Tag Archives: body image

Mirror, Mirror: In Praise Of Awkward Beauty

Mirror, Mirror: Rules
Kate comes up with better beauty rules. Read More »
Talking About Bodies
Kate reflects on hearing men talk about women's bodies. Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Girls
Why Kate's always checking them out. Read More »

Fairest shmairest! Let’s get real about beauty and body image. Mirror, Mirror is a column running every other Thursday on The Frisky. It is written by Brooklyn-based columnist, freelance writer, and bagel enthusiast, Kate Fridkis who also writes the blog Eat the Damn Cake. You can follow her on Twitter at @eatthedamncake.

So I’ve given it some thought and I’d like to propose the establishment of a new category of beauty. Awkward Beauty. That’s my working title.

Awkward Beauty sometimes looks like it’s not beauty at all, but that’s wrong. That’s only because we’ve gotten so boring. We’ve watched too many shampoo commercials. Look closer. It doesn’t fit in, but it’s the real deal. Not like Emma Watson playing Hermione Granger with smooth hair. No, like the real Hermione Granger, who had features that stood out, hair that couldn’t be stopped.

The current popular definition of beauty seems to have a lot to do with shininess. Shiny hair, shiny legs, shiny lips, very big, very shiny eyes. Shiny boobs are a plus. The current definition involves a lot of strict symmetry, sort of like those photos that Science compiled of every face in the world that end up with one totally smoothed-out face that everyone thinks is the most beautiful because there is NOTHING interesting on it at all. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: In Comedy Is “Fat & White” The New “Sassy & Black”?

Tokenism?
Erica says lay off "Girls" for being all-white and give black girls a show. Read More »
Casting Nina Simone
Is Hollywood still colorstruck? The search for Nina Simone is skin deep. Read More »
Mindy's Race Jokes
The Mindy Project
"The Mindy Project" makes some squicky jokes about race. Read More »

I was recently contacted through my website by a pregnant black woman who inquired about hiring me to perform standup at her baby shower. She and her husband were diehard comedy fans, and thought it would be fun to have a comic perform for their guests.

“How did you find me?” I asked. “I Googled ‘Fat Black Female Comics’ and you were one of the women that popped up!” she answered. “Everyone knows that fat black women are the funniest comics alive!”

After I hung up the phone, I sat there for a moment trying to figure out if I should be offended or not. While I understand that she was trying to be complimentary, I’m not sure if I am flattered by someone thinking that I am automatically funny just because I am plus-sized and black. Then I thought about the $1,500 she offered to pay me to stand in the middle of her living room and crack jokes for 30 minutes, and I instantly felt better. Throughout my career, I’ve been paid much less to do far worse. There was plenty of time for me to be offended later, but for now it was time to get paid!

Comedy is hard work, no matter what you look like. The perception that fat black women have an edge up, purely because of the size of their bodies, diminishes the amount of hard work, discipline and creativity that it takes for us to create this art form known as comedy. Furthermore, I think it’s crazy that someone would assume that all fat black women are funny.

On the other hand, I get it. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: On Hearing Men Talk About Women’s Bodies

10 Ways To Love Your Body
Summer's the perfect time to show your bod some love! Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Girls
Why Kate's always checking them out. Read More »
Relationships & Body Image
How does your love life affect your body image? Read More »

I was on the train, heading back to NYC from New Jersey and there were three guys sitting behind me. They were talking about life. Which meant that they were mostly talking about girls.

“Sometimes some girls ask me if I have an ideal woman,” said the guy with the deep, commanding baritone, his voice carrying over the crackling of a broken ceiling speaker. He paused for dramatic effect.“I can give you measurements.”

The other guys chuckled, low and a little menacing.

