Posts Tagged With: body policing

Jeepers: Corset Training

Yes. They’re back. And have been for a while.

And yes, this is what they can do:

corset

After giving birth to her second child, Jessica Alba decided to “get back in shape” by using the corset training method. Does that sounds as scary as it is? Personally, yes.

In a nutshell, ladies are training their waists with steel ribbed cages i.e. corsets, as a means of shedding pounds and achieving that perfect, womanly, hour-glass figure 8. It’s becoming very popular and more girls and women are jumping on the corset train today. I first came across it on Instagram – a former classmate of mine is a huge believer.

Curious. I thought we were done with the terror of corsets back in the 1800s. Also, wasn’t this a horrible imposition on women of that time? I mean, can you imagine how awful it would have been to have restricted movements and internal damage caused by the squishing and smooshing of your organs? Let’s not forget the worst of it: corsets caused women’s abdominal muscles to atrophy. What does that mean? Weelll let’s just say that when women took it off when they got pregnant, a lot of them died in childbirth because they had no abdominal muscles left to push out the baby.

Considering that, I personally believe that some things should stay in the past. I would much rather corsets remain in the pages of our history books under the section of unusual pursuits of beauty, with other terrors like foot-binding and lead face makeup.

Anyway, does this actually work? I guess it did for Jessica Alba.

But what does it say about our cultural obsession for thinness? What does it say about the pressure on new moms to lose their baby weight immediately so they can look hot again? And what does it say about our equating of thinness with health? Everyday we are force-fed idealized concepts of health and beauty, so much so that both women and men do terrible things to their bodies on their quest for thinness, including women whose bodies have just been through the toughest challenge of all – giving birth.

Anyway, these are concepts I want to expand on so stay tuned for more in-depth examinations. For this post, I’ll end it with the opinion that waist training, diet fads and other trends in attaining body perfection are mostly smoke and mirrors. They’re illusions and harmful ones at that. The only magic bullet out there is doing real physical work and accepting your body and finding it beautiful no matter what size it is. Re-learn what it means to be healthy and teach women and men, as well as new mothers, that strength, ability, stamina, and health are far more valuable investments than spending three months locked into a steel cage. Corsets should stay in the past. Like the word “jeepers”.

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Would You Lay Off?

In case you hadn’t heard, Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy.

This is what some guys on Twitter had to say about it:

If you don’t understand why she, or any other person with breasts for that matter, decided to go ahead and have the procedure done, then see the below comic:

Angelina made a careful medical decision to protect herself from the risk of breast cancer. Instead of praising Angelina on her bravery or commending her on being so open about it in such a toxic, judgmental society, there’s thousands of people making comments about her breasts themselves. Some joking, some serious, some speculating that her partner will leave her because she’s somehow less of a woman without her natural breasts, some just plain offensive: sexist, misogynistic and holyfuckingwhoa chauvinistic.

Seriously… what is wrong with people?

This woman is trying to prevent a fatal illness that she knows she has the gene for, and has had a family member die from. By having her breasts removed, her chances of getting breast cancer went from 87 % to under 5%. Why does her worth tie into whether or not she has breasts? Isn’t she worth anything as a woman and a person? It’s time for society to grow the fuck up. This woman, and others like her, is fearless.

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“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer. It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

– Angelina Jolie

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To Slut or Not To Slut

I wanted to do a post on slutty Halloween costumes but Monique Sowinski articulated it so perfectly, that I shall copy, paste and credit her instead of trying to replicate this fantastic piece. She writes:

Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it”, says Cady, Lindsay Lohan’s character in “Mean Girls.

And it’s true. So why do girls dress like “sluts” on Halloween? And why do a lot of people bash them for doing so?

First of all, Halloween is the one time a year we can be someone or something we are not, which is exciting.  We can dress up and be our favorite super heroes, celebrities, inanimate objects, classic horror monsters; anything we want.

So when a girl dresses sexy on Halloween, it probably means she does not go to lecture or the grocery store like that, but is embracing this foundation of Halloween: to be what we are not for one night.

Sexy cop. Sexy firefighter. Sexy Disney princess. Sexy Mario Brothers. Just add sexy in front of anything, and you’ve got the majority of your female Halloween costumes any year.

But where is the point when sexy, becomes slutty?

The point when we start judging and slut-shaming girls.

The way society reflects its politics on women’s bodies usually prevents women from dressing sexy or scandalously the majority of the time, so Halloween is that small window of opportunity for it to be okay for women to break free of these standards and politics that are also so heavily enforced on us, by some unknown societal, politically correct force.

If a girl wants to dress sexy in general, that is her body and her prerogative, so why do we have such strict standards of body politics that we reflect on women and use to restrain them?

If we want to use the word slut, we have to realize that in the context that we ourselves use it, it has more to do with actions, and nothing to do with clothing.  And even then, we use the word “slut” to control a woman’s sexuality.  It reflects the double standard that men can sleep with how ever many people they want and not be tainted or lose worth but rather gain praise.  And yet when a female is very sexual, she loses value, to the point where we shame her, calling her a “slut.”

But… she obviously does not respect herself or her body? Right?

Wrong.

Your respect for her is completely separate from the respect she has for herself.

It is one thing to not be that kind of girl on Halloween, or even disagree with her choice (which is perfectly fine), but it’s another to pass judgment and perpetuate slut-shaming, especially when it happens so frequently from one female to another.

So this Halloween, rather than slut-shaming, let’s just embrace the freedom this holiday represents: to dress however we want for a couple nights and not be judged or pass judgment on anyone no matter how sexy, or stupid, or funny their costumes are.

Let’s embrace those who feel sexy and confident enough to wear whatever the hell they want this Halloween.

So when you see someone this weekend working a sexy crayon costume (as silly as it may sound), try high-fiving that person; not bashing them.

Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween indeed. And to honor this post, here’s what I’m wearing this Halloween:

That’s Madame Musketeer to you sir!

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Chicken Fillets?

This is all kinds of wrong.

The VS beauty, Candice Swanepoel, has been long admired wearing lingerie for the famous brand. Then the below picture started circulating the internet of Candice not working but just enjoying the beach:

Now everyone's pointing out that Candice’s bust looks noticeably smaller in this batch of pictures compared to the ones where she’s shooting for the Victoria’s Secret catalog. Candice’s colleague Rosie Huntington mentioned a while ago that she (and probably other VS girls too) wears 2, or 3 pairs of chicken fillets plus padding when posing for the brand in bikinis and lingerie in order to look curvier.

Chicken fillets. Chicken fillets.

That's crazy. And ironic because Victoria Secret launched a "Love Your Body" campaign – the underwear company that is famous for irresponsibly reinforcing unrealistic and harmful expectations of people’s bodies. The same company that only stocks clothing, bras, and underwear so long as you fall within their range of *acceptable* body sizes. The same company that only uses models of a very specific height, weight, hair style, facial structure, and body type.

And now we find out they are having their models stuff their bra's with chicken fillets.

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