Category Archives: body image
Cameron Russell transforms herself from hot model to girl-next-door in six seconds after walking on stage for a TED Talk. All she did was trade six-inch heels for flats, wrap a long skirt over her mini and pull on a sweater.
Image is superficial.
But it’s also powerful.
Once when she had wanted to buy a dress, but forgotten her money, she got the dress for free.
Yet a brown-skinned woman might be followed around the store, identified as a potential shoplifter.
When a friend of Cameron’s got pulled over for running a red light, the supermodel uttered, ”Sorry, officer” and they got off scott free. Read the rest of this entry
I always love a good behind-the-scenes marketing story and last month NPR reported that Proctor & Gamble is facing falling men’s razor sales as beards have become more fashionable. Their response? To put more pressure on men to shave other parts of their bodies.
Always a glutton for punishment, I set out to discover just how they were going to try to convince men to do this… and I was not disappointed. See video below: Read the rest of this entry
Imagery is powerful. I remember my mother watching Marilyn Monroe movies and looking at her pictures in magazines. She bleached her hair and styled it like Marilyn’s. Mom dressed in high heeled boots and miniskirts and wore the style of make-up that graced magazine covers. My father loved it. I saw the attention men gave her, especially at parties. Looking back I see how the ideal of the perfect woman had a huge impact on the psychology of my mother. And me.
Although beautiful, mom lacked self-confidence and self-esteem. She gave up on her dreams to pursue the love of a man through beautifying herself. She became a submissive woman at the beck and call of the men in her life. No surprise, she married eight times before age thirty.
I watched men walk all over my mother, treating her like a trophy wife in front of their friends. But behind closed doors they demeaned and objectified her. I grew to dislike men, yet followed in her footsteps. It began in elementary school.
By Jack Smith
Why do some women buy into our objectifying culture?
I wondered about that one day when my women’s studies instructor asked this question:
A feminist friend of mine has a daughter who wants to wear short shorts that show her butt cheeks. Her mom doesn’t like it because she feels that it objectifies her. But her daughter says she’s a feminist and feels women should be able to choose to do whatever they want.
What do you all think about this?
Here’s what I think: While this young woman probably truly believed what she was saying, I can see things from another perspective. Which may or may not agree with her. It depends. Read the rest of this entry
Well, not constantly. It just seems like it to some folks. A ruckus broke out last week when The Wrap reporter, Tim Molloy, asked Girls creator, Lena Dunham this question:
I don’t get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show, by you particularly, and I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about the nudity on Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they are doing it. They are doing it to be salacious and, you know, titillate people. And your character is often naked just at random times for no reason.
It’s a question that has stuck in my mind.
Artists say they only do nudity for artistic reasons, not prurient purposes. So why is titillation the only legit rationale for Mr. Molloy?
Ms. Dunham says,
It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive.
Alive, and not ashamed of your body, it seems to me.
Lena does not have what’s considered the ideal body type. But her obvious comfort has made me aware of my own discomfort. Read the rest of this entry
Intimates and Fools, with poetry by Laura Madeline Wiseman and illustrations by Sally Deskins, is a thought-provoking, conversation-starting coffee table book that got me thinking about all that.
Here, brassieres emerge as the main characters.
A ribboned and bowed satin looped bra that hugs and squeezes can’t help but twirl in a soft orange light. You just know “she” will be treasured and cared for.
Others are self-important and inflated, via tennis balls, water balloons, tissue, silicone…
Until they’re removed or disposed of.
I’m so great, why would anyone take me off? Bra wonders. And yet people do: Lovers, doctors — and soon-to-be sleepers slipping into PJs. Read the rest of this entry
Most of us fall far from today’s beauty ideal: Blonde, blue-eyed, and skinny yet buxom.
Audrey Hepburn opened my eyes to how beauty can be defined.
After all, she only fits one of those narrow criteria. And her beauty is so much more than physical.
What if I just have a small slice of raspberry cheesecake? I was good today, I deserve it. Maybe a bigger slice would be okay if I eat celery later? They would cancel each other out, right? Or I could eat the cake while jogging in place?
These are the musings of a young woman’s mind in a Yoplait yogurt ad. Sound familiar?
Does to me. Evokes the mantra that once ruled my twenty-something brain. Back then, food was both magic and evil. That’s a noxious combination, known to create obsessions and addictions. Read the rest of this entry
Thigh gap: When a woman’s legs are so thin that her thighs don’t touch. Right now it’s all the rage on social media with Twitterers and Tumblers sharing photos anxiously captioned, “Three inches to go.”
It’s all fueling a mass obsession and deemed a universal “ideal” instead of a crazy trend.
Not so long ago the “perfect woman,” embodied in Miss Universe, was one whose thighs touched. Read the rest of this entry
From a young age I understood that as a woman my breasts should be full, my waist should be tiny, and I should dress to impress men. As a child I would stand naked in front of the mirror, picturing my body as that of a billboard model, cupping an imaginary chest and making bedroom eyes. So I was confused and disappointed with 40-inch hips and a cup size well below DD. The disparity between my imagined and actual bodies created a conflict: how could I enjoy my own body if it couldn’t land a man?
Lacking a fully developed brain, I set off to find alternative ways to be valued. Read the rest of this entry