Before I became aware of the voices contributing to the body image conversation, most of the information that I took in about my body related to its faults. Because most of the messages promoted by the media and big business are about how women’s bodies are wrong and offensive, and require products and diets and surgeries to correct their crimes. I started this blog as a way to help counteract some of those negative messages, and soon found a community of writers who were also working to stem the tide of negativity. We wanted to show women that they didn’t need to hate their bodies, and help them learn how to do that.
Originally posted 2014-11-13 06:11:45.
A couple of weeks ago, I was on the receiving end of this formulaic and extremely common compliment:
“You’ve lost weight! You look great!”
The giver was a friend I’ve had since age five and one of the most cerebral men I’ve ever known, so I felt perfectly comfortable pushing back. I pointed out that equating lost weight with improved looks is both insulting and assumptive. What if I’d been ill and lost weight because I was too sick to eat? Was he implying that I looked like a horse’s ass when I was heavier? Did he realize that following “you’ve lost weight” with “you look great” is a fantastic way to reinforce the idea that only thin women look good to the observing world?
Originally posted 2014-12-03 06:26:54.
Around the time I graduated from college, my body shifted. I hadn’t gained any weight, but I noticed that my clothes were fitting my curves differently. They were snug where they’d once been loose, loose where they’d once been snug. I mean, I didn’t go from an A cup to a D cup and suddenly lose my hips altogether, but there was definitely some shifting. And it wasn’t weight-related, and it wasn’t immediately visible when I looked at myself naked, and it wasn’t particularly troubling or worrisome. I’ll admit that I can’t remember the specifics of the shift, but I remember the sensation of realizing that my physical form had changed. Markedly. It struck me as odd because in the past, any body changes I’d experienced were mass-related. In this case, mass remained the same while shape shifted.
Originally posted 2014-10-30 06:20:12.