Web Extras for Spring 2011 "Letting Go of the Body Myth"
There’s lots more to say about women and positive body image than we had room to include in the print article, and here’s the tip of the iceberg of material out there on the subject. MHC-related references are indicated with asterisks.*[LEFT: Mary Duffy-Guerrero ’66 today; she was an early plus-size model, and ran a plus-size model agency for years.]
• BLOGS AND MAGAZINES
-* Gabi Gregg ’08 has written a plus-size fashion blog, Young, Fat, and Fabulous since before she became famous as MTV’s “Twitter jockey.”
-* Caroline Carlson Jorgensen ’97 comes clean about her own beauty myths and our communal obsession with always looking our best in this Morningside Mom blog post.
–Radiance: The Magazine for Large Women, was created in 1984 and was published quarterly for sixteen years and is now a Web site. Its purpose is to support women “all sizes of large” in living proud, full, active lives, at whatever weight, with self-love and self-respect.
–Own Your Beauty is a collection of blogs by women, focusing on loving your body as it is
–PLUS Model Magazine describes itself as “the premiere virtual magazine celebrating the plus size fashion, beauty, arts and plus size modeling industries, inspires you to thrive in your curves, crave contemporary fashion and design your life on your own terms, sans apologies. PLUS Model Magazine brings aspiring and professional plus size models the information and resources needed to have a successful plus size modeling career. And for fashion conscious women with curves, we also report on the best beauty tips as well as plus size clothing companies and designers styling for today’s modern plus size women.”
BOOKS AND WEB SITES
– Combating Popular Media and Saving Your Health: 5 Steps—“For one week, can you avoid popular media, stop criticizing or analyzing your body, or not worry about what you eat?” asks former MHC cross-country coach Beth Somerset. It’s not easy, she acknowledges, but suggests five ways to avoid being the victim of harmful popular-culture messages about women’s bodies. Read her tips here.
–The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf
–The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health, by Paul Kempos
–The Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure to Be Perfect, by Margo Maine
–Health at Any Size: the Surprising Truth About Your Weight, by Linda Bacon: On her blog’s FAQs, *Gabi Gregg ’08 recommends that those who worry that being heavy is inherently unhealthy read this book, “and realize that being fat is not synonymous with being unhealthy.”
–Just the Weigh You Are: How to be Fit and Healthy, Whatever Your Size, by Steven Jonas and Linda Konner
–Big Fat Lies, by Glen Gaesser
– Historicizing Fat in Anglo-American Culture, edited by literary historian *Elena Levy-Navarro ’87, puts fat into historical perspective. The essays cover everything from the relationship between weight-watching and the rise of the novel to a pre-modern period when fat was universally celebrated and thin was not in. The book suggests ways that scholarship and criticism can counteract the assumptions of modern culture.
–WomensHealth.gov, “the federal government source for women’s health information,” has articles and pages about body image, eating disorders, pregnancy and body image, and cosmetic surgery, among others.
• National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to ending size discrimination in all of its forms. The site’s links include guidelines for psychotherapists who treat fat clients and a size-diversity tool kit, arguing that “size diversity is good business.”
-The Association for Size Diversity and Health, an international professional organization composed of members who are committed to the “Health At Every Size” principles. “Our mission is to promote education, research, and the provision of services that enhance health and well-being, and that are free from weight-based assumptions and weight discrimination.”
–Health at Every Size, an approach to health that focuses on intuitive eating and pleasurable physical activity rather than dieting and weight loss.
-The National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation’s “Let’s talk about it” project encourages women to speak up and speak out about body image—on camera. It is a unique video campaign, providing a space for women and girls to talk about struggles and success with body image.
-The National Eating Disorders Association supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.
March 30, 2011