All Articles Tagged "body image"
We hear it all the time- when you sign up to be on a reality show or to be in the spotlight in general, you’re automatically subjecting yourself to public scrutiny. Editor-in-chief of The Source Magazine, Kim Osorio, however, admits that despite working in the industry for so many years, she was a little taken back by the harsh criticism that she and her Gossip Game co-stars received about their physical appearance.
“One of the criticisms I heard about our show a lot of times was the way we look. I feel like I just look like a regular person, but when you’re on TV, people expect you to be extra glamorous and you have to dress a certain way, and it’s all about image and style,” the 38-year-old Bronx native told Sister 2 Sister.
The entertainment industry veteran added that this type of criticism only contributes to the issues that people have with most reality shows starring women and that it sort of contradicts what people are claiming they would like to see more of on television.
“I’ve heard people critique how we look as a cast… ‘Oh, they’re not skinny enough to be on TV. They’re not pretty enough to be on TV…’ I just think that does a disservice to all of the stuff we’ve heard in the past about what people want from reality TV.”
“’We’re tired of seeing these housewives and women who are dating people and that’s how they earned their way on TV.’ Well, if you’re tired of it, then don’t knock down the fact that we’re a show of women who may not be a size 2,” the mom of three continued.
Kim admits that she wasn’t bothered by the comments being made about her, but confesses that they did have somewhat of an impact on her co-stars.
“I felt a way about some of the things people were saying to other cast members. It’s hurtful when you say things like that.”
A little over a month ago, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s Joseline Hernandez slammed the cast for being what she considered overweight.
“They all just sloppy and nasty. They need to get they a** in the gym,” Hernandez said during a radio interview.
What do you think of Kim’s response to the critics? Would you agree that she has a point?
StyleLikeU’s Round Table series has tackled a range of topics, including modern femininity, androgyny and black women and their hair.
For its most recent installment of the series the fashion website, which was founded by Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum, gathered a notable group of women to discuss body image–a hot topic in fashion and beyond.
New York Ballet dancer Megan LeCrone, writer and editor Nicolette Mason and journalist/DJ/photographer/model Cory Kennedy were just a few of the tastemakers tapped to shed light on the subject. Rapper Eve also lent her personal perspective and stories to the discussion which covered everything from boob size (and appearance), weight management, dealing with sexual attention and more.
The Philadelphia-native explained how the women she grew up around were considered “feisty with a fat A$$,” and it wasn’t until she started catching the attention of the fashion industry during her highly successful music career that she started to obsess about her weight and image. Squeezing into sample size (generally sizes 0 to 4) clothes from designers took a toll on the “Let Me Blow Your Mind” rapper.
In the video Eve recalls a time when she almost passed out attending an awards show. She had to go to the bathroom and “take down” her dress in order to breathe. But Eve’s body image plights go beyond dress size, the 34-year-old star says her biggest issue is her booty.
Read more and watch video of the roundtable on BlackVoices.com.
Historically, it has appeared that the residents of many countries in Africa preferred the more voluptuous, curvy woman over the slim and slender-figured woman. However, lately, preferences appear to be shifting, sparking many public debates among residents of the Ivory Coast, regarding which physique is more desirable, reports the New York Daily News.
“Being thin is synonymous with being sickly and malnourished in African society,” Micheline Gueu, a candidate in the Miss Ivory Coast beauty pageant, regretfully admitted.
Slim-figured Ivorian singer, Princess Amore, however, is encouraging slender, small-breasted women, whom she refers to as “lalas” to embrace their figures.
“I noticed that some girls were embarrassed to have small breasts and felt like they had to fake it by stuffing their bras,” she told AFP.
Her use of the term “lala” is actually in reference to the word “lolo,” which is commonly used to describe curvy women. In 2000, Ivorian musician Meiway released song, “Mrs. Lolo,” celebrating the curves of voluptuous women. At a concert last year, he yelled out to his audience:
“You White people, you like your women flat and thin. Here, we like them big, with curves.”
Despite the widespread celebration of the “lolos,” the Daily News reports that there are certainly more “lalas” being showcased in the Miss Ivory beauty pageants.
Victor Yapobi, President of the Miss Ivory organizing committee suggests that thinner women are more easily marketed than fuller figured women.
