Fit is a Feminist Issue, Link Round Up #85

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?

Target’s Swimwear Ads Are Photoshop-Free
It’s nearly beach season and, with that impending dream of warmer weather, Target debuted its latest swim campaign. The ad is filled with models who represent a wide range of ethnicities and body types. What’s more? The images are also fully unretouched, showing off each girl’s gorgeous curves and stretch marks in all their glory. In other words: It’s Target’s most empowering ad campaign yet.

Naked Mannequin Photographer Banned from Facebook

A Canadian photographer has been banned from Facebook after criticism over her photos of naked women posing behind a mannequin. Julia Busato insists she won’t let the ban stop her, even though she says it’s putting her livelihood at risk. The photos have been shared more than 200,000 times and Julia says women are still asking to join the series.But the images haven’t been welcomed by everyone and Julia says she was banned after some Facebook users reported her.

We Decided To Re-Create Iconic Playboy Covers And Here’s What Happened

You miiiight have heard of Playboy. It's a magazine that's been around for a gobsmacking 63 years!

TORRID GETS IT RIGHT ON THE DIVERSITY FRONT WITH ITS LATEST SWIM CAMPAIGN

 

Why Sam wants to hug Oprah

Oprah is losing weight again. For those of us following and for Oprah, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster. Right now she/we are going down. So far she’s lost 20 kg, the headlines tell us.

This time though, she’s not calling it a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. Right.

Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey says she has lost over 20 kg, and is loving it. The 65-year-old joined a weight losing programme called Weight Watchers in 2015. “Nearing the 45-pound weight loss mark is a great feeling,” Winfrey said.

She said that the loss of her weight is the result of a lifestyle change instead of years of dieting, reports aceshowbiz.com. “After spending literally years on more diets than I care to count, I finally made the shift from dieting to a lifestyle change.

“Everyone is different, but for me what’s worked, is Weight Watchers… Today I’m more conscious about what I eat, balancing indulgent things with healthier options,” she said. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” host says she felt encouraged to take a holistic approach to health and fitness.

With an estimated net worth of 3.2 billion dollars Oprah is one of the world’s richest women. You can track both her wealth and weight through the years. Last year she bought shares in Weight Watchers and become a company spokesperson. So all of this is no surprise though it disappointed Tracy.

In 1996, Oprah Winfrey hired personal trainer Bob Greene, saying her roller-coaster weight saga was over. Here she is with Greene in 1997. Oprah said she controls her weight by working out daily using Greene’s guidelines. From http://www.accessatlanta.com/entertainment/television/photos-oprah-weight-through-the-years/MywJK3oWH9lwnIi0dYg4JO/#6

Now though she says she doesn’t care about the number on the scale. Again, right.

Oprah Winfrey says that after years of allowing her self-image to be influenced by her weight, she’s finally arrived at a place of equilibrium and self-acceptance. The former talk show host recently lost 42 lbs by following the Weight Watchers program, but says that her newfound happiness is less due to a number on a scale and more to a change in perspective.

Some people are critical of celebrity diets.

 Jean Fain writes, “With their intoxicating blend of impossible expectations, misguided authority and restrictive guidelines, celebrity diets are predestined to fail spectacularly.” Celebrity diets are expensive in terms of time and money. They hire personal chefs and personal trainers and devote a lot of time to their appearance.

See Tracy’s recent post about celebrity diets. And Catherine’s post about diet fallacies and the appeal to Oprah.

Some people are angry at Oprah.

See Dear Oprah, Shut Up About This Being the Year of Our Best Bodies Ever.

You told me in January that 2016 would be the year of Our Best Bodies. You gave your most inspired Oprah gaze that punched right through to my soul, and you told me my body is no good. It doesn’t just need to be better, it needs to be The Best. It’s OK, though, because you’re going to be the best with me, so no worries — as long as I join your weight loss club.

HELL. NO. This is my best body, Oprah. Right now. Full of stretch marks and cellulite, a perfectly-rounded belly and deflated breasts.

