We need to talk about body image

"New findings from the 2014 British Social Attitudes survey reveal that only 63% of women aged 18-34 and 57% of women aged 35-49 are satisfied with their appearance.

In a world obsessed with women’s bodies, we are bombarded with images of them, usually undressed, often in dehumanised pieces, at every turn. But though we see women’s bodies everywhere, it’s only really one body that we’re seeing, over and over again. Usually a young, thin, white, toned, large-breasted, long-legged, non-disabled body.

Funnily enough, that’s not what most women’s bodies look like. But the airbrushed media ideal is so powerful and so omnipresent that women find themselves comparing their own bodies to it anyway, and finding themselves wanting. The results are devastating. A recent report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image found that girls as young as five are worrying about their size and appearance, and that one in four seven-year-old girls have tried to lose weight at least once. And, as the BSA survey results show, a preoccupation with body image affects women throughout their lives, not just in their youth. It holds women back by eroding their confidence both at work and socially. New research coinciding with Body Confidence Week found that almost 10 million women in the UK “feel depressed” because of the way they look and 36% avoid exercise because of insecurity about their looks.”

- from founder of the Everyday Sexism Project Laura Bates’ article for The Guardian ( which can be found here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/14/women-body-image-anxiety-improve-body-confidence?CMP=fb_gu ) 

- from Victims2Survivors UK 

- from Victims2Survivors UK 

I decided that I was a feminist. This seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, [women’s expression is] seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men, unattractive even.
Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one? I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.
Emma Watson in her recent speech to the UN launching the HeForShe campaign 
We need to move beyond the stigma of “that time of the month” – women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time.
The case for free tampons by Jessica Valenti - read the full piece here: 
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/10/adventures-in-contraception-womens-choices?CMP=twt_gu

quiet-desperati0n:

I am a feminist because
I don’t think this video could be much more relevant.

The NHS has recently released the above poster featuring the statistic ‘one in three reported rapes happen when the victim has been drinking’. These posters aim to dissuade young people from drinking heavily by using rape as a fear tactic and victim blaming, once again avoiding the real root of the problem. Irregardless of whether they were drunk or not, rape is NEVER the victim’s fault and the government should not be telling people to change their behaviour to avoid being raped - they should be telling people not to rape in the first place. To say no to victim blaming and to the use of these posters, sign the petition at http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/jeremy-hunt-nhs-home-office-remove-all-copies-of-this-poster-and-stop-victim-blaming?recruiter=60006613&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition


The NHS has recently released the above poster featuring the statistic ‘one in three reported rapes happen when the victim has been drinking’. These posters aim to dissuade young people from drinking heavily by using rape as a fear tactic and victi
m blaming, once again avoiding the real root of the problem. Irregardless of whether they were drunk or not, rape is NEVER the victim’s fault and the government should not be telling people to change their behaviour to avoid being raped - they should be telling people not to rape in the first place


To say no to victim blaming and to the use of these posters, sign the petition at http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/jeremy-hunt-nhs-home-office-remove-all-copies-of-this-poster-and-stop-victim-blaming?recruiter=60006613&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Buzzfeed asked 22 women why they take birth control and some of the answers they got back were simply marvellous.

Here’s a link to some of the other answers:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/we-asked-women-why-they-take-birth-control-and-these-are 


"When the words ‘like a girl' are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering. I am proud to partner with Always to shed light on how this simple phrase can have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls and women. I am excited to be a part of the movement to redefine ‘like a girl' into a positive affirmation.” - Lauren Greenfield, director of the #LikeAGirl video