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01 February 2009 @ 01:10 am
[Day 1] Body Image  

One hundred and sixty one years ago, a group of women and men drafted the Declaration of Sentiments, stating that "The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman..." Their immediate goal of equal voting rights for women in the United States has long since been met, but this statement still rings with a tragic amount of truth.

Three years ago, when rageprufrock first began the project that would grow into 14 valentines, she spoke about how women are praised and worshiped, torn down and degraded. We live in a world where our bodies are revered for the ability to give life and derided for leaving behind the appearance of adolescence, where we can rise to the highest offices of power in some countries and are deprived of basic rights in others.

We are told to be strong, to stand up for ourselves, told that we can do anything, be anything - but only to a point, always to a point.

Around the world, women die from lack of basic medical attention, from infanticide, from starvation beyond their control, from starvation inflicted upon themselves in a twisted attempt to be beautiful. We are beaten, raped, murdered, told in so many horrifying ways that we are lesser that we don't matter.

Forty years ago we declared that Sisterhood is Powerful, and it still is. We must remember that, must continue moving forward.

It's 2009 and we've come so far, but there is still more work to be done. We deserve better, and we can do more. We're strong. The next fourteen days is meant to remind us of that. It's our time to take back our bodies.

V can stand for vagina, like Eve Ensler's groundbreaking monologues. V can stand for violence, under whose auspices all women continue to make a home.

V can also stand for victory.

Body Image

We are finding dissatisfaction in our bodies at younger and younger ages. The number 1 “magic wish” of girls 10-14 is to lose weight, regardless of their bodysize. In 2003, more than 223,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on patients 18 years of age or younger, and almost 39,000 were surgical procedures.

We are encouraged to be dissatisfied by plastic surgeons, diet plans, diet pills--all of which foster that dissatisfaction to make a profit. We are implicitly told we're not pretty-skinny-flawless-perfect enough by magazine covers, billboards, and advertisements--all of which are photoshopped and unrealistic.

When we are being marketed to in all ways by manufactured perfection that we can't possibly embody, where can we turn? Books like Body Outlaws inspire us to love ourselves and be healthy, no matter our size or appearance. We look to websites like Glossed Over, which criticizes all of those fashion magazines that lie to us so prettily. Those of us in the UK can turn to Any Body, a web site that challenges the physical representation of women in media and society.

When we love ourselves rather than covet and pine for impossible standards, we are happier, healthier, and ultimately more fulfilled.

[Today's essay courtesy of idyll.]
the chicken is your superior: 14 valentines: ice heart by calathealavvyan on February 1st, 2009 10:19 am (UTC)
Title: Elkins, West Virginia
Fandom: Thoughtcrimes/Boa vs. Python
Rating: PG
Summary: Brendan doesn't care if the Potomac Highlands offer a lot of nature, or if the Hungary Farm Winery ("Best melomel in the world!") makes an interesting place for a visit. He misses Freya. He misses New York. The snakes at the Reserve lost their novelty value some time around day three, and the guy he's supposed to keep an eye on is an ass.

Link: http://lavvyan.livejournal.com/314004.html
Kellie: much lovelady_writes on February 1st, 2009 10:49 am (UTC)
A piece of my thoughts...

das link- http://lady-writes.livejournal.com/3150.html

Miriel: Steve/Tony - Kiss & Tellmardahin on February 1st, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
Title: Justifiable Anxiety
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel)
Rating: PG
Summary: For seven years, Pepper Potts has had the singular (and somewhat dubious) honor of heading 'The List'...Tony had been of the opinion that nothing short of (another) apocalypse was going to displace her. He'd been wrong. So very, very wrong.

Link: http://miriel.livejournal.com/494816.html
Sascha: Sisky and Billgreenet on February 1st, 2009 11:27 am (UTC)
Title: Happy Feet (Tell it Like it is)
Fandom: Bandom
Rating: PG-13/Teen
Summary: Mike and Bill are apparently blind, Sisky is having relationship issues, and Andy is just exasperated by it all.

Link: http://greenet.livejournal.com/526531.html
Stealth Chaos Butterflybunnymcfoo on February 1st, 2009 11:42 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
aweszomerth: used - this is what i think of all thissinsense on February 1st, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
Title: Thrum
Fandom: Bandom (The Used)
Rating: G
(Deleted comment)
off jumps jack: sweaterprairiedaun on February 1st, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
Sasha_feather: body by gaiasasha_feather on February 1st, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
i wasn't being awkward, that's just my face.belladonnalin on February 1st, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
I love this essay, Dana. Nice work.

Title: Just Jump
Famdom: Sports Night
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Dana is terrified of heights, but she jumps anyway

Link: http://gonnafeelgood.livejournal.com/15613.html
memories_childmemories_child on February 1st, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
A history of the Cold War, told in lolcats & \0/: Greta!!sansets on February 1st, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)

Set of fic recs about Greta Salpeter (RPF Bandom)
That Girl With All the Catsan_kayoh on February 1st, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
Title: Baby Items
Credit: Patterns by Alison Hansel, Chris de Longpre, and Jacki Kelly
Description: A collection of baby items.

