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Fit is a Feminist Issue, Link Round Up #59


History Of Body Image In America: How The ‘Ideal’ Female And Male Body Has Changed Over Time

Today, we’re familiar with the societal pressure that goes along with “ideal body image,” particularly among females. While skinny models may populate most of today’s magazines and media, emphasizing an unhealthy obsession with thinness, women have always been under some form of pressure to look a certain way — even if that meant being more thickset in the 1940s and 50s.

Though it’s not talked about as often, male body image has also changed throughout the years from a lean, stylish look to a fixation on nearly impossible muscles and masculinity. Due to years of objectification and sexualization, female bodies tend to be more exposed to the scrutinizing public eye, but men are also subject to similar pressures, albeit perhaps more subtly. Here’s a brief and broad history of body image in the U.S., from the days of pale, buxom ladies to the 1980s passion for women with lean, tan bodies, and finally, to the modern day body-positive movement.

Lingerie Made For Queer People? Now There’s A Boutique For That

A groundbreaking new boutique is bringing together and creating spaces for lingerie collections that cater exclusively to queer- and trans-identified individuals.

Jeanna Kadlec recently launched Bluestocking Boutique, an online resource for an often-ignored fashion need for the queer community. Mainstream lingerie companies tend to cater exclusively to specific types of bodies and individuals. Kadlec saw this as a need for a more expansive way of thinking about lingerie.

While not a designer, Kadlec’s boutique brings together different independent brands and fashion lines designed with queer bodies in mind. “I wanted to curate a collection that would appeal to a wide range of styles and also operate an inclusive store where queer– and trans-identified people could have the guarantee of being treated with basic dignity,” she told The Huffington Post.

How Mothers Shape Their Daughters’ Body Image

The media. The idealization of thin celebrities. Photoshopped ads. Sure, these elements all have some influence on many young women struggling with negative body image and eating disorders. But one of the most significant factors may be even closer to home: mothers.

As Leslie Sim, a child psychologist and clinical director of the Mayo Clinic’s eating disorders program, told USA Today, “moms are probably the most important influence on a daughter’s body image.” Women frequently speak about the negative impact of their mothers’ attitudes towards their own bodies, but this relationship need not be nor universally is purely detrimental. In fact, it’s perhaps the best hope for broader change.

It starts early. One in 4 children engages in some type of dieting behavior by age 7, according to a report from Common Sense Media. Though many factors likely contribute to this unfortunate reality, a mother’s influence is certainly one of them, according to clinical psychologist Stacey Rosenfeld.

25 Plus Size Women Give Style Tips That Have Nothing To Do With “Flattering” Fits

For plus size women who love taking risks with fashion, there is no word more groan-inspiring than the word “flattering.” There are plenty of plus size style tips to consider that have absolutely nothing to do with seeking out garments that flatter your figure. In fact, some of them have nothing to do with your shape at all.

Here’s an example from my own experience: When I first took an interest in fashion, I made the dreaded mistake of belting literally everything I wore. Now, I have nothing against the decision to belt something. In many contexts, a belted dress looks amazing. However, if the only reason you’re belting is because a magazine or a friend or a clueless great aunt told you that you should, it’s time to reevaluate who the hell you’re actually dressing for.

I hated the feeling of the belt around my waist, but insisted upon wearing it because someone told me that it was necessary to accentuate my curves. Once I had that “ah-ha” moment, I unapologetically dressed exactly how I wanted to — and that meant that, most of the time, I left my belt at home. My closet evolved into the shapeless, boxy house of wonders that it is today, and I’m not even a little bit sorry that my preferred silhouettes do exactly nothing for my shape.

Feminists shattering stereotypes

It’s time to clear up a few stereotypes about feminists.

In a video from BuzzFeed Yellow, a diverse group of feminists backed the gender equality movement while also dispelling myths often associated with it, including its supporters being “sexist.”

“I’m a feminist, but not because it’s trendy,” one feminist said. “But I’m not a man hater,” said another.

Later, the feminists moved on from stereotypes and shared other views. “I’m a feminist, and f**k Donald Trump,” one said, while another pointed out being a feminist makes him “a better man.” The video closed with some encouragement for others to join the movement.

“I’m a feminist, and you should be, too.”

Gabourey Sidibe Has The Perfect Response To Love Scene Fat-Shamers

On Wednesday night, the writers of “Empire” made a bold move when they included a scene of Gabourey Sidibe’s character Becky having sex with her boyfriend, MC J Poppa. The scene was refreshing because it reminded us that, yes, fat women like and have sex, and it shouldn’t be a big deal. Unfortunately, the scene generated a few mean-spirited memes fat-shaming the actress…

Buy yours here,

Pregnancy Is Not an Invitation to Comment on My Body

Last week, I cried almost every day because of comments made about my pregnant belly. Because I’m petite (5’0″) and this is my third pregnancy, I popped even earlier than with my other two children. At nearly 27 weeks, my belly is large and in-charge. Throughout this pregnancy, I’ve had a positive self-image, but lately that confidence has dwindled.


Because nearly every day last week I had someone ask when I was due. When I would say in three months, I usually received a “WOW,” as in, wow, you are big, and wow, that is a long-time from now, how are you going to make it.

It was always directed at my size. Always.



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