I’ve been reading for, it feels like, as long as I have had sentience and consciousness, and it has taken me my entire life to meet someone in a book who looked like me and felt the same way I do and has struggled with some of the things I have struggled with, and is still loved.Kaye Toal at Buzzfeed on finally meeting a fat girl in young adult fiction, at the age of 23. Contains spoilers for Eleanor and Park and Harry Potter.
The Washington Post breaks down what Diplo's "skinny shaming" of Taylor Swift has, is, and will continue to do to the body image war being waged on women.
In an Elle interview with "plus-size" model Myla Dalbesio - she's a size 10 - on her new Calven Klein campaign, the "rise of the 'in-between' model" is discussed. [more inside]
Keira Knightley, among other stars, is sick of being Photoshopped. She posed topless in Interview Magazine in protest of the unfair body image standards thrust upon women. [more inside]
What if, wrote Jenn Frank (previously), there was a computer game that involved a sexy character shopping for a bra but ended with her crying softly because she could not find one that fitted. "Everyone thought I was kidding," Ms Frank told the BBC. "I thought I was kidding, and then two hours later I was building a website for it." "It" is Boob Jam, a weekend-long event during which game developers will go without sleep to create games that offer players a more truthful and accurate depiction of breasts and what it means to have them. [more inside]
This mom got fed up. Companies have been down-sizing their clothing for years as fashion trends call for "slimmer" cuts and silhouettes. Clothing sizing is an issue. Maybe there needs to be a mandated standard of clothing sizes? No cutting corners or skimping on measurements. [more inside]
Meet Weesha, a fashion blogger who lives in Dubai. She likes Wednesday Addams dresses, coordinating pink clothes and accessories, and bold flats. She's also quite open about her insecurities and personal history. [more inside]
The Academy, by Monica Seles. Yes, that Monica Seles has written a young adult romance series. Grantland writer Brian Phillips provides "62 scalding takeaways from The Academy, by M. Seles,1 Books 1 and 2."
"If a woman is objectified in a relationship, the research indicates, it's more likely that her male partner will sexually coerce and pressure her." [more inside]
Meghan Trainor - a primer: "How many of you have no idea what we're talking about? Follow-up question: How many of you have looked at the iTunes chart and felt old recently? Come, let's learn together about Trainor, 'All About That Bass,' and the problematic nature of this song."
Shatteringly Beautiful: The Glass Dresses of Diana Dias-Leão
Diana Dias-Leão combined her fashion design and glass making skills to create couture dresses made of glass, ceramics, wire and silken yarns to stunning effect. Beautiful, but how do you wear a breakable dress? Well, you don't. These were created as art pieces to explore serious issues around personal identity, beauty and human behaviour. The artist believes that anorexia, bulimia, self harm and body dysmorphic disorder are connected with issues relating to image and lack of confidence.[more inside]
Did Hollywood Give the 1920s a Boob Job? 'Gatsby' Costume Designer Tells All
Breasts are everywhere in 2013’s new "Gatsby"… They’re pushed up to create cleavage, peeping out of frocks and fringed flapper dresses, and hugged tightly by clothes cut to show off curves. As Daisy Buchanan, Carey Mulligan is clearly wearing some sort of shapewear or bra under even her most modest clothes, to make her breasts seem perfectly perky.[more inside]
Catherine Martin, the producer, production designer, and costume designer of "The Great Gatsby," says that she simply took the styles of the 1920s and amped up the sexy quotient—and made the dresses fit more like the designers intended.…
"Frankly, I am a bit shocked by Martin’s quotes regarding the 1920s—that she considers the clothes frumpy looking," [co-founder of the Fashion History Museum Jonathan] Walford says. "She was the wrong costumer to get the job if she can’t see the beauty in the real 1920s silhouette."
…and if that’s the reason that you don’t love me then maybe that’s not love. Older ladies having a ball: Complete with dirndls and lederhosen and yodeling in the meadow. Not to mention dancing chickens and swimsuits and ballgowns. (SLYT)
Retail Therapy: What Mannequins Say About Us
Like the larger fashion industry, mannequin design echoes seasonal styles that come and go, both in regard to technological improvements and the way we view our bodies. “It’s often the body attitudes and facial expressions that reflect what’s going on socially,” says Hale. Accordingly, the stiff, unnatural bodies of early mannequins were well-matched for the Victorian Era‘s restrictive ideas about women’s rights and fashions, which dictated they wear many layers of heavy fabric over tight-fitting corsets.[more inside]
Someone posted an ad on Craigslist seeking women who for one reason or another had never seen their own vagina and then set them up with a mirror in the Vagina Booth to film their reaction.
