Category Archives: body image

I Didn’t Want To Be Pretty

The goth look

The goth look

By Victoria King

Man clothes, dark, heavy makeup, scarcely a trace of femininity: that was me in high school. I hated the notion that girls had to be pretty and were valued only for their looks. I wanted people to appreciate me for being fun, funny and a good debater.

I felt like women made themselves out to be pretty idiots because they were naturally shallow and stupid.

And envious. I hated the competition between females, so I looked as weird as possible hoping no one would see me as a threat.  Read the rest of this entry

Who’s Ugly Rush Limbaugh?

Hunky Rush

Hunky Rush

Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.

Bunch of cows!

That’s what Rush Limbaugh wants everyone to think, anyway.

I watched him voice those words as I joined my class in watching Jackson Katz’s classic film, Tough Guise.

I could only wonder, “Who’s ugly? Who’s a cow?”

If I were Rush, I wouldn’t be inviting unflattering comparisons to yours truly.  Read the rest of this entry

Want “X” From Sex? So Why Do “Y”?

Most want pleasure, closeness from sex

Most want pleasure, closeness from sex

What do people want from sex? Most want pleasure and closeness. But they don’t act like it.

Instead, they’re preoccupied with how they look, what their partner is thinking, how they’re performing, and what is “normal.”

That’s what Dr. Marty Klein, a certified sex therapist and sociologist, says in his book, Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want From Sex and How to Get ItRead the rest of this entry

Growing Up Like Skipper: On Breasts & Objectification

BroadBlogs:

pamelax-wide-communityBy Diahann Reyes

When you have breasts that are larger than “average” (whatever that really means) even people you don’t know—males, in particular—automatically assume they have permission to comment on your boobs—“Nice tits! BIG BREASTED! Playboy-like, even”—and can touch them just because they feel like it…

Because of the way my body looked, some of my classmates thought I was sexually experienced even though I’d never been kissed yet. My date, whom I’d asked to a Sadie Hawkins Dance, stayed a polite arm’s length away from me all night, later explaining, “Girls like you probably want more than I’m ready to give.” I’d just been hoping that maybe he would hold my hand.

An excerpt from “Growing Up Like Skipper: On Breasts & Objectification”

This post from “Stories from the Belly” might surprise both envious women and men who have mistaken notions about how larger-breasted women experience their bodies.

Read more here:

Originally posted on Stories From the Belly:

My first Barbie was a Growing Up Skipper doll. Skipper is Barbie’s younger sister.

A gift from one of my aunts during the 1970’s, my Skipper doll wasn’t an ordinary doll. Living up to her name, she could “grow” from girl to young woman in an instant. All you had to do was take her arms and wind them forward in a circular motion. Not only would she grow taller but her bust would get bigger. Wind her arms in the opposite direction and all of her would shrink back to original size.

At age 6, all I knew was that I had a “2-for-1” doll. Growing Up Skipper even came with an extra outfit for her older self to wear, and she had a tank top that doubled as a bathing suit.  Now, when I look back I am able to see how this doll was sexualized—just like when…

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Natural Bodies Are Hard Work

muscle manby Lisa Wade, PhD @ Sociological Images

We commonly hear claims that men are naturally more muscular and physically intimidating than women.  “It’s a biological fact,” someone might say.  If that were true, though, we wouldn’t have to work so incredibly hard to make it so.

@IllMakeItMyself sent in this great example of the way in which we are pushed to force our bodies into a gender binary that we pretend is natural.  On the upper right part of the Men’s Health cover, it reads: “Add 15lb of muscle” and, right next door on the Women’s Health cover, it reads “5 ways to lose 15 lbs.”  Read the rest of this entry

Why Women Dress Sexy

Why do some women dress sexy, showing off their cleavage and body, but get mad when guys stare?

Sexy Mila Kunis

Sexy Mila Kunis

That’s what a guy wanted to know on a forum called Date Hookup.

One woman replied,

Women don’t dress sexy for ya’ll to stare at…women dress sexy to make other women jealous.

But most said they wanted men to look, “but not too much.”

Just because she wants the attention doesn’t mean she wants a guy to be a perv about it. Looks… yes… comments and prolonged obvious stares…NO

Curious as to what my women students would say, I asked them.  Read the rest of this entry

Marilyn Monroe, More Than A Sex Symbol

 

Marilyn Monroe reading

Marilyn Monroe reading

Marilyn Monroe would have turned 88 on June 1, had she lived. And while her star rose in the middle of the last century, she remains the ultimate sex symbol even today.

Yet she yearned to be so much more.

Her beauty masked her intellect, which Karina Eileraas portrays over at Ms.Read the rest of this entry

Anything Good About Being A Sex Object?

cans1When I ask my students if they can think of anything good about being a sex object they think there must be something positive, since so many women put a great deal of effort into being sexy, with some aspiring to “sex symbolness.” Here’s what they say:

Sexy women get attention. They feel attractive and admired, so it’s a source of self-esteem.

It’s nice to feel wanted and desired. It’s easier to attract mates or just get sex.

It can be fun to feel sexy.

Sex is a historic source of power for women. Sexiness can gain women resources, whether through marriage or getting men to do favors. It puts women in control over men.

Then I ask if there’s a downside. More comments:  Read the rest of this entry

Under Patriarchy Women Can’t Eat

anorexia_gene-4-26-11By Victoria King

Under patriarchy women may not be allowed to vote or hold public office, own property, or make choices that stray from their husbands’ inclinations. In the modern Western world we don’t have those problems anymore. But in modern patriarchy we can’t eat. Well, we can eat a little. But not too much. The current ideal that is slapped all over billboards and fashion mags is thinner than is healthy.  Read the rest of this entry

Mammary Glands Deserve Respect – Along With The Rest Of Us

Julia Cahill, "Breasts in the Press”

Julia Cahill, “Breasts in the Press”

My mammary glands are complex and they deserve respect. 

So says artist, Julia Cahill. “Breasts in the Press” is her commentary on their over-sexualized media image. And what better musical accompaniment than her rewrite of the black-eyed peas, “My Humps,” she adds?

Too often over-sexualization leads women and girls to become victims. Kelly Blevins’ “Ghosts” takes us there. Describing her painting she explains, “The hand of a ghost across the neck represents physical, mental and emotional abuse and how it becomes a permanent imprint in us.”

Read the rest of this entry

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