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Old 27th May 2011   #1
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Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default ''Body Image Boosters''

I recently discovered a web log that I'm eager to share with the forum. I'm sure that everyone will love it.

It's called Weightless, and it sometimes conveys a mixed message, on the whole it is very affirmative, especailly in the posts dubbed "Body-Image Boosters." The author also offers devastating criticisms of the diet-starvation industry, and discusses treatments for eating disorders.

Here are a few links to some of the most affirmative posts, along with a few excerpts from each to whet your appetite.

In this piece, she passes along some advice from a body-image author who suggests that a great way to develop size-celebration is for a woman to take a photograph of herself. I love the physical descriptions that the quoted author provides, and especially her appealing way of describing dimpled flesh.

Say Cheese!

As Kim Brittingham, writer, blogger and author of Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large, says, “If you’re battling body image issues, a photograph of yourself can become a weapon in your arsenal of low self-esteem.”

"Alone in my apartment one afternoon, I decided to look at myself – see myself as I actually was...Something about my body pleased me – the milky fullness, the inviting topography of its curves.”

"Pretend that you don’t hate your body. If you’re convinced that other people hate the appearance of your body, pretend that they don’t. Let that private photo session be a fantasy world where your body is the beauty ideal."

In her book, Kim also refers to her own cellulite as “a dappling of fairy fingerprints on my skin”

Some of the finest posts on the site are those that advise women to eat whatever they like and as much as they like:

On Food & Big Appetites

I’m the type of person who looks forward to a party partially because of the food. I love cake and eat dessert daily...I’ve also never met a pizza or fettuccine Alfredo I didn’t like.

I associate small appetites with sickness (whether of the heart or body).

I embrace my love for food, whether it’s fettuccine Alfredo, an apple or ice cream cake. Because a healthy appetite equals a healthy heart, brain and body.

The author advises women to free themselves from the senseless guilt about eating and being full-figured that modern society imposes. (And let's not forget how arbitrary and unnatural this body-shame mantra is, because in every past century, women were revered for having full figures, and a generous appetite was rightly considered healthy.)

Letting Go of Shame

The truth is we live in a shame-based culture that says that if your body differs from the coveted thin physique, something is intrinsically wrong with you and in need of fixing.”

Here are a few ways to squash that undeserved shame instead.
  • Put the blame where it belongs: the society, which pushes an unrealistic and unattainable ideal. “You believe that your shame originates from a personal source, a flawed body and character, rather than originating from a culture that creates the shame and offers the solution of dieting, which fails almost every time,” write Judith and Ellen.
  • Speaking of which, it’s a fact that diets fail 95 to 98 percent of the time. And that’s really important to realize.
  • Understand that the diet industry is big business. They’ll tell you anything you want to hear to sell their product.

This is one of the most trenchant posts. It covers a topic that has come up on the Judgment of Paris too -- the fact that there is a religio-moralistic component to the modern cult of starvation. This post is especially worth reading in full:

How The Pursuit of Thinness Has Become A Religion

We live in an era in which the authority of traditional (i.e., organized) religion is hotly contested and in some ways declining...This leaves us vulnerable to the (empty) promise of “salvation” (i.e., happiness and fulfillment) through thinness.

And finally, here's another splendid post about enjoying food. I love how the author cozily describes a day that she spent with some friends, just eating and relaxing all day.

How Food Heals & Connects

I love food. Many types of foods. In fact, I love most foods equally.

One of the most memorable eats I had this year would be cookies. All kinds of cookies, baked by my mom, a close family friend and yours truly.

While we prepared, baked and swiped pieces of chocolate from their respective bags, I felt this great sense of peace and calm.

We spent the entire day with Joan and her husband, Tom, eating breakfast, snacks and then dinner.

It was genuine joy that we felt over some bags of sugar, flour, butter and chocolate.

Weightless is not perfect, and some posts rub me the wrong way, but at its best it's one of the most commendable sites I've found for encouraging women to free themselves of needless guilt about eating, and to begin loving and celebrating their naturally full figures.
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