Amy Schumer's tale of courage, sex and self-worth as told at the Ms. Foundation Gala. "I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it."
Britain's elite sportswomen fear that the way they look is judged to be more important than what they achieve in their sporting careers. [more inside]
"We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering." Gracie Hagen takes a stab at dismantling the myth of the "normal" body. [NSFW] [more inside]
What No One Tells You About Losing Lots of Weight. For at least some newly thin people, there’s a meta-dissatisfaction in feeling that significant weight loss has made life anything other than perfect: Any discomfort you may feel with your body is compounded by a sense of shame at not feeling unmitigated pride at a moment you expected to be triumphant. [more inside]
Debenhams, an international chain of fashion stores, has embraced more attainable body images by no longer retouching photos lingerie model, after they stopped airbrushing swimsuit models in 2010. The chain also recently featured models outside of the usual height, age and range, plus Paralympian athlete Stefanie Reid, in line with their selection of their first disabled model, Shannon Murray, in 2010. [more inside]
When a soap company washes off the glow filter For 10 years a certain manufacturer of soaps has been on a campaign to normalize realistic images of beauty. Rather subversively, they took their message to the graphic artists themselves by masquerading a Photoshop glamour enhancing plugin as a "beauty augmenter;" a trick revert action to the original model, wrinkles, puffiness, true body and all. This begs the question: can we now accept that some corporations may act in the best interest of body image, or is this just good PR? [via Petapixel]
Instead, your article suggests that women should be focused on making one shitty dude's life better.
If a man finds himself attracted to a woman who doesn't conform to this list (more on the specifics of the list in a minute), does he not count as a man? What if she's "perfect" for him? What if she makes him feel like a whole person for the first time in his life, but she just happens to have chunky ankles? What does "perfect" mean then? What does "hot" mean? What does "the One" mean? What we're setting up here is an impossible cultural standard that excludes...well...100% of women. Because literally no one is that weird Frankenstein's Monster-with-Benefits that your art department put together. In her typical masterful style, Jezebel's Lindy West reminds us that being a perfect woman is no excuse for being actively harmful to humanity.
The Hairpin's Jia Tolentino holds three interviews with virgins. (Trigger warnings on the second and third stories.)
Body Integrity Identity Disorder is when a subject feels that he or she would be happier living as an amputee. This raises several questions: should amputation be offered as a treatment to people suffering from Body Integrity Identity Disorder? Or, should the alien limb be integrated into the body image? To what extent is the disorder psychological or neurological? Regardless, further research is needed. That said, in talking about newly categorized disorders such as BIID, do we spread "semantic contagion"? [previously]
Can using different types of models benefit brands? Ben Barry discusses his Ph.D. research in Elle Canada, making a business case for diversity in fashion: women increased their purchase intentions when they saw models who reflected their size, age, and race. Jezebel summarizes, "Barry's research... casts doubt on the age-old theory that people buy things because advertising stokes their insecurities, creating a need that can only be filled by the advertised product. It suggests that advertising can work by inducing in the consumer feelings of affinity for and identification with the people shown in the ad."
Nichelle Gainer (whose Vintage Black Glamour blog was seen previously on MeFi) responds insightfully to a NY Times editorial by author Alice Randall called "Why Black Women Are Fat."
"To be a young woman in our culture means that you exist, from an alarmingly young age, for the appreciation of others. Therefore, your every feature is fair game for public appraisal."
Finslippy: On being an object, and then not being an object. This starts young. But "...girls are being nice to one another. They're complimenting each other. They are telling each other something important about the world and their place in it." Sometimes, compliments aren't really compliments and "flattering" can be body policing.
Of six-pack abs and real girl bellies: thoughts after viewing xoJane's "Real Girl Belly Project" ("Show Us Your Bellies!", photo gallery part one, photo gallery part two).
A recent PNAS paper (Kee and Farid 10.1073/pnas.1110747108) proposes a standardised (1 - 5) metric for photo retouching. The authors suggest that, for the sake of public health and wellbeing, that published retouched photos should disclose the amount of retouching undertaken.
my body gallery - photographs of women, searchable by height, weight, clothing size, and body type (via youlookfab) [more inside]
Hello, I am fat. This is my body (over there—see it?). I have lived in this body my whole life. I have wanted to change this body my whole life. I have never wanted anything as much as I have wanted a new body. I am aware every day that other people find my body disgusting. I always thought that some day—when I finally stop failing—I will become smaller, and when I become smaller literally everything will get better (I've heard It Gets Better)! My life can begin!
