“I know that I felt really like Vogue supported me and wanted to put a depiction of me on the cover. I never felt bullied into anything; I felt really happy because they dressed me and styled me in a way that really reflects who I am. And I felt that was very lucky and that all the editors understood my persona, my creativity and who I am. … A fashion magazine is like a beautiful fantasy. Vogue isn’t the place that we go to look at realistic women, Vogue is the place that we go to look at beautiful clothes and fancy places and escapism and so I feel like if the story reflects me and I happen to be wearing a beautiful Prada dress and surrounded by beautiful men and dogs, what’s the problem? If they want to see what I really look like go watch the show that I make every single week.”
Slate caught up with Lena Dunham for her reaction to the non-controversy of her Vogue cover and the minute Photoshopping which occurred therein. You can read Lena’s full reaction over at Slate. I think the “Girls” creator/star handled questions about this well — although Slate blogger Katy Waldman is criticizing her for upholding “punishing, unnatural body norms” or something. Uh, did we look at the same pictures? Lena wasn’t airbrushed to the point where you didn’t recognize her anymore; as the before-and-after images show, there was minor slimming. It was truly Lena-Dunham-as-Photographed-by-Vogue. Frankly, I’m really happy to see someone who looks more like me than yet another twig-thin starlet (cough Allison Williams cough). We always ask to have a more “normal”-sized woman on the cover of women’s magazines. We finally got one. Seriously, let’s not complain about evvvverything, people. [Slate] [Photo: Vogue]
We’re all born with the ability to eat intuitively, to listen to our body’s needs, to eat nourishing foods when we’re hungry, to stop when we’re full. It’s our default setting; our natural state. Even just writing that out right now, it’s such a “duh” that I can’t believe how easy and common it is for people to lose this ability, but it is. I stopped eating intuitively when I was a kid. I can’t pinpoint one exact moment that my sense of hunger became more emotional than physical, but I remember lots of little moments that helped redefine my relationship with food:
- When I realized that eating half a box of Cheez-Its after school made me feel numb to the mean things my classmates had said to me that day.
- When my grandma literally stuffed cookies into my mouth while saying, “Don’t get fat.”
- When I started eating tons of refined carbs to self-medicate my ADD.
- When I learned to lean on food for emotional support.
And even beyond all that, I just genuinely love food. Always have. I view it as one of life’s great pleasures, but like any pleasure, overdoing it is a surefire way to take all the pleasure out of it. Keep reading »
It wouldn’t be January without the media focusing on anything and everything having to do with weight loss. One of my favorite activities around this time of year is to hate-scroll through The Daily Mail, the website with what I find to be the most absurd/offensive/dumb diet and weight-related headlines. Why do I this? Because it reminds me how important it is to continue to challenge these twisted ideas about body image. It’s easy to think that because you’re intellectually aware of the insidiousness of weight loss propaganda and body shame rhetoric, that you’re immune to falling prey to it. We’re all susceptible to the negative messages we receive our bodies that we receive. That’s why I make it a point to spend a little bit of time each January detoxing my mind — reminding myself what’s real about my relationship to my body and what’s a load of noise being piped into my subconscious. I already wrote about The Daily Mail’s warning about “buffalo humps” and “bingo wings,” but below are some more headlines that I need to call bullshit on. Keep reading »
Lena Dunham is naked, or partially naked, fairly frequently on “Girls.” (So is Jemima Kirke. Both Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet keep themselves more covered up.) Some of Lena’s nudity is during sex scenes, while a bunch of others are when her character is changing clothes, sitting on the toilet, or in the bath or shower. They are intended to be awkward, uncomfortable, or even humiliating. As is a fair amount of real-life nudity, frankly.
Yesterday, during a Television Critics Association Panel, The Wrap’s TV writer Tim Molloy asked Dunham why her character is naked so much on the show. The manner in which he “asked,” led to a curt response from Dunham, and a bit of a tongue lashing from producer Judd Apatow, who called Molloy “sexist,” “misogynistic” and “offensive.” Molloy then wrote an entire article complaining about the exchange. Keep reading »
“I think it’s important to look good and feel good about yourself, but I got both ways with it. I feel it’s cruel how the world puts so much emphasis on our looks. I was just watching ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ and I see Kim and what she went through when she was pregnant — the tabloids were so mean to her because she was big. At one point on the show she was upset and said something like, ‘I would be lying if I said that the criticism from the paparazzi while I’ve been pregnant hasn’t taken a toll on me.’ And I was like, ‘Bless your heart,’ because I remember that time. First of all you are already emotional and then the paparazzi are taking pictures of you pregnant. That should be the time [in you life] when your body is the most treasured. I loved being pregnant for so many reasons, not to mention the sex is awesome then. But in this business you make a deal with the devil. I’ve learned you kind of have to go with it. What I do calls for me to look good. People expect that. I kind of take it as my job.”
