body-image-project

“I’m a proud fat woman. I haven’t always been, but I’ve learned to love myself. I used to say: I read Fat Is a Feminist Issue and, halfway through, I got bored and ate it. There’s so much bullshit around women and our weight. The things that come out of these women’s mouths. It freaks me out when I’m standing next to a woman, who is maybe 100 pounds soaking wet, talking about how fat she is. Men can weigh any fucking weight they want. They can be any weight they want and no one gives them shit about it. But it’s simple: fat is not ugly; in fact, it’s quite beautiful.” - Lea DeLaria in our new episode of the What’s underneath Project 💪💪💪 For Lea’s full story, watch her video!

Body Image Project

 As one of my projects for my media studies class, I chose to take on something I had always wanted to do, but never got around to. Using my increasing interest in photography, I wanted to be able to create a collection of photos involving body insecurity. The original idea I had for the project was to capture the models in a full nude body shot and allow them to describe what it meant to overcome insecurity. This idea formed based on a personal project I did where I photographed my own body insecurities and posted them online. My goal for the original post was to prove to myself that I have grown to overcome my physical insecurities and remind myself how far I’ve come with the ways in which they used to hold me back.

The body image project that I have collaborated with my classmates to work on is now called ‘Take it Off’. The structure of the project allows university students to discuss a personal body insecurity, and have their particular insecurity be photographed and posted online with their choice of anonymity in order to create a collection of photos based around insecurities and their variations. Through the process of the project, I have learned that insecurities usually come from areas on our bodies that stand out more than others.

 I found it interesting that especially during a time like middle school, we try our very best to be ‘unique’ as we discover our individualities, while also doing our best to try and appear physically the same. We want to be unique, but ‘in a normal kind of way’. Parts of us that are unable to be altered are ones that we try and hide most. I think for me, being secure is about knowing that you have the control to choose whether or not you let things affect you. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I am slowly beginning to learn to change my perspective through the courage of others, who are also returning from their own personal and unique journeys of individuality.

 Seeing as I am involved in the Take it Off project, I felt it would be appropriate to personally answer my own interview questions relating to a personal body insecurity I used to have.

 Mica

 Age: 20 

Sex: Female

Occupation: Student 

Describe your insecurity:

I used to have a really big insecurity for my back. Acne scars and a permanently unflattering bruise along my spine made me feel like I was unworthy of beautiful backless dresses and cropped tops.

 How long has this insecurity been present in your life?:

I’ve had this insecurity ever since I started getting acne. Middle school was a horrible time with hormonal fluctuations, and it left me with acne all over my back. Now, I’ve leveled out a little better, but I’m still left with remnants of scars and an uncomfortable feeling when my back is exposed.

Have you overcome this insecurity?:

I’d say for the most part my insecurity has significantly diminished. At this point the battle between cute dresses and I have been fought and won, and I’ve learned that I prefer how I feel when I don’t care.

 What do you think has/could help you overcome this insecurity:

A lot of desensitization and realizing that no one else really pays attention that closely to one another, at least in a negative light. It also helps to have good friends who are even more willing to show you their insecurities and feel like they can trust you.

If you were to give advice to someone struggling with a similar insecurity, what would you say?:

If you can look past other people’s flaws, then there are people that can look past yours. Eventually, you will find comfort in the differences you carry from those around you- it just takes time.

The progress on the project so far is looking promising. I cannot wait to share my findings on this (hopefully) ongoing photo collection and share them with those who don’t quite like what they see about themselves.

The website is up!: www.takeitoff.ca

youtube

I love this so much… I found this on youtube and I couldn’t stop watching all the videos. 

I said I wouldn’t put up any more videos, but I’ve changed my mind. 

The Body Image Project is “a movement to reframe body image and enable everyone, everywhere, to discover and celebrate the real you”. Each week on youtube, a new video is added to the growing list of testimonials by both men and women. Every one is different and I really, really, REALLY encourage you guys to go to their website, http://bodyimageproject.com, specifically http://review.bodyimageproject.com/ for the videos (which are also found on youtube). 

No more distortion. No more, “I’m supposed to hate my body. Society is constantly telling me that I’m not good enough”. Look in the mirror and force yourself to see the real you. The beautiful you. 

