Feminism | Posted by Tasha S on 05/30/2014
Anorexia: A Disease, Not A Diet
“She was like, totally, anorexic,” my coworker stated, gesturing towards my other coworker. The formerly “anorexic” coworker in question nodded her head enthusiastically, as if being referred to as having suffered from a disease was one of her greatest accomplishments. I stared at her, wide eyed. I couldn’t tell if she was being serious or if they, like so many other people I came across, were throwing the term around loosely. “I dieted constantly and I was so skinny. I fit into the best jeans. Now I’ve gotten all flabby. I need to get anorexic again,” she commented. Oh. It dawned on me that anorexia, in her mind, was just a code word for restrictive dieting. It was painful to hear these things, having, by literal definiton, recovered from anorexia.…
Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 05/15/2014
What Young Women Really Need to Know About College
I went off to college my freshman year under the impression that I was headed towards the greatest experience of my life. Hastily-constructed college movies full of crappy dialogue and 30-year-old actors with perfect faces and bodies cast as 18-year-old freshmen had completely swayed my idea of what to expect, leading me to believe that instead of a liberal arts school in Manhattan, I was actually bound for some version of an orgy interspersed with classes like “The Sociological Impact of Mercantilism in Western Europe: 1600-1750″ (you know, practical, useful information that would directly impact and inform a later career). But it soon became clear that despite such unilaterally manic depictions of the college experience, it was in fact a far more complex transition, and one that was deceptively challenging …
Feminism | Posted by Sabrina N on 05/12/2014
On Overcoming Body Hatred
The first time I felt bad about my body was at my best friend’s swimming pool birthday party, when I was just 11 years old. My friend, who has a very different body shape than I do, was much smaller than me at the time and I felt too conspicuous. It made the party I had been so looking forward to into a miserable experience. I felt like I was taking up too much space– a hard thing to conceptualize at any age, let alone 11.
As I got older, my dislike towards my body became less vague and more intense. I started hating my calves; I began to loathe my thighs. I constantly compared myself to others, and I thought about my weight way more than anyone should. It …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Paulina P on 04/2/2014
Body Shaming In College Health Services Needs to Stop
“So it says on your record that you have a history with an eating disorder.”
“Yes,” I sputtered. I know it’s true, but no matter how many times the nurse practitioners read it to me at Barnard College Student Health Services, it still feels uncomfortable.
“All right, well, we have a new policy where we have to weigh you once a year. I know we weighed you in the fall, but let’s just do it again.”
For years, these numbers ruled my world. Every day I would step on the scale, and that determined my worth—which is why in my second year of recovery, I refuse to weigh myself. In the fall, a nurse read the same medical history to me. She told me the same policy, and I stepped …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 03/1/2014
Saturday Vids: Lily Myers “Shrinking Woman”
You may have already seen the viral video of Lily Myers’ beautiful spoken poem “Shrinking Woman,” but in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, it’s definitely worth experiencing again. All I can say is PREACH, Lily.
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Paulina P on 02/24/2014
Body Positivity Looks Different For Each Person
I clearly did not wake up like this. There is liquid eyeliner on my eyes to create this cat eye, there is bronzer on my cheekbones to create the illusion that I have been in the sunlight, and there is fire-engine red lipstick on my lips to make me feel like Marilyn Monroe. But let me tell you, I feel fierce. I feel sexy. I feel unstoppable.
My friend and I recently held a Body Positive photo shoot campaign as a publicity event for the Eating Disorders Awareness and Body Positive Week we are organizing at Columbia University. Since the week is Feb. 24 to 27, we wanted to get people excited and involved before our week of events. We asked students to come in their most confident form and …
Feminism | Posted by Natalia R. on 10/31/2013
Young, Feminist and Hungry: An Insider’s Perspective On Body Image
As a teenage girl, I’m constantly haunted by social and cultural standards that dictate harmful and confusing messages, like that a low weight is correlated with beauty, that you need to be thin to be desirable, and that young women not only individually need to be thin but should attack those who don’t live up to these standards.
I started to experience issues related to weight and beauty at around the age of 9-10. Most people point to the media as the culprit for these messages and while it certainly plays a part, I actually don’t remember watching shows that portrayed only (or, at least, mainly) thin actresses the way they seem to now. In fact, I remember these shows featuring actresses who would be considered “normal” (which would now …
Feminism | Posted by Nicole J on 08/21/2013
It’s The Small Things That Count
What is passion? First, you discover something — maybe a sport, a hobby, or even a problem in your community. The “something” (whatever it is) snatches a bit of your soul. Without the “something,” you feel a little empty — you’re hooked. You can’t stop playing the sport, doing the hobby, or pondering solutions to the community issue. Passion drives us. It feels so good to do what you love.
My “something” is creating teddy bears and recruiting other bear-makers. Before you laugh at me, hear me out: in 2010, I was hospitalized for anorexia. The visiting hours in the eating disorder unit were limited. At night, I wished that the doctors would release me. I wanted to be home again. While I was in the hospital, I received stuffed …