“Our beauties comply to international standards: minimum height 1.68 metres (five feet six inches), 90 centimetres (35 inches) around the hips,” said Yapobi.
It appears that statements like the one made by Yapobi are one of the reasons that curvier African women argue that their beauty is also underrated. In 2009, Abidjan organization, Roundly Beautiful surfaced. Spearheaded by Djeneba Dosso, the organization aims to “rid big women of their complexes.” Although the group celebrates curvy women, organizers also encourage Ivorian women to make healthier choices, as many of them ”don’t exercise and eat badly,” says Dosso.
Artist Augustin Kassi, who frequently paints images of full-figured women, disapproves of the beauty pageant, which he refers to as ”voluntary denigration of African beauty.” As a promoter of diversity, it appears that Kassi finds the constant debating to be trivial.
“The world is made up of different things. It’s a rainbow,” he says.
What are your thoughts on the thick vs. slim debate?
You’re often told to do an exercise a certain amount of time, number of repetitions, or “until you feel satisfied.” But with every person’s body having different limits and different strengths these vague instructions can leave us unsatisfied. But forget measurements and forget numbers. There are certain ways to understand what a healthy body looks like that apply to every woman, and they’re easy to understand.
An Open Letter To My Left Boob, Which Is Much Bigger Than My Right: We Don’t Always Get Along, But I Love You Anyway
I can remember the day I realized that you were dramatically larger than your twin.
While working at Victoria’s Secret waaaaay back in the day, I was asked to try on the new Incredible bra, and whichever ones, in whatever color fit, I could take them home for Free.99 to add to my collection. I was like a kid in a candy store.
I entered the dressing room, you know the ones with the mirrors that can move and give like every angle possible? Yeah, those were the ones I faced when I got undressed that evening. And in that room, as I stood, and as I pulled my bra off, there you sat, looking completely different than my cheap full body college mirror ever let on before.
‘What in the hell!?’
I stood there, shocked and a little sad at what I could somewhat feel for years, but honestly had never seen in this light, in this way. To have an imperfection amplified and seen even if just by myself at every turn, was a bit much. Let’s just say that the rest of the day didn’t go very well emotionally.
But who am I fooling? I could tell something was different about you for years. You made bra shopping the ultimate hassle. While my right boob was down to cooperate and sit comfy in my cups, there you were, being an a**hole again, down to clown. Instead of sitting snug, when I would bend over you would slowly but surely try to peek out of your cup, begging me to go up another cup or to tighten my straps up or adjust my band to contain you. Your behavior is what led me to leave the alluring demi bras and strapless joints behind and go full-on granny with my lingerie, opting for full coverage just to keep you in check. You were annoying, but I never thought you were THAT bad. But it was that particular day in that dressing room that I realized why you had always been a struggle–you had outgrown my right boob at a drastic level, and for me, visually, it was way too much. What was something I was initially aware of and a little shy about became something I wound up being embarrassed by, even if no one else could immediately notice or said anything about it.
And for so long, I was paranoid. I would try and dress uncomfortably in tight stalls at the gym because I wasn’t as confident as some of the women around me who wanted to go commando at the drop of a drawl to show everybody what they were working with. They could do that because their chests were symmetrically on point. And if they weren’t…well, if you’re walking around a room full of women undressed, washing your workout clothes in the sink like folks do at my raggedy gym, you don’t care whose looking at your lumps and bumps anyway. Trying to buy swimwear for my chest became a nightmare, and even when I went to visit the gynecologist, I was literally in a state of extreme discomfort. And once I became sexually active, I was very much worried about you and how the man in my life might react to your appearance.
But to my surprise, he didn’t notice. At all. If he did, he sure didn’t say anything to me. In fact, he often speaks on how he loves my body and the confidence he seems to think I have about it. I think he had me confused with someone else, but I appreciated his kind words. His support of my body image, and you, my lopsided tit, have been encouraging, but honestly, it was my own reality check to myself that made me more confident in you and my body as a whole.
