Tag Archives: media

Trayvon, Feminism, and Other Light Topics

images 8I could be wrong, but I bet a bunch of us feel unsettled yet again by the latest news.  Trayvon.  His killer goes free.  A woman in FL gets 20 years because she shot a gun in self-defense.  Like my wise friend said, “Were we really surprised by this?”  No, we weren’t…but we’re still saddened over it.

And…I’m going to save my specific opinions on these topics for those unlucky enough to be my facebook friends…but it got me thinking.  About being judged by your appearance.

And before I go, let me clarify:  I know nothing about being black.  I try to, but cannot even imagine the silent injustices one experiences on a daily basis if you are.  So, can I say, “I know exactly how you feel!”  No, no I do not.  But I do know how it is to be judged on your appearance, and that’s how I  *try* to identify.  I also know what it’s like to be in a gender that is still viewed as unequal.  Case in point:

It was 2002, and I was working at a large ice cream store in a nearby town.  I did some admin work for the company; I was basically an assistant who did the menial work while I was home from college.  I, despite being unhealthy at times, have always took pride in my appearance, and dressed up every day for work.  Skirts, dresses, heels.  Nothing inappropriate, just tasteful.  Since I didn’t work in the ice cream stand, I didn’t have to wear shorts and sneakers, so I didn’t.  Just wasn’t my style.

One day, my friend and boss came over to me and whispered something I’ll never forget.

“Amanda, the big boss (names have been hidden) wants you to stop wearing dresses and skirts because the boys are getting distracted by you.”

Legit.

And can I tell you?  Not that it matters, but I’ve never been a risque dresser.  (I use the word risque because I hate the word slut because….it’s a discriminatory female word.)  No plunging necklines, no skirts above the knees.  Just a crotchety old elderly female owner who came from another time and wanted to set me back 50 years, too.  (And, she was probably jealous.)

Never MIND that men actually do have accountability when it comes to the question of, “Hey, should I drool over that woman I find attractive?” or “Hmmm, maybe I should be professional and appropriate and buckle down to work.”  Which is what women have been doing for centuries while we smile on the inside about your charming sense of humor or bulging biceps.

Anyway, once again, I was sent the message, “Hide your body.”

And,

“It’s your fault.”

Which is funny, because there are sexual harassment laws which protect us today from situations like that.  Situations in which I could have been considered the victim if I was talked to, looked at or touched inappropriately.

Just like Trayvon was the victim.  And again, it’s his fault.

Because of appearance.

And so many people will try to contest that he wasn’t a purely innocent victim, that he fought back…because the people with power don’t want to work hard and look at the fact that we’re stuck in the 1950’s in some ways.  Because they’ve never had to.

What’s your take on all of this?

Dear Media: Stop Trying to Kill My Sisters.

Dear Media,

I woke up this morning to a picture my friend had posted (mockingly) of a “Get Beach Ready!” article in some beauty magazine.  In it, the first tip suggested,

“BAN STRETCH MARKS.”

stretch marks

and I say –

Go fuck yourself.  That’s right.  You heard me.

Stretch marks have nothing to do with beauty; in fact, I think they have a lot to do with skin elasticity.  So stop trying to attach moral value to stretch marks.

Or anything else body-related for that matter.

Media, did you know eating disorders are the deadliest mental health illness?  Bypassing alcoholism?


death

Well yes, they are.  And you are contributing to many a woman’s death, on a daily basis, all for your love of money.

Stop trying to kill my sisters.  Or my daughter, for that matter.

What if you, instead, chose to publish an un-airbrushed, average looking lady on your cover?  Might that young pre-teen you’re selling to have not chosen to go on a 500-calorie a day diet?  Maybe, maybe not.  Even if you’re not the direct cause, you’re part of the equation.

And when the women who don’t kill themselves via starvation give up on attaining that perfect ideal, they swing the other way.  They start binging, because they just as well might give up and “get fat because there’s no hope for me anyway.”  You may have heard of an epidemic called “obesity.”  You play a part in that.

binge

They buy into your bullshit because you’ve inundated them with false truths since the moment they were born.  Society’s values do a number on them too – “sweet, cute, Daddy’s little girl.”  Pushed down by the patriarchy as soon as they can breathe air.

