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Get ready for ‘Love Your Body Day’

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Forget that size 2, ignore the First Lady’s calorie-counting dictates, and say “no thanks” to diet drinks!

Today is “Love Your Body Day,” and across the country women of all sizes are expected to look in the mirror and say “Darn it, I look great!” — even if they do not fit media stereotypes of what counts as beautiful.

“Love Your Body Day” is aimed at making women feel special, and pushing back against media and advertisers’ expectations of how women should act and look.

“Just last week, Dr. Pepper began promoting a diet soft drink ‘for men only’ with a ‘no girls allowed,’ sex-segregated Facebook page that shows men playing sports, racing cars and shooting things such as red lipstick and pink bows,” said NOW Foundation Education Vice President Erin Matson.

“The drink has 10 calories as opposed to Diet Dr. Pepper, which has zero, communicating a message that even 10 calories are too many for women. This Love Your Body Day, we join women around the world in saying, enough! Cut it out.”

NOW has designated one day “Love Your Body Day” every year since 1998 to “fight back” against the media which “work hard to make each of us believe that our bodies are unacceptable and need constant improvement. Print ads and television commercials reduce us to body parts — lips, legs, breasts — airbrushed and touched up to meet impossible standards.”

According to NOW, 80 percent of women are not satisfied with their appearance. The National Eating Disorders Association reports that 10 million American women suffer from eating disorders. (RELATED: Sens. urge baseball to ban tobacco)

In celebration of their rejection of societal pressures, NOW will host an online “blog carnival” for women to discuss society’s “unrealistic” standards of beauty and how to combat it by increasing their own self-esteem.

“Each year NOW Foundation celebrates Love Your Body Day to send a positive message to women and girls that beauty comes in all colors, shapes and sizes,” NOW explains on its website. “This year’s blog carnival will encourage women to come together to celebrate a day of self-acceptance and promote positive body image by contributing their unique voices.”

While working for personal acceptance on its face is appealing, according to the Weight-Control Information Network 64.1 percent of women are either overweight or obese — a contributing factor to Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and some forms of cancer.

The movement may seem to condone being overweight, but NOW is focused on health: examining diets that do not work, encouraging women not to smoke, and drinking responsibly if they do drink.

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