Beauty Redefined: Mormon Researchers Promote Media Literacy

Editor’s note: Two weeks ago, I read an article in LDS Living about Lindsay and Lexie Kite and their research focused on helping people be more media literate. They want to raise awareness of the way profit-driven media can influence and distort our perception of beauty and worth. We are excited that these determined, passionate Mormon women agreed to talk with us about what they are doing. ~Michelle

MW: First, could you tell us a little about yourselves and your research?

We are Lindsay and Lexie Kite, 25-year-old identical twins and second-year Ph.D. students studying media and body image at the University of Utah. Our project, “Beauty Redefined,” aims to help all people recognize and reject harmful media messages about women’s bodies, and redefine beauty for themselves. With body hatred at an all-time high and an appearance-obsessed society reinforcing dangerous ideas about women’s worth, we believe this work is crucial.

After having a very twin-like experience (which is not uncommon for us) while sitting in separate classrooms, but feeling the same spark of excitement at the powerful truth we were learning, we both knew our academic careers would be dedicated to this cause. Now, eight years and 2½ college degrees later, our hearts still beat just as fast as they did in those freshman communication classes as we study and share our own work to take back beauty on behalf of girls and women everywhere. We echo the words spoken by a fellow LDS feminist leader with penetrating fervor 140 years ago: “We not only speak because we have the right, but justice and humanity demand that we should” (Eliza R. Snow, 1870). [You can find this quote here.]

Read the rest of this story at mormonwoman.org
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