Britney Spears isn’t known for thoughtful commentary on, well, anything, so I was pleasantly surprised to read her criticism of the entertainment industry in the latest issue of InStyle. I would have expected Brit to say something more like “I LOOOOOVE doing 6,000 crunches a day!” But she shows a lot of empathy here for the vicious beauty and weight pressures faced by female celebs. It is, of course, a subject she knows all too well. Even if I understand what women like Britney and Kim get out of their “deal with the devil,” it’s still extremely sad this deal has to exist. [InStyle] [Image via WENN]
Last week, I wrote about Jen Selter, a 20-year-old Long Island woman who supposedly has the “best butt on Instagram.” While Jen does indeed have a fantastic derriere, I was more interested in what she told the New York Post about her booty pics: they are inspiring. I quote: “If [my Instagram account] motivates people to get their butts up and go to the gym, why not?” Jen Selter’s mom echoed the same sentiment. “I’m very proud of her because this is a girl who didn’t want to go to college, and she was able to build up this social media in such a way that she has become famous and she is an inspiration and motivation for so many people,” her mom said.
There are a few other fitness buffs who’ve called themselves inspirational to other women. A few months ago, Lea-Ann Ellison drew the Internet’s ire for posing for photos doing Crossfit training while eight months pregnant, specifically lifting heavy weights. In a post on Facebook, she wrote:
I can’t believe this photo has caused this much stir but it makes me hopeful that it will inspire other strong healthy moms to continue on doing what they love. Pregnancy is not an illness! Get it Moms!
Then, of course, there is Maria Kang, a mother of three young children who posted a picture of herself in a bikini alongside her kids with the tag line, ‘What’s your excuse?’ “I wanted to inspire people,” Maria told Yahoo Shine. “I wanted to say, ‘I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too.’” Keep reading »
“I do not currently have a scale, because as I’ve said before, getting on a scale is like asking Dick Cheney to give you a sense of your own self-worth… I can still get my jeans on, for one reason: I wear forgiving pants. The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing. I struggle with enough self-esteem issues without letting my jeans get in on the act.
So please join me in not starting a diet January 1st.
It’s really okay, though, to have (or pray for) an awakening around your body. It’s okay to stop hitting the snooze button, and pay attention to what makes you feel great about yourself, one meal at a time. It’s an inside job. If you are not okay with yourself at 185, you will not be okay at 150, or even 135. The self-respect and serenity you long for is not out there. It’s within. I hate that. I resent that more than I can say. But it’s true.”
– Anne Lamott, one of my favorite writers, just posted a refreshingly honest and inspiring manifesto against new year’s dieting on her Facebook page. Read the whole thing here. And if you do decide to abandon your diet resolutions (hear, hear!), don’t worry, we’ve got a list of 101 alternative resolutions, none of which require a gym membership, measuring tape, or moratorium on carbs. [Facebook]
There are Asian dolls and Jewish dolls and Black dolls … and 1,894 variations of other dolls that Mattel, Bratz and the American Girl Company have dreamed up. But to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a doll that more accurately reflects the body size of the majority of American women — that is to say, not a size 2. Even a Barbie who wasn’t plus-size but simply less impossibly slim would be an improvement! This image of a plus-size Barbie is, of course, just a mockup (which was posted on the Facebook page for Plus Size Modeling and is garnering the usual criticisms/praise). But in all honesty, a doll like this should exist. If we can’t get rid of Barbie dolls for little kids, we could at least make her more realistic looking. [Daily Mail UK] [Image via Daily Mail UK]
Jes Baker of The Militant Baker has done some really powerful, creative projects in the name of body positivity and fat acceptance, but her most recent undertaking might be her best one yet. Jes teamed up with photographer Liora K to produce a series of mock perfume ads for a made-up fragrance called “Lustworthy.” The images have all the trappings of traditional fragrance ads — sexy models lusting for each other, risque positions, an intense physical connection, skimpy lingerie in a snowy forest, etc — but there’s one major difference: the female model in these ads isn’t tall and skinny, she’s plus-size.
The photos will make you do a double-take and might even make you uncomfortable, but that’s the whole point. Keep reading »