’ work has helped me to see what is real and what is fake and I’m so grateful for that. Beauty Redefined is an important tool, and we should use it to educate ourselves on reality! I can learn what is real and love what is real, and learn to love what I see — me. That what is put in front of me is MADE to make me feel bad. It’s a small change of mind set. It will make a huge change though. Thank you, Beauty Redefined!
Lexie and Lindsay, This is a long time coming. I want you to know how much I appreciated your heartfelt response and how much I appreciate the work that you and your sister are doing. You are heaven sent and I pray that the angels will be with you in your efforts. Finding women and organizations such as Beauty Redefined has given me hope. I have hope for the women of the world. I know that as women we are capable of more than being viewed. I have talked with a few of my friends about this and have had some great feedback. In fact, I am working with one of my closest friends to create a blog designed to organize people interested in cleaning up advertising. We hope to go live in the next couple months. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks again for all you do.
Since my freshman year of college, I always hovered around 140 lbs. I exercised regularly, and never thought a thing of my size 8 self. Shortly after having my first baby, I started to panic, realizing that other women were so much skinnier than I was. Suddenly a size 8 was disgusting to me, and I was going to be one of those women who “let themselves go” after having a baby. I began obsessively comparing my body to every woman I saw, and starving myself. If I ate, I would run so long and hard that I got sick, just to make sure the calories didn’t stay. I got down to my goal, 117, and shortly thereafter got pregnant with baby #2. Shortly after he was born, I started obsessing again. Within a month after his birth I’d starved myself back down to 117, but this time it wasn’t good enough. So I dropped to 113. Of course, next I needed it to be 110. But I noticed that I could no longer run more than 2 or 3 miles at a time, because I was so weak. I couldn’t enjoy social functions because I felt like everyone was watching what I ate. I didn’t have the energy to keep up with my kids. The only time I didn’t feel disgusting was when I was hungry; I WANTED to be hungry. It was about this time that I realized I needed help. I began reading literature about body image, including Beauty Redefined, and found a good support system. I set a new goal to run a 10K, and have been focusing on being healthy enough to train for that. Even though it is still hard for me to weigh more than I want to, I am focused on health and strength now. I HAD to weigh more to be strong enough to run, which is what I love to do. I also find that it’s important to focus on what I can offer the world, which is a lot more than a number on a scale, or a dress size. I have a lot to offer!
Hi! You have emboldened my sister and me and so many like us. Thanks for being one of the only organizations to not only believe in a better system, but encourage women to assert that system with confidence and power.
Lexie and Lindsay, I really like to sit down and read the articles and stories you girls write, they are so inspirational to me and when I’m feeling down about myself they always lift my spirits. I just read the story Lindsay wrote about how you girls got started and how growing up she had body issues and it made me really want to tell you guys my story and how you have impacted my life. I have always been a small person, I shouldn’t have ever worried about my body growing up but like every teenage girl I did, but I took it to extremes. I grew up dancing competitively from about the age of 9 until my senior year of high school. My Freshman year I tried out for my high school drill team, I was thrilled when I made the team but looking at the girls who made it and the girls who didn’t I was noticing a pattern, I started believing that the only reason I made the team was because I was skinnier than some of the other girls (probably better dancers) and I quit. I thought that I had handled it the way the fit in with my beliefs but I didn’t realize that such a small event in my life would have such a HUGE impact on me. That incident with the drill team made me believe that how I looked defined my worth. Only wearing skimpy tank tops and leotards is fun when you have a little body with no flaws, but like Lindsay I would notice one little thing I disliked and that was ALL I could focus on. I spent hours in front of the mirror examining my body and trying to figure out ways to cover or take care of the problem. This behavior quickly spiraled out of control and I started picking up habits that led to eating disorders. From my junior year in high school (2005) until I moved to Salt Lake City (2011) I struggled with very unhealthy eating habits. As you can imagine this problem escalated and took over every facet of my life. Because of my choices I did poorly in school and work, and it ruined relationships with friends, family and boyfriends. I was on meds for depression and saw numerous counselors with no luck. Moving to Salt Lake was the best thing I have ever done for myself. I knew that there was only so much others could do to help me but I had to be the one to make the change. I made up my mind that moving down here would be my fresh start. And it worked!!!! I have made amazing friends down here that have made me feel that….well….I am worth so much more than being looked at! I have been an avid follower of you girls and what you are doing and I’m so impressed with your passion and devotion to this project. In a round about way you girls have helped me in so many ways, from reminding me of my true worth to helping me get out of a bad relationship. A few months after I moved down here I started dating someone whose views of women are definitely driven by the media. He was never happy with my appearance and was always on my case about going tanning, coloring my hair, or purchasing and wearing clothes that showed off my body. He made me feel like all I was to him was “eye candy.” In January I asked him if he would go to your fireside with me and he refused because he didn’t like the feminist messages you were teaching women. That was the last straw and it gave me the courage to take a stand for myself and get him OUT of my life. I could go on and on and on about how you have positively affected my life but this has already turned into a really long note. Just know that I am SO proud of you and am so grateful for the positive message you are bringing to women. I’m so glad I get to know you girls and grateful to have you as friends! Thank you for taking the time to read this, I’m sure you get lots of letters and things like this but I wanted you to know the impact you have had in my life.
