Sad body image factoids (plus my thoughts on the matter)

Imagine how much free time you would have for thinking about the stuff that matters, if you weren’t thinking about what you hate about your body. ¬†More time for thinking about what fun things you could do this weekend, or time to plot and plan the perfect birthday party for a friend, or just time to aimlessly daydream.

Yet that is the body type that so many are starving and hating themselves to get.

The media is killing our kid’s spirits ūüė¶

I was one of these girls.  I dieted off and on from the age of probably 12 to 31.  I starved myself (going a day or more without eating) and used diet pills before I was even old enough to buy them. (My father bought them for me)

Girls this young should be thinking about their next slumber party or learning how to do a cartwheel, not about dieting.

Imagine if society and the media celebrated all bodies as beautiful, ho many fewer people would not fall victim to eating disorders. (I am aware that there are other reasons that people get eating disorders, however I believe that truly celebrating all bodies as beautiful would do a lot to help)

Undergrads should be thinking about projects and exams, not dieting and their weight.  Depriving your body of nutrients on the latest fad diet only makes it harder to study, concentrate, and remember the information.

I makes me sad and angry that physical attractiveness seems to be the number one focus of all advertisements, especially those aimed at women.  Why are women and girls so rarely celebrated for their brilliant minds, artistic talent, kindness, or anything but their bodies!?!

Spoooon!

Thankfully MurderofGoths reminded me, or I would have missed Blogging Against Disablism Day!

I’ve discussed the issue of disability and being a Spoonie a bit previously here. ¬†Today I want to look at the ways in which fitspo is actually shaming, ableist, and hurtful.

Fistspo, or fitness inspiration, has become very popular on all social media platforms. ¬†Fistpo’s “goal”, as touted by those who create and share it, is to “inspire” you to get fit. ¬†Usually this is done with “inspiring” statements encouraging viewers to get off their asses and go work out, plastered across pictures of washboard abs or rock solid glutes. ¬†“What’s your excuse?” is a popular phrase, brought into the media spotlight by Maria Kang. ¬†Click to read the ABC news story on her picture, but be warned, she makes no apologies for her fat-shaming or how it may have hurt anyone who saw the image.

The problem with fitspo, and especially with phrases like “What’s your excuse?”, is that it leaves out a lot of important considerations. ¬†First and foremost being that no one needs an excuse for not looking like a fitness model or even for not exercising. ¬†Why? Because it’s no one else’s business but your own what you choose to do with your body. Period. Full stop. ¬†I don’t need an “excuse” because I do not have to justify my existence to anyone, TYVM.

Fitspo can also be highly problematic to anyone who suffers with eating disorders, body dis-morphia, or self-esteem issues. ¬†For someone who is struggling to love their body and is doing the very hard work of learning how to take care of their body again, images such as these can cause major setbacks. ¬†According to the ANAD, “up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S”. ¬†In addition, “95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.8”, and “The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old” (emphasis mine). ¬†These images do nothing to help millions of young people who are already bombarded every day with media that tells them that in order to be pretty/popular/or worthy, they must be thin, at any cost.

Now, relating to how fitspo plays into ableism, its images and messages ignore the fact that many people, especially those dealing with disabilities, both visible and invisible, may not be able to participate in fitness, especially to the degree required to achieve washboard abs and roch hard glutes. ¬†For someone like myself, who is dealing with fibromyalgia, or for those who deal with diseases such as lyme, lupus, or CFS, our disability is likely less visible. ¬†So according to proponents of fitspo and the like, we have “no excuse”. ¬†Never mind the fact that there are days when I debate with myself for 10 minutes about whether taking a shower is worth the pain it will cause, let alone going to the gym for a workout. Even people with visible disabilities such as those that require them to use a wheelchair or prosthetic limbs, have no excuse thanks to so-called ‘inspiration porn’, images of disabled individuals doing Crossfit and lifting a barbell with one arm, wheelchair athletes, and the like. ¬†Now, I’m certainly not trying to downplay anyone’s athletic achievements, able bodied or differently abled. ¬†My point is that no matter your ability, the only acceptable body is still one that is fit and active. ¬†And the inspiration porn featuring disabled folks is hardly celebrating their achievements. ¬†Rather it serves as a message to able bodied folks that says “Look at this poor disabled person. ¬†He only has one arm but he can lift weights and have a muscular body! ¬†If he can do it, then you have no excuse!”

