We are Lindsay Kite and Lexie Kite, 25-year-old identical twin sisters working on our PhDs in Communication at the University of Utah, studying representations of female bodies in popular media. We have a passion for helping girls and women recognize and reject harmful messages about their bodies and what “beauty” means and looks like. Beauty Redefined represents our work to take back beauty for girls and women everywhere through continuing the discussion about body image, women’s potential and media influence through this website, our Facebook page and most prominently through regular speaking engagements in both secular and religious settings, from high schools and academic conferences to girls’ camps and church firesides for all ages.
 
Our co-authored master’s thesis and current doctoral work forms the basis for a one-hour visual presentation on recognizing and rejecting harmful media ideals about beauty and health, which we have presented to thousands of people across the state of Utah and beyond since March 2009. Here, you can find  our resumes, a summary of our research and a cover letter for those interested in having us present to your large group. We will also post the dates of our upcoming presentations if they are open to the public and links to informative articles and resources where you can find additional information on the (mis)representation of women in media.
 
Beauty Redefined  is all about rethinking our ideas of “beautiful” and “healthy” that we’ve likely learned from for-profit media that thrives off female insecurity. Girls and women who feel OK about their bodies – meaning they aren’t “disgusted” with them like more than half of women today* – take better care of themselves. With obesity and eating disorders both at epidemic levels, this point is crucial!

Our poster display at the Lighted Candle Society's Awards Banquet, Nov. 2010

Researchers* have found that overweight girls who were more comfortable with their bodies were less likely to gain weight as they entered young adulthood. The girls who felt good about themselves were more likely to be physically active and pay more attention to what they ate. Meanwhile, the girls who were the most dissatisfied with their size tended to become more sedentary over time and paid less attention to maintaining a healthy diet, which caused them to gain more weight. This shows that encouraging women to love and care for their bodies – whether or not they match media beauty ideals – may be one way to reverse or at least slow the progression of the obesity and eating disorder epidemics. Through Beauty Redefined, we aim to continuously promote the idea that all women are worthwhile AND beautiful while fighting against the harmful ideals we’re sold at every turn.

 

“While we cannot directly affect the images [in media], we can drain them of their power. We can turn away from them and look directly at one another. We can lift ourselves and other women out of the myth.”

– Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth, p.277 

Beauty Redefined Phase 1: Recognizing Harmful Media Messages

Beauty Redefined Phase 1: Recognizing Harmful Media MessagesBeauty Redefined Phase 2: Reject Harmful Messages & Redefine Beauty for OurselvesBeauty Redefined Phase 2: Reject Harmful Messages & Redefine Beauty for Ourselves

 

Beauty Redefined Phase 2: Reject Harmful Messages & Redefine Beauty for Ourselves

*Patricia van den Berg & Dianne Neumark-Sztainer. (2007). Journal of Adolescent Health.