October 2, 2009 Many of you know the irony that I’m ‘press phobic’ and camera shy despite a journalism and ad/media background plus a Communications degree, so it always amazes me when people LIKE the spotlight and seamlessly handle themselves with aplomb regardless of the topic or the venue. That would be our own dear Dr. Robyn.
Shaping Youth’s body image pro Dr. Robyn Silverman is one of those smooth, succinct, sound bite people…And she’s about to show this element of her personality to the TV world when she takes the stage with Tyra Banks on Monday, Oct. 5th to cover the topic of ‘Fat Haters’ and those they hurt with their attitudes.
This topic ought to be interesting on a personal level, because I come from a bit of a ‘fat phobic family’ yet feel no worse for wear. (partly because I have a keen ‘deconstruction’ element in my personality that can ‘spot the spin’ a mile away and compartmentalize it accordingly)
That said, Dr. Robyn ALWAYS has insights that reveal new ways of thinking about things and I learn from her wise words regularly. I’ve always joked that SHE should be the ‘media maven’ representative for Shaping Youth and leave me behind the keyboard in all my analytical wonkishness deep diving into research and writing my socks off! Why?
Well…for starters, I’m more likely to blurt out something in a moment of authenticity akin to having media-Tourettes when goaded…
Plus, even in my very early days reporting at the ABC News affiliate in my hometown they’d put me ‘out in the field’ and try to groom me as a ‘camera queen’ and I’d segue back to my comfort zone in the writer/producer realm…
I just wasn’t comfy with cameras rolling. WHEREAS:
Dr. Robyn would be a PERFECT point person for our nonprofit…
She’s not only a Child and Adolescent Development Specialist with a focus on character education and body image and self esteem development but she’s well-versed in a WIDE array of topics including open adoption, word choice and language use, and aspects of powerful parenting that make my head spin.
It also helps that her hobby is community theater and she can take the lead as a powerhouse presence like she did in Bye Bye Birdie and be a songstress, then segue back into her role as a Tuft’s trained academic and champion of change. She’s a ‘Jill of all trades’ and I’m proud to have her as part of my world. What can I say? She’s cool.
Here’s more about the show…I’m not a Tyra watcher, but I’ll be tuning in with Tivo for this one. You?
Talking about “Fat Haters:” by Dr. Robyn Silverman
It was just last Tuesday that I was asked to come down to New York City to be the Body Image Expert for a taping of the nationally syndicated talk show, The Tyra Show, with, of course, Tyra Banks. The show will air October 5th so be sure to watch or Tivo Tyra on that day (4pm EST on the CW)!
The topic: Fat Haters and the family members and friends who they hurt with their attitudes.
It’s hard enough for women to deal with the images they see each day—from what they see in the media to what they “see” reflected in the mirror. Girls and women compare themselves to impossible standards of thinness so that…what? I’m not quite sure. What I call “striving for zero” (that “ideal” dress size or that “ideal weight) makes us feel inadequate and unworthy. And this is normal. Thank goodness we all have a place to go home to where all that stuff doesn’t matter and we can remind ourselves that we are amazing TODAY- not 5 pounds from now.
But what is it like for those girls and women who don’t have a safe haven among their family and friends—a place where weight and looks and size don’t matter and they are loved and valued for who they are? A place where beauty has a wider definition and a clothing size doesn’t depict more worth as it delves deeper into the zeros? Those girls and women are suffering. They have no buffer. They begin to buy into the notion that the more they weigh, the less they are worth. And what’s worse, they pass body bashing on, generation after generation.
So, that’s what we were all talking about on The Tyra Show. I was asked about why some girls lash out in the ugly ways depicted on the show (you won’t believe some of the things said) and other related questions about double standards and body image. It was exciting to be a part of The Tyra Show and I’m glad I can share this topic with you, which, as you know, is near and dear to my heart. After all, I’m writing a whole book on it (due out October 2010!).
Looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the show. There isn’t any crazy chair throwing—don’t worry- I think there are some important stories and opinions uncovered. So watch The Tyra Show with me—Monday, October 5th, at 4pm EST on the CW. See you there!