Monday, August 29, 2011

Fat Talk Free Week

So here's something really worth sharing. October 16 - 22, 2011 is Fat Talk Free Week organized by Tri Delta, to raise awareness and initiate conversation about the negative effects of 'fat talk'.

The comments that women (and men) make, everyday, about food, calories, weight, image, clothes, and fat just keep reinforcing the ridiculous thin-ideal and unattainable beauty standard that the media has been force feeding us.

Most of my friends already know that I won't entertain their fat-talk. I am delighted to hear about their healthy activities or their new healthy and delicious recipe, but I won't be joining in fat-conversations about weight-loss or cellulite. They're not fun or helpful, it's a complete waste of precious time and I'd rather poke myself in the eyeball than hear about how many calories you burnt on the elliptical last night.

But changing the conversation is a work in progress. I've tried really hard recently not to comment on people's weight loss. This one is harder than you might think. It's almost reflexive to want to say something about each other's appearance...and in the past if someone has clearly lost some weight I would probably have said how 'great' they look, thinking that this was a compliment.

But I realize now that that isn't necessarily true...equating weight loss with attractiveness is in fact a regurgitation of what I'm told to think by the media. And I need to not be brain-washed.

Weight loss does not equal attractiveness. Thin does not equal hot. Skinny is a crappy ideal. But Hell's Bells, are we ever taught to think that way. Take those cheesy weight loss infomercials for example, that teach us that unless you are slim, muscular and made-over then your life just cannot begin. You need a new 'you', to become successful and attractive and popular. No other body shape or size can possibly make it anywhere in this world, and until you lose some weight you will forever be depressed and lonely, waiting and willing for your repressed 'thin' self to bust out from the burden of your average-looking body and find true happiness. What a hot-crock of crap.

So at least for Fat Talk Free Week in October, challenge yourself and challenge your friends to steer clear of Fat Talk. For one week, use the challenge to focus on everything else. Focus on your inner beauty...talents...dreams...goals. Talk about everything - enjoy food - wear your favorite clothes, but just try not to dwell on appearances. Give yourself a break from Fat Talk.

Who knows, your conversation might change for good. And besides, there is so much more to talk about.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Operation Beautiful

I took part in Operation Beautiful today : ) I left this Post-It note on the wall of the staff bathroom at work, right next to an ad for a weight-loss clinic.

It felt totally awesome, and I hope it made at least one person forget about the message in the weight-loss ad, and walk away smiling.

Join in the mission! Change the conversation. Change the way we see ourselves. : )

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A J Crew Moment

I woke up feeling rotten this morning. Head-cold rotten. Like something had sneaked up on me in the middle of the night and poured a bucket of warm snot into my head through my ears. So, I stayed in my pyjamas with the kid and we did nothing for most of the day. I let him play way too many computer games, and we watched Penguins of Madagascar re-runs and ate blueberries and oranges. Aside from the feeling like crap, it was actually a super-fun day.

Snuggled on the sofa, feeling guilty for being so ridiculously lazy and weak, I decided to grab a bottle of nail polish and do my nails. While I was scrubbing off the chipped and icky 3-week old stuff from my nails (so classy, I know), the boy, out of the blue, asked if he can have some polish on his nails.

Well, sure thing kiddo I thought and the boy got a coat of the pink stuff. And goodness gracious, was he ever fussy about it too. We had Q-Tips out to perfect the edges and everything. He sat with his hands held up for about 10 minutes, blowing gently on his colorful little nails. He even suggested that next time, we do a 'pattern' of alternating colors. ; )

When my husband got home from work, the kid showed him his nails and asked him if he wanted to play pirates and have a sword fight. "Nice nails, dude" he said and off they went to pretend fight about nothing with plastic cutlasses.

I heart my boys. Nail polish, swords and all.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

RIP Wendy Babcock

Rest in peace Wendy Babcock; a woman I didn't know, but someone whose drive and advocacy I hugely respected.

Monday, August 8, 2011

So Very Wrong

This is 10 year old 10-year-old Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau.

She is posed for a fashion spread for Vogue Paris. And somehow because it's Vogue, because it's high fashion, because it's highly paid and high profile, it's acceptable and okay. How in a million years is this okay?

What kind of parent sleeps at night after watching stylists and photographers dress up their pre-pubescent girl in leopard print high heels and make-up and photograph them, posing them seductively in adult clothing for a high-fashion photo shoot? Who is letting this happen to kids?

This is high-class child pornography. Nothing less. This little girl is 10 years old. She has been primped and preened, and posed and photographed in adult poses, sexualizing and objectifying her. As each picture is taken of her staring, lost and obedient into the camera, her innocence and her potential is robbed, frame by pornographic frame.

Everything is wrong with this. Nothing makes sense. Why is the fashion industry even trying to sell women's clothes by using a 10 year old's pre-pubescent body. What does that say about the impossible, unattainable standards that the industry presents to us? Why are we not enraged and shocked by the use of a 10 year old child to sell adult luxury products? What am I missing?

I feel guilty in part for re-posting this little girl's picture. But I have to. I have to do my little part in exposing the culture that is suffocating our girls and strangling our society. We are better than this, aren't we? Can't we let kids be kids? Can't we demand more from ourselves? Can't we protect children from being used as objects and sales tools. This little girl represents all girls and women who are being used and manipulated. I want to scream and tell her that there's more to her than this...there is more to life than this...that she can be so much more. That she's being used.

There is plenty of room for fashion and creativity and art and beauty, but this is not it.

This, well this is just wrong. So very wrong.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Taking Back Beauty

I love waking up to news like this! Here is a link to a really great campaign - complete with body-positive billboards.

Check out the campaign, support it if you can. Change the conversation.