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?
By the way, Facebook recently clarified its stance on nudity, writing, “We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks. We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring. We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures and other art that depicts nude figures.” For the full story see here.
Why does a fitness blog even care about body image? You can read about that here.
What kind of woman are you? #ProjectWomanKIND is a web series seeking to answer that question through a series of interviews with a diverse group of plus size models, to explore what kind of women we are outside of the strict standards society and the media have set for us. The project says it is “all about exposing the honest, real, and raw conversations that women have with themselves and their girlfriends about their bodies every single day.”
A week ago, out grocery shopping, I bumped into Kathy, a woman I’d meet at an old slimming group seven years ago. Kathy had known me at my heaviest of 250 pounds. I was 26, I waddled and I would lie in bed at night and imagine slicing off my fat with a carving knife.
“You must feel amazing!” Kathy said, looking at me as if I’d just stepped out of a fairy-tale, to which I smiled, and told her all the things that she expected to hear and that I’d expected to feel. It hurt to lie, but the dairy aisle wasn’t the place for a heart-to-heart, and so I left Kathy with a sense of fresh hope, and she left me an e-mail address to send on my diet plan.
When you think of your thighs, what descriptors comes to mind? Are they “thick”? “Honest”? “Magical”?
One word many women associate with their thighs is “complicated.” It can be hard to be 100 percent into your thighs when the only ones we seem to see are attached to airbrushed models in magazines and advertisements. Quite often, those “perfect” thighs don’t even exist without the help of crafty retouchers. (Spoiler alert: 90 percent of women have cellulite.) But knowing that intellectually doesn’t always assuage the visceral shame women can feel when they feel like they don’t measure up to an ideal.
As an antidote, HuffPost Women photographed 25 pairs of thighs belonging to a diverse group of inspiring women between the ages of 20 and 70. We asked each woman to pick a word to describe her thighs, and talk a little bit about her relationship with the body part that can make her feel “strong,” “feminine,” “resilient” and at times “dimply.” The resulting photos are stunning — and entirely unretouched.
San Francisco-based photographer Carey Fruth has set out to redefine what ‘American beauty’ is with a photo series of the same name that has women of all body types posing in romantic beds of flower petals. Fruth was inspired by a racy scene from the 1999 movie of the same name in which Kevin Spacey fantasized about one of his daughter’s friends.
“By stepping into a fantasy dream girl world and by letting go of that fear, they free themselves up to direct that energy they once wasted on telling themselves that they weren’t good enough to elsewhere in their life,” Fruth told Huffpost.
You have probably heard of contouring, or visual reshaping, in regards to bronzer and Kardashian-inspired YouTube tutorials. Let’s travel a little down south.
Vontouring (no, that’s not a typo) is the nickname for Protégé Intima, or the non-invasive, non-surgical remodeling of the inside of the vagina using radio frequencies. And we should mention, it’s not makeup either. The treatment is the latest and purportedly safe way to visually enhance one’s lady lips.
Victoria Janashvili is a real-life body-positivity superhero: Her day job consists of photographing what she calls “Victoria’s Secret-type women” for men’s magazines, whereas she says her side/dream job is photographing “all sizes of women,” sans retouching. Her work in its entirety is a celebration of every single body. Today, the 26-year-old’s debut book, Curves, is released — a true realization of that not-so-side-anymore dream job.
Body-positive and inclusive beauty movements promote the idea that everyone is attractive…but is that actually the case? And are their beauty-centric messages leading to any real societal progress?
Scroll through Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr long enough and you’re bound to find inspirational quotes—written out in pretty calligraphy and oh-so-shareable—on the subject of beauty. These mantras include sayings like, “imperfection is beautiful,” “beauty is how you feel inside,” and “everyone is beautiful in their own way.”
Some well-known brands have also joined the inclusive beauty movement. The Dove for Real Beauty Campaign, for example, sends a similar message, claiming it promotes a new definition of beauty that “will free women from self-doubt and encourage them to embrace their real beauty.”
How Long Do We Have to Hate Our Bodies?
I’ve talked to quite a few women in their seventh and even eight decade that have never learned to make peace with their hips or their thighs or their bellies–hips that have shaken to music of many eras, bellies that have borne babies and thighs that have propelled them inevitably forward to a ripe old age. And I see the part of them that has been carefully educated to be smaller, to be less than, to show no excess warring with the part of them that wants to stop worrying about it all and just eat the damn cookie. And it makes me sad.
I say carefully educated, because this body hatred–this need to make ourselves smaller and less than–is something we learn. In her brilliant piece, Egan states:
…unlike the foolish or best-intentioned mishaps, the terrible accidents, the slip-ups that irrevocably change a life, this regret is not a tragic mistake. It’s intentional. It’s something other people teach them to feel about their bodies; it’s something other people want them to believe.