Guest Post: Sophia Bazzi – Where are all the women in glasses?
One of our youngest Health at Every Size advocates talks about what she noticed while school shopping lately and what is is like to experience changes to your body that don’t necessarily fit into society’s standards
Sophia is a 4th grade student in Seattle, WA. She is the daughter of Kara Bazzi, co-founder and clinical director of Opal:Food+Body Wisdom. Sophia is a budding activist and has taken to Opal’s Health at Every Size approach. Per her mom’s encouragement, Sophia wanted to share her experience after making an insightful observation while school shopping for this fall. Sophia was interviewed about this experience, motivated by hoping to help others.
Describe your observation when you went back-to-school shopping.
I looked at some models at Macys and none of them had glasses.
What was your reaction to this observation?
I felt confused that models don’t have glasses. I realized that not only models don’t often have bigger bodies, they also don’t usually have glasses.
What would you like to see differently in the media?
I would like some models to have glasses. Not all of them need to. In the book “Care and Keeping of You”, it says “women on TV aren’t often realistic. Look around. Real women look like your mother or your teacher.” That’s one of my favorite quotes!
What is the reality of body shapes? What makes up your body shape?
Genetically my family has medium size bodies. I don’t like the sound of “normal” size bodies. There is no “normal” size bodies. I got glasses because my dad has them and most of his side of the family. My family is a running family. We are tall. We have big feet. We have long fingers and toes. Me and my dad have widows peaks.
What would you tell a friend who doesn’t like something about their body or appearance?
It doesn’t matter what your body looks like. What matters is who you are. No matter what body shape you have, you are loved. I am a little bit nervous about having glasses, but during the process, I’ve gotten more and more excited for my glasses and not as afraid.
-Sophia + Kara
Over half of the United States population wears glasses but for some reason, we rarely see them in the media.
Magazines and fashion rarely show glasses on models and when they do, they are usually used to stereotype the wearer to show intelligence. As Sophia mentioned there is also a severe lack of body size diversity.
To test this out I read through two different magazines, one a very body-positive women’s magazine known for excellent interviews and never retouching photos and Rolling Stones Magazine. Of our body-positive magazine 84 women were shown and not one was wearing glasses. This included an actual advertisement for glasses, where the model stood looking off into the distance spectacle-less, and the actual eyewear was photographed on a white background on the corresponding page. Rolling Stones featured 19 women and again, not one was wearing glasses.
We know that a lack of diversity in media images directly impacts body image in children, at shockingly young ages. It can be daunting for parents to approach these issues with their children but we encourage you to start the conversation. Use this script between Kara and Sophia and listen to what your child has to say about diversity.
And be sure to check out Kara Bazzi’s parenting talk with Julie Church where they explore how parents can help children build a healthy relationship with food + body. Thank you Sophia for being an advocate for diversity and body postivity!