“The secret to body after baby is flushing down the toilet every notion of body after baby. Honestly! … I made a commitment to not allow my narrative for the year after having a baby to be about my weight. And I think that freed me up and it made me less concerned with all the pressures that revolve around body image. I was like, ‘I have a baby. Do you know how awesome that is? It’s so radical! Why on earth am I going to be so concerned with my pants size?’”
Bless Kristen Bell for her refreshing outlook on that whole “body after baby” obsession that our culture demands of new moms, especially new celebrity moms. She’s the coolest and daughter Lincoln clearly has a great role model to look up to as she grows up. [E! Online]
“I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”
–Mindy Kaling brilliantly deconstructs the media’s obsession with her confidence in the latest issue of Parade magazine. “There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me,” she adds, “and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them. But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art.” PREACH. [Marie Claire]
I was absentmindedly flipping through the massive October issue of InStyle magazine over the weekend when I paused on a page in the “Beauty At Any Age” section. Titled, “Pucker Up! Secrets To Full, Smooth Lips,” the page included recommendations for skincare products and lip gloss for women of different ages. Pretty standard fashion magazine fodder. But down at the bottom of the page was something that wasn’t so standard: recommendations for plastic surgery procedures. “Lusting after lush, pillowy lips and a dramatically smoother smile?” the text read. “All it may take is a few quick shots.”
Say whaaaaaat?! Keep reading »
If you are a bride, you pose for a lot of photos.
You pose for photos to announce your engagement. You pose for photos at your bachelorette party. You pose for photos at your shower. You pose for photos with your groom-to-be, and with your best friends, and with your family, and with your parents, and then more with your groom. You pose for a lot of photos by yourself, looking happy.
It’s a good time to be photographed, of course. Most of the time, you won’t be able to stop smiling. You’re about to legally bind yourself to the person you love and want to have sex with forever and ever. And someone’s going to give you a really dope food processor as a wedding gift. What’s not to smile about?
It’s also a time that you, as a bride, will become very, very self-conscious of your body. Because as a bride, everything about how you look is going to be on display. Keep reading »
In the twelve years that Mayor Bloomberg has presided over New York City, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (srsly, that’s for real, MENTAL HYGIENE) has been responsible for quite a few not always-well-received ad campaigns. The words “controversial” and occasionally “insensitive” come to mind — hello, human fat being poured out of a soda bottle; nice to see you, comically-crying “child of a teen mother.” (There was also that time they took a photo of a healthy two-legged man and Photoshopped him into a diabetes-suffering amputee.)
The department’s latest venture, which takes the form of posters to be found primarily in subways and on street corners, takes a slightly different approach than the usual I’m hungover and even if I weren’t I still didn’t really need to see that on my way to work this morning scare tactics. In fact, the NYC Girls Project is the rare positive stab at successful outreach. The posters, as well as the accompanying city-sponsored fitness programs and #imagirl Twitter campaign, are aimed at young girls aged 7 to 12. As more than 80 percent of 10-year-old girls are “afraid of being fat,” and with “body satisfaction” hitting rock bottom between 12 and 15, the idea behind the campaign is that some of these body image issues can be addressed as early as possible before things start to get rough (which we all know they will anyway, of course). Keep reading »
Remember in middle school when you thought you had “chipmunk cheeks” and hated yourself for it? Well, your face was prime real estate! Celebrities are paying upwards of $1,000 a pop for cherubic contours like yours. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, “baby face” becomes your personal fountain of youth when you start to get older and ladies are clamoring for it left and right. Women with naturally round cheeks have a leg up over thin-faced women when they want to begin attempting to “defy the aging process.” (Except you’re still aging on the inside, hun. Nobody’s defying anything.)
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Just when you thought humanity wasn’t headed down the shitter after all, novelty store It’Sugar thought it would be a fun idea to sell baby clothes with creepy sexual statements emblazoned on the front of them. Phrases like “hung like a preschooler”, “I’m proof my mommy puts out,” and “does this diaper make my butt look big?” stand out, amongst others. Gross. Young people are bombarded with the pressure to be “sexy” before their age even hits double digits these days, but now sexual jokes are starting before the kid can even walk? Not cool. These clothes aren’t just sexual, they’re also flat-out body shaming. Do we really need to be scrutinizing the size of a baby’s butt? I’m pretty positive the company meant for these clothes to be taken as a joke, but that’s how ideology takes root: it starts out as something seemingly innocuous that’s not to be taken seriously, but then all of a sudden it’s totally ingrained into a person’s thoughts and a five-year-old is crying over whether her butt looks big because she’s been wearing clothes with phrases like this on them since before she could talk. Can’t kids just be kids for half a second without having to think about their bodies? If this is a sign of the times, I’m not too excited for whatever nasty ideas people are going to come up with next. [Change.org]
I try to restrain myself from straying too far down the rabbit hole of the vaguely dehumanizing, inherently anti-feminist fuckery that is Victoria’s Secret, but that was before I knew they gave out a “Sexiest Curves” trophy. Sure, if they simply must do it, I’m glad they decided to give it to Shakira, a wildly talented dancer, philanthropist, and MENSA genius who also happens to be beautiful… But why? Where, exactly, does a Victoria’s Secret “Sexiest Curves” award fit into the world? Riddle me that. [Huffington Post]
The sad truth is that body snarking may not ever end. The pressure to look a certain way may just continue to get worse. The eating disorders and thinking disorders that accompany poor body image may keep spiraling out of control. The disconnection and hatred women feel for their bodies may only grow stronger. The dehumanization, objectification, and transmogrification of the female body may continue to flourish. The way we see it, the only way to protect ourselves from this sad truth is to steel ourselves against it. We might not have grown up armed with the right tools to fight the wolf in the cereal bowl or the mean boys on the playground or the airbrushed models in magazines, but we can prepare the next generation of young women to brush these messages off and treat their bodies with kindness and respect.
Below are 10 powerful body affirmations to help young women to stay strong and love their bodies in spite of all the insidious messages to the contrary. Because in crazy, complicated times like these, “Love your body” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Share this list with the young women in your life who might need a dose of body positivity, or use it to remind yourself that all of us, and all of our bodies, deserve better.
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We’ve all got to pay rent somehow. Kristy Love from Atlanta, Georgia, uses her 48NN boobs — but not the way you think. Love is a “busty masseuse” who smothers and massages clients with her large breasts. Keep reading »