As we know all too well, it’s bikini body season, which means it’s time to grab a copy of your favorite women’s fitness magazine and get the scoop on all the latest, totally fresh tips and advice on everything from flat abs to hot sex! But hey, wait a second. Those two covers sure look a lot alike, don’t they? Would you believe they are two totally different magazines that were published two years apart? Because they are. Sigh. Some things — and by “things,” I mean “women’s magazines” — never change. [Reddit]
Tag Archives: body image
I was so sure I was having a boy. I’d even given my baby a boy name, and I talked to my belly and told him he was a great son. A strong, noble, excellent son. People said, “A mother knows…” and nodded along with me.
Not this mother. Apparently, this mother doesn’t know shit.
“Can you tell if he’s a boy or a girl?” I asked the sonographer at the 20 week ultrasound, just to be sure.
She bit her lip and tried not to smile. “Oh yes. I can tell.”
He was a girl. She had always been a girl. I burst into overwhelmed tears. And then something shameful happened. Instead of being fully happy, the way every new mother is supposed to, I was worried. I was worried that she would look like me. Keep reading »
“I was asked to lose weight by a network for a TV pilot. The conversation happens because you get a job and your agent or manager calls and they say, ‘They are so excited about you. They just think there is no one better for this part and they want you to look and feel your best — they really feel that that could include losing 15 or 20 pounds’. … I feel like it’s the last frontier of feminism — the weight thing with women — even for myself. I identify as a feminist. I have so many feminist beliefs — and then I’m so mean to myself about my body sometimes. Or I can be judgmental about other people for their bodies, and I don’t know how to get over it.”
The attitudes Busy Phillips from “Cougar Town” espouses on “The Conversation” about feminism and her body sound a lot like mine. Even being a feminist who realizes there’s an entire corporate culture dedicated to profitting off me feeling bad about my body, it’s a struggle not to be mean sometimes. Obviously it’s that much harder for actresses in the public eye. It would be hard not to be, when a TV network had the gall to ask her to lose 20 pounds under the guise of wanting her to “look and feel” her best. Uh huh. Right. [The Conversation TV via Women & Hollywood] [Photo: Splash News]
Sitting in the sports medicine clinic’s waiting room, I poked at my knee and winced, hoping that the doctor would be able to fix my troubled joints so I could run my first road race the following month. Half an hour later, I had my answer: my biomechanics were off, I suffered from the common patella-femoral syndrome, but with physiotherapy and diligence, I’d still be able to run. An acceptable prognosis, so I smiled. I liked the doctor; how she paid attention to my grimaces as she prodded my leg, and explained all the anatomical terms to me as she discussed my diagnosis with the observing resident. And then it happened.
“Could you turn onto your side, Sara?” the doctor asked as I lay on the examination table.
I obediently flipped over.
“No, a little closer to me.”
I shuffled backwards, mumbling apologies.
“It’s not a big deal,” she smiled. “You’re so tiny.” Keep reading »
According to an article in the New York Times’ “Well” Blog, a study found that a staggering 93 percent of college women engage in something called “fat talk.” Think, one woman says: “I can’t believe I just ate that whole bag of Oreos. I’m so fat!” Think, another woman says in response: “Oh my god, you’re not fat. Look at my ass, I’m the one who balloons when I eat sweets.”
Sound familiar? I’m sure it does. “Fat talk” is a vicious cycle wherein we tear ourselves down so we don’t seem too confident and then, in order to maintain equality in the friendship, we praise our friend and then tear our body down even more aggressively. If you’re a woman, than you’ve more than likely engaged in this toxic conversation cycle that sets the stage for poor body image and eating disorders, sometimes without even consciously wanting to. Why?
Because it’s become a way to bond with other women. And the really sick part is that researchers have found that it’s so automatic and embedded in women, that it may not even reflect the way we really feel about ourselves, but rather the way we think we are expected to feel about our bodies. That’s fucked up. It’s time for us to make an effort to shut the “fat talk” down. But how? Anything that happens automatically is a habit. Just like biting your nails or smoking cigarettes, we need to think of it as a seriously bad habit that must be broken. After the jump Winona and I have come up with some suggestions for cutting fat talk out of your life. Keep reading »
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.”
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 »