Weekend Randomness – March 16

The Chicago Zine Fest has come and gone, and with that I now find myself with plenty of time to regularly update this blog.  Seriously, if only we could rearrange physics so there were 30 hours in a day, I’d be a happy lady.

Warning – I started this post two weeks ago, so it’s going to be a long one.  I’m sorry.

Okay before we begin, I have to engage in a bit of self-promotion.  My post for Body Image Warrior Week – which did not appear on this site, because I was lazy and/or scatter-brained – was syndicated today by the Huffington Post.  I’d love it if you went over and read it – I worked really hard on the post and am very proud of it.

This post by Andrea Owen at Your Kick Ass Life kind of runs along those same lines, as she wants everyone to know that getting the “perfect” body isn’t going to do damn thing if you can’t get right with yourself on the inside.  My husband and I talk about this a lot, how looking to externals to bring us happiness guarantees that we will pretty much never be happy.  It’s just too easy to find reasons to be dissatisfied!

The Atlantic released an analysis of the nine ways a woman can appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  Some of those ways are not surprising, like “appear in a bikini” or “be attractive,” but I was intrigued by #1: “Get famous before 1962.”

Here’s another post about Sports Illustrated, this one about the swimsuit issue.  In it, the author talks about how his perspective on the swimsuit issue changed once he started to view it in larger cultural contexts, including the way SI consistently downplays women’s sports and the way our society’s media honchos are still overwhelmingly dudely-oriented.

Virginia Sole-Smith has a great post up about the potential pitfalls of fitspo, especially as it is used on tumblr.    She makes the point – and I agree with this – that while it’s easy to look at photos of emaciated models juxtaposed with 500 calorie a day meal plans and identify it as harmful, it can be a lot more difficult when confronted with the oiled-up washboard abs of a fitness model.  I have a lot to say on this topic and so I may reserve it for another time, but in the meanwhile, go read her post – it’s great.

Women’s Running profiled a group of women who run with New England’s 65 Plus Club.  My favorite quote: “I wouldn’t mind if I did a race and croaked at the end. That would be awesome!”  It’s official – I aspire to be like that woman when I grow up.

Cori over at Man Bicep was reading the recent Body Image Warrior Week posts* and it caused her to reflect on dieting and negative body image.  I like what she had to say, particularly that dieting won’t change the way you feel about your body. You know what will, though?  Being strong and healthy.  I know – shocking!

I make no secret of the fact that I am a total Obama family fangirl.  (I can disagree with a person’s politics and still think they are good people – another shocking thing, I know!)  So when I found out that President Obama has coached his daughter’s basketball teams in the past…well, I pretty much squealed with delight.

Kelsey Wallace over at Bitch Magazine would like the world to stop telling Angelina Jolie to eat a cheeseburger.  I concur wholeheartedly, and not just because telling thin people to eat something is totally fucking played out.

A recent poll found that black women tend to be heavier and happier with their bodies than white women. While I didn’t care for the “omg fat panic!” tone that crept into the article, I found most of it fascinating for the way it clearly illustrates how concepts of beauty are very much informed by the cultures in which we are raised.

Despite the well-publicized reports of that poll, Constance at Black Girls Run still wants people to remember that black women struggle with body image, too.  She goes on to say that the image of black women as being totally comfortable with their bodies can prove stigmatizing when for women who suffer from eating disorders.

Charlotte at the Great Fitness Experiment asks whether we should do away with the phrase “skinny fat.”  I for one hate the phrase.  I mean, on one hand I like that people are recognizing that being thin doesn’t automatically equate to healthiness, but on the other hand, why are we using “fat” as shorthand for “unhealthy”? What do you think?

Two thoughts about this article about a homecoming queen trying out to be LSU’s kicker: 1) the media just looooves stories of pretty girls doing rough things and 2) good for her!  She sounds like a pretty fierce athlete, even if she doesn’t end up making the team.

Edited to add that I can’t believe I almost forgot this, since I was so excited to learn about it!  Ragen Chastain of Dances With Fat and Jeanette DePatie of The Fat Chick recently launched an online community called Fit Fatties.  It’s all about being active and embracing fitness without worrying about weight loss.  I’ve browsed around a bit and it looks great.  Kudos to those two ladies for putting together such an excellent, body-positive online space.

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6 responses to “Weekend Randomness – March 16

  1. Hey, congrats on the syndication! That’s great.

    And what IS it with the media loving pretty girls doing rough things? There was a story about a beauty school student who dropped out to be a PLUMBER, like isn’t that KRAZY? I mean, it is unusual, but…really? Ugh.

  2. 1) Love the 65 Plus Running Club. I especially love that a lot of the women running didn’t really start it seriously until their 30s or later. Not that I begrudge them the additional decades of running, but I take it as an indication that if I wanted to become competitive about my running (with other people, I mean, not just inside my head), there is still time for me. (I ran intermittently in junior high and high school, but I’ve only taken it up again in my adult life at age… 29?)

    2) Yes, on phasing out “skinnyfat.” Even recognizing that thin is not synonymous with fit, “skinnyfat” still basically means unfit — and it is the “fat” part of that that makes it “unfit.” I’d be fine doing without the descriptor at all, but if we need one, something like “thinunfit” is much closer to accurate terminology. It is 100% uncool to be on the “fat” end of “skinnyfat” and living with the implication of “you are unfit because your body looks like hers” — without knowing what her — what my — body can do.

    3) Yay, for the FitFatties link!

    • 1. Yes! That’s something that I love about it too! I only got serious about running when I was about 28, and sometimes I am sad that I didn’t get started when I was younger, but one of the great things about this sport is that you don’t necessarily have to be young to be good at it. You just have to be tough, and that’s a quality that transcends age (and in my case, comes with age).

      2. Yeah, it’s such a weird term and it makes me feel funny whenever people use it. I’m really working on getting away from thinking of “fat” as a pejorative and instead viewing it as an adjective but skinnyfat definitely is a word that laces “fat” with negative connotations.

  3. You know what jumped out at me about the SI cover? “The Debut: Athletes In Body Paint.” I just…can’t.

    Congrats on the syndication, that’s really exciting!

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