I just wanted to write you a note and let you know how much of a role model you are to me and so many others. I love how passionate you are about your work and I want you to know that you are making a difference! You and your ideals are such an inspiration! Thank you for being you and for following your passions and actually making something come of it. I am grateful to have gotten to know you. Everytime I see your beauty redefined page or updates about it, it just makes me smile. You are amazing women.
So I had a total Beauty Redefined moment today and I felt like I should tell you about it as I found a lot of comfort and self worth in it. So I was at Nordstrom today trying on this awesome yellow skirt. It was wonderful, until I looked at myself from the side, and I could see cellulite on the back of my thigh. But if I stood any other way, it was still super cute. So I decided to get it, but went around looking some more. I kept thinking to myself, ‘if I buy that skirt, I need to get a pair of Spanx to smooth out my cellulite.’ and then you’re research popped into my head and I thought ‘REAL WOMEN HAVE CELLULITE!’ Needless to say, I got the skirt and skimped on the spanks. No need for that when I know what a real woman looks like and that I don’t need to hide the “imperfections” that make me beautiful! Thank you for helping me realize this and for giving me new self confidence. I hope this note finds you in good spirits and wonderful health.
YOU ARE AMAZING!! I find myself getting a little teary-eyed/upset when I read what society is making us believe! Like when I read your post today, I was thinking – ok stop being so ridiculous and hard on yourself, the fact that you are slightly “breaking out” on your face doesn’t mean your ugly! Anyway, thank you again – what you are doing is SO awesome!! One of my friends and I have decided that we want to be “The next Lexie and Lindsay Kite”.
I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been following your campaign for a while now on Facebook and I absolutely LOVE everything you do and everything you stand for! I am currently struggling to get over an eating disorder and it is ssssssoooooo hard when you can’t get through 10 minutes (it seems) without seeing at least one photo-shopped image of unrealistic “women”. We desperately need more help from groups like yours. It seems like the more educated women are becoming in issues of media’s negative influence on body image and self-esteem, the more powerfully the media is fighting back with even more damaging images. Is it just my imagination? Do you think it is possible that your billboard campaign could make it’s way up to Canada? THANK YOU for everything you are doing for us : )
First, you guys are INCREDIBLE. The billboards are AWESOME. I am so glad that you guys are doing that. I think it is something that Utah Valley REALLY needs. Your campaign has definitely made a difference in my life. When I think about how I wish I was thinner or if I feel guilty about eating something unhealthy, I remember Beauty Redefined, and that I am “capable of so much more than just being looked at!!” I am completely serious. It helps to know that there are women out there who are fighting against these unreachable social expectations. So, thank you a million times over! It really is such a great idea seeing how there are so many pro-‘change everything about yourself to be beautiful’ billboards in Utah, it’s great to have the contrast that your message brings. Thanks for all of your help and congrats on your success. What you are doing is SO needed.
There are not words to express my gratitude for your efforts. I work with girls who struggle with eating disorders and devistating body image disortions everyday and at times it feels like we are fighting a losing battle- your fight gives me hope. I would gladly help in any way I can. Thank you so much!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for making such major efforts to help women realize their worth is more than skin deep, and to free themselves from the snares of media. I’m looking forward to billboards that send positive, powerful messages to us ladies.
I think it is absolutely beautiful what you all are doing. I am a mother of 5, with three being young ladies. I was also in an industry for years that was based souly on ones looks. I have found that coming away from that day to day, made it much harder for me to find my own self confidence and self worth without the constant verbal affirmation from other people. I truely think that you are helping so many out there. Young and old… Thick or thin…. everyone should feel like they too are beautiful and absolutely worth it! Thanks again for helping to … well… redefine beauty!