Linkies - http://an-kayoh.livejournal.com/163644.html
Rhi: Toshvipersweb on February 1st, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
Title: Be All My Sins Remembered
Fandom: Torchwood
Rating: PG
Summary: After Tommy returns through the Rift, Tosh thinks back - on Torchwood, on Tommy, on the last four years.
Link: http://vipersweb.livejournal.com/75624.html
want. take. have.ghostrunner7 on February 1st, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
Mixtape of girl power songs
Girl Power Songs
LAAAAAAAAANCE!: butterflyllassah on February 1st, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Kristi: dreamerspringdove on February 1st, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
I love your essay! It has a lot of what I explored in my own post. :)

Personal exploration of body image:
Arsenic Jade: gonna marry that girlarsenicjade on February 1st, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Perfect, perfect essay, idyll. Thanks for getting us started.

Title: Cover Girl
Fandom/Character: Bandom/Greta Salpeter
Rating: G

Can be found here.

Edited at 2009-02-01 07:57 pm (UTC)
macey muse: going placesmacey_muse on February 1st, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
(reposted for spelling ^.^')
Title: A Judicious Application of Force
Fandom: DueSouth
Characters: RayK & Fraser
Word-count: 456

It'll all end in tears. And unfortunate occurrences of lederhosen.
Mercuria: not for thy fairy kingdommercuriazs on February 1st, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
A college-level ballroom dancer's slightly-less-than-chipper thoughts on the subject:

That's Lay-day Snackpants to you, buster.: FLCL/mamimi's underpantsamand_r on February 1st, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
Fic contribution
Title: Well, Finally
Author: amand_r
Fandom: Angel
Characters: Harmony
Warnings: Harmony? God love her, but dumb as a fricking post.
Author's Notes: Almost all of the typos (misspellings) are completely intentional. I know the difference between Voila and Viola. Really.
Summary: Back when she had been human, she'd never really stopped to think about what time of day it was. Now it was like, she had even less time in the day than she did before. Like, she had forever but that forever was chopped up into part free-time, and part 'oh no, going outside causes incurable burning cancer or something.'
killing_rosekilling_rose on February 1st, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
Body Image and Disordered Eating
An essay on how, at least in my life, the two have been intertwined and why, sometimes, it isn't as easy to say, "No, that's not an eating disorder" as it may seem.

Link: http://killing-rose.livejournal.com/48764.html
Henry, Senior Character-Death Correspondentbessemerprocess on February 1st, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
When the glory fades: Chizzy!sullen_hearts on February 1st, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Title: Michael just tastes sweet
Fandom: Bandom
Rating: PG
Pairing: William Beckett/Michael Guy Chislett
Summary: Chiz gets a care package from his mum.
(Deleted comment)
she who is the teller of taleslyl_devil on February 1st, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
Title: Dancing in the Dark
Fandom: BtVS
Rating: R-ish
Pairing: Willow/Spike
Summary: “Promised you a night of dinner and dancing, luv,”
secretsolitairesecretsolitaire on February 2nd, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
.starship puddlejumper: Strongyo_helena on February 2nd, 2009 01:15 am (UTC)
A mixed-media project! Body Image.
slob_childslob_child on February 2nd, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
Enchanted fic, Reality doesn't deny fantasy.

link: http://slob-child.livejournal.com/23740.html

drinking the otp kool-aid: valentinespocky_slash on February 2nd, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
Some self-reflection, but more importantly, some pie recipes.

Link: http://pocky-slash.livejournal.com/1324583.html
Mistress of Insanityzeenell on February 2nd, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
Jen Medallinemedalline on February 2nd, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
Fandom: BBC's Merlin

A sketch of Morgana.

Link: http://medalline.livejournal.com/98289.html
pale pubescent beast: lyn-z belly/veeciouswildestranger on February 2nd, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
the amazing bouncing fangirl: heart girlgblvr on February 2nd, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
An essay: I Am A Fat Girl

Link: http://gblvr.livejournal.com/608622.html
inocciduous: valentinesinocciduous on February 2nd, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)

Title: This Woman's Work
Fandom: X-Files (Scully, G)
Summary: Scully copes.
allyndra: Xander - My Heroallyndra on February 2nd, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
Title: Insight
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Dawn comes home early and sees something surprising.

Chandri MacLeod: homechandri on February 2nd, 2009 06:09 am (UTC)
Title: The Words That Bind
Fandom: SGA
Rating: PG
Summary: Can a person's life be whittled down to so narrow a pinpoint, that a moment's glimpse could comprise all pride, love, yearning, passion? How? Teyla knows that this is a thing of vision, ofsight, of the brief scattershot communion Earth people seem to have with anyone outside of a handful of those tied to them by blood and long-term circumstance.