A couple of weeks ago, reader M. dropped me a note about a body image crisis. She’d spent years and years learning to love and accept herself, and had finally reached what she considered to be a really healthy, serene, positive place. She was doing well in school, had a marvelous new boyfriend, and felt confident and on-track. But then she’d inexplicably gained some weight, and her clothes stopped fitting, and she just plummeted. She was depressed, and she was disappointed in herself for being depressed.
Originally posted 2011-11-09 06:18:37.
Most messages that pertain to beauty describe a fixed point. Beautiful is a goal, a set of characteristics that must be held up and striven for, a way of being that is reserved for a select few. Beautiful is something that can be achieved with ferocious dedication to exercise, generous investment in cosmetics, and meticulous attention to grooming. Beautiful is precious, difficult, and extremely narrow. In these messages, beauty is distant, foreign, tantalizing, and other. It is a destination at which we may never arrive, but which we must always be scrambling toward.
Originally posted 2013-01-25 06:23:45.
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 2013-06-27 06:28:21.