What was I going to do about you? Was I going to get surgery? Was I going to hide in a stanky a** stall every time I needed to change to get my work out on because I thought someone would be looking at me? Was I going to continuously be sad about something I didn’t cause and couldn’t change? The answer to all these things was no. While I would love my chest to sit perfectly, it doesn’t and that’s fine, because I know it’s not the end of the world, and better yet, I’m not alone in the lopsided committee. And if the doctor continues to say that there’s nothing wrong with you, I’m not going to treat you like there is. I might stick with the full coverage bras for simple convenience (aye…they’ve been MAD supportive too), but you’re not going to have me doubting myself any longer.
So yes left boob, we haven’t always had the best relationship, and you’re not perfect, but hey–you’re mine. You, in all your oversized glory, were given to me by God to carry around with confidence, and for that reason, I’ll continue to try my best to do that. We’ve been at odds since you first started growing back when I was still messing with Barbies, but now that we’re older, let’s call a truce and keep it peaceful and perky. Aight?
It happened while shopping at a local boutique during my freshman year of college. At the time she was a size 14 and I was a 4. For some reason, that day she decided to try on clothes in the petite section. I was confused, but I continued trying on clothes.
She kept eyeing a teeny bra and panties set and I thought, “No way. I know she’s not.” But she did. She picked up the set and fawned over how cute the lace was and said she was buying it. I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing and continued trying on clothes. With no warning, she looked at me as I awkwardly stumbled out of the dressing room wearing what I hoped would finally be the perfect dress for whichever event we were going to.
“Ugh, you make me sick you skinny b***h.”
It stunned me at first. I had the kind of relationship with my friends where we could insult each other lovingly and never take it to heart. But this. This was something else entirely. She gave a half-hearted smile and chuckle but she looked a confusing mash-up of angry and sad. Back then I thought too much of myself as we so often do and I took offense, discussing the issue with friends to make myself feel better as they coddled me with the, “She’s just jealous,” speech. What I know now is that it was more about her than it was about me.
Self-doubt, ESPECIALLY when it comes to physical beauty drives us to comparison in absolutely illogical ways and then throws us down into the muck of despair when we don’t measure up to whatever ludicrous standard we’ve set ourselves up against. But instead of accurately and honestly assessing where we are and then putting in the sweat (literally) to get where we want to be, it’s so much easier to give intense side-eye to that young woman who spends three hours daily in the gym and watches what she eats. It’s so much easier to call a slimmer woman (by metabolism – something almost completely uncontrollable) a “skinny b***h” without knowing her story. Did you know she may be battling an eating disorder brought on by physical and/or mental abuse? Or that perhaps she has a rarely high metabolism and intensely low self-esteem and tries desperately to gain weight to avoid criticism? You don’t know because you never asked. You never asked because you assumed that she thought she was “all that.” And we’re (skinny girls) supposed to take that?
If it’s rude or inappropriate for me to call an overweight woman a “fat, moon-faced heifer” then it’s equally inappropriate for someone to look at my 105-pound frame and jeer “Anorexic, skinny b***h!” or assume that I’m purposely missing meals to stay small. I get it; life is unfair. Boo hoo. Society is full of double standards, all of which coddle one group and leave its opposite open to criticism and cruel treatment that often lead to unfair resentment and hidden insecurities.
Though I wasn’t always comfortable in my body and I still deal with insecurities about it, it has become clear that acceptance is a useful tool in moving through life. Well, acceptance and a staunch refusal to bite my tongue when confronted about my weight. I learned to brush off the backhanded remarks about my size by larger women when I understood that I had nothing to apologize for. As if the fifteen or twenty pounds tipping another woman’s scale were somehow caused by my innately high metabolism. Really?
Society has really screwed us up. It has skewed our perception of what healthy looks like and driven home the lucrative “Try this and lose weight!” campaign year after year on the front of every glossy magazine in the checkout, in every aggravating commercial featuring that annoying celebrity, with pills, supplements, exercise regimens, crash diets and surgery. So, we clamor for that elusive perfect shape (yes, even the thinnest of us) and compare ourselves to those who we feel have reached that goal in our place. “In our place.” As if another woman’s physique decides the beauty, or lack their of, of our own. The result of that kind of ridiculous comparison is misguided self-doubt, insecurity and unfortunately, for many, lashing out to cope. I get the psychology behind it. Truly. But it’s no excuse to be mean.