I am all for finding things to inspire you to find enjoyable ways to move your body, if you so choose. ¬†However, I would like to see more positive images, rather than images meant to shame you into doing what other people think you should. ¬†I believe in finding ways to move your body, simply because it makes you feel good. ¬†I also believe that no one knows your body better than you, and therefore no one else knows what you can or cannot handle on any given day. ¬†Some days I can hop on the treadmill, zone out, and walk/jog/run for 3 miles, and love every minute of it. ¬†Some days I can get off the treadmill, do 20 minutes of work on weights, and then hop in the pool for a 15 minute swim, and finish up feeling tired but great. ¬†Then there are some days where if I can manage the drive to the gym, all I can handle when I get there is a 10 minutes of gentle movement in the warm pool. ¬†Or maybe I just go and sit in the steam room or hot tub to loosen the knots that seem to have moved in to every muscle of my body. ¬†Some days I can’t even manage the drive to the gym, and just do my best to get from my chair to the bathroom when I need to pee!

Fitspo and its proponents seem to forget that all bodies are good bodies. ¬†They forget that it isn’t anyone’s business but my own whether I exercise or sit of my duff. ¬†They forget that not only is body shaming cruel, but it does far more harm than good.

My hope is that one day we will celebrate the wonder and beauty in EVERY body, rather than just those that fit society’s narrow standards of beauty.

I want to encourage you to celebrate your body today (and every day) for all the crazy-cool things it can do. ¬†Take some time today to check your sexy self out in the mirror. ¬†Find those spots that bother you, those spots that the media says are “trouble spots” and need to be “slimmed/smoothed/reduced”. ¬†Really look at your body, especially any areas that you have trouble loving. ¬†Touch those spots and find something about them to compliment. ¬†For me, my belly has been a source of shame for too many years. ¬†Now when I look in the mirror, I like to look at my belly (from the front AND the side!) and tell myself how much I love it’s soft curves that look like a big, rolling hill. ¬†Some nights I lie in bed and caress my belly and focus on how soft it is, tickle the little happy trail that lets from my big round belly down onto my pudgy pubic mound.

Today, whether you are able-bodied or not, whether you have all the limbs or are rocking some bionic bits, whether you have all the spoons you need or are struggling to find a stray spoon that might let you wash your hair….take a little time today to love yourself. ¬†Celebrate the body that you are in, right here, right now. ¬†Because no matter what, you are alive. ¬†And that, my friends, is pretty damn cool.

Jes Baker tells Lane Bryant what is wrong with the #I’mNoAngel campaign

Holy blogging, Batman! ¬†Jes Baker one again hits the nail right on the head. ¬†Today she posted an open letter to Lind Heasley, of Lane Bryant, ¬†discussing their new #I’mNoAngel campaign, and the problems many of us have been discussing in relation to it. ¬†Jes discusses many of the same issues I laid out in my previous post on the topic, probing each in more depth, as well as discussing things I hadn’t, like how only seeing a few body types as “acceptable” only serves to add to the myriad of reasons that so many girls and women develop body dysmorphia and eating disorders. ¬†Jes says,

“When a person is constantly bombarded by images of one “ideal” body (plus or otherwise) it wreaks havoc on their psyche. The continual exposure mentally trains them to believe that only ONE body is worthy and this unfortunate social conditioning is one of the largest contributors to low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and other severe body image related issues- all of which affect daily living. Visible diversity is a solution to these problems, and asking for it is anything but egotistical. It‚Äôs absolutely necessary.”

Jes even went a step further, putting together a photo shoot to demonstrate to Linda Heasley the type of representation that she is suggesting. ¬†Jes gathered some more badass babes like herself and created photos reminiscent of LB’s original images, but with much, MUCH more diversity. ¬†(Side note, I like to imagine that Jes and her friends have some sort of secret signal that they put out when a badass girl gang is needed. ¬†Then they are all “Gir-vengers, Assemble!” and this amazing girl gang appears, looking fabulous and fierce.)

Seriously folks, go check out this post. ¬†It says everything I have said, plus so much more that I didn’t, and it is so well-written and obviously though out. ¬†I absolutely devoured every delicious word as I read it.

