Feminism | Posted by Alexa S on 06/8/2011
Breaking My Rules
One Rule: Counting Calories
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Chelsea B on 05/25/2011
Fat Is Not A Personality Trait
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 …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Amanda K on 02/15/2011
Notes on Beauty
airbrushing at its best (worst)
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Jessie W on 12/7/2010
Veganism, Dieting and Why I Felt Like I Had to Change
My sophomore year of high school, thinking I’d be healthier, skinnier, and for humane reasons, my parents coerced me into becoming vegan. I hardly ate – because of my dislike of beans and other vegan staple foods, I had basically the same food for every meal – and despite constantly exercising, my metabolism slowed and I gained twenty pounds over a five month period. Both of my parents’ cholesterol dropped by one hundred points and they were losing weight, so why wasn’t I? My doctor told me I was still growing, not getting necessary nutrients, and eating too little, therefore I had to return to eating meat and oil (which we were also avoiding).
In a way, I felt like a failure, but I decided to focus my energy on …
Feminism | Posted by Janani B on 08/30/2010
Mad Men, Body Image and Feminist Critiques of Size-Positivism
January Jones / Betty Draper - not allowed to work out?
A few weeks ago various entertainment blogs and news sites were running a series of stories about Mad Men‘s Producer Matthew Weiner. Feminist bloggers and health writers soon joined the conversation. Now Mad Men is no bastion of feminist drama and critical theory, but these bloggers were veritably showering praise on Weiner. Why? Because, reportedly, he doesn’t allow his actresses to exercise and encourages them to eat plenty in order to look “soft and voluptuous” like “healthy women.”
I’m going to make this as coherent a criticism as possible, but Weiner’s comments and the subsequent feedback from bloggers anger me as symptoms of much broader problematic conversations. So I’ll break the issues down systematically:
The idea of fattening …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Jamie N on 03/4/2010
The Healthy Aesthetic?
dieting = healthy?
I’ve had a theory brewing in my head recently: if all the women in the United States were a size 2 yet as a society we still struggled with heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers then the “health” argument would be very different. After watching the recent Nightline segment “Is it Okay to be fat” my theory was confirmed. The title should’ve read, “Is it okay for women to be fat?”; and then at least it would have been more honest.
It’s hard to debate health when what you’re really debating aesthetics. A serious debate on health would’ve seen men on the panel, since this issue is a societal problem and not something women should have to shoulder alone (though we often do).
I struggle with body …