I am not pleading the case of skinny girls. I am defending everyone who falls on the other side of any number of double standards, through the cracks, and gets lost there. Thinner women are subconsciously taught to be ashamed of their size and never to complain whilst we deal with an array of problems ranging from health to clothing that others deem trivial/silly. How crazy is that? Though I do struggle daily with lurking insecurities about my weight, that doesn’t give me license to belittle someone who is larger – nor would I ever want it to.
“Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Philo
Though the struggle may not be overt; though the struggle may not look like yours; though you may not understand it – accept the fact that everyone has a struggle.
We have to stop thinking of ourselves in terms of everyone else. We’re doing more damage to our own psyches and self-view than the best marketers and advertisers ever could. Thin or thick – healthiness is beauty and THAT is the only standard to which we should ever strive to measure up.
La Truly’s writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Check her out on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so they say. I say that beauty is embodied by those who refuse to believe they are anything less–regardless of a beholder. The body positive movement (more so a philosophy than an active crusade) agrees with me, and it is the belief that the present standard of beauty is bogus, and dominated by unattainable and unhealthy goals set by self-loathing women and imperfect men. The world is obsessed with women and their bodies, but only in a dissecting way. Women are mourning their bodies, not celebrating them because the media would have us believe that there is something wrong with our bodies. After all, companies and organizations gain greatly when women waste millions on diet fads and untouched gym memberships, when those women could save hundreds by being comfortable in their own skin. The body positivity movement is about health, identity and self-respect. Women of any weight, age, race, measurement or proportion can be/are beautiful.
The appreciation of curves and physical diversity reduces fat-shaming, bulimia, anorexia, depression and bullying among women everywhere, based on the fact that it’s about acceptance. The body positive movement sets the challenge of getting women to accept themselves and other women on a fundamental level, in spite of “flaws” and “imperfections,” so that we may embrace and adore those oddities. A great way to talk about what body positivity is, is to talk about what it isn’t. It isn’t about eroticizing or sexualizing, nor is it about tolerance–it’s about softening the frown of superficiality, and revisiting points in history where women were praised for curvaceousness outside of a subgroup.
Body positive ideals borrow greatly from the “fat positive” movement (also known as fat feminism), which indicates that anyone can be happy and healthy at any size–weight not being a clear indicator of how well one eats or how often one exercises. The fat positive movement wants to weaken the effects of size discrimination, and to eliminate an innate desire to apologize for our fat. ‘Body positive’ expands on that idea by being accepting of all sizes under the doctrine that beauty is about confidence, presentation and self-awareness. It gives women the permission to love themselves and celebrate femininity in terms of shapeliness. This mission makes it possible for both women who are shaped like Zoe Saldana and Mo’Nique, or Keira Knightley and Christina Hendricks, to compete in the same mainstream arena without criticism on either side of the weight spectrum.
Steps toward being body positive in your own life can unhinge mainstream media’s body-shame ambitions. This can be done by not focusing on body image issues when having a conversation with co-workers and friends OR working on praising other women for their physical attributes, as opposed to tearing them down. Also, it’s fine to eat comfort foods, but also eat heart healthy foods, and walk an extra few blocks to burn calories if you think you’d benefit from it. And, be open to trying new foods in general. Wear clothes that are both flattering and comfortable, and always take an extra moment to give yourself a small bit of praise before you leave your home every morning.
Would you love to attract the man of your dreams? Does your weight keep getting in the way? When you’re being honest with yourself, are you happy? If not, is your weight a big part of the reason why? Or, are you already dating a great guy, but you know it could be so much better if you could feel fantastic about your own body?
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to park your “body car” by the curb and leave it there during your date … or at any time, for that matter. What is your “body car?” It’s your vehicle here on this Earth — your body, and you need it with you all the time.
Read more at YourTango.com.
Standards of beauty vary through time, countries and cultures, except when it comes to fashion it seems. The barely-there-bodies of skinny woman have been the trend on almost all catwalks for as long as we can remember. But what of a country and culture which associates thinness with poverty and AIDS?
According to The Guardian, when Ghanaian Fashion and Design Week arrived this year, so did whole groups of frail-framed models “moving together in small, conspiratorial looking packs.” And one curvy onlooker’s amused commentary on their alien-like appearance was telling of the west African country’s traditionally full female forms.
