If you know anything about me you’ll know that I am honest, forthright and I hate BS!
I got annoyed!
In the media there are no real conversations about the body or the images we hold of them, oh yeah there is talk- chatter but honest conversation not so much…Instead it’s always someone trying to sell you something: a product, a belief, a lifestyle that amounts to a pipe dream.
Buy this! – Wear that! Eat these and it will make you look like the image we are projecting (which has been digitally altered and bares no resemblance to a human being at all)
The body has been commercialized.
That commercialization has many us twisted and feeling horribly inadequate- you are never enough! young, thin, tall, rich, smart, blonde, or nowadays naked (publicly).
I wanted to create a place where we can discuss the body the way we do with our girlfriends on the telephone, with our mothers and sisters over the kitchen table, With our partner and lovers in the dressing rooms of clothing stores and with ourselves in our heads! (Sometimes it’s best conversation you can get). I wanted to create a place where women and men alike can realize that they are not alone in their feelings of confusion (as to where they fit or what to be) or frustration (at not being at all what they truly want to be). I wanted for all us to have that collective “somebody” to say, “You’re all right?” – “It’s ok” – “I know” or sometimes “Shut up- and eat that cake!” Because sometimes- what you have – ain’t what you want – but it’s better than nothing, so, we have to learn how to accept and appreciate what we do have because we are all fabulous by design- and fabulous starts in the mind!!
My Body My Image is your body, my body, our Bodies let’s redefine and Re- fine Our Image- together!!!
Imagine the following exchange between two college women, neither of whom is overweight:
Friend 1:“Ugh, I feel so fat.”
Friend 2:“OMG [Oh my God]. Are you serious? You are NOT fat.”
Friend 1:“Yes I am, look at my thighs.”
Friend 2:“Look at MY thighs.”
Friend 1:“Oh, come on. You’re a stick.”
Friend 2:“So are you.”
A while ago Jenny Stahl contributed an essay Banning Bitchfests, we found a study that show exactly what FAT TALK does to our body image. To fully understand the study and how these results were arrived at read the full study here, it’s dense but worth it.
From cinching with corsets, to Chinese foot binding, people have gone to great lengths and through great pains to acquire their era’s standard of beauty. As we are well aware from era to era that standard and the requirements of beauty change, sometimes drastically. During times of great poverty being fat was a thing of beauty because it meant you had money enough to eat- with regularity and well. Conversely in our times it seems the more money you have to eat in great restaurants the less you actually eat and the thinner you should be! Ironic huh? With the advent of the Internet and global commerce and marketing, a single concept of beauty (based on the Western- Anglo aesthetic) has emerged resulting women around the world wanting to be lighter, blonder, thinner African and East Indian women lighten their skin and stay out of the sun, Asia women surgically remove the folds over there eyes to have a more round appearance, the modifications are endless. However even with the ubiquitous air-burshed ideal looming over women (and men) from billboards, peering out from fashion magazines, and flicking by out television screens telling us all what we should want to look like, within every country there still is a cultural standard of beauty that is ever present. You might not agree with tribal scarring, neck lengthening or the like but as the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Check out some of the latest culturally specific beautification treatments that are hot trends in other countries!
From Senegal Gum Tattooing…
From Japan Bagel Heads…
Candid audition advice from a dancer who’s been on both sides of the table
By Theresa Ruth Howard
Published in the February/March 2010 issue Pointe Magazine
Photo by Julieta Cervantes
I remember it clearly: I was 8 years old, on the way to audition for Dance Theatre of Harlem’s two-week engagement of Doin’ It. While pulling on my tights in the back seat, to my complete horror, I discovered an inch-wide run on the upper thigh.
For 188 of the 200 children who tried out, the audition ended in heartbreak. Yet despite my holey tights, I made the cut. Oddly, I wasn’t nervous that morning. It may well have been one of the last times that pinning on a number didn’t fill me with anxiety.
