Welcome to HSA Podcast #5! Tina & I share our stories and delve into just what it means to be body positive. It’s not as simple as saying “love yourself”, a phrase which leaves room for misinterpretation. Instead it is a personal journey, and a necessary one, in an era where documentary’s like “Killing us Softly” have THREE sequels because our culture persists in it’s toxicity. We don’t have all the answers, but we enjoyed the conversation and invite you to participate in the comments. How do you pursue a body positive lifestyle?
Link Time! Here’s what we talked about during the podcast:
- Women with masectomies model underwear via The Daily Dot
- YMCA pool to mom: Baby girls need to wear swim tops. But, why? by Dr. Rebecca Hains
- Free the Nipple Documentary
- Viral Body Positivity Photos
- 5 New Directions for the Body-Positive Movement by Melissa A. Fabello
- Studies Referenced:
- Movement, Power and Grace via Nia by Paige Rudnick
- Throw like a Girl ad campaign
- “Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps — And What We Can Do About It” by Lise Eliot
- Monster High
- Amy Schumer’s “Compliments” sketch
Want more of Her Story Arc? Listen to our other podcasts!
One thought on “The Body Positivity Podcast: “We are MORE than the size of our thighs!””
believe it or not, I did not get around to listening to this podcast until now…! Sorry I took so long although you explicitly mentioned my name! I’ll just throw in my two cents here.
I thought you made lots of good points! My cultural background is slightly different from yours, but then again we are all white women from developed Western countries 😉 So actually I can relate very well to everything you said. The tendencies are very much the same around here.
On the other hand, the European cultural landscape and media might be a little less extreme concerning the problems around body image. I do realize, for example, that women in American TV shows tend to be even thinner than in German TV shows, and also a lot more dolled up (even waking up in the morning – with false lashes on and everything… very realistic 😀 ). And I think high school girls over here, on average, probably spend less time in front of the mirror in the morning to style their hair – I hear it is a big concern for American high school girls. Got no empirical data to support this hypothesis though!
You have also touched upon naturism, and I feel obliged to mention the FKK movement (“Freikörperkultur”, translating literally as “free body culture”) and European events like the World Naked Bike Ride, a kind of event which is not exclusive to Europe, but probably more popular here than in the US. Unfortunately this does not seem to challenge our taboo on nakedness either (talk about breastfeeding in public…).
Coming back to the core of the topic, I must say I consider my own body image rather fragile and mood-driven, but I have been able to stabilize it in the past few years. (Yay me!) Funnily enough, the body image topic has recently been on my mind more than usual: in the past few days I have been looking at some old photographs of myself in my early 20s, traveling in Australia and New Zealand, at a time when I was visibly bigger than now, esp. my face and waist. I dieted later and basically got into the shape I am now, and I then found my “old self” really fat and, consequently, ugly. I guess I was estranged from myself in a way. But I am starting to perceive that person on the photos not as a stranger who merely reminds me of someone I once knew, but as a part of myself. It is “the past me” who has since developed, both in body and heart and soul, but nevertheless deserves to be accepted and taken seriously as it is a part of who I am today. I am also starting to show these pictures to others with more confidence now.
There used to be a time when I would get angry and punch my waist because I hated that part of my body so much (my waist being most unyielding to my efforts to lose weight). But at some point I started saying to myself: You know what? You’re a WOMAN. Women are naturally rounder around the middle than men! I don’t need to tell you why I could not see this simple fact earlier. The sad truth is that I still catch myself looking at other women, judging their bodies and comparing my own to theirs. In other words: In my mind I devalue others in order to feel better about myself, and I think sadly most women do that. This competitive mindset is something I am still trying to get rid of, but I am not sure if I will ever accomplish it.
Hugs & bugs from Germany
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