All women dream of meeting a partner who will like our bodies as they are. We long for partners who will offer affirmation and unconditional acceptance, particularly if we have never been affirmed or were affirmed only as children in our families of origin. We long for acceptance of our physical beings, to be admired as we are, even as we withhold affirmation from ourselves. This is the worst form of self-sabotage. We can “start where we are” by offering ourselves that gaze of approval we long to see in the eyes of someone else. The more we love our flesh, the more others will delight in its bounty. As we love the female body, we are able to let it be the ground on which we build a deeper relationship to ourselves—a loving relationship uniting mind, body, and spirit.
bell hooks, communion, “Ch. 8 “Growing into a Woman’s Body” (this chapter includes rethinking negative attitudes about weight and menstruation, striving for better health, allowing beauty to follow—“We cannot negate our bodies and love them [simultaneously].”)
Thank you, bell. Future husband best realize this.
10 Ways To Be a Body Positivity Advocate
1. Be yourself. Whatever size, color, religion, gender, race, or sexual orientation. Don’t make apologies for yourself. Believe in the righteousness of your cause. Believe that hate helps nobody.
2. Understand that you’re beautiful. Understand that people who criticize your body or my body or Kelly Clarkson’s body can’t take that away from you. Understand that a lot of people are hateful morons, and they don’t reflect on you, and they shouldn’t affect you.
3. Let go of fear. Don’t let fear keep you from living your life the way you want to. Don’t be afraid to put on spandex and go to the gym. Don’t be afraid to order the cheesecake. Don’t be afraid to use the word fat. Boo during the trailer for that disgusting Dane Cook movie. Don’t be silent. Don’t allow yourself to be marginalized.
7. Link to your favorite body positivity blogs, maybe in unexpected places or in the middle of unexpected conversations–spread the word.
10. Have more to say or a unique perspective? Submit a guest post to a blog like this one. Or, if you’re very brave, start a blog of your own.
from the Big Fat Deal blog
Wanna Contribute to Stigma Zine #2?
In need yr words!
The subject for Stigma #2 is bodies. You can read about the guidlines/details etc etc etc in this post<3
the problem of traditionally gendered acts of chivalry
Benevolent sexism [aka chivalry] may not be physically violent, but it has a pretty similar outcome to hostile sexism… . . A group of psychologists … ran a study to find out does benevolent sexism influence how girls’ feel about their bodies?
The researchers used a simple test to measure the effects of benevolent sexism on how women felt about their bodies (this is called “self-objectification”, looking at your body as men or other women might and turning yourself into an object in your own eyes). The researchers tested two groups of college women. Now, here’s the clever part. In one group, the participants simply filled out surveys measuring self-objectification. In the second group, there was a female and a male research assistant (let’s call them “Susan” and “Tim”) pretending to be participants. The researcher in charge of the group was “in” on the trick. During the experiment, she received a fake phone call that she said was from a colleague who needed a box of research materials brought to another room. She asked “Susan” (whom everyone else thought was just another participant) to carry it, at which point “Tim” stood up and said, “I’ll get that for you,” and took the box. “Susan” sat back down. After this exchange, the real participants filled out the surveys measuring self-objectification.
So, what did that little act of “politeness” do? Well, when they compared the two groups’ survey scores, they found that in the group that watched Tim’s act of chivalry, women felt a stronger sense of shame about their body. They were more concerned about their bodies not fitting into society’s standards of how a woman should look. This group was also more preoccupied with monitoring their appearance (which researchers call “body surveillance”). Basically, the group that saw Tim’s act of “politeness” examined their bodies more to see how they compared to cultural standards of beauty and felt shame about not fitting into what society says women should look like.
But what do we make of these results? How could Tim’s simple act of carrying a box make women feel bad about their bodies? The authors propose that benevolent sexism, even though it may be meant to convey respect, actually reinforces traditional gender roles. Traditional femininity emphasizes the importance of a woman looking attractive (as opposed to intelligent, witty etc.) Without being aware of it, simply being reminded of traditional gender roles can make women more concerned about how they look (as opposed to their accomplishments or personality) which translates into “body surveillance” or women checking themselves out. When women compare their bodies to cultural standards of beauty, they can feel a sense of shame if they think they don’t “measure up.” It pretty much goes without saying that this is harmful to women and girls.
whoa our research blog got onto tumblr & we didn’t put it there! way cool. for those of you in the notes asking “so we should just never be polite to anyone ever?” nah! you should be polite to everyone! but think about the way gender informs your “politeness.”
How about instead of a bunch of us making resolutions to lose weight – which is a nebulous and difficult resolution, tied into a lot of shame and self-loathing – we make a different resolution. We make a resolution that is better for us and better for our daughters and our sisters and anyone else who is watching our relationship with our bodies, and puts the focus on our health (mental, physical, and spiritual) instead of our weight. We make a resolution to love ourselves, instead. Because we are done with a culture that tells us we are never good enough, we are done with a culture that tells us our bodies are to be regulated and policed and shamed, and we are done trying to fit a standard of beauty that was not made by us or for us.
I’m definitely doing the arrogant thing and quoting myself here, but this is such an important message for me that I want it on my damn blog.