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!!!
If we are lucky, age and aging comes to all of us. We relish our lives and want to live long healthy ones, yet in our youth crazed society we simultaneously crave longevity yet fear what age does to us both physically and mentally. Given what we have learned about the body through the advancement of science, medicine and nutrition, we now have the capacity to live longer then our predecessors ever dreamed of. We have not only extended our lifespan, but we are able to have a better quality of that longer life. There are nonagenarians who are vital, both mentally and physically and live very full and independent lives. This is one of the blessings of modern medicine and science. The flips side of that is, we also have the technology to erase the evidence of a great life lived. Botox, fillers, and plastic surgery can hold the aging body in a bizarre stasis, a place where people can look to be 30 years old perpetually. Their faces never quite change, their breasts don’t sag, hair lost can be replaced or re-grown, and it may not even grey, but through the magic of a colorist they get blonder and blonder. In today’s society it is getting harder and harder to say what a specific “age” looks like. “She doesn’t look* 45”, no she may not, but her mother does…
That is not to say that everyone who looks great has “support”, but this phenomenon of perpetual youth does greatly effect how we have come to feel about our aging selves. When we see pregnant women give birth and then dons in a bikini a week later looking as if she never carried a small mammal in her belly…it can be daunting. When her breast sag she has the option of a lift, or implants, and when her belly does not shrink she can tuck it. So what does a “mother’s body look like? Whether by genetic blessings or by professional intervention, people are living longer and looking better, and younger while doing it. To date it is almost societally shunned to “look” your age, or look like you have had a baby, or to be all right wearing the history of your collective life experience on your face.
This is why I think that Lucy Hilmer’s photo series “Birthday Suits” is so prolific in it’s simplicity. She not only documents her life and the development of it (we see her fall in love, have a child, we see that child grow) but she documents her body as it morphs due to those life experiences. Personally the changes in her breasts are what captivated me first and then it was her legs. Hilmer’s breasts are pert and perky at 33 when she took that unassuming picture of her self, almost as a fluke. At 36 they are a bit fuller but you can see that gravity has taken hold, at 43 she is breastfeeding her daughter. Her breast are functioning for their intended purpose…at 52 we see the result of that purpose fulfilled and age give greater weight to them, we also start to see a change in her legs. At a certain age the legs especially around the knees begin to show age, it often matters little how “fit” you are, they just start to change, it’s natural… At 56 as she stands with her daughter (no doubt the one she was nursing) she is a bit heavier in the waist, probably the result of menopause, but she looks very much unchanged and even at 60 and 67 she is still looks very much like her 33 year old self, it’s actually quite remarkable. There is a grace to her aging, a grace that most, if we allow it, and embraced it would no doubt have. I see a great beauty and honor in it. I see her go from girl to woman. I see strength, and confidence in her, never is there a sense of shame, or regret as she wears those white bloomers year after year, and certainly as she took those photos, the changes in her body were highlighted. It might have been quite humbling year after year to see where you breast started the year and where they ended it, albeit you would never get that from the energy of the photos.
For any woman who fears what age can do to your body, your beauty, your sensuality, or sexuality, they should take a look at these photos, hopefully they will be able to recognize that where age and life may change you, you are always most assuredly yourself. The human body, like its spirit is incredibly resilient and self-healing at times. The thing that I love most about these portraits is the fact that Ms. Hilmer looks so happy in all of them. At the start she wanted to document her 29th birthday as “the last good year she had left” but instead she documented that every year you have, is good, sometimes better then good, sometimes not but it is always a blessing either way.
hosted by Huffington Post
Every Year Since 1974, This Artist Has Photographed Herself In Nothing But Her ‘Birthday Suit’
Photographer Lucy Hilmer has spent the last 40 years bringing new, poetic meaning to the phrase “Birthday Suit.” Since 1974, the San Francisco-based artist has snapped a self-portrait of herself wearing nothing but a pair of shoes, socks and her signature white “Lolly Pop” drawers.
In the series, she’s pictured topless, assuming positions as ambiguous as staring into the sprawling ocean or pointedly powerful as gazing into the camera with a child feeding from her breasts. In total, she’s created a visual history of her own life filled with equal parts vulnerability and pride, mystery and revelation.
“Birthday Suits” began as a singular self-portrait, with no intention of becoming a life-long series. “I had just started studying photography in San Francisco, and went to Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, CA on a lark, and as a kind of homage to [Michelangelo] Antonioni and his film about the counter culture,” Hilmer explained to HuffPost. “I set out to make a picture of myself in my ‘birthday suit’ because in those days the saying was you couldn’t trust anyone over 30. In 1974, when I turned 29, I figured I’d immortalize myself on the last good year I had left.”
Hilmer took several photographs that day, but the one that stood out was an image in her underpants. “I recognized that person more than the skin-deep girl posing in the other frames of film,” she recalled. “That girl in her underpants was vulnerable, open, awkward — she was me.”
So every birthday after that, she reenacted the pose. She was, in her own words, obsessed with time and the notion that we’re all “slip-sliding away, becoming different versions of ourselves before we know it.” In the process, she found herself shedding the identity of a “girl child” of the 1950s, winding her own way into the narrative of a blossoming feminist movement.
“I came of age before women’s lib, and wanted to buck the stereotypes of a culture that branded me a pretty girl, thin enough
to be a fashion model and not much more,” she proclaimed. “Armed with my camera and tripod, I found a way to define myself on my own terms in the most authentic way I could.”
Continue at HuffingtonPost.com
When 14-year-old Carleigh O’Connell heard that a gibe about her body had been spray-painted on a cement block for her whole town to see, she responded in the unlikeliest, but most awesome of ways: She snapped a photo while posing proudly with the graffiti. She then shared the image on social media and told her mom, Daryl, to do the same. She wanted the image to go viral. She wanted to turn the story around. “[Carleigh] decided that she was going to be stronger than hurtful words on the concrete and that she was going to be proud of her figure,” the teen’s mom wrote in a Sunday Facebook post. “She also told me that she feels complete sympathy for the teenagers across the country who face this everyday. She understands and wants all of them to find strength inside to rise above the nastiness and be empowered by who you are, how you are made and what is in your heart.” Carleigh had heard from kids at her school that someone had graffitied a cement barrier in her hometown of Wall, New Jersey, and labelled it “Carleigh’s ass.” The teen was initially “upset,” her mom said, but she was determined to “make something good out of it.” Based on the speed with which Carleigh’s body-positive photo has made its rounds on the Web this week, it seems the teen has achieved what she set out to do. Carleigh’s Mom’s response:
“What an inspiration to others,” wrote one Facebooker in response to Carleigh’s picture.
“Rise above!! Don’t give them the power! You rock!!” wrote another.
Carleigh told TODAY that the experience with the graffiti has been an “empowering” one, adding that she hopes her message will inspire others.
“I didn’t know I could look something in the face like that and conquer it,” she told the news outlet. “The biggest message I want to get across is just to be strong, and that anyone who is experiencing bullying and anything like that, that they’re not alone and there’s people there for them — and I’m one of them.”
via Huffington Post
Babara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, what do they have in common, They are all powerful and history making journalist, AND they are all attractive women .
Both local and national news anchors, and weather people come into our homes daily, they surreptitiously become a part of our daily lives telling us to take an umbrella or warning us that downtown will be a mess due to a water main break. After watching, or listening to these people for years you suddenly look up and realize that, seemingly over night they have aged. The men have graying temples or have lost their hair, and the women, well the women oddly stay relatively the same, there are fluctuations in weight due to pregnancy but for the most part women in news exist in a sort of stasis. Sure there are those men who dye their hair and get a Botox and fillers but it is the woman who are “required” to “keep up appearances” .We all know why, it’s no big secret, we want, expect lovely looking women to tell us that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, after all it’s are more soothing to be told that the world is coming to an end by a petite blonde woman with an inviting smile, a sort of stewardess of the the news.
I jest, but only slightly when you here what happened to this female BBC morning show host you’ll see it’s not so far off!
This is Susanna Reid.
Reid is a very successful television journalist in the UK. She is so successful, in fact, that she was poached from the BBC’s very popular morning show to front a new show over at rival station ITV.
Unfortunately, the new show, “Good Morning Britain,” isn’t doing so well in the ratings. In fact, it’s getting comprehensively trounced by “BBC Breakfast,” the show Reid used to host.
So, what are ITV executives doing to prop up their sagging show? The answer, it would seem, is “microscopically analyze every aspect of Susanna Reid’s body.”
An ITV source said: “Helen is putting effort into training the presenters, who aren’t focus-testing too well. Susanna has been told to nod more, look more sympathetic and engage. Even her dresses are analysed to the nth degree. Her skirt length is checked and the colours now need to be brighter and lighter. A lot of people think she’s too harsh and intense. There was a discussion about lightening her hair. Most of their big-hitting presenters have been blonde – Anthea Turner, Kate Garraway, Fiona Phillips. Holly Willoughby is held up as the perfect nodder during interviews and she’s as opposite to Susanna as you can get. It’s a serious business getting GMB and Susanna Reid back on track.”
This follows an earlier “controversy” over how much leg Reid should be showing on air.
From the way Reid’s every move is talked about, you wouldn’t know that there are actually three other people hosting “Good Morning Britain” alongside her. Reid’s primary male counterpart, Ben Shepherd, does not appear to have received the same kind of micromanagement. His nodding abilities, it would seem, are just fine.
Of course, this kind of thing is nothing new for women in television, who find their every gesture scrutinized to an unbelievable extent. Reid’s predicament is strikingly reminiscent of that of Ann Curry, who found that she could do nothing right on “Today” and was summarily forced out.
Former CNN anchor Kiran Chetry and PBS’ Judy Woodruff spoke out on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” about the way women in television are scrutinized over their appearance. The discussion came after recent reports that executives at Britain’s ITV have criticized host Susanna Reid over her dresses, hair and nodding in an attempt to boost ratings. On Sunday, Chetry seemed to be able to relate to the story as she listed some of the feedback she’s received about her looks during her career in television. The former anchor, who previously worked in local news and for Fox News and CNN, said she has been told to: — buy a wig — not wear bare arms — not wear taupe — dye her hair blond — wear shorter skirts — wear longer skirts — get Botox
SEE the Video on CNN
Here is what we have to remember, in spite of it all We, as Women Strive, Survive and Thrive
Diana Adi-Khalil is a woman who looks at the world from a different perspective. Once I went to an art exhibit with her, and entered a room that was an installation, the church like pews in side were built in the round, and the room had no ceiling. You were meant to simply look up and …experience. Everyone entered the room with a quiet reverence and took a seat on a bench, and commenced to looking at the night sky. My best friend April and I followed suit, however Diana a matter of factly laid on the floor… It had never occurred to any one to do what seemed to be the most logical thing, given the fact that the point was to look “heavenward”. As others entered the room, seeing this petite, woman with a mane of wild curls wrapped in a haphazard topknot lying on the floor, they instinctively stretched themselves out on the carpeted floor. Diana Adi-Khalil literally sees the world from a different perspective…
Perhaps it’s her eclectic background, she is of Lebanese parentage, but raised primarily in Paris, she has unpretentious, purely authentic, bohemian laisseze a faire sense of being and style that one would associate with the 1920’s or 30’s. She is an artist, is the same sense. Art is not what she does; it is who she is. She lives her live artfully; she is constantly in creation, whether it is deciding what to wear, drawing a little doodle, or taking pictures. Her speech she is colorful and animated in her descriptions of the most simple of things. (I have experienced her in her third tongue English but am told that in French she is the same). She came to New York to study at New York University and has been here for 5 years. I asked her to share some of her thoughts and her work on the subject of health, beauty and body image. And in true fashion she crafted something unlike any other. She is truly singular, and original, and has made some keen observations relative to the American culture, our relationship to food, lifestyle, and yoga…
New york style.
These two words resonate in my head because they are pretty much everywhere on the streets of NYC:
“Yoga” and “Organic”
I get overwhelmed… by a “good” cause
These two words are use these are used as something to denominate “goodness” in so many people’s conversations that it is hauntingly overwhelming
Who else sees the “good” in ingurgitating the dose of orange you are supposed to eat in a year, in a little powdered pill?
A Chewable Strawberry Vitamin C from Sunkist is “All Natural” they provide 500 mg each. What is natural about a pill that provides “833% of your daily value per tablet”?
Hmmm I am not sure it is very natural to ingest 800 % more than the doctor recommended dosage of vitamin C…in the name of “goodness”.
Is it “natural” to drink your exhaustion away in a juicy cup containing the vitamin and iron of an entire organic farm?
As a Lebanese woman I was raised on the gourmet food, I praise it, and gain satisfaction by feeding others and myself.
EAT & CRAM ‘TIL YOU BURST– In Lebanese homes. My aunt almost cries if we do not try every single dish she serves. She stuffs me with her delicious food.
Full bellies, nourished and contentment.
As a French woman, I do* eat McDonald’s and squeeze my fries in my double cheese. Yes! Inside the burger, that is my ultimate pleasure! But that is not so French it is actually a remix of Lebanese Shawarma sandwiches:
This proves that I am a product of both cultures equally.
I smoke like a fireman till my teeth turn green, and smuggle tons of cheese,
Saucisson, and quiche paste in my luggage direction NYC. Enough stereotypes!
(Although all of above is true) as we say in French, “Plaisirs Gourmands”=Gourmet Pleasures
I do not deprive myself of anything, and should surely moderate myself. Hmm
Whatever, I am a Libertine, it courses through my veins.
One thing that I have clearly gotten out of my New York experience is having a sense of my body, the FEEL of MY BODY.I have always lived through excess and ate, as I wanted, without thinking of my Health; but I now I feel that I am not immune anymore. When I eat too many bagels I feel down, (and the NYC tip to scoop them out did not help my body feel better.) I feel tired and lazy when I eat badly. My body is pulling the emergency alarm. This never happened to me in Lebanon or France I realized it is not because of way* of eating but because of the food itself.
Why that? How come I never sensed that before? There might be a reason. Maybe it’s because most of the meat in the States has hormones and steroids in it, or that all the non-organic stuff are MGO or who knows what it is that makes chicken taste the same as the beef? Or maybe because most of the people eat at their desk, or that the deli around my corner is open 24-hour and was still open during hurricane sandy, or for the 4th July, I can go on and on about the American lifestyle …Life in NYC is INSANE!
In NYC, not only I feel overwhelmed by the pressure to be “good”, but also I feel tempted to the extreme. And he who has extreme temptation has extreme reaction. So here I am reacting to the fast hormones antibiotics, bad oily products, MGO vegetables blahblahblah… I could hear this little voice telling me to run to the other extreme and eat vegan NO gluten NO meat NO fat NO oil no….
NO NO NO!
This extreme revolution, whether it is for pros or cons seems no good for me.