Deep Voice didn’t leave his bros wondering. “34 C,” he said. “Definitely 34 C…” Keep reading »

An Incomplete History Of Body Trends, According To “The New York Times”

Better Beauty Rules
Kate proposes some better beauty rules to follow. Read More »
NYTimes Style Section
The NYTtimes Style section forecasts some pretty obvious things. Read More »
Show Your Legs!
Here are some reasons to show off your legs. Read More »

Last week The New York Times ”Style” section reported that legs — “exposed legs, smooth and coltish” — are “tak[ing] their turn” as the body’s trendiest part. To the casual reader, it might seem strange that something as universally desirable as shapely legs could be having a moment. On the other hand, what took them so long? Hominids went bipedal, what, 4 million years ago? But to focus on such details would be to lose sight of the singular joys of the body trend story, a staple of the Times Style section.

Media critics have long delighted in dissecting the Times’ so-called “bogus trend story,” like The Great Unwashed, House Parties with Bartenders (“It’s My Sh-Bam”), and The Momshell. The body trend piece makes these tightrope walks of anecdotal journalism look simple. It doesn’t look at trends in body types; that would be too easy. Rather, the body trend story seamlessly folds individual parts of the human body — standard issue and inescapable though they are — into the familiar cycle of fashion trending. Hemlines up, hemlines down, eyebrows in, eyebrows out. Read more …

Girl Talk: I Had An Eating Disorder

Exploiting Anorexia
Tracey Gold photo
Will a new reality TV show exploit women with eating disorders? Read More »
Free Therapy?
12 totally free ways to improve your mental health. Read More »
Find A Therapist
therapist photo
Seven tips for finding the right therapist. Read More »
How To Deal
Life is hard. Sometimes we all need help dealing. Read More »

This piece is part of The Frisky’s How To Deal Week, in which we’re tackling mental health issues.

A week before my high school graduation, my doctor told me that I had to go to the hospital.

My weight had fallen too low, my EKG results were scary, and my continued refusal to eat was putting my life in danger. While my classmates went to college orientation, I went to nutrition counseling and group therapy. For two years I had faithfully obeyed the voice in my head that told me that if I ate more than the acceptable amount of food (an amount that kept getting smaller and smaller), I would be weak, my body and the world would spin out of control, and something terrible would happen. And yet something terrible was happening anyway.

I was losing every bit of control over my life, and goals I had spent years working towards — a scholarship to an elite college, freedom from my family and small town — were slipping from my grasp. I realized there was something I feared even more than the voice in my head, and I started to fight back. I obeyed the nutritionist even when my mind told me it couldn’t possibly be okay to eat this much food. I started to gain weight. And in the fall I enrolled in college. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: A Reluctant Defense Of Pro-Ana Blogs

Pro-Ana Shirts Banned
The Kate Moss-inspired shirts pulled from shelves. Read More »
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
One woman's experience battling this disorder. Read More »
Exploiting Anorexia
Tracey Gold photo
Will a new reality TV show exploit women with eating disorders? Read More »

This piece was originally published on xoJane.com.

A new study into the hoary underworld of pro-anorexia bloggers has discovered the unexpected: pro-ana communities may not exclusively be the dark pits of self-destruction they are typically assumed to be. The survey, conducted by researchers from Indiana University, suggests rather candidly that pro-ana communities may provide better support than traditional eating disorder treatments, and that said communities even continue to provide assistance to those who have decided to begin recovery.  Keep reading »

Mirror, Mirror: 11 Better Beauty Rules

Mirror, Mirror: Girls
Why Kate's always checking them out. Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Carbs
Is Kate the only person who still eats carbs? Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Bra
Why Kate's ditching her padded bra. Read More »

Fairest shmairest! Let’s get real about beauty and body image. Mirror, Mirror is a column running every other Thursday on The Frisky. It is written by Brooklyn-based columnist, freelance writer, and bagel enthusiast, Kate Fridkis who also writes the blog Eat the Damn Cake. You can follow her on Twitter at @eatthedamncake.

I have this giant list of beauty rules stuck in my head. It was implanted there when I was just a little girl, and although a lot of the work was done by this really popular girl in my 6th grade Hebrew School class, American Culture also contributed plenty.

