February 1st, 2009

gonna be a superstar someday

[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.]
so let go let go

[Day 1] Body Image

Elkins, West Virginia by lavvyan [PG; Thoughtcrimes/Boa vs. Python; 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.]
Justifiable Anxiety by mardahin [PG; The Avengers; 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.]
Happy Feet (tell it like it is) by greenet [PG13; Bandom (TAI...); Sisky/Nate; Mike and Bill are apparently blind, Sisky is having relationship issues, and Andy is just exasperated by it all.]
In Your Head, In Your Mouth by misslucyjane [Adult; SPN; Dean/Castiel; No nightmares. Not this night.]
Just Jump by belladonnalin [PG-13;Sports Night; Dana is sixteen, her heart in her throat and her feet curled around the cool metal of the railing below her feet. The water isn’t running fast, but it’s 20 feet down and it sounds like the loudest thing that Dana has ever heard. On one side, Lenny Viachetti’s grin is almost blinding and, on the other, her hand clutches a support beam. Dana is terrified of heights.]
Be All My Sins Remembered by vipersweb [PG; Torchwood; After Tommy returns through the Rift, Tosh thinks back - on Torchwood, on Tommy, on the last four years.]
Cover Girl by arsenicjade [G; Bandom; Body Issues]
A Judicious Application of Force by macey_muse [Not Rated; Due South; RayK & Fraser; It'll all end in tears. And unfortunate occurrences of lederhosen.]
Well, Finally by amand_r [Gen; Angel; Harmony-centric; 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.']
Michael just tastes sweet by sullen_hearts [PG; Bandom (TAI...); William Beckett/Michael Guy Chislett; Chiz gets a care package from his mum.]
Dancing in the Dark by lyl_devil [R; BtVS; Willow/Spike; Promised you a night of dinner and dancing, luv]
Reality doesn't deny fantasy by slob_child [G; Enchanted; The second year Andalasia Fashions has been open, it comes under attack for promoting unrealistic body images for young girls.]
This Woman's Work by inocciduous [G; X-Files; Scully; It's been a long time since Dana Scully has worried about being normal.]
Insight by to_say_nothing [PG13; BtVS; Xander/Riley; Dawn comes home early and sees something surprising.]
The Words That Bind by chandri [PG; SGA; 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.]

14 Icons by nokiaangel [female centric lyric icons and a video link]
40 Icons by bunnymcfoo [icons of women]
20 Icons by bessemerprocess [icons are all of hands]

Thrum by sinsense [Mixed Media Art; Used, Bert, G rated.]
Body Image by helena_eternal [Mixed Media Art; Every piece of art has a fingerprint left in the glue, a nick in the wood: those are traces of love the artist left behind. - Our bodies have traces, too: moles, scars... signs we're all homemade.]
Morgana by medalline [Unfinished drawing; BBC's Merlin]

Fic Recs by sansets [7 fic recs about Greta Salpeter (RPF Bandom)]

Just some thoughts... by secretsolitaire
A piece of my thoughts... by lady_writes
a personal essay on body image: because I feel it needs to be said by misslucyjane
A Short Essay by sasha_feather
Just some thoughts by memories_child [on women and body modifications]
Personal exploration of body image by springdove
day one - body image by mercuriazs [A college-level ballroom dancer's slightly-less-than-chipper thoughts on the subject]
Body Image and Disordered Eating by killing_rose [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.]
Personal musings on height by wintercreek [I don't, in real life, look the way I look in my head.]
Personal Reflections by zeenell [I am sick and tired...]
Body Image. Women and tattoos. by wildestranger
I Am A Fat Girl by gblvr

Self Reflection by pocky_slash [Some self-reflection, but more importantly, some pie recipes.] [PIE! :D]
Reinvent <3 (the Braided Pullover) by prairiedaun
Baby Items by an_kayoh [14 knits in 14 days; A collection of baby items.]
Don't Call Me Baby by ghostrunner7 [Mixtape of girl power songs]
Poetry by llassah [4 poems about body image (by other people)]