Canada - Size 14-16

I’ve had a really hard time accepting my weight over the past few months. I don’t have big boobs or a big butt, and I carry most of my weight in my thighs and stomach. This means I don’t fit society’s “ideal fat person body”, so I don’t ever see my body type represented. This has taken a huge toll on me. I have no problem being body positive about other people, but for some reason I’ve never been able to convince myself my own body is good enough. Without proper representation, that self hatred has only gotten worse.

The other day while I was cleaning my room I found some old lingerie I hadn’t worn in a year. I’ve gained some weight since then so I doubted it would fit, but I put it on anyway and to my surprise I felt sexy for the first time in a long time. Little moments like this remind me that I’m too hard on myself. I may not be sexy in the most conventional way, but I have my assets. This submission is hopefully a step in the right direction to loving myself more from now on. <3

Let me tell you a thing about GoGo Tamago

 She means everything to me. Like she truly means so much to me. 

As a partially Japanese child living in America where everything is white washed and diversity is abhorrent, I was constantly asking my mom “where are the Asian dolls? Where are the Asian girl movies? I want to have a Japanese doll like me!” 

Of course, I never did find these Asian girl characters that I wanted. Even as I grew up and discovered Anime, I was still disappointed because the girls and women in these shows and movies were painted to be either docile and submissive, or bat-shit crazy simply for being strong willed.

And on top of not finding an Asian girl who I could connect with, I was being constantly bombarded by bodies much thinner than mine and being told that I was too large for this new size 00 world. This isn’t to say that thin women are evil or should be shamed in anyway, its just that growing up and being told you aren’t thin enough to be worth something…. well it sucks, and I suffered a lot in my early teen years because of it. 

I had basically given up hope on finding my Asian, empowered, thick-thighed character to relate to a long, long time ago. And then I saw Big Hero 6.

GoGo Tamago is everything I needed growing up. Not only is she blatantly Japanese— with the wide eyes I always got teased for, the almost spherical, flatter face, and jet black hair— but she’s strong willed and powerful and FUCKING SMART without being portrayed as psychotic. She literally tells people to WOMAN UP! WOMAN UP SHE SAYS! And while she still has a small waist, GoGo has some mad thick thighs and beefy arms and she looks fabulous. She is everything I wanted growing up.

If I would have had GoGo to look up to, I wouldn’t have felt isolated or like a spectacle in my peer groups and school. I wouldn’t have felt so awful when people made jokes about my race. If I would have had GoGo, I wouldn’t have felt ashamed for being “bossy,” or a perfectionist, or the nerdy girl who wanted all her school projects to be the best. I wouldn’t have felt so alone when I said that girls were just as good as boys. If I would have had GoGo, maybe my body image wouldn’t have been so bad that I felt I had to starve myself, overexert my body, and take pills to purge everything I ate in order to be beautiful and wanted.

GoGo Tamago is everything to me. And while it may be a little to late for her to impact the way I grew up and lived out my developing years, I know that she is here now, and I know that I am being represented by her.

And even more important than that, now when a little Japanese girl who is a headstrong perfectionist with thick thighs asks her mom where the characters that look like her are, her mother will be able to point to GoGo and say “there she is sweetie— just as strong and beautiful as you.”

Thank you Disney; thank you Marvel. You’ve given me what I never had and always needed. GoGo Tamago is the role model that would have revolutionized my life growing up, and now she’ll be able to do that for young girls like me.

Again, thank you Disney and Marvel: thank you for giving me a hero. 

6

I’ve been on tumblr a lot over the past few days and because of Darren Wilson’s sentence concerning the Ferguson trial, there has been (rightly so) a lot of posts related to the protests and I’ve seen how badly protesters have been treated and it makes me feel physically sick. This also got me thinking about other incidents I’ve read about and I wanted to share.

In the first picture, its behind the Macy Day Parade. This is whats happening behind the camera. A massive number of protesters are being held at bay by police officers - and its not being covered by the media.

