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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)
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
off jumps jack: sweaterprairiedaun on February 1st, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
sasha_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)