Lindsay and Lexie Kite, Ph.D., leading experts on body image, hosted the online workshop “More Than a Body” on Thursday, teaching viewers how to gain a healthier relationship with food, fitness, the media and their body.
Sponsored by the Utah Women & Leadership Project, the workshop highlights key information from the Kite sister’s recent book, also titled “More Than a Body.” They offered a fresh perspective on body image resilience, inspired by their experiences as identical twins.
“We grew up feeling deeply self-conscious of how we appeared,” said Lexie. “I could see myself from every conceivable angle when Linsday moved.” In response, the two were met with the same messages over and over again: their flaws made them beautiful, they were perfect no matter what, and so on. Linsday and Lexie decided to go a different direction.
“Positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good, it’s knowing your body is good, regardless of how it looks,” Lindsay said.
But’s that’s easier said than done. Their workshop first explained where exactly these issues stem from and the damage they can do. Numerous multi-billion dollar industries use targeted ads, edited pictures, and specific language to foster this sense of self-objectification from a young age.
“Self-objectification shows up in research,” explained Lexie. “If you are feeling self-conscious of how you appear, you perform worse on math tests you can’t throw a softball as hard, you can’t lift as heavy of weights.”
The sisters suggested strategies to combat this, however. Learning to be critical of the media one consumes and filtering out any negative influences are a part of what they call Mental Might. Other guidelines detailed how to remove self-objectification from one’s life by focusing on a more holistic approach to health.
Instead of looking at the number on the scale, Lindsay and Lexie suggest paying attention to the body’s inner health indicators. “Focus on how you feel, what you can do, your physical activity level.”
These insights and strategies made a compelling addition to National Eating Disorder Awareness week. The sister’s new book, “More Than a Body” builds more on the information put forth in their workshop. It hit the shelves last December, following the success of their social media presence and non-profit “Beauty Redefined.”
The message featured on the front cover of “More Than a Body” drives home Lindsay and Lexie’s unique approach to body image resilience: “Your body is an instrument, not an ornament.”