Personally I love Trueblood and Kristin Bauer who plays fabulous shoe wearing Pam. Hear what she has to say about preparing to baring her midriff this season. It seems the only thing she will be ingesting IS blood!
I appreciate her honesty but what would be wrong with seeing a little thickness around the midriff – sacrifice?- sexist? silly? Just asking check it out here
Thank you for your words and images. You are a beautiful woman inside and out and honestly, if a woman who is as lovely and strong and obviously talented and fit as you are can have body issues – then we truly are all on equal ground as women. I have struggled with my body and my feelings about it for as long as I can remember. I have been overweight, slender, had three babies and changed shape over time in many ways. Since tweenhood I have always had that negative voice in my head that tears me down and compares constantly. What were your methods for giving up that voice? How did you go about it. Let us all know so we can do the same.
Thank you for proving an outlet for those who struggle with similar issues! Your voice will be heard and will make a difference!
I’ll give a short (but likely long) synopsis of my story and hope someone might read it and choose to not listen to negative influences in their life.
I grew up in an amazing family. I had a wonderful childhood, well I have a wonderful life altogether. I was always taught to love myself and cherish the things about me that are different. I would succeed at doing this until my early 20’s.
I grew up dancing. There was plenty of opportunity for me to fall into the “weight issues” column. I was incredibly lucky in my dance environment to have a teacher who accepted different body types and worked with each student depending on their individual body needs. That said, there are always outside influences that come along and attempt to change how you see yourself. Deciding I loved danced enough to pursue it as a career, I went to a college with a great arts/dance program and received a BFA in dance performance. I was ecstatic to have an opportunity to make a career out of what I loved so much.
Throughout college, I was always pressured to keep track of me weight and go that extra mile to lose anything extra, but luckily, I was dancing so much this was not a problem. After graduating, I began teaching and decided that I really wanted to dance. On a whim, I decided to try out to be an NBA cheerleader. I made the team and thought this would be a fun way to integrate my love of dance with my love of sports. This year changed my life forever and I’m still dealing with body images today (although I’m aware of them and working hard to change them).
The second the team was announced, we were told (as a whole – which is ludicrous) that we needed to lose weight for a swim suit calendar we would be shooting in 3 weeks. I weighed 120 pounds and I am 5’7’’ (so, if you ask me, I looked great). Weeks past and I continued to lose weight. I got down to about 110 and felt sick, constantly hungry, and always tired. At this point we were having about 15 hours a week of practice, I was working full time, teaching dance 10 hours a week, working 1-3 games per week AND working out in my “free time”. Long story short, I became obsessed with my body weight, image, and overall appearance. I didn’t realize the tumble I was taking until nearly 2 years later when I looked back at my life and realized I had never questioned the way I looked until that defining year. I still (albeit much less often) think I look fat in certain clothes, dress much more conservatively to hide any flaws, and over-obsess about what I eat.
All-in-all it’s ridiculous. Why shouldn’t I have the same, healthy body image I had until I was 23? Why should one person/group be able to impact my life so much? I’m working to love everything about me and feel comfortable in my own skin no matter what I wear or do. It’s working thus far, but will always be a challenge because of this one year in my life.
I’m currently in the process of opening my own dance studio and can’t wait to add nothing but positivity to young dancer’s lives.
It is not enough to attribute the furor over Gabourey Sidibe’s appearance to a beauty double standard in society. What’s really “wrong” with Gabourey is that she takes up more space than she’s allotted, both physically and conceptually.
Let me explain. Women and feminists (because men can be feminists) have been fighting for generations just for “space.” And not just any space: space in the public sphere. Traditionally when social scientists talk about space they are referring the public/private dichotomy, the spatial spheres where gender is bifurcated both conceptually and physically. The public sphere has traditionally been the realm of men; men are expected to spend their days in the public realm working and participating in public affairs while women are charged with the task of staying home to maintain their designated part of space, the private sphere of the home. The first wave feminist movement in the 19th and early 20th century was the first time women formally demanded both physical and conceptual space in the public sphere; women wanted the right to take place in public affairs through voting and the holding of political office. During the second wave of feminism in the middle and late parts of the 20th century, women were fighting (and are still fighting) for the right to take up space in the workplace and not just in the private sphere of the home. For those engaged in the struggle now (third wave feminists and beyond) the fight for space has become conceptually different and more complex. Women, more than ever, are commanding more and more of a leading role in various parts of the public sphere of society.
However, the gains here are still spatially regulated. Take Gabourey as a prime example. As women have commanded more and more public space, society has reacted by demanding they get physically smaller. Thus, the message has consistently been, take up more space but don’t. Think about it. The beginning of second wave feminism is largely attributed to Betty Friedan’s seminal piece The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963. About this time, we see the gradual decline of the Marilyn pin-up girl body type and the rise of the stick thin runway model embodied by famous models like Twiggy, who not coincidentally became popular around 1966. Flash forward to today and due to gains achieved by feminists, women are permitted more conceptual space but at the same time are expected to be physically smaller. We even have a women’s size ZERO; while there is nothing wrong with a naturally thin body, why is the size called a “zero,” i.e., nothing. But this “nothing” has become the ideal, what women strive to look like. Try for a second to imagine men shopping for blue jeans in a size zero. It would never happen.
The disgust about Gabourey’s body is a clear reflection of this lingering debate about space with the added dimension of race. Gabourey is not only a successful female actress but is a successful black female actress. With the added variable of race, we expect her not to take up any space at all. Yet there she is, dark and large. Black women have always been expected to hide even more in the background, even more relegated to the public sphere as conceptual “mammies” and house cleaners. And this legacy continues today. Case in point: In 2007, while white women made only about 78 cents on the dollar for doing the same job as a man, black women made less, 69 cents on the dollar (now.org). Moreover, white society has been especially afraid of black female sexuality, casting black women as “overbreeders” sucking up public resources. Again, there stands Gabourey, not only dark and large but dark, large and confident in her body. She is exploding the boundaries of the conceptual space, fearlessly taking up whatever space she wants. I suggest we support her before we all shrink into oblivion.