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Bye, Becky: My take on Black girl makeover shows

The idea of Black women being called on to impart their essence into a white woman in order for her to become empowered is laughable, when you consider the fact that actual Black women are systematically disempowered in American society. Yet when viewed in the context of the social construction of an essential Black culture, […]

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Photography by Olivier Fermariello.

Form and function: a brief introduction to nudity and disability in Western culture

Representations of nudity in Western popular culture are rarely inclusive of “physically disabled” or “non-normative” bodies. If nude disabled bodies are represented at all, it’s usually in a medicalized, Othered context–case studies of the “disfigured” or collections of outrageous pictures of “freakish” bodies. Our cultural relationship with physical disability is contradictory; we’re trained to look […]

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In defense of fat

There is a widespread belief in Western culture that it is necessary to police the health of every fat person. Judgments are made about the state of the inside of fat bodies based on the appearance of the outside of their bodies. Most people don’t see that as a negative thing, or an inappropriate thing. […]

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On Bitch magazine: interview with “Fat Bitch!” creator Erica Watson

I had the pleasure of attending the April 30 performance of Erica Watson’s “Fat Bitch!” The show incisively cut through the societal baggage attached to being a fat woman using humor (hilariously!) and personal anecdotes. The finale video is something I hope everyone eventually gets to see because it is a work of comedy art. […]

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I touch myself

On Facebook today, Marilyn Wann shared an article on CNN.com about the health benefits of touch. She added “If being fat makes a person ‘untouchable,’ then that’s a powerful confounding variable for claims about weight and health.” I definitely agree, and of course media don’t present fat people as worthy of physical contact particularly of […]

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Subjectivity and self-image

Many of the ways we’ve talked about to combat dominant societal beauty standards and, in the process, boost your self-esteem/self-image, are subjective in nature. They involve presenting in a certain way to elicit the desired results: a new way of looking at fat sexuality. There’s nothing particularly wrong with subjectivity in this sense, but when […]

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