It does a fucking amazing job doing what it’s meant to do: SUSTAIN LIFE. It has sustained my life, my son’s life, traveled all over the world, climbed a volcano, played hard, planted gardens, given safe medical care to countless people, and created delightful edible art that is damn delicious.

Me, I want to give her a hug and tell her it will all be okay when she gains that 42 lbs back.

Why my fondness for Oprah? I find myself sympathizing with her. She’s like me, but with more money and a bigger audience. Like me, how? Well, we’re roughly the same size and shape. She’s 5’6, I’m an inch taller. Her lowest weight was 150 lbs, mine 155. And we both cop to a highest weight in the 230s. I’ve also lost and gained weight through the years. Weight Watchers, Precision Nutrition, personal training, etc etc.

She’s halfway between me and my mother–who also shares the same height and weight range–in age.

Sometimes I use Oprah’s example to feel better about my own failed weight loss efforts. If someone with Oprah’s resources such as personal chefs and trainers can’t do it, what hope is there for me?

But I feel sorry for Oprah regaining weight in the public eye.  The stories and photos about it all sound so sad. She’s such a terrific business person and has such a great voice and brand, why is she so fussed about her size? And yet I hear people saying the same thing to me.

Why does she care? Why do I care? See my past post On wishing for weight loss. In that post, from March 2015, I wrote:

Look, it’s not irrational in a size phobic society to not want to be fat.

Why? More clothes fit, you’ll get paid more, get higher teaching evaluations if you’re a professor (like me), be seen as smarter, be more attractive to a wider range of partners (don’t get me wrong, I’ve never had a shortage of people finding me attractive but I’m a bit of a niche taste), and more to the point, in my case, climb hills faster. Zoom!

Added bonus: It’d improve my running times a lot.

But it’s wanting the impossible that’s sad and hard. Wanting what you can’t have has never seemed a good game plan for life happiness.

How about we make peace with our bodies and love them the way they are?

And how about I give you a hug Oprah and then we can drink some tea together and maybe go for a run, not because it will help us lose weight (it won’t) but because it feels good to move our bodies. I’m admiring you from the sideline and hoping you don’t go down that road again.

Image description: Dark pink text on light pink background that reads, I workout because I love my body not because I hate it.

Image description: Dark pink text on light pink background that reads, I workout because I love my body not because I hate it.

Fit is a Feminist Issue, Link Round Up #83

This is where we share stuff we can’t share on our 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?

Powerful NSFW Portraits Reveal What Real People Look Like Without Their Clothes On

With all these nude and semi-nude selfies on social media featuring the perfect bikini bodies, artist Aleah Chapin thought she would show the world something different.

For her newest exhibition “Body / Being,” Chapin showcases honest nude portraits that explore gender and agings of the body. Inspired by the recent transition of her cousin, Qwill, the artist painted all types of different bodies, including both females and males, to show how similar we all really are in the end. “The whole point of [my current exhibit] is to show that we are all the same in the end, no matter if we are an 84-year-old man or a 30-year-old trans individual,” said Chapin. “We all have struggles and experiences of being in a body, and if we could just focus on what we have in common instead of being afraid and judgmental of our differences, I think the world would be a much kinder place.”

The images are gorgeous. Go look! 

Image description; A side view of a fat woman with red hair and wearing green lingerie kneeling. It says,

Image description; A side view of a fat woman with red hair and wearing green lingerie kneeling. It says, “Love Your Body.”

 

10+ Powerful NSFW Photos From The 2017 Birth Photo Competition Prove That Moms Are Badass

The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers has announced the winners of their 2017 contest, and the photos they chose show the struggles mothers go through to bring new life into the world, and the sheer joy that follows.

We took your breath away with last year’s contest, and these new photos will leave you even more amazed. Each one tells a story of pain, perseverance, and finally, relief. They document a baby’s first moments of life, and a family’s first moments of unity.

Many of the photos below are intense and graphic, so reader discretion is advised. They are all, however, powerful in their own unique ways.

