This week, WZZM is focusing on a key issue affecting women and young girls in America -- body image. This series is called Seeing You.

Read all the Seeing You stories here

Women are often judged for their looks, and for those in the public eye, this scrutiny can be even harsher. Some of the women from WZZM talked about the criticism they face on a daily basis from viewers.

"They wrote in to tell me that I should smile less," said Meredith Terhaar. "That was hurtful to me because my smile is one of my favorite things about myself. It's something that we present to each other, and I see a smile as something warm and welcoming and kind."

Kamady Rudd described one comment she got from a viewer. "I dressed inappropriate, he said he knows how I got that job and just insinuated all these really terrible things," she said. "It had nothing to do with my work. My dress was not too tight, it was not too short, it was not inappropriate at all. But I immediately was ashamed."

"She went on for a while paragraph saying that she hated my eyelashes," said Val Lego. "And that I didn't learn how to put mascara on, and she was going to stop watching."

Val, Kamady and Meredith also shared their hopes for how these kind of criticisms should stop.

"I was raised with the rule: if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all," said Meredith. "I think our world would be a better place if people took that to heart."

"What I do wish is that it was more important what I said than what I looked like," said Val.

"Don't be like 'I'm sorry you feel that way,'" said Kamady. "Because I'm not sorry you feel that way. That's one of the biggest things I think goes right along with that whole body image thing where it's like trying to please someone else, instead of making sure you're taken care of first."

WZZM has partnered with Grand Rapids Christian Radio station WCSG as part of the Seeing You project. There will be a body image panel discussion this Thursday at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, featuring Women’s health writer and body image expert, Leslie Goldman.

Anyone in attendance is invited to ask questions of the panel.

Seeing You will help being a crucial conversation about the significant issues surrounding body image with our children, family and friends. For more information on how to get tickets, click here.

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