body-shaming

Why We Need Birthing Films

Rachel Marie Stone for Her.meneutics:

Because birth is for most Americans an event that takes place in the hospital—and, increasingly, in the operating room—there are simply fewer opportunities for women to see other women give birth. By contrast, in early America, as in virtually all traditional cultures, to attend another woman’s birth was expected and routine, more or less like attending a baby shower today.

Stone bookends the topic by addressing the question of “modesty”:

We might do well to reclaim birth and breastfeeding as a few of the very few times when supposed immodesty serves purposes far higher than titillation or voyeurism.

Bodies are for doing things.

It’s Not You, It’s the Clothes

When I adore the aesthetic of a brand or store and cannot squeeze into anything they offer, I feel heartbroken and hurt. And, perhaps more importantly, I’m inclined to blame myself. I mean, obviously if my hips can’t be jammed into a single pair of those pants I’m a disproportionate, repellent eyesore.

A friendly, reassuring post from Sally McGraw. Your body doesn’t need to fit your clothes; your clothes need to fit your body.

New Zealand Deems Clinically Accurate Terms for Body Parts Acceptable for TV

Despite receiving complaints from viewers outraged that an advertisement would refer to a woman’s vagina as a “vagina”, New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authority has decided that this commercial for Carefree Acti-Fresh Panty Liners does not violate their code.

Who knows whether viewers would have been as disgusted if the body part in question had been a penis (sometimes referred to as a “penis”). Beyond sexism, this incident illustrates the irrational discomfort Westerners feel with our own sexuality. When even the non-sexual functions of our sexual organs illicit such prudish reactions, we must admit we have a very real problem.

More optimistically, though, the Carefree ad (the first to actually use the words “vagina” and “discharge” together, and possibly the first to even say “vagina”) came in response to research by the company showing women wanted advertisers to stop using euphemisms for the vagina. Maybe women (or people in general) are tiring of the body-shaming that words like “hoo-ha” and “coochie” subtly reinforce.