It’s projects like Project Beautiful and Body Image Project that give me hope. As I learn more about eating disorders, body image, self esteem and weight, I am both disgusted and saddened by it. I’ve come to realize that our society holds the most responsibility for why women think and see themselves the way that they do. Celebrities, fashion magazines, TV shows, movies, everything associated with fashion and the media - they’re all to blame.  Women are victims of society’s standards of beauty. It’s as if beauty comes only in one form - An unattainable perfect figure that which girls are willing to starve and go under the knife for. There happen to be 70 million people who have eating disorders in our world today. We can’t even begin to comprehend such a number. 

youtube

stumbled upon this while searching up “self image.”

youtube

The Body Image Project with Danielle Pinnock

2

Kim’s been busyyyyy on Insta these past few weeks, sharing all of the things that have…. ahem…. blossomed during her latest pregnancy.

This feels like one of those ‘two steps forward, one step back’ kind of moments: mostly because it’s a pregnant woman - who has received nothing but criticism and judgment about the shape, size, and purpose of her body - stepping in and asserting her body’s presence, its very vivid materiality. But the self-objectification thing… wish I could completely ignore it, but damn if grad school doesn’t amplify that voice in the back of my head saying, “KIM! GIRL! Why are you continually reinforcing the conception of women, and yourself, as mere sex objects!?!” 

I am, however, very much into the fact that Kim seems to be more interested in sharing photos of her pregnant body this time around. I’m not sure if that’s a reaction to her last pregnancy, in which so much of the narrative was controlled by the tabloid speculation about her weight, or if it’s just a natural evolution for someone who’s always clearly loved sharing every last detail about her life (See: Selfish, this episode Keeping Up With the Kardashians). I’m also not sure if it’s doing much to contradict that narrative. Whatever it is, I’m clearly into it.

Mostly, though, the top photo just makes me think of this:

You’re welcome.

Project Harpoon - Fat Shaming Blog on Tumblr

There is a blog on Tumblr called ProjectHarpoon that photoshops people’s selfies so they appear thinner to make them “sexy” without that person’s permission!

I reported the site to Tumblr and this was the reply:

Me: Why is a blog like http://projectharpoon.tumblr.com/ allowed on Tumblr? These people are using other people’s pics without their permission for purposes of fat shaming and humiliation.

Tumblr: Hello, We appreciate your bringing this to our attention. In these cases, we need to hear directly from someone who is being featured or discussed on this blog. They can contact us at www.tumblr.com/abuseIn addition, we will need their help in understanding the context of the behavior being reported, including information like examples of the abusive behavior in the form of permalinks (links to individual posts). Post permalinks are permanent links (URLs) to individual posts, and you can find instructions to locate them at: http://support.tumblr.com/post/70605376406/hey-need-a-link-to-a-specific-post Please list each post permalink on a new line in your email response. Putting each permalink on its own line will allow us to more quickly look into your request.Thanks again for your assistance. Tumblr Trust & Safety

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If you have posted a full-body selfie online and are plus-sized you may have been a target of this site. This is bullying of the first order. Unfortunately, Tumble will not address it unless people who’s pictures have been used contact them.

Project harpoon

Hey All,

I just wanted to let people know that there is a Facebook, and tumblr called project harpoon. I just wanted to let you know that they take pictures of plus sized models and Photoshop them to be skinny and I don’t think that’s right to photoshopping people to look skinny and calling them “from tuffet to miss muffet.” I’ve tried reporting them but Facebook doesn’t see it as a violation. So I was hoping you’d help in reporting them or spreading the word.

Ps. They claim that they are trying to show that being skinny is okay to and they say that people photoshop anime to be fatter so they think that they should take the plus size people and make them skinny. They also say that they’re just trying to show skinny is beautiful too, but they are clearly fat shaming

Please help me spread the word and report them.

Large Scale final photo from ‘Body Image’ project. I made a short film called ‘Fat Emily’ where I  transformed a girls figure by stuffing material down tights and creating a large, round body shape. 

This photo was the final product of the film, which i then printed large scale in black and white. 

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