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We all do it. In the hairdresser’s, watching the red carpet on TV, catching a glimpse of Fashion Week. We watch those girls who always look good, no matter what, who’s hair and makeup are always perfect, and whose bodies are thin. Stick thin usually, but any kind of thin will do. The point is, they’re thinner than us, and that’s what gets us sighing with envy.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen another woman’s shape and wished mine was just like that, well, I’d have enough money to grow myself a new body and move into it!
The worst thing is, I know that envy is bad for me. It makes me feel like a failure. Then the next time I get ready to go out, all I see in the mirror is something large and unflattering, and I think that no matter what I wear or put on my face, I’ll still never look as good as those perfect women. (more…)
I’m a girl with curves. Yep, I admit it. I confess that there’s very little about my body that isn’t amply endowed in some way or other. And yes, my feelings about that are complex – and don’t worry, I’m not going to go into them here and now, without warning your first :-).
I am delighted to say however, that there are some people out there who not only don’t mind their curves, but they are ready, willing, able and already active in doing something about it that will help the rest of us.
In the last few years, there’s been quite a bit of movement in the area of body shape and how both society and the clothing/fashion industry addresses (or completely fails to) concepts of body image and self-esteem. Unfortunately, it’s still totally normal to insult (mostly) women who are overweight, as though being big isn’t already enough of a burden that you need to deal with people’s rudeness as well. Which is why finding this particular lady is so refreshing. Her name is Janine Mison and she’s a force to be reckoned with. (more…)
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Years ago I was watching a documentary about a tribe in Africa when I saw something which stood out in my young imagination: here were people who thought that larger women were especially beautiful because they embodied fertility, success and wealth for their husbands and the tribe in general. For these people, being thin only reminded them of their occasional periods of hunger. Overweight people were valued and cherished. Alas, it seems even these examples of different cultures and their different ways of looking at larger sized people have been mown down by Western ‘ideals’, according to a new study. (more…)
As we approach the first birthday of A Big Beautiful World, I thought I’d talk about why I began this journey in the first place.
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I know some thin people who are just thin. Always have been, probably always will be. They’ve never had any extra weight on their bodies and they’ve never given a thought to eating too much beyond that one last dumpling at Yum Cha once a year. From time to time they’ll mention how they’re worried about not fitting into their clothes – but pictorial evidence over the years proves they actually don’t have any weight concerns. These are the people who are the least judgemental with people who do have weight problems. They might find it hard to understand – but they rarely judge. (more…)
When I first began researching for this blog, I had a lot of trouble finding anything online that even remotely resembled what I wanted to do here. But, much to my surprise, I did find something else that I wasn’t expecting – and had never actually heard of. (more…)
In our wonderful modern world, we get constantly hammered by the images of emaciated celebrities with their enhanced breasts, talon-like nails and teeth so white you can see them from space. It’s been a long time since I considered any of that beautiful, and yet, without our will, it seems, our eyes are still drawn to these people. Despite our best intentions, somehow, subconsciously, we still admire them for those features, even when we know we shouldn’t. Part of the problem is that there often isn’t any alternative, no member of the ‘beautiful people’ or celebrity genre that bears any resemblance to the person we see in our mirrors. (more…)
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Two recent studies have shone a huge light on how weight issues can have an overwhelming effect on children, to the point of developing an eating disorder they will struggle with for the rest of their lives. But it’s interesting to note that it’s not the weight itself that’s the problem – but rather, how the overweight child is treated by other people. These studies show how both the peer groups and parents of overweight children play an important part in how the child deals with that weight issue.
There’s hardly a person out there who hasn’t heard of eating disorders – and you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re only about people starving themselves to death, with names like anorexia and bulimia stamped all over the news. But that’s not all eating disorders are about. An eating disorder can simply be described as an abnormal attitude towards food and eating. It can just as easily be seen in somebody who eats too much as one who doesn’t eat enough. Eating disorders are bad, physically and psychologically, and, like a wrecking ball swinging through a derelict building, they create havoc wherever they go. And the worst part about them is, they usually start in childhood.
They make movies about us and think it’s hilarious that we eat and wear big clothes. Comedians and radio ‘personalities’ find we’re the biggest source of humour because we don’t fight back. When they talk about a large celebrity, the inevitable ‘pig eating’ sound effects emerge in the background, and the entire studio laughs aloud. Fat people are the entertainment subject de jour, and everybody is getting on the bandwagon. All the while, people with weight problems die a little more inside, hating themselves, blaming themselves, and believing all the crap that’s said about them.