Body Image, High School, Etc.

Just a quick post of more illustration work-in-progress Amanda’s Big Dream ,
written by author and eating disorders specialist Judith Matz, a children’s book about a happy little girl who begins to worry about her body, instead of focusing on her real dream and passion.

here is another rough page and the cleaned up line work, without color or background:

Elizabeth Patch illustration

Amanda throws her skates in anger & frustration.

and here is the first full color page, happy Amanda before she starts to worry:

Elizabeth Patch illustration

Amanda waves hello!

Some of you may know that my “day gig” is high school art teacher.
As the school year approaches next week, I can predict with 100% certainty
that I will overhear negative body talk among my female students (of ALL sizes!).
Negative body image stuff begins to eat away at our souls at an increasingly young age,
so by the time my students reach high school, it is an automatic habit to express chronic worry that
they aren’t the right size, shape or level of hotness.
And just like with other “sensitive” (emotionally charged) topics, like drug/alcohol use or sexuality,
waiting to talk about negative body image, and the pressure girls feel to be thin, until middle or high school might be a bit late.

It is simple human nature to have some focus on appearance, attractiveness and beauty.
But it has become an unhealthy obsession in the consumer culture of the 21st Century.
Shifting focus (changing the conversation) is not easy, especially with teenage girls.

Lecturing doesn’t work.
( You should love yourself dammit!)
Raging against the media machine doesn’t work .
(Don’t pay any attention to all those skinny models and stars!)
Nurturing any one of a girl’s talents, skills, dreams, passions and ideas
is an excellent way to change the negative body conversation.


One of my most popular posts ever is
10 Ways to Compliment a Woman Without Mentioning Her Looks
Have fun finding ways to tell the women & girls in your life how amazing they are!




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