5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FAT LOVE

There are a lot of things that straight-sized people do not know about being fat and in love. For instance — you may want to sit down for this — fat people can actually simultaneously be happy and fat

Mind-blowing, right?

Simple things like this escape the average person so often that you’d think that “fat and miserable” was an empirical fact rather than a harmful and inaccurate stereotype.

What if I told you that not only can fat people be happy, they can also be loved by an array of folks with different body types? That we, too, can have beautiful whirlwind romances and fairytale weddings?

This Body-Positive Photo Shoot Empowered A Group Of Friends To Find Their Confidence

Every woman has that one thing that makes her feel beautiful. For some, it’s high heels; for others, it’s a bright red lip. But at the end of the day, feeling beautiful isn’t about what you wear, but about the confidence your go-to beauty booster gives you: Nothing is sexier than confidence.

A tightly-knit group of women in Australia recently learned the power of confidence first-hand, when they decided to strip down to their birthday suits and slather themselves in glitter for a sunrise body-positive photo shoot on the beach. The close pals—who met via social media thanks to their shared love of lingerie—had previously gathered in a group member’s backyard to test out the body glitter, and ended up loving the way the sparkle made them feel.

Biggin’ your booty? Because whatever your body looks like, it’s not good enough

You might think that if you are blessed with a naturally slender physique, or if you’ve exercised and dieted your way to a thinner shape, that your work is done.

Sadly, no.

The “problem” is that most women who are small, thin, or have a low percent body fat, also have smaller breasts and smaller bottoms. Until now society had focused its pressure on breast size. Breast enlargement by surgery or by padded bra is the usual route to being thin and having large breasts.

But now it’s not just breasts, it’s also bottoms. There’s pressure on women to be thin and to have a shapely bum. We read about this a lot when it comes to fitness trends.  Some women worry that treadmill running leads to flat butts. Other women do all squats all the time. I’ve written before about body shaming endurance athletes. See Fear of frail? In which Sam pledges not to body shame skinny runners.

I am thinking about this while I am watching the Oscars. Rail thin women in beautiful gowns with substantial bottoms. How do they do that? Turns out it’s not just avoiding the treadmill or doing squats.

See The Case for a Bigger Ass.

“When Hollywood’s most glamorous actresses hit the red carpet at Sunday’s Oscars, their bods will be made hotter with an arsenal of enhancers, from “chicken cutlet” bra inserts to Spanx. And in some cases, the ladies will be packing another concealed weapon: butt pads.

The caboose boosters are the latest awards-season essential, creating curves back there without the pain, expense and risks of surgery or endless reps in the gym. “Butt pads are a tool for a specific look — they work best to emphasize your body with a very slinky body-hugging gown or pants,” says fashion expert and television personality George Kotsiopoulos.”

Butt pads?

The idea is that you get super skinny by dieting, or you are already super skinny to start, but then you need to look curvy. So you selectively add fat back to the body bits that matter.

The staff at BuzzFeed tried wearing them and writing about. See We Tried Wearing Butt Padding and This is What Happened.

 

 

As if that weren’t “bang head against desk” inducing enough it turns out you can also worry that pubic mound is too small. A click bait-y piece appeared in my newsfeed about it. I won’t link to it here since an astute reader noticed that in addition to all the other ways that it could be offensive, the piece was also really shitty to transwomen.

It’s increasingly the case that no women can rest, all bodies are in need of constant improvement. We’ve written before about women who worry that their pubic mound is too fat. See “My boyfriend says my vagina is too fat.”

Others worry that their labia are too old.

It’s a fact of life: The appearance of your lady parts may change with age. “The labia may become less plump as estrogen levels wane, fatty pads in the labia shrink and less collagen can lead to more sagging,” says Dr. Rankin. “The skin of the vulva may darken or lighten and the clitoris may shrink. It’s normal either way.”

Too skinny flat bottom? Too thin shrinking wrinkly labia?

Really? Really? Really?

[Image: 5736081.png]

Actually, I do have words. It’s this, “Life is very short. Too short for this. Love the body you have.”