I cannot THANK YOU ENOUGH for this amazing project!!! I am a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to see that there are people like you fighting the same fight I am to help save millions of lives! Every year I have an eating disorder retreat for former and current patients – and patients of other clinicians as well. I will be printing out pages of this site and reviewing all of your hard work with each of the attendees of my retreat! This will help them so much in their recovery process. Thank you so much for all you are doing!
As always, GREAT work being done here. I have loved this project since the moment I heard about it, and I think it’s fantastic that it’s growing and reaching more and more people. Sometimes it is difficult for me with a “societally accepted” body type (I’m a marathon athlete and I come from a genetic line-up of tall and skinny…that shouldn’t make me “worth” more than someone else) to try and be outspoken about these issues because of the “well why should you care…it clearly doesn’t affect you?” response. What I love so much about this project is that it’s not about skinny, not skinny, etc; I feel like it’s about reality and beauty. Not “acceptance”. To accept someone is to imply something is wrong about and/or with them, and that’s not the case! This is an honest message, and the more people who hear it and see it, the better! Great work!
I feel so strongly that I need to add my two cents worth on this subject. My two teenage daughters and I closely follow the research being done by Beauty Redefined and truly feel empowered by the authors’ message. It has been the basis of very candid discussions within my own family and with other young women that I work closely with. We are enlightened and educated by the authors and are incorporating this knowledge into our lives. We are grateful for the forum that these two women have provided to share their years of research via this website and through their presentations. We are realizing that the beauty standards set by the media are too exceptional and unattainable for even the celebrities themselves, who have been digitally manipulated in order to be featured on the pages and covers of magazines and billboards. Comparing ourselves with and trying to compete with the media’s preset and unattainable definitions of beauty is a pathway to failure. There is an absolute need to redefine beauty in more ways than just appearance and the authors through Beauty Redefined have given us all a ray of hope. You are truly uplifting!! Thank you!
Lexie and Lindsay, you are both amazing women who are proving that our girls are inundated with negative messages about their bodies and it is taking a toll on all women. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters ages 15 and 18. They are definitely influenced by these messages and they often hate something about themselves. I am also a well educated woman who understands that your research is sound. Although I may be biased as a fellow Ph.D. student, I am well versed in research methods. Your lives are devoted to sound research methods and you have found that negative messages do actually influences our daughters, sisters, and mothers to hate something about themselves. Thank you for all you both do!
Fantastic work! I really applaud the work you girls are doing – it is just so important to send positive, healthy and helpful messages to our children. It is terrifying to realise how harmful what we consider ‘normal’ TV viewing can be. I also think it’s wonderful that you are validating the feelings of insecurity and shame that many women experience when they are exposed to these images and messages – there is often a sense that we should “just get over it” or be used to it by now, but it really can be so damaging to our self-esteem and body image. Research like this is much-needed – I look forward to spreading your message!
I love this!! As a mother of 2 young daughters I’ve already made myself a promise that I WILL be that positive influence on my girls. If they see me being positive that will send them a strong message and I KNOW that! I believe so strongly in the work you are doing and I appreciate it so much. It’s scary thinking of the world my daughters are going into and it makes me feel better knowing these GREAT influences on women and girls are out there too!!
I love this. I spent a lot of time feeling inadequate and ugly too, and I wish I had that time back. I saw your presentation over a year ago and have been following you on facebook, and I can honestly say that I’ve been making a more conscious effort to love and appreciate my body. I used to get mad at my body for the way it looked. Now, when I get mad at it it’s usually for the way it works- like when I get appendicitis or a really nasty cold- things that prevent me from LIVING the way I want to, not just LOOKING the way I want to. I think it’s natural for people to want to feel beautiful and take care of their bodies. I just wish that didn’t get somehow mixed up into looking anorexic, pore-free, and generally alien-like. Thanks for the work you’re doing- I love reading your articles.
I think you two are absolutely awesome. You are such great examples of strong, capable women. I love the message that you are sharing with the women around you. I attended your presentation and it definitely has impacted me. I notice more lately in commercials and media and I can now point out how they are detrimental to women. Another thing I have thought about since your presentation is the balance between loving yourself as you are, but also making sure you are being healthy and taking care of yourself physically. I am working on my Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Education and I think that this is something that needs to be addressed. I admit that I have not come up with an answer yet that I am satisfied with, but your presentation definitely made me think about many good things. Thank you! Keep up the great work.
Thanks again for presenting your research to my Utah State University students. They loved it!! Seriously, after you left, the students–even the two men–talked for an hour about their body image issues and the role media has played in their lives. Very cool! Several students are interested in writing essays about their experiences with media/body image issues, so we have pull something together for an online book from the class. Thank you!