body image · link round up

Fit is a Feminist Issue, Link Round Up #42

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.

And to be clear, we’re not only posting stuff we agree with or that makes us smile. Instead, we’re posting material of interest to people who, like us, care about feminism and fitness.

How to Reassure Your Partner That They’re Hot When They Hate Their Body

Frequently, I get messages from people — usually cis men who are dating cis women, but not always — asking me what the hell they’re supposed to do when their partner talks negatively about their own body.

“She’s unhappily gained weight since we’ve been together, and I know saying ‘I still think you’re beautiful’ confirms the idea that fat is bad,” they say.

“My boyfriend is shy about not being bigger muscularly, but how can I reassure him that that’s exactly my type without confirming his insecurities?” they say.

“I don’t know how to respond when they talk about needing to go on a diet,” they say.

And I get it.

As a woman in eating disorder recovery who still harbors body issues, I can imagine how difficult it is for partners to know what the right thing to say is.

So while I certainly can’t speak for your partner and their needs, what I can do is give you some ideas that you can mix and match depending on your situation. So let’s start there.

The list of ideas is here.

Watching Women Say “Fuck You” to Photoshop Is Pretty Damn Satisfying

Plenty of industry experts, psychologists and body-positive activists have criticized the big, bad magazine industry for its undying love of Photoshop.

But hearing it from “real women,” aka not fashion models, on camera is powerful stuff on its own.

A new video by advocacy T-shirt company FCKH8 showcases women of various ages, races and body types giving Photoshop the middle finger, after unashamedly stripping off the brand’s “This Is What a #Feminist Looks Like” shirts and showcasing what real female bodies, untouched by airbrushing, can look like.

How to Feel Better About Your Body, Backed by Research

Exercise.

I know what you’re thinking: I knew that answer.

Here’s the interesting part: exercise improved people’s feelings about their body even if they didn’t lose weight or achieve noticeable improvements. They just felt better about it.

Read more here.

Reclaiming the Right to Love Our Bodies, Just as They Are

We are taught very early on in life to base how we see and value ourselves on the opinions of others. How we feel about our body is largely shaped by the way society views it. Though slim as a teenager, as I got older I gained weight. I was criticised for this, with the constant implication that I was being lazy and lacked the necessary self-respect. I was told to treat it as something I should be ashamed of. I then envied the slim women I knew because of the lack of perceived pressure to fit an acceptable societal mould.

Last year, I decided to stop letting my fear of judgment and low self-esteem keep me from having new experiences. I took it upon myself to do a challenge every week that pushed me out of my comfort zone. Two months in, I found myself climbing the stairs to Brass Vixens Pole Dancing and Fitness Studio. There, on Queen Street West, I discovered a wonderful body-positive community. Slowly, my confidence grew as I found myself in a dance and fitness studio that thrived because of the non-competitive, non-judgmental environment they had fostered. More importantly, instructors encouraged everyone to find the dancer within and celebrate their bodies without reservations.

19 Shirtless Men Share Their Body Image Struggles

The desire for a so-called “perfect” body isn’t something only women struggle with. Men also face body insecurities, but they’re less likely to seek help and open up about it, according to the National Eating Disorder Awareness website. To get the conversation started about male insecurities, Huffington Post photographer Damon Dahlen spoke to and photographed 19 shirtless men.

Dahlen ​ told Cosmopolitan.com “I along with my editors felt compelled to shine a light on this secret prison of ‘shame’ some of us men live in.” The secret prison Dahlen is talking about was mentioned by one of the men in the essay who said, “I feel like I’m exposing a secret when my shirt comes off.”

 This photo essay hopefully opens the conversation on body image struggles for both sexes, but Dahlen fears that the discussion only happened because he pushed for it. The reason he doesn’t think men are talking is because “societal rules that say you are a man … you must not feel.”

25 Kickass Ways to Be Body Positive

1. Being critical of yourself is good but only to an extent, don’t overdo the self criticism bit. Try not to be too mean to yourself especially for the way your body is.

2. Don’t compare your body with someone else’s. Each body has its own pros and cons to deal with.

3. Look in the mirror and point out the good things about the image you see instead of the bad. It’s a good way to begin being body positive.

4. Celebrate your flaws. Stretch marks, pigmentation and tan are proof of all your memorable experiences like childbirth and camping on the hill top. Celebrate those!

5. Don’t take your weight too seriously; it’s simply a number.

The rest are here.

9 Body Positive Photographers Making Waves For Marginalized Bodies

Growing up, I never saw any imagery of fat women who looked like me in the media I was consuming, so today it makes me happy to see so much increased visibility for ladies of all shapes and sizes. I can’t help but thank the myriad of body positive photographers out there who work towards this visibility every day. Not to mention the plus size models who heat up Instagram with body positive photo shoots minute to minute, whose work also inarguably helps normalize the sight of fat bodies.

The notion that fat bodies exist shouldn’t be a revolutionary one, but there are still people out there who think that those who do not fit into rigid societal beauty standards do not deserve to be publicly visible. Visual imagery that challenges what society would deem so-called “imperfections” is, thus, undoubtedly necessary.

Oftentimes, however, I see a lot of praise for the people in front of the camera. While models are certainly crucial to the body positive movement, we shouldn’t forget to give some shine to the individuals behind the lens who dare to capture moments that make people uncomfortable. The work holds the purpose of trumping the way so many of us have been taught to interpret and judge beauty…..

Serena Williams’ amazing quote on body image

FOR Serena Williams, it’s simple. She doesn’t have time to be bullied.

The tennis icon, currently aiming for a fourth straight US Open crown, shut down the body shamers with a beautiful quote this week.

“It’s me, and I love me. I’ve learned to love me,” Williams told Good Morning America.

“I’ve been like this my whole life and I embrace me. I love how I look. I am a full woman and I’m strong, and I’m powerful, and I’m beautiful at the same time.”

Williams continued: “I don’t have time to be brought down, I’ve got too many things to do. I have grand slams to win, I have people to inspire, and that’s what I’m here for.”

 

8 thoughts on “Fit is a Feminist Issue, Link Round Up #42

  1. I love the tone of your blog it is infectious! Fit IS a feminist issue and we should be comfortable with our bodies no matter what they look like! Great post! 🙂 If you ever want to collab on a post that would be great!

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  2. Great article and relative links to your topic. Video is inspiring. Have you ever thought of posting on post-baby bodies. I don’t mean just had a baby 2 months ago, but this is my body a year later and why I love how it’s different now. Just a thought, perhaps you have already breached the subject.

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      1. I’m going to share a link to your article about post baby bodies on my personal facebook page. 🙂 I think this is a very balanced and positive message you are sending in this article.

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  3. Interesting about shirtless guys. My partner has been biking for transportation, fitness and touring (does a lot more solo trips for many wks.) and has had some fluctuating weight.

    For past few years he doesn’t like walking around with his shirt off. Sure, he’s regained 30 lbs. out of the 50 lbs. he lost when we first met, 20+ yrs. ago.

    But even in his lowest weight, he never walked around on a beach, etc. with his shirt off unless he actually was going swimming. If it was super hot, he still would not take off his shirt in public. Weird, but I like that in him.

    I haven’t worn my bathing suit in ..um past 8 yrs. I don’t know how to swim… and haven’t been drawn to go into a whirlpool for soothing muscles, etc. Even for fitness activities, I don’t wear crop tops, tank tops, racer bras, etc. Wearing a cycling skort or shorts, is probably the most revealing garment in sports activities for myself.

    Not body ashamed. Just genuinely body skin-modest and protect from sun exposure on more fragile skin areas.

    Like

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