I came up with the "love your shape" slogan while completing my pre-doctoral internship at WMU's counseling center. I was eager to work on any project related to my developing specialization in eating disorders and while working on the eating disorders team at Sindecuse Student Health Center I fell into a lucky opportunity to combine creativity with my clinical interest. Along with other students on a team, I was charged with coming up with ideas for Eating Disorders Awareness Month (February) and during my daily walk home for lunch, the image of shapes smiling and the slogan, "love your shape" hit me. We made buttons and postcards promoting this campaign and passed them out all over WMU. I still see them sometimes and a squee of artist's pride (my dad was a visual artist) sings in my heart. I also hope that the people that still have the buttons think about what that message means. For me in my work and in my life as a woman in the western world, I want to challenge the idea that we should hate our bodies. Whether it be related to your own or others' weight, shape, tone, texture, size, color: notice when rejection and judgment are creeping up and rise against these responses.
This section of my site will be devoted to pieces of inspiration I come across that help to promote acceptance and love of this physical body that holds us. After recently discovering, with some
horror, a few pro-eating disorder pages on tumblr, I feel it important to magnify (and create) the corresponding challenge.
OMG I love this. I so often work with folks who have this deeply internalized sense of self-hatred and shame about who they are based on their body size. It's hard work challenging this but every
post like this one helps. Look, listen, learn, be inspired.
Caroline Rothstein talks about her conscious turn towards recovery. She briefly mentions her experience with sexual trauma. Inspiring, powerful.
01/20/15: Disrupt the paradigm that over-emphasizes thinness and invalidates the beauty that is inherent in bodies of all sizes. LOVE these photos. Because I love yoga and I love women empowered by yoga.
10/21/14: Seriously, people, particularly women people. Don't believe the bull**** sold to you. Here's why:
7/8/14: Robin Lawley, plus-sized model: "Saying you love your body actually works"
"they should learn to put different sizes, different ages in [sic]the catwalk"
6/2/14: So let me be clear that I do not get any kick-backs from this swimsuit company. I am including their website here for a few reasons- mainly, their message supports my efforts to challenge size stigma. I am no stranger to pop culture and recently saw on E! News (so who can be sure this is truth, but still so saddening) that Kim Kardashian's brother MISSED her wedding because of weight shame. That's right, weight shame. This company, from what I see so far, is promoting size (and skin color) diversity and for that reason, I link it here. We get so many messages about our "okayness" from advertising- from product AVAILABILITY- so on that note, I challenge that one must be small/thin in stature to advertise swimwear. The world is a better place *for everyone* when people don't hate their bodies.
9/15/13: Love this woman's site and blog: Ragen Chastain.
I have been communicating with Ragen through email- she has been amazingly generous with her time- in order to explore some of my own reaction to the word "fat". Here's some of what she has to say but she also reflects on this in her site.
I consider fat a reclaiming word - my use of it is one of the ways that I tell the bullies that they can't have my lunch anymore. I also use the word queer to refer to myself and my community based on the same principle of reclaiming. This reflects my own belief that we can shift the energy around the words that are used to oppress us by reclaiming them and using them as our own. I also use fat as a rejection of the use of euphemisms. I feel that calling me anything but fat makes it seem like my size is something that requires "dancing around" I would rather be called almost anything than be called "fluffy" for example, but other people love that term to describe themselves.
7/15/13: saw this and can't stop thinking about it. Clients are talking about it too. When we put our bodies down in front of our children, what does this do to them?
Love this 6/11/13:
Inspiration 5/10:13: a beautiful, heart-wrenching essay:
a site devoted to identifying and challenging negative media messages related to body image.
This post will make you smile:
my former colleague at Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders, Julie Norman. She now runs her own practice and is one of my favorite sources of wisdom regarding a balanced approach to body and nutrition:
Body-love blog site:
And this was just recommended to me:
The Body is Not An Apology on Facebook. Search the title in FB and it will take you to the page. **Has explicit content related to sexual health.
Ms. Fit Magazine:
This recently launched webzine is about creating a body-positive, feminist & LGBTQ-affirmative space for talking about fitness. There is an entry pertaining to eating disorder recovery and running. As always, if you are in recovery from an eating disorder, pay attention to your own cues and triggers related to reading someone else's story. This one may be triggering to some.
Proud to be Me:
I believe this site is sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association. I found it through a NEDA link to a strong critique of methods used on the show, The Biggest Loser. Info on the site supports Health at Every Size movement.