Read more at StyleBlazer
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“In a special four-minute comment that aired during this morning’s news broadcast on La Crosse, Wisconsin’s CBS affiliate WKBT, news anchor/reporter Jennifer Livingston responded to a viewer who wrote in to the station to chide Livingston for not providing “a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular,” by appearing on television despite being overweight.
“If you needed another reason to be a fan of Gabourey Sidibe, the words she spoke at a recent Women’s Inspiration and Enterprise conference in NYC last week just might give you what you’re looking for. The actress, who receives a lot of rude remarks and inquiries about her weight, touched on people’s obsession with her size, and the struggle she dealt with to feel confident about who she was as a young woman. And she also touched on how even with the confidence she gained, she still gets her feelings hurt by how cruel Hollywood and the media can be.
What do these two stories have in common? Well they are both about to plus size women proudly declaring their sense of worth in the face of people, who think they should feel otherwise. Let’s be frank here: despite all the “concern” about role models and their health, these ladies physical condition and mentor status is the less of people’s real uneasiness. People do unhealthy stuff every day. Heck if you are right now sitting at your computer for eight hours a day, like many of you are, you probably are at risk from a number of ailments including carpal tunnel syndrome, cancer and stroke. Yet there is no national campaign to rid the nation of office chairs and cubicles. So the least we can do is be honest about the root of our angst: this is not about health. It’s about appearance. And the whole, “you know…for your health” thing is just a way to be a passively aggressive mean girl/guy to someone you are repulsed by.
Repulsion may be a strong word however there is one study, which has proven that at least the word “disgust” was the strongest predictor of negative attitudes toward obese people. Moreover, obese people were considered less favorably, as well as more disgusting, than almost all socially defined groups. The reason being that fat people are believed to be more lazy and lacking of self-control than the rest of us smokers, reckless drivers, texting while walkers and fans of “Basketball Wives.” Therefore it is okay to publicly shame fat people because there is no greater form of deflecting your own internal fear of not measuring up than “hey fatty, get off your lazy bum and go work out.”
However, contrary to popular belief, you can’t always tell a person’s health just by looking at them. I know, shocking, right? In fact if we were looking at a side by side picture of fat person a double cheeseburger supersized meal and one of a skinny person eating the same meal, guess who has the unhealthy diet? Here’s a hint: it is likely both of them. There are fat people, who live for a very long time. There are also fat people that are vegans (which mean they are likely to eat fruits and vegetables), exercise regularly, even running marathons. Likewise, there are fat people, who actually really truly do have health conditions, which prohibit them from maintaining a healthy weight.
But let’s say that there are folks (because there are) out there that are gluttonous lazy pigs, who are really eating themselves to death. What business is it of yours? No seriously, how does another person’s health really affect you personally? Before you open your mouth to dish out some weak argument about your health insurance co-pays, consider the fact that there is more and more evidence, which suggest that your personal health decisions/ailments have less of an effect on the rising cost of health insurance premiums in America than the health insurance companies themselves. And since we don’t blast granny about her over-reliance on prescription pills, which killed about 41,000 Americans in 2008 alone; or prohibit children from swimming, since drowning kills more children than any cause except birth defects; or chastise people, who choose to drive, because car accidents still remain one of the leading cause of accidental deaths in America, then there is really no need to remind a tubby what having all that extra weight on their bones might be doing to their health. Plus odds are, they already know.
B-b-but I eat fruits, lean meats and green veggies with every main meal and I run five times a week and can do 5 reps of 10 on a 200 pound bench press. If I can do it, than that fatty over there can do it too. Cool story Bro, but I care as much about your personal diet and exercise regiment as I do about how many times a day you went to the bathroom. In other words, I don’t give a shat. However, I do care about people dying from famine and poverty around the globe while the most prosperous people seem to horde all the resources. I also care why it is that more than one-third of adults who earn less than $15,000 a year were obese, while only 25 percent who earn more than $50,000 a year were classified the same. And I care about the reasons behind why the cost of an apple is three times as much as the price of a Twinkie. So if we really were concerned about the health of nation, then that’s where all of our “caring” needs to be directed. But if not, then do us a favor and properly label your “concern” for the fatties for what it really is: the shallow ravings of an insecure, overcompensating, mean-spirited butthole.
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