Some websites (not listed here) are virtual instructions that encourage disordered eating behaviour. Just reading about eating disorders on websites can be part of the obsession. Always be careful that what you read is positive and useful. American, British or other international sites will not provide local help links but may have useful information and downloadable brochures.
Here are some recommended sites.
Spoof ads for products and clothes.
This Australian website is part of a campaign to stop exploitation of workers in the garment industry.
Contains some great links to sites about body image and other girls’ and women’s health issues.
Feel good about yourself regardless of your weight is this site’s motto. Information for people who feel they’re over or underweight, or who feel miserable about dieting and themselves. With a comprehensive list of links to related sites.
A US site for girls aged nine to 13 that focuses on all sorts of issues, including self-esteem and body image. Click on the Bodywise link.
The Canadian Women’s Health Network take on the hype of the breast implant industry.
Great links to all sorts of articles and studies about what can and does go wrong with breast implants.
A hype-busting page on cosmetics.
Don’t get fooled again
The Australian Consumers’ Association is a good source of independent info about all sorts of stuff. Search the site using key words like ‘cosmetic surgery’ or ‘moisturisers’ for info you won’t see in commercial magazines or on TV.
The Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria is a non-profit support group. Their website contains information about why diets don’t work, how you can help someone with an eating disorder, and what avenues of treatment are available if that someone is you.
A list of Australia-wide organisations dealing with eating disorders.
Recommended links from the Eating Disorders Network of New Zealand.
This site has a whole section for men and boys and a fantastic set of links.
The Butterfly Foundation is an Australian Group started by a mum of two girls who struggled with eating disorders. It provides support and information for families, links to support services, and funds education and research – and their T-shirts are cool!
Fitness Australia’s website has a downloadable brochure on balancing food and exercise. Do not calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) here – if you are under 18 it won't apply.
Australia’s independent non-profit organisation website has lots of information about food (including healthy school lunches) and a ‘health club’ with tips on how to get more active.
The Better Health Channel houses a wealth of information about food and exercise, as well as offering access to health professionals online. There are thousands of Q and As to browse through.
A page for parents, teachers and coaches about girls, sport and self-esteem. (Canadian)
Lots of information about how to encourage girls and women in sport and other activities.
The website of Australian body image expert and counsellor Dr Rick Kausman is useful for anyone who feels that thoughts about food are controlling them instead of the other way around. It discusses ways you can stop making food the enemy, a study about why diets don’t help, and hints for how families can encourage healthy eating and exercise. There is also a lot of smart chat about finding your own ‘comfortable weight’.
Another site on which you can Feed the Model. It also contains serious articles about what to do when your mum is obsessed with weight, snappy comebacks to rude comments about your body, and the way the media and advertising make you feel bad for no good reason. (Oh, except that if they can convince you there’s something wrong with you, you’re more likely to buy something to ‘improve’ yourself.)
This groovy website has a Hall of Shame of advertisers who present ludicrous images of pre-pubescent bodies as something women could or should aim for. The site also contains facts about how to fight against the fashion industry’s obsession with thinness. There are recommended books and links about body image. Go to the ‘making changes’ link and download a fab list of how to stop being manipulated by people who don’t care about you, and create your own world in which there is a culture of caring and self-acceptance. Dob in doltish advertisers and stupid magazine diets.
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