A little while ago, I was at my friend’s house for the weekend. Her younger sister, who was in second grade, had a friend over (let’s call her T) on Saturday night. According to today’s beauty standards, T is absolutely gorgeous, despite the fact that she is only eight years old. In addition to being physically appealing, her personality is totally adorable.
The thing I remember T most for, however, is the fact that she laughed. That is, that she laughed despite the big gap between her two front teeth.
It struck me that this little girl wasn’t afraid to laugh out loud, that she wasn’t afraid to smile. She wasn’t trying to hide her “imperfect” teeth. She didn’t feel self-conscious about it. She just didn’t care that her teeth …
As long as I can remember, I have had a great deal of respect and gratitude for the body. I like my body in particular. It works. It is the reason I am me. When I was three years old my mom gave birth to my little sister. Delighted to have a younger sibling, it was a hard pill to swallow when we came to find that she was born with some very severe disabilities, including something called Down Syndrome. Her body was very different from mine inside and out. It was always, and will always be, a great weight on my heart to know that she will never know what it is like to have a body like mine. Because of that, gratitude comes easy.
Lately I’ve been getting into fights with my parents. Well, one main fight. They want me to find a job.
The argument part started when my hair turned out three different colors by mistake this year and I really wanted to dye my hair back to its natural, dark color. They said they will pay to dye my hair, but only dirty blond because I need to have “sex appeal” in order to find a part time job while going to school. Gross.
I want to be all natural and real, not fake like I’m trying to look like workplace Barbie. They told me, “You need to use your femininity to get a job. Half the workers are male workers and you can’t even do those jobs because you are …
Love The Body You’ve Got (Take It From A Fat Girl)
I recall a time in elementary school when a friend tried to defend me from a few bullies by saying that I “wasn’t fat, just big-boned.” A few years later, I had a teacher who — probably in an attempt to keep my ego intact — wouldn’t let kids say “fat” in class, only “fluffy.”
To set the record straight, I do not have abnormally large bones. And I am not, nor have I ever been, a rabbit. But whether it’s these sugar-coated terms or the painfully unoriginal “ugly fat girl,” I’ve never quite been able to shake my overweight status for long.
Despite a few traumatizing events (i.e. falling off the jungle gym, losing my paper pilgrim’s hat on Thanksgiving, etc.), I have relatively good memories of elementary school. …
Seventeen’s Pretty Amazing Contest Is Pretty Amazing
I’ll be honest: I have my issues with Seventeen Magazine. It’s not just that most of the magazine revolves around a traditional and restrictive definition of beauty and their idea of “health” still revolves around dieting and working out in order to achieve your “best body ever.” My biggest problem is what the magazine overall promotes as being important to its readership of teen girls. Are we really just obsessed with how to impress the guy we like and what celebrities are up to? (No, hence, the FBomb exists). And even when “real” issues are brought up – like eating disorders or sex – they’re non-committedly grazed over (Again, oh hey, FBomb).
That being said, I think Seventeen has been making some really great improvements lately. As a …
For over a year not very long ago, I had a plethora of very strange rules for myself to follow. I could only eat certain things at certain times. I had numbers that dictated my actions, numbers of calories and daily intake percentages and pounds. It was a suffocating process; luckily, I never followed my regulations enough for it to impact my health. Still, it affected my mind quite a bit.
Perhaps more damaging to my self-esteem was my body image. Unlike the majority of the population, especially teenagers, I really don’t enjoy food very much. This made any disordered eating-type behaviors extremely easy for me.
Most of my friends are exceptionally thin, as in magazine-ad thin. Most of them are athletic and/or naturally thin; as far as I know, …
Elena Rossini is a film director, cinematographer and editor from Italy. She’s also a really awesome woman who is working on multiple feminist projects, including a documentary about the manipulation of women’s bodies in our culture (The Illusionists) and an awesome blog (No Country for Young Women) that works to connect women across generations (that I happen to have been featured on). One of my favorite works of Elena’s, however, is her short film “Ideal Women” which was commissioned by ARTE/the Louvre Museum’s project “4 Semaines” and which I was lucky enough to see at the Endangered Species Summit. Enjoy!