And if you can’t love your body, Here’s an Idea: Body-Neutrality.

 

Fit is a Feminist Issue, Link Round Up #81

This is where we share stuff we can’t share on our 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?

Poster that says "not one drop of my self worth depends on your acceptance of me" in black all caps on white poster with black border.

Image description: Poster that says “not one drop of my self worth depends on your acceptance of me” in black all caps on white poster with black border.

How to Love a Fat Person

Fat people are reminded every day that we are objects of fear and revulsion. When we dare to aspire to love — real, reciprocal, respectful, deep, boundless love — we are slapped back. Our most human want is met with a seemingly impenetrable wall of harsh stereotypes and unforgiving attitudes.

Fat people are expected to be grateful that anyone wants us — even if that desire shows up as sexual assault or abusive partners. We are subject to humiliation for daring to express our interest in someone else. Those who fall for fat people learn to hide their feelings after years of being told their desire isn’t real. We learn simple lessons: that bees sting, that fire burns, that open affection cannot be trusted, and that love is not for bodies like ours. If we are to be fat, we cannot also be loved.

I will be the flicker in your blind spot 

When I was a child in Tokyo, every evening my family and I would gather our toiletries and go down the street to the public bathhouse. There, in the women’s bath, all bodies slipped happily into the hot waters and gossiped and cackled. As a little girl I saw all the shapes and all the imperfections and all the stages of bodily change of wrinkles and sags and decay of time that framed the glorious granny grins of life well lived.

I told the women of this and their eyes lit up. (I need to get these women to an osento, or jimjillbang bath! Or saunas, or hammams or banyas…)

There were other threads of ‘all women’ assumptions.

Widow transforms herself

Show me a man who controls the way his wife looks, and I’ll show you a man with an unhappy wife.

For Charlotte Guttenberg, she had always wanted a tattoo. But her husband wouldn’t allow it. He has his mind made up as to “what a woman should look like” and because Charlotte wanted to be a good wife, she obeyed him.

“I always wanted tattoos. My husband…forbade me from having tattoos. His whole concept was that no lady would have a tattoo. But it didn’t stop me wanting one,” said Charlotte.

But when Charlotte’s husband died 10 years ago, she knew exactly what she wanted to do.

37 Beautiful Portraits Of Fat Couples Challenge Sizeism (NSFW)

“As author Junot Diaz once wrote, if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves,” photographer Substantia Jones explains.

This adage strikes at the core of Jones’ mission as a fat activist and photographer. Eight years ago, she resolved to “subvert the very tool most often used to instill body hate” — photography — and wield it to celebrate fat bodies. (She prefers the term “fat” — a “morally neutral descriptor” — to the term “plus-size,” which she sees as more suited to clothing than people.)

Substantia was weary of sizeist representations of larger bodies in the media and the lack of images that depicted fat people as sensual, fulfilled beings. So, she started “The Adipositivity Project,” a photo-activism campaign dedicated to beautiful (and unretouched) photography of fat people of all sexualities, ethnicities, genders, and abilities.

 

Fit is a Feminist Issue, Link Round Up #80

This is where we share stuff we can’t share on our 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?

This Woman Took A Picture Wearing Just Tights To Make A Powerful Statement About Body Image

Same girl, same day, same time. 💛 Not a before and after. Not a weight loss transformation. Not a diet company promotion. 💛 I am comfortable with my body in both. Neither is more or less worthy. Neither makes me more or less of a human being. Neither invites degrading comments and neither invites sleezy words. 💛 We are so blinded to what a real unposed body looks like and blinded to what beauty is that people would find me less attractive within a 5 second pose switch! How insanely ridiculous is that!? 💛 I love taking these, it helps my mind so much with body dysmorphia and helps me rationalise my negative thoughts. 💛 Don't compare, just live for you. There is no one on this planet who's like you and that's pretty damn amazing don't ya think. The world doesn't need another copy, it needs you. 💛 We are worthy, valid and powerful beyond measure 💙🌟 (If you don't pull your tights up as high as possible are you really human?)

