In this week’s Wednesday 5: Meaghan Ramsey shares “Why Thinking You’re Ugly Is Bad for You” in her TED Talk; a video project asks us to reflect on when we last felt comfortable in our own skin; The SEAMS moves on to the world of podcasts; the uplifting history (all puns intended) of the bra; a beautiful story of a photographer’s promise to an Indian girl.


Meaghan Ramsey’s TED Talk, “Why Thinking You’re Ugly Is Bad for You

The title of Meaghan Ramsey’s TED Talk, “Why Thinking You’re Ugly Is Bad for You,” might lend a response like “Duh!” But Ramsey, who is the Global Director of the Dove Self-Esteem Project, outlines some pretty disturbing data and statistics on exactly how that kind of thinking is damaging for our young women. Some of the riveting points she shares include:

  • 10,000 people every month Google “Am I ugly?”
  • 6 out of 10 girls choose not to do something because they don’t think they “look good enough.”
  • 31% of teenagers withdraw from classroom debate because they don’t want to draw attention to the way that they look.
  • Young women with low confidence take more risks with things like alcohol and drug use; crash dieting; cosmetic surgery; unprotected, earlier sex; and self-harm.

What she outlines is that our culture’s obsession with the way we look, particularly among our youth, is not just about self-esteem, it’s actually detrimental to our health, putting pressure on our health-care systems and costing our government billions of dollars every year.



Comfortable in Our Skin

In this week’s dose of inspiration, we share with you a stunning example of what Ramsey outlines in her TED Talk about our feelings about our bodies, beauty, and perfection. In a short film by The Jubilee Project, which tells stories that inspire change, 50 people were asked one question: “If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?” What’s remarkable is the responses of all those interviewed—men, women, adults, children, and the elderly.



The SEAMS Moves On to the World of Podcasts

The SeamsWe were so thrilled to see Jacki Lyden and The SEAMS profiled in Current.  This past summer we profiled The SEAMS, an independent project that is the brainchild of veteran journalist, author, and self-described “adventurer” Jacki Lyden. She is also an award-winning host and contributing correspondent at NPR News, where she has worked since 1979. About the show, Lyden told us:

“I created The SEAMS because I really believe in fashion as a common human experience, a historical reference, and a connective tissue between cultures.”

Now Lyden is on to the podcast world. After a 35-year career with NPR, she is developing The SEAMS into a podcast and masterminding an upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

Here are some of the exciting stories in its lineup:



The Uplifting History of the Bra

320px-Soutien_des_seine_par_une_brassiereDo you know the history of the bra? Turns out it’s quite an incredible history. From its beginnings in the Roman Empire to its functional appeal to its culture of glamorization, Ash M. Richter writes in “The Uplifting Story of the Bra” about the fascinating journey of the brassiere, equipped with lots of illustrations and images. She tells us:

“On a blustery November day, exactly 100 years ago, a creative socialite was awarded the patent for the very first official bra.

But the brassiere has a long history before and after that epic event. And whether you’re a push-up-bra kinda gal, prefer going commando, or are just a big fan of other people’s boobs—the bizarre history of the bra and breast worship is something you’re going to get a kick out of. “

Read the full history at All Day.


RELATED: A Good Bra Nowadays Is Hard to Find by Deborah Harkins  

Ah, the sheer pleasure of taking off a bad bra! Fitters at these shops stand ready (without tape measure) ensure that you’ll never have to buy a bad one again.




A Beautiful Story of a Photographer’s Promise to an Indian Girl

PoonamImages from Alex Masi via Instagram

We were moved to see this piece in the LENS section of The New York Times featuring the work of Alex Masi and his documentation of a young Indian girl, Poonam Jatev, and her life in Bhopal, India. His documentation of her life started in 2011 with the Times piece “A Girl in Bhopal.” The image of the then-7-year-old crouching in the rain was a turning point for the photographer. Since then, he has been raising funds to document Poonam’s story and to support her through her education. Read the full story at the Times.

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  • Diane Dettmann November 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for the Uplifting History of the Bra! I couldn’t wait to get my first bra in eighth grade, but have had an on and off struggle with the crazy contraption ever since.