“Hannah is too uppity to be killed off by Vogue.” says Lena Dunham, commenting on her “Girls” character and the controversy sparked by the magazine’s choice to Photoshop her figure. Dunham’s cover could’ve been a game-changing moment, a chance to change the way we view archetypal beauty. Instead, the feature was overshadowed by criticism, as the magazine chose to crop Dunham’s entire body from the cover photo; retouched photos of Lena also appeared inside the publication. This comes only months after Melissa McCarthy’s curvy frame was hidden under an oversized green trenchcoat on the cover of Elle magazine. Leaving us wondering, will real women’s bodies ever be revered as true forms of beauty?

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The push for skinny being the only ideal, has many of us reaching our limits, and celebrities are no exception. Pop-star Ke$ha, recently checked herself into rehab for an eating disorder, her manager being blamed as the catalyst. “I’ve watched my beautiful, self-confident, brilliant daughter be berated and ridiculed for her looks and weight to the point that she almost died ” Ke$ha’s mother told People magazine. “One time on a conference call, [Ke$ha’s former manager, David Sonenberg] was ‘You need to lose weight! I don’t care what you do … take drugs, not eat, stick your finger down your throat!”

Modern media today (Facebook and Instagram especially) is only adding fuel to the fire. With the simple push of a ‘refresh button’ our news feed serves as an instant stream of ammunition for our self-deprecating inner monologues. There is another voice that we can all choose to hear and use – and that voice is beginning to grow louder. Organizations and celebrities are starting to divulge their real opinions on beauty and it is beginning to catch on. Dove recently released a short a film at Sundance called “Selfie” with real teenagers and their mothers revealing their true thoughts on the struggles to feel beautiful in today’s generation. Dove launched the campaign after it discovered only 2% of women around the world feel beautiful:

dove selfie video

Supermodel Tyra Banks is no stranger to negative comments about her body. After receiving a large amount of negative feedback in response to a bare-faced selfie, she decided to partner with Special K to #fightfattalk. “A lot of girls will post a picture and say something negative themselves,” says Banks. “That’s like digital fat talk. That’s reaching way more people. Some of it is a need for compliments and sometimes you just want to express yourself about how bad you feel.” This video is a sobering reminder about how fat talk effects each of us:

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There is so much room for growth, yet we seem to be on the right track.

Cabiria’s Fall 2013 fashion show was the first plus-sized line in New York Fashion Week history and local organization RAW Beauty Talks is making headlines by starting a movement of makeup-free women.

Our stance? We support choosing to fight back and accepting yourself just as you are, because “flaws” are what make you uniquely beautiful. We may not be able to change the media, but we can begin to re-define our own standards of beauty to change the conversation for our friends, daughters and our inner voice. Women are more than what they look like, and true beauty radiates from within.

Often times we may feel alone in our battle to find confidence in our beauty, but as we begin to see that we are not alone, we can help each other choose a beauty positive voice and make our point of view even louder.

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