Team Gorilla is "a celebration of the functional athletic physique, and the effort needed to attain it." Because strong is the new skinny.
About-Face aims to provide women and girls with skills to critically examine media messages that affect their positive self-image. Their website is a one-stop shop for simple, direct, teen-friendly educational materials about female self-esteem and body image. [more inside]
Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
Vogue Italia relaunched their website last week (in Italian and English / pictures on the site may be NSFW,) with three new subsites catering to specific fashion industry demographics: Vogue Curvy (focusing on plus-sized models, actresses and celebrities,) Vogue Black (men and women of color,) and Vogue Talents (veteran and up-and-coming designers. "Talents" also encourages hopeful designers to submit their work for review.) "Curvy" and "Black" in particular have received some positive and negative attention and some wonder whether separating those two fashion categories is truly inclusive. Vogue responds.
"What you're looking for as a retoucher is a broom, something that covers your tracks, some way of obscuring where you've been. The first thing [most] people take out is bloodshot eyes. That's the last thing I take out—the last thing I'd, like, just wipe, because that just makes it look retouched." -- from Jesse Epstein's video op-ed for the NY Times, based on her film Wet Dreams and False Images ("I know that's not airbrushed. I could put a million dollars that's not airbrushed."), one of three related short documentaries on physical perfection. "Each head has to be identical to the other head, so we don't want anybody putting sandpaper to the head." -- from 34 x 25 x 36. Via the latest installment of Shakesville's Impossibly Beautiful series. (Previous posts on retouching.)
Variations in normal human genitalia. All links NSFW. Breasts (of women who have not given birth; of women who have), vulvae, and penises. Previously, erection photos. [more inside]
Quebec clothing chain Simons has pulled its newest catalogue after getting hundreds of complaints that the models in it were too thin. The genesis of the complaints may have been a story about the catalogue (and complaints) on Radio-Canada (Canada's French-language national broadcaster) about a week ago. [more inside]
These women are supposed to disgust you into buying low-fat yogurt.
"THIN is a photographic essay and a documentary film about the treatment of eating disorders. In 1997, Lauren Greenfield began documenting the lives of patients at the Renfrew Center in Coconut Grove, Florida, a forty-bed residential facility for the treatment of women with eating disorders. She subsequently returned to Renfrew to take more photographs, and was eventually given unprecedented access to film the daily lives of patients". (scroll down or search for "Greenfield"). 2002 MeFi post on Greenfield's previous project, "Girl Culture", here.
The Shape of a Mother There are a lot of sites out there that document the changes a woman's body goes through during pregnancy. The goal of Shape of a Mother (picture-heavy, NSFW) is to document what also happens afterwards. Women from all over the world submit stories and pictures of how their bodies changed after giving birth and how it affects their self-image. From the site's creator: "It occurred to me that a post-pregnancy body is one of this society's greatest secrets; all we see of the female body is that which is airbrushed and perfect, and if we look any different, we hide it from the light of day in fear of being seen."
Naked is a gallery of sixteen regular people in various stages of undress (using an innovate flash interface). It has extensive interviews with the participants, talking about how they feel about their bodies and being nude in general. It's about as far from being erotic as possible (and rightly so), instead aiming to get viewers thinking about how they confront their own body image issues and how they feel about nudity.
Which is more scary: that this girl is 20 stone at the age of 11 or that the reporter thinks her friends are an ideal weight at 1/4 of her weight? Take her to 5 stone and a BMI of 11 would put her well below the anorexia threshold BMI of 16.
But would her friends accept they could have a problem? Probably not. What causes Anorexia? Strep? Genetics? Models? Something else?
But would her friends accept they could have a problem? Probably not. What causes Anorexia? Strep? Genetics? Models? Something else?
Everybody Vogue. Well, really just the thin people. Vogue Magazine gets a tongue-lashing from Slate. Seems the fashion mag attempted a "body diversity" issue, but their idea of a large-size model is a size 8. Excerpt: "If "tall" and "short" and "pregnant" are body types, and Minnie Driver is "curvy," there's no need to admit the existence of the bottom-heavy, let alone try to dress the poor bastards."
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