body image · link round up

Fit is a Feminist Issue Link Round Up #18


This is where we share stuff we can’t share on Facebook page for fear of being kicked out! Read why here. Usually the posts are about body image, sometimes there’s nudity but we’re all adults here. Right?

Why does a fitness blog even care about body image? You can read about that here.

Aleah Chapin’s Large-Scale Nude Portraits Celebrate Multiple Generations of Women

Idealized nude figures are a longstanding tradition in Western art history and, as viewers, we’re accustomed to seeing the female body exposed. But the bodies we see today — not only in art, but in magazines, films, and music videos — adhere to certain constraints in regards to their size, shape, skin tone, and even age. With her large-scale paintings, Brooklyn-based painter Aleah Chapin shows the beauty of realistic physiques not typically shown in our society’s visual culture.
Chapin’s recent work features women with pregnant bellies, wrinkles, sagging breasts, round tummies, and body hair. While her paintings have made some uncomfortable, many have lauded Chapin for her work’s emotional rawness. She paints her figures in grassy plains under cloudy skies. Women of multiple generations embrace one another tenderly, sometimes focused only on each other and other times gazing confidently at the viewer. Chapin’s use of nudity confronts viewers with the judgments we typically place on female bodies and reminds us that our bodies are more than eye candy.

Stretch Marks: Learning to Love My Post-Baby Body

I began my first pregnancy as a thin and unenlightened 24-year-old. I dreaded “looking fat” (= bad) before “looking pregnant” (= good), and then “looking fat” again, after the baby was born. After all, I grew up in a culture that treats gaining weight as a moral failure, a culture that depicts fat people as lazy, disgusting, incompetent, and out of control. And we’ve all seen how TV shows and so-called “women’s” magazines treat celebrity weight gain and weight loss around childbearing.

Although I was overjoyed about my pregnancy, I was also distracted by this pressure and by my alarmingly changing waistline. Still pregnant long past my due date, I journaled anxiously about having six weeks instead of eight to “get my body back into the shape that lets me have my normal confidence and presence” before teaching again. My heart thrilled when a surprised student told me I didn’t look like I’d just had a baby. I wanted to be thin and in control, to look professional and conventionally attractive. I wanted my body back.

Her body image’s strongly linked to what she thinks he prefers

A new research has revealed that it’s all about the bass, demonstrating that women who are told that men desire larger-body women are happier with their weight. Psychologist Andrea Meltzer of Southern Methodist University said that results of three independent studies suggest a woman’s body image is strongly linked to her perception of what she thinks men prefer. Meltzer added that on average, heterosexual women believe that heterosexual men desire ultra-thin women, and so this study suggests that interventions that alter women’s perception regarding men’s desires for ideal female body sizes may be effective at improving women’s body image.Meltzer continued that it is possible that women who are led to believe that men prefer women with bodies larger than the models depicted in the media may experience higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of depression. In all three studies, women had higher levels of satisfaction with their own weight after viewing the images of the larger women who were portrayed as attractive to men, while statistically controlling their actual weight.

Herself. (NSFW, depending on where you work, obviously.)

“Herself is a gesture to women for women by women; a chance to witness the female form in all its honesty without the burden of the male gaze, without the burden of appealing to anyone. These women are simply & courageously existing, immortalized within these photos. Within their words, their experiences and stories are offered on Herself in the hopes of encouraging solidarity – that maybe we as women will take comfort in the triumphs of others rather than revelling in each other’s defeats. Let us reclaim our bodies. Let us take them back from those who seek to profit from our insecurity.” -Caitlin Stasey

If you would like to participate in Herself. Please send an email to including your location. All women are invited to take part.