Don’t wear short skirts unless you have long legs. Don’t wear horizontal stripes, you’ll look wider. Wear black, it’s slimming. Don’t wear long dresses unless you have long legs. Moisturize or you’ll get wrinkles. Don’t wear red lipstick if you’re too pale. Stay out of the sun. Get a tan. Don’t wear something low cut unless you have cleavage (you’ll look like a boy in a dress)/ don’t wear something low cut if you have cleavage (you’ll look trashy). Don’t wear anything anyone might consider sexy to work. Don’t wear heels if you’re too tall. Don’t wear flats if you’re too short. Don’t eat too much cake. If your nose is too big, you’re screwed. If you have short legs, your life will be sadder than it might have been.

On and on and on and on forever.

I want to write some new rules. I want to write a whole book of new rules. Maybe an encyclopedia set. But I have to start somewhere, so: Keep reading »

To Hell With “Plus Size,” It’s All About “Your Size”

Fatshionable
A fashion blog for women who are proud of their bodies! Read More »

Step aside, Victoria’s Secret Angels: the gorgeous — and I mean gorgeous — Robyn Lawley is about to make some size-14 waves in the lingerie circuit. She’s the new face of Boux Avenue, a major chain of lingerie stores based in the UK, which is particularly refreshing and awesome in that it doesn’t define itself as being a “plus-size” or “straight-sized” brand. They encourage total inclusivity and provide their offerings “for everybody, no matter what your age, size, or style,” which really speaks to me considering I stopped shopping at Victoria’s Secret when I was, like, 14 because my boobs had outgrown their Dorito-sized offerings. “Sorry, you’ll have to go online for that,” they told me. Nah, I’ll probably just go home because now I’m hungry for Doritos.

Anyway, I’ve been a fan of Robyn since I spotted her on the cover of Vogue Italia last year, and she has the type of body and totally infectious sex appeal that inspires me to stop feeling like an insecure sorry-ass, and put on the damn lace panties already. I could never, ever argue with that. [The Gloss]

Mirror, Mirror: I’m Always Checking Out Other Women

Mirror, Mirror: Carbs
Is Kate the only person who still eats carbs? Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Bra
Why Kate's ditching her padded bra. Read More »
Mirror, Mirror: Skinny
Kate used to be known as the skinny girl. Read More »

Fairest shmairest! Let’s get real about beauty and body image. Mirror, Mirror is a column running every other Thursday on The Frisky. It is written by Brooklyn-based columnist, freelance writer, and bagel enthusiast, Kate Fridkis who also writes the blog Eat the Damn Cake. You can follow her on Twitter at @eatthedamncake.

I am always checking out other women. I can’t help it. They look good. It’s not a secret. They look better than men.

Women wear bright, interesting colors in creative combinations. They wear catchy jewelry and have fantastic, innovative hair. They do bold, playful things with makeup. They have cool shoes. They stand out. So I want to look at them. And then I feel awkward, because maybe I’m being weird. Maybe I’m just as bad as the annoying guys who are always staring hungrily at young women on the F train, when those women are just trying to read their damn book, thank you very much.

I feel just like a gross guy, because it seems like one gaze isn’t that much different than the other. And I don’t know what the rules really are. Or what they should be, for straight women checking out other women. Keep reading »

Panty Power: How Pretty Underwear Can Boost Body Image

Two weeks ago, I went for a bra fitting. Having been told by dozens of style experts that 137 percent of women wear the wrong bra size, I fully expected to be told that my 34C was FAR too small/big/narrow/high/thick/whatever for my frame. Miraculously, the lingerie shop owner confirmed that I was already wearing the correct size. I will admit to feeling slightly smug about this.

My smugness dissipated as she began to show me a dazzling assortment of silky, frilly, and coyly transparent bras in every style and shape imaginable. I’d worn my one cute bra to the fitting: A satin leopard print that fit beautifully, but featured thick straps and strangely stodgy detailing. Somehow, just glimpsing the universe of beautiful underthings that I’d been studiously ignoring for the past 20 years made me feel anxious. Virtually all of my friends wore and adored gorgeous lingerie, but I’d dismissed it as a frivolous expense and focused on flattering but practical underthings for myself. Yet as I discussed the physics of bras with the owner — learning about underwire placement, the importance of band fitting, and how different styles would achieve different silhouettes — I knew I needed to formulate a plan. A panty plan. Read more…

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