I wouldn’t say that I was ever fat. I was always just overweight enough that girls would tell me I looked “fine” and guys wouldn’t tell me much of anything (because I guess my dazzling intellect and sense of humor wasn’t high on their priority list). As a feminist, I always tried to feel proud of my body. I really did want to accept it and love it for what it was. But that was easier said than done.
Last summer I lost about 15 pounds. When I came back to school in the Fall, I was showered with compliments. “How did you do it?” everybody asked. I told some that I hardly even noticed my weight loss and that I had no idea how …
Let’s face it: our society is full of messed up messages about our bodies. We are told that we are too fat, too old, too short, too hairy, toosaggy…and the list never ends. Our culture doesn’t embrace diversity in bodies, instead glorifying a certain type– a type that less than 5% of us have and can never achieve. If you don’t fit that type, you are shamed, made fun of, and discriminated against.
The world is telling us that we are not good enough, that we must be actively taking drastic measures to change this—measures like plastic surgery, Botox injections, hair treatments and extreme dieting. If we aren’t taking these steps, then we’re “lazy” and are treated as if we don’t care about our bodies or our lives. …
You know the saying that history can repeat itself? It sounds cliche, but it’s kind of shocking when it happens to you in real life.
Before I was a proud feminist/atheist/vegetarian I was unfortunately anorexic. Yet no one in my family seemed to notice the signs, even though when I think back they were pretty obvious. I would constantly check myself in the mirror and talk about dieting and weight loss. I would secretly go online and read fasting tips on anorexia sights. When my family discovered my notebook full of “thinsperation” I had a total meltdown and decided those days were over and I would come to respect my body and those of others for what they were.
I discovered Maggie Goes On A Diet during one of my morning rituals (I tend to start my days with a cup o' joe and a few interesting Yahoo! articles). As the above video explains, the book, aimed at girls as young as 6 or 7, is about an overweight 14-year-old who decides to go on a diet after being teased mercilessly by her classmates.
I probably don't have to tell you that Maggie has sparked a lot of controversy. The media has been raving about so-called "mommy bloggers" who are up in arms over how the book mishandles sensitive body image issues, but what I noticed after sifting through the comments on several news articles is a slightly different attitude:
Seventeen’s Pretty Amazing Contest Is Pretty Amazing
ohmahgawd an actress! let's look up to her!
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).
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 …
It sickens me that one of the most common issues plaguing young females today is that of body image distortion.
I say this as a person who once hated her body so much she welcomed the idea of going to extremes to obtain perfection. Whether it was by starving, purging, or over-exercising, if it “guaranteed” perfection, I would do it. It never occurred to me that the perfection I had in mind would never be obtainable. Nor did I realize that recovery would be a life-long struggle to relearn what it felt like to be full.
A year ago, I decided it was time that self-loathing relinquished its firm grip on my life. I did not consult a psychologist because I thought of my recovery as a journey I would …
When I was nine years old, I secretly dreamed of becoming a model.
I still wanted to be a writer, of course, but hey, a girl can dream, right? My family doctor had told my parents that because of their heights (my mom is 5’6” and my dad is 6’1”), my twin brother and I were likely to grow like bean sprouts to over 6 feet. I liked being tall for my age. Being my nine-year-old-self, I thought my potential height would be the key to becoming a model. (Also being young and naïve, I succumbed to society’s spoon-fed diet of telling girls that beauty is limited to certain numerical requirements. Thanks, society.)
I also liked the way models looked so serious as they strutted …