And yes, I do totally have a massive sapiosexual girl-crush on Jes, and reeeeealy hope to have the chance to meet her and soak in her awesomeness one day!

ETA: HOLY POOPCAKES Jes and her campaign made the front page of the Huffington Post!!!!!

Happy Friday!

I decided I liked last Friday’s cute and happy post so much that I want to do it again.

Today I am sharing some body positive comics that I found while wandering around the interwebs.

Via MoMakesComics

captain floppy asscheeks, here to save the day and promote body-love for all.

Next up, ColleenClarkArt!¬† Click the comic to read the rest. ¬†It’s totally worth it, I promise!

image

OurSuperAdventure

I am feeling real body positive lately because bodies are dead cool!! they come in lots of different shapes and sizes and I think that is pretty neat!!
(Read more diary comics over at oursuperadventure.com!!

The last one is from MayaKern, and it is one of my favorites!  While you are there, check out this one too, it might just be my second favorite!

Outfit of the Day Review

I thought I would change the reviews up a bit today and review a couple of things that I am currently wearing.

Last week I found Feminine Funk via another blogger, and it was love at first sight!  The folks over at Feminine Funk have fantastic, cheeky tees for curvy ladies (and gents!).  I ordered two shirts, which arrived yesterday.  I am wearing one of them today!

curvy life 99.JPGpic from FeminieFunk.com

Today’s shirt says “I didn’t choose the curvy life. It chose me.” Not only are these tees funny and smart, they are all sized for curvy ladies (sizes go up to a 3x, which is listed as a 22/24), and they are incredibly soft! ¬†I ordered my shirts in a 2x (I wear between a US 18-22 in jeans, and have a 42 DDD bust) and they fit great. ¬†They are fitted enough to show off your curves, without being skin tight. ¬†And they aren’t so loose that it feels like you are wearing a tent.

I also ordered the shirt that says “I got 99 problems, but my curves ain’t one.”¬† I love it too, and will probably wear it later this week.

pink ninety problems 2.jpg pic via FeminineFunk.com

The second item for review is a jacket I picked up from Torrid last month.  I had a wedding to go to and I wanted to put together a cute outfit to wear.  I wore a tee, a skirt, and some leggings that I already had, but when I was trying stuff the day before the wedding, it felt like the outfit needed something more.  Plus it was February in the Midwest and it was really freaking cold.  DH and I popped over to Torrid to see what they had.

I have had a thing for blazers for a while.  I love the flexibility of being able to dress it up or down easily.  Needless to day, when I found the Ruched Sleeve Ponte Blazer, I had to have it.

pic via Torrid.com

This jacket was perfect for the wedding, and for every day wear. ¬†It finished off my dressed up look nicely, making it look polished but not stuffy. ¬†Wearing it over a tshirt, like I am today, it gives kind of an ‘office casual’ feel that I am really liking. ¬†It is also a nice medium-weight material. ¬†It was enough to keep me warm in February walking to and from the car, but not so much that I sweat like crazy through the wedding. ¬†Today it’s perfect for the cool (but not frigid) spring weather, and keeping me warm in my chilly basement office.

Today’s outfit is jeans paired with the Feminine Funk tee and the Torrid blazer. ¬†My jeans are Angels, which I didn’t even know had their own website till I started writing this post! ¬†I usually pick mine up from Gordmans, or maybe JC Penney, on the rare occasions I hit up a Penney’s. ¬†According to Google they are also sold at Kohls. ¬†I’ve had this pair for over a year, so I can’t find a pic, sorry!

So there ya go, that’s my simple office-casual look for today.

What is your favorite cheeky t-shirt?  Any great tees for fat chicks?  What are your favorite fat girl jeans?

QOTD

I have a few post ideas running around in my head, but I also have a cold running around up there.  So the ideas are kind of wandering through my brainmeats, getting stuck in goop, and looking confused.

I promise there is another review post coming soon.  I have 2 items left from ModCloth and 2 from eShakti, plus some new stuff I got last weekend from Torrid.

In the meantime, have an awesome quote. ¬†You do not have to be ‘pretty’. ¬†You do not have to be thin. ¬†You do not have to be fat. You do not have to look a certain way. ¬†You owe looks/beauty/conformity to NO ONE. ¬†Just be you, do YOU, and rock it!

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