February 2, 2012

Thesis download

I didn't think that when I finished my thesis, that I should have posted the actual pages of my thesis here.
I'm terrible at writing my thoughts in anything but stream of consciousness type poetry. So I forewarn any readers, it might not be THE BEST thesis, but it's heartfelt and the process of putting together my project was moving for me and the people involved.

Also, as I was writing this, a commercial for eDiets came over the TV and I wanted to throw my laptop at the screen.

My final doll lineup. Look at the gorgeous bodies!

Click HERE to download/open the pdf of my thesis.

October 20, 2011

This is my revolution

This is my creativespace. It's meant to be messy.
After many conversations, and contemplating, I realized how much it pains me to see women degrading themselves. I'm not going to preach about it. I'm not going to lecture you about it.
I just want to see YOU celebrating the awesomeness that is YOU.

"Fuck Society" sure. "Fuck Self Hate" YES!

This is where YOU come in.

It's time we stopped posting images of other women, and start taking ourselves seriously. No one body is better than the other. No one body is more beautiful than the other.

WE are real women.
WE are fat, skinny, curvy, rail-thin, average and everything in between. We have knobby knees, jiggly arms, freckles, scars, bony fingers, pudgy fingers, curly, unruly hair. We have different faces, and different bodies, and the most amazing thing, the beauty of diversity is being lost in petty and senseless finger pointing and shaming.
WE need to stop looking to women of TV, movies, magazines and other media to compare our bodies to.
WE ARE real women. YOU are a REAL WOMAN.

FUCK SOCIETY, be happy with YOUR body.

Don't just take one day to love your body, spend the remainder of your years on this rock loving your body.

I know I'm opening myself up to all the small-minded folks who revel in making fun of other people. But so be it. If it makes you feel better to belittle someone based on how they look, then I'm glad that I could accommodate. Take time out of your life to focus energy on me and not realize that all you're doing is showing how tiny and insignificant you are. I love me, it's sad that you don't love you.

Just say NO to unnecessary comparisons!

October 11, 2011

Start a Revolution, Love Your Own Body

A picture has been floating around Facebook for a little while. It shows Marilyn Monroe and various wording floating around her grinning face. The words say something like "Fuck Society" and "This is real beauty" or  "This is more attractive than this" with a photo of a very thin woman.

While there is great positive energy behind the movement, I don't see women taking the time to think about the things they're saying. Women use Marilyn as an icon of beauty to rebel against modern standards. The "ideal" by today's standards is a body that encompasses what is typically considered the unattainable. If the perfect body were easy to achieve, then it wouldn't be the "ideal". Also, the ideal is highly subjective. Like I've said 100 times before, what I find beautiful, may not be appealing to my neighbor. The media will try to tell you that you have to conform to standards set in magazines and television ads. Other women might even tell you that you have to conform to these standards. Marilyn, while gorgeous, isn't telling you to not conform to media standards.

Forwarding an image of a 60's sex symbol doesn't promote an ideal source of beauty. Marilyn was "average" (in body size) for her time period. Curvy, full-busted, blonde. She adhered to what Hollywood was selling. She was as real and "normal" as any Hollywood actress is today.

Comparing a dated photo of a woman who was conforming to Hollywood standards 40+ years ago to women who are conforming to modern-day standards doesn't make any sense. Why don't we start posting photos of ourselves and saying "Fuck Society, I'm happy with the way I look"?

I want to see photos of flawed (normal) women saying they love themselves. To hell what everyone else wants to see. Flaunt your jiggly thighs! Revel in your lunch lady arms! (I'd love to). Dace with your knobby knees out and celebrate your body. Fat AND thin.
Tell the world that you don't conform!
Fuck society!

I'm sure there are those that would prefer the zombie, but you get my point.
Comparing images of two opposing subjects, eras, or viewpoints doesn't promote body acceptance.
Rebel! Forward images of yourself!

Start a revolution, love your body.
As hard as it is, and with as many setbacks as I've had, I love more about "me" today than I have in my short 35 years than I ever have.

I nabbed this from someone else's blog because I completely agree with the big red "x".
It's all subjective, my dears.

July 7, 2011

There are 3 billion women who don't look like supermodels and 3 that do

A while ago (yes, I've been meaning to write this for over a month) there was a photo circulating Facebook of an ad for The Body Shop that an image of a plus-sized doll named Ruby. 
The "Love Your Body" campaign started in the late 90's depicting an ample, curvy woman rebelling against cosmetic corporations unrealistic beauty standards. 

Ruby challenged the notion that every woman has to be thin to be beautiful. This campaign is obviously intriguing for me because it touches on the same ideas of my thesis. While the process of my thesis is over, the message is not. I'm not done saying what I have to say.

Posters and ads were hung all over Body Shop's across the world, in train stations, shop windows, magazines. And then along comes Mattel, the maker of the oft imitated Barbie™ who in some way had to think that The Body Shop was trying to nose its way into their market, or in some way, making fun of their disproportionate doll and served The Body Shop with a cease and disist order.

What's wrong Mattel? Afraid that women would be tempted to follow in Ruby's footsteps and accept themselves as they are and stop paying for painful and expensive surgeries to emulate a doll that couldn't possibly stand on her own? Afraid that there might actually be a market for a beautiful, amply-proportioned doll? Is there a remote possibility that The Body Shop may have been mocking your own standards of