While waiting in line at the grocery store this weekend, I was glancing at the magazine rack when I saw a tabloid cover celebrating its annual “Best And Worst Bikini Bodies” list. As I examined the close-up photos of cellulite and fat rolls accompanied by helpful headlines like “Yuck!” and “Guess Whose Stretch Marks!” I felt, to borrow a phrase from my friend’s five-year-old niece, “sad and mad.” I’m sad to know that, by this magazine’s standards, my own body would surely earn a high ranking on the “worst” list. I’m mad that we are still engaging in such hateful, public body-shaming. And I’m fed up with the glorious season of summer being completely taken over by the ridiculous notion that you aren’t allowed to enjoy it unless you look a certain way. I think it’s time we do a little “bikini body” fact-checking, don’t you? Here are six indisputable truths that I hope we can all keep in mind as the weather — and the pressure to look perfect — heats up… Keep reading »
I do not like my nose. Although I no longer hate it with the same gusto I did at 15, I still do not accept it.
I do not like my thighs; they’re huge and riddled with stretch marks thanks to a growth spurt at 12, and my stomach refuses to be flat – but I guess I have Lombardi’s pizza to blame for that one. I wish my ass was perkier; my boobs are too big and too saggy, my lips should be less thin and pout on command, and my teeth are too small — straight, but small. My dentist refuses to give me veneers; we’ve been arguing about it for years.
In other words, I’m not very keen on my body, and I certainly don’t accept it. If one more person tells me I have to, I’m going to lose my shit and throw something really heavy and dangerous. Keep reading »
Bad news. That “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” video, where a group of women describe themselves to a forensic artist, and realize how skewed their self-images are and cry, was not quite as accurate as we’d like to believe. The message was moving, yes. And for a moment, it was reassuring to believe that “you are more beautiful than you think,” but according to research, the opposite is true.
A series of studies done at University of Chicago and University of Virginia suggest that , if anything, we overestimate ourselves. Not just in terms of our appearance — but in every way. Researchers took pictures of participants and created enhanced versions of those pictures so that some were more attractive and others were less so. When asked to select the real picture of themselves, participants tended to pick the most attractive one. When asked to select the real picture of a person other than themselves, participants were able to do that with no problem. Keep reading »
Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO Mike Jeffries said he only wants his clothes worn by “the cool and popular kids,” not the “not-so-cool kids,” which is why sizes only go up to women’s size 10. Men’s sizes, by the way, go up to XL and XXL because it’s only women who can be too fat for Abercrombie’s clothes. Fuck that noise! Here’s Jes from the blog The Militant Baker posing with a traditionally “hot” male model in a variety of Abercrombie & Fitch poses. In an open letter on her web site she writes,
“I didn’t take these pictures to show that the male model found me attractive, or that the photographer found me photogenic, or to prove that you’re an ostentatious dick. Rather, I was inspired by the opportunity to show that I am secure in my skin and to flaunt this by using the controversial platform that you created. I challenge the separation of attractive and fat, and I assert that they are compatible regardless of what you believe. Not only do I know that I’m sexy, but I also have the confidence to pose nude in ways you don’t dare. You are more than welcome to prove me wrong by posing shirtless with a hot fat chick.”
Who says fat girls aren’t the cool kids? [The Militant Baker via BuzzFeed]
The June issue of Allure has the usual headlines about what beauty products to buy and how to get good hair and better skin. Also thrown into the sexy, sun-kissed mix is this tidbit of information about their cover girl: “Zoe Saldana: 115 Pounds Of Grit And Heartache.” Hey, she’s slight but this gal’s got might!
Do the editors of a beauty magazine think of a celebrity’s weight as just some random fun fact to share with their readers? No, of course they don’t. It’s aspirational. Even if the number itself is completely out of the realm of healthy possibility for most women, it reinforces a longing — that dream of ultimate thinness. It’s defining. An entire interview with Saldana and how do they describe the stand out qualities they learned about her for their cover? In pounds. But what is most insidious about that headline is that it immediately forces comparison. For many women, that comparison is likely to stoke insecurity. Even if it doesn’t, it’s still a giant waste of time and energy: Do you weigh less or more? But wait, are you big-boned or small-boned? You might weigh this much, but actually you wear this size in pants or that size in tops. You felt best about yourself when you were this weight. You’re proud of your weight and fuck anyone who says you shouldn’t be! Keep reading »
It seems like one Harvard professor or another in exceedingly blue, alarmingly stiff jeans is always coming out with a pop psych book about happiness and how misunderstood it is.
Apparently, people make a lot of the same mistakes about happiness over and over. We keep thinking that we have to work really hard to get to it, and do certain tricky things to capture it, sort of like that scene in “Avatar,” where they have to bond with the giant flying dinosaur things, and they’re just as likely to get killed, because you have to really earn that bond—not just any Na’vi can fly! But man, when you stick your hair tentacle into your bird dinosaur’s tendril thing and make that platonic, yet soulmate-y connection—there is NOTHING else like that shit. So worth it.
My point is, we expect happiness to be hard. But it isn’t really. And instead of fighting and waiting for it, we should probably just work on recognizing where it’s already sneaking around in the shadows of our current lives, like a little smiley cat burglar. It’s there, seriously, I promise.
I think it’s like that with beauty and self-acceptance, too. Keep reading »