As dancers, we train to dance, not to audition. You worry about the height of your leg, your weight and how many turns you do. But you seldom think about your “energy” or authenticity as a person. Yet years later, when I helped run auditions for Karole Armitage, I learned that these elements are what make you stand out in a sea of bodies.
Let me let you in on a dirty secret: So you think you can dance and that is what it’s about; well, it is, but that’s not all it’s about. While I wasn’t stunned by the politics behind the table, what surprised me was how many of the deciding factors had nothing to do with the dancing. You’d be shocked at what gets discussed in those hush-hush huddles. There is the girl who, despite the “general” comment to stop looking in the mirror, keeps peeking at herself. Then there’s the guy who thinks he has an “in” because he knows someone in the company, but forgot that the last time they worked together he got fired for partying too hard.
For me, I’ve always had a strong personality. It’s almost impossible to camouflage my feelings when I’m auditioning—especially if I get frustrated. I’ve had to learn to be neutral so that it doesn’t read in my body. (I’m still not good at it, but I’m aware, which reduces collateral damage.)
I ran into the most audition trouble when I started going out for Broadway, which I only did for the paychecks. It never occurred to me to prepare (picking up sheet music for “Big Spender” doesn’t qualify). I was like Dora the Explorer trying to find the note. I became afraid of making the cut, which started to affect the dance portion of my audition. Needless to say, I never booked a gig.
continue at Pointe Magazine online after the JUMP!
Check the video with Editor Jenny Stahl and T’ruth for more tips!
You have to admit there is something to be said about an elegantly aging woman. Women in Europe have been doing it for years while it seems American women fight it tooth and needle (although now a days it seems that that no nation is immune to the Botox , and filler addiction). But when you see a great beauty ease into middle age, letting the wisdom and a life lived show either through graying hair, or fine lines and carry it with pride and grace it is encouraging, inspiring. It is natural for women to put in some extra weight after a certain age, and when they dress their fuller form age and shape appropriately it is a win for all, and when they manage to maintain the figure of their “second act” they take all the young girls to school. Well the Academic year might just be ending but supermodel Christie Brinkley just rang the bell in her latest photo shoot for Social Life magazine. Ladies take note!
Here she is in her hey day when she posed for Sports Illustrated‘s 1979, 1980, and 1981 issues. Do YOU see a difference?
Frankly ( I don’t know how much air brushing is involved but) she looks better, she is snatched now, she still has a “baby fat” in the SI pics, it’s nice to see that old ’80′s curvy girl frame– miss it!!!
Chandra Roxanne is originally from Maryland, currently residing in New Haven, Connecticut. She training to be an opera singer while pursuing her Masters in arts management; In her spare time she enjoys writing poetry.
I am your statue of violation; made beautifully for your distaste.
…painted distortions… a Picasso?
No, no work of art am I, but a kneaded clod of your configuration:
groped colors, oestrus shapes, raped tones.
My body— made from the most indestructible material for your destruction;
I am nothing more than nothing. I am abandoned. I am jerked. I am pulsed.
Your hands snatch and rake, wring and wrench.
Your eyes—hangers—rip daily into my flesh gorges, sinews, vomited with hatred.
My essence—depleted. My soul—whitewashed. My heart—crumpled.
Betrayal’s craters and the debris of rejection often brand me.
The tastes of love know not I, and loneliness’ poison is my blood.
I am your statue of violation; perfectly designed for your distaste.
My head: non-existent, for you are my head
My neck: your Babylonian tower to topple like the mighty Samson
My shoulders: your platform for my forced submission
My arms: your reins to keep me on the straight and narrow
My breast: your forsaken lots and lost change
My ribs: yours, encaging my life force
My back: your pharaoh’s chariot
My hips: your Roman columns desecrated
My vagina: your walled outlet
My legs: your indentured walking sticks
My feet: your waiter’s trays on which to keep your tapped rhythms.
I am your duty; your machine; your playground; your experiment.
I am your statue of violation—
made in your image…
I am Woman.