Lexie Kite is one of the creators of Beauty Redefined, a non-profit organization created to help people recognize and reject harmful messages about beauty and health.
Lexie Kite and her twin sister Lindsay Kite created Beauty Redefined after undergraduate and graduate studies in the field of media influences on body image resonated with them and their own struggles with body image and self-objectification. They earned their bachelor’s degrees from Utah State University and their master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Utah. Her dissertation focused on women and self-objectification. Media literacy and changing perceptions of what makes a woman beautiful have become their life’s work.
As class president each year of high school, Lexie Kite felt confident in her abilities. She knew she was capable of doing many things, but she started focusing on her fear that she couldn’t look good doing those things. All the media messages she was seeing told her that if she didn’t look good, she wasn’t going to be good enough.
A college media criticism class that she took during her freshman year opened her eyes to the ways the media set the standards for what it means to be successful or worthwhile. The class helped her free herself from the harmful and inaccurate ways she had viewed herself. She notes that the view of the camera, or the look of the spectator viewing us, is internalized so completely by women that they don’t question it.
She believes being an identical twin has also taught her about competition and the scrutiny of people. Looking at her twin is like looking at herself in the mirror and seeing herself from different angles. “When we look at ourselves in the mirror we’re kind of seeing this two-dimensional image of our bodies; we’re never getting the full feel.”
Lexie feels body image is an internal issue; it’s about what people say to themselves about themselves.
Lexie is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She echoes her sister’s belief that the Church has a “focus on serving others, taking care of each other and loving God” that taught her there is “no room for competition and preoccupation with appearance.”
Lexie and Lindsay travel throughout the United States presenting their message of true beauty and positive body image at universities, high schools, professional conferences, and church congregations. They teach through their website and social media. They work to both raise awareness of the issue and to help people overcome the profit-driven media stereotypes that limit their ability to develop their full potential.