A post shared by Milly Smith 💛🌻☀️👑 (@selfloveclubb) on

It’s amazing how much something as seemingly innocent as a pair of tights can make you feel like total crap about your body—and one woman is laying it all out on Instagram.

Body positive activist Milly Smith, who operates under the Insta handle @selfloveclubb, posted side-by-side photos of herself in a pair of black tights, noting that they look like they’re being worn by different people. In the first pic, Milly’s tights are up high on her hips, creating a slim waist; in the second, her tights are low, creating a tummy.

Windsor group goes analog to improve perceptions of body image

A Windsor eating disorder association has launched a project that aims to improve perceptions of body image by encouraging people to take selfies with a Polaroid camera.

The Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association set up shop at the University of Windsor this week, asking students to take photos without giving them the ability to edit or enhance the images

The Be Your Selfie project is a departure from the easily altered images people share on social media, which are easily modified to change someone’s appearance.

“It’s in the moment,” said Zara Ali, who snapped a selfie with the Polaroid. “It’s your everyday kind of life, whereas, if you’re posting something on Instagram, you are going to look at it for the longest time ever.”

This Body-Positive Photo Series of Women Embracing Their Curves Is Mesmerizing

<p>Photo: Silvana Denker Fotografie </p>

Photographer and plus-size model Silvana Denker is back with a new body-positive series.

Following her “Body Love” campaign, in which she photographed eight women of all shapes and shades posing in just black undergarments, Denker released a new photo series titled “Metallic Curves.”

The series features nude women covered from head to toe in gold and silver body paint, posing for portraits against a black background — a powerful statement to embrace your body as it is. One of the women in the photoshoot was Denker’s 52-year-old mother.

White Women: This Is Why Your Critiques Of Beyoncé Are Racist

Pushing that bull-shittery aside, instead of being happy for Beyoncé and her Beybies, I came across three different think pieces about the announcement by salty white women who decided it was ok to criticize:

  1. The way she announced her pregnancy.
  2. The fact that she did announce her pregnancy.
  3. That she looked amazing in her pregnancy photoshoot.

I don’t have any fitness goals for 2017 (Guest post)

Other than to listen. And to understand.

We are at war with so many things. And our voices are hoarse from yelling about things that we can’t believe we still need to yell about. And yet we are still at war with our bodies.

Image result for i can't believe i still have to protest this

I am becoming acutely aware of where I sit in this space. My race, the gender I identify with, the way my body is put together puts me in a particular position. I acknowledge my journey the past year and a half has been one of more fun movement, less punishment, loving food and full-belly breaths (no sucking in!) – but I also recognize how lucky I am that my journey looked that way, that I was able to explore those avenues.

But now it’s time to listen. I can’t tell you to celebrate your body (as much as I want to because you’re awesome). As a beautiful friend of mine said, it’d be like me saying you don’t need face creams when I’ve never had a zit (as an example – I’ve had plenty of zits in my day). I do hope that while we are looking at this world around us that seems like it’s growing increasingly unfamiliar, we also take time to examine where our goals around our bodies are coming from (there are correlations between a lot right now).

Many of us are stuck in this endless loop of self-improvement and striving, without knowing the roots of where that striving might actually be coming from (race, privilege, patriarchy, colonialism, etc.). And what I have taken away from it right now is that I need to be, open, on my own path and there for others.

So I will listen. And be there. And I hope you will be too. Because while we share many similarities as humans, our differences are still making a big difference in the way we are each able to experience life and our bodies.

 

JESSICA IRELAND-4 - Copy.jpg Jessica Ireland thanks all of her friends who increase her awareness on her privilege and how she can help others, while still validating and giving space for her own life experiences. She chooses to be kind to her body by being fortunate enough to move it often (often there is smiling involved), not eating animals, getting rest and choosing not to qualify food. She hopes others find ways to be kind to themselves and others that work for them. We may have a long road ahead of us – please listen and take care of each other 🙂