Oh, and stop trying to kill our mothers.

The other day, I heard a husband joke about giving his wife 6 months post-partum to appear as if she never had a baby.  Behind the joking that made me want to stick a needle in my eye – there is truth.  A million of your articles have been dedicated to women pretending as if they never took part in assisting the human race in surviving.  Makes sense.

babyweight2

 

Keeping women insecure earns a lot of money for you.  How do you sleep at night?  How do you live with yourself?

Either way, it’s got to stop.  You make my new-mother friend feel like she should weigh less, you make my daughter the subject of weight stereotypes, and you make me feel like my genetic spider veins are little spindles of evil on my pasty-white, untanned-and-therefore-unappealing skin.

STOP.

(Another Piece of Cake realizes there are healthy ad campaigns out there, and applauds them!  Another Piece of Cake also realizes men are hit hard by the media too, but Another Piece of Cake only writes about women because she’s, well…a woman.)

Blissful Body Fridays: The “Perfect” Female Body

babbleI am LOVING this Friday’s Blissful Body Friday link.  This was sent to me by Jen R, a very hip, astute young lady I went to college with.  In this article, Serge Bielanko writes about the ever-changing female perfect-body-ideal.  I blogged about this in a past entrybut Serge Bielanko attached all these awesome pictures to illustrate the crazy, ephemeral change of what is supposed to be attractive.

Do you know why I included this as a Blissful Body Friday entry?  Because this article illustrates how beauty is so damn arbitrary.   Hate your broad back?  Wait until 2085, then it’ll be attractive to society.  Want to get surgery for your cellulite?  In 3546 it will be the tattoos of today.  For heaven’s sake, unibrows could be in style one day.

Do you know what I mean?  None of it fricking matters.

Give this website some hits!

Enjoy, and have a blissful Friday!

Blissful Body Fridays: Debenhams Rocks!

beautylikethis

Debenhams, a high end retail store, has put the word out that they’re banning airbrushing and retouching!

Kickass.

This same department store has featured paralympians and disabled individuals as models before.  Way to encourage body acceptance all around!

They have even challenged other stores to follow suit.

You can read up on the article and check out before and after photoshopped pics here.

I don’t know about you, but I think the “real body” movement is gaining momentum.

 

A big thanks goes out to Alexandra for letting me know about this!

Recovery Tip Tuesdays: Avoiding Fashion Magazines

When I was 15 and obsessed with Hollywood, I LOVED fashion magazines.  I pored through them, gazing longingly at the designer outfits that hung off the waif-thin frames.  I was entranced by all of it.  I wanted to be a part of it.  I felt like I could obtain the celebrity they had because of the massive amount of weight I had lost already.  I was that thin.

fashionmags

But as time went on, I became sicker from my disease and found that keeping up with the Kate Moss’s and the Halle Berry’s of the world became harder and harder.  I started to resent myself whenever I saw them or leafed through InStyle, because I wasn’t measuring up.  I was heavier.  I became disgusted with myself.

And when I finally started to recover, I noticed that picking up those magazines was like a slippery slope back into comparison-world.  I didn’t have the clothes they had.  I was 20 lbs. heavier than some movie stars.  The head would start spinning.

So today, I don’t read them at all.*  You probably know by now that a study was done back in 2007 that proved that women, regardless of weight, feel worse about themselves after looking at a fashion mag.

That being said…I had to mention something my friend Liz passed along today (trigger warning)

The latest issue of Allure mentioned Zoe Saldana’s weight on the COVER.  Unnecessary, yes?

Sorta like, “Hey, look at her!  She’s tiny and we thought we’d just shove it in your faces and remind you!”

Ugh, yet another reason to steer clear.

* What works for me may not work for you.  Proceed at your own risk.

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Blissful Body Fridays!

imagesHappy Friday, all!  I hope you’re having a great one.  My daughter and I spent the morning at a music group, and a friend is stopping by for a visit later on.  Good stuff.

So, I don’t know if this is blissful, Media-Monday worthy, or just plain realistic, but I found this article on my friend Jen’s FB page.  In it, it shows comparisons of Hollywood celebrities during photo shoots, and then during day to day activities (ie. without any photoshopping or makeup).  I sort of feel bad for posting it, because it’s almost more of the same (critiquing women’s bodies), but at the same time, I’m betting the celebrities are often willing participants in the Hollywood “game” and I feel it’s important for us “normals” to have a reality check on how, well, they look just like us.  All I know is that it helped me to reality-check myself, because we usually take these airbrushed images at face value.  Let me know what you think – triggering, or helpful?

Here’s the link!

Have a good one, folks!

(Image provided by photocine)

 

My Body!

Media Mondays: My Body Gallery

Happy Monday!  I’m gonna take a break from my “media watchdog” status and post something from the media that is BODY POSITIVE – or at least, I think so.  My fabulous friend Liz let me know about the My Body Gallery, a site that is dedicated to portraying an accurate depiction of what REAL women look like.  The coolest part, in my opinion, is the place where you can type in your height and weight and see pictures of other real women.  For the women I spoke to, this was a wakeup call – as in, “Hey I look better than I thought!”  Why?  Because often we view ourselves more negatively than we do others.  However this could be a trigger for some – so you have been warned.

 

So click away!

 

Have a great Monday, folks!

keepcalm

Do You Want Your Blog Linked On Mine?

Hey all!

 

I’m looking to link a bunch of Recovery Blogs on my “Links” page.  I’m all for the ED Recovery community connecting and supporting each other.  So, if you want your link on my page, you should meet only a few requirements:

1.  Have a pro-recovery blog (no pro-ana or mia sites, please)

2.  On this blog entry, submit your blog URL.  I will post it!

3.  Comment on another blog that’s  linked on my “Links” page.

 

That’s it…link up my friends!

 

 

shhh

Blissful Body Fridays: Things They Don’t Tell Fat Girls

Happy Friday, all!

So, my awesome feminist friend Maggie from college posted a link on her FB page recently.  It is from The Militant Baker,  a fab blog about body love, feminism, and cats (I’m a fan already).  In it, she acknowledges the nuances of the human body and shatters misconceptions about them.  My fave part?  “Everyone has rolls when they bend over. Everyone.”  Without further adieu, here is…

 

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls…SO I WILL.

 

That’s it folks, short and sweet this Friday.  Have a good one!

Pay What You Weigh: What Do You Think?

samoa-air

So recently, Samoa Air introduced “Pay What You Weigh” pricing.  Basically, each kilogram that you weigh costs 93 cents.  So, if you’re an average-weight American male, you pay about 40 dollars less than the typical airline rate.  So yes, a tricky way of both encouraging people to fly Samoa air and stay healthy.  Mmmmk.  A couple of things:

  1. This is a Samoan airline.  In Samoa, I’m willing to bet they don’t have the obesity and eating disorder problem that we seem to have here in the US; it’s been reported that the pricing seems to be going just swimmingly there.*  I’m also willing to bet it would be met by cries out outrage here in the U.S.  Some of those cries might be mine (see the next number).
  2. What about people like my partner, who is gorgeous and tall and naturally weighs more because he’s tall?  They have to pay more?  That sucks.  That’s where the motivation to be healthy doesn’t add up – you can be healthy AND weigh more.
  3. Plus the fact that yes, it could  be embarrassing, humiliating, or triggering to some.  Weight is a private issue for some people.  I do think that airlines need to collectively come up with a solution to seating obese individuals, but I’m not sure weighing them is the answer.  That’s usually reserved for a doctor’s office or the Ground Round circa 1985, during their “Pay What You Weigh” dinner era (shudder).
  4. Aaaand…is it proper to basically financially penalize someone because they weigh more than the next passenger?  Isn’t that insulting?  Isn’t that basically shaming people for weighing more?

What do you think?

(Image provided by gizmag.com)

* Those flying Samoa Air are always weighed before boarding because the planes flying there are so small.