In the second picture is Trayvon Martin. He would be 19 this year had he not been shot down and killed by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. No parent should ever have to bury their child.

the third picture isn’t related to racism or protesters - but its still more than relevant. What the hell world is it where we have to tell people not too rape? Rape is a vile, disgusting, horrific and immoral thing to do, be it a man raping a woman or a woman raping a man (which can and does happen).

picture four - a woman defending her son in the Dominican Republic. Looking at this picture you can see this woman is young so I can only assume her son is below the age of 16? She has to defend her child from an officer. The people that are supposed to protect her children are the ones causing them pain. Yet still, she’s the one with guns to her head.

in picture five, this was the violent disappearance of 43 students from a teachers college in Guerrero state. Parents lost children, They never got any form of closure and yet America has next to no reaction to it whatsoever.

finally, in picture six, Protesters in New Delhi are hit with a police water cannon blast during their demonstration following the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman. Why? Is there any logical reason for this to happen? Why would peaceful protesters protesting about a horrific rape, be targeted by the law?

I’m not a journalist, or a victim of hate crimes, rape, assault, or a important protest leader or follower.

truth is, I’m a 15 year old girl. I’m sat in my house, reading about all these disgusting and horrible things and I can’t begin to imagine the pain and misery some people have to suffer through. I felt I had to play a very small part in letting people know what’s happening in the world we live in.

Ive heard people say people that all this is like the 60s all over again. I don’t think things stopped then and resurfaced now, I think they’ve still been happening all this time and we need to recognise that rather than saying we’re ‘going back to old ways’. Truth is, we never really progressed

Why is equality such a hard concept for some people to grasp? Is the idea of living in peace in fair and loving commutes such a bad idea?

Everyone is the same, everyone is human. Everybody’s greatest ancestors (so it’s believed) where black. That’s a fact. It’s only when humans started to discover colder climates and over years of evolving did lighter skin tones start to occur.

women aren’t in any way less than a man. Women can wear what they want, from crop tops and shorts too religious or cultural clothing without getting harassed. And men can be the victims too. Men can be raped, abused, shamed - inequality between genders is not a one-way street.

so many terrible things have happened in the world, war, terrorism, murder, racism, homophobia, sexism and so many other things, isn’t it time that we try and learn from our mistakes and stop this happening in the future?

Surely it doesn’t take a 15 year old girl to tell you that.

The Bechdel Test was never meant to be a test of whether a movie was feminist.  It was meant to point out how many movies fail an extremely basic indicator of feminism.  The Bechdel Test tests just one aspect of feminism in movies and it does so with the lowest bar possible.  The Mako Mori Test was created as another low-bar/minimalist test of feminism.

There are many aspects of a movie which determine how feminist it is.  What if we had ten pass/fail tests, and we could see how many and which tests a movie passed?  What if people creating the movie went through this checklist while writing the movie to see how the movie measured up?  Of course a movie could be very feminist and not pass all of the tests, because there are always exceptions.  However, ten objective criteria would be a good basic check point.  There are foreseeable practical problems with these in particular, since it was just what I came up with right now, but if people really cared, they could be worked out into useable objective pass/fail criteria.  Then perhaps we could recognize what constitutes gender equality in a movie and work towards it.  Suggestions/ideas/comments are welcome.

1.  Bechdel Test:

At least two named women who talk to each other about something other than a man.

2.  Mako Mori Test:

a) at least one female character; b) who gets her own narrative arc; c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.

3.  Stereotypes Tests

Stereotypes are not used (i.e. a woman making a horrible mistake in math or navigation).

4. Derogatory Terms Test

Male gender based derogatory terms are used equally as female gender based derogatory terms, and are made in reference to male and female characters equally (i.e. “bitch” is used once, and “dick” is used once; “whore” is used once in reference to a man, and once in reference to a female).

5. Age Test

Average age of the male actors is within 5 years of the average age of the female actors.

6. Casting Based On Looks Test

Average number of male actors’ previous major roles is within 5 of the average number of female actors’ previous major roles.

7. Sexualization Test

An equal amount of on-screen time is given to men as it is to women.  Male and females actors are dressed, shot and presented sexually in equal frequency (i.e. impractical hairstyles and clothing items such as keyhole and revealing outfits, heels, primped hair, seductive posturing, and filming that if the sound were cut out is suggestive of porn, or is shot solely to display the actor/actress).

8. Romantic Involvement Test

There are an equal number of female and male actors whose actual or potential sexual, romantic involvements/interests are not shown, mentioned or alluded to.

9. Decision-Making Test

The decisions made by the female and male actors are equal in frequency and gravity (minor and major decisions).

10. Lines Test

Equal number of speaking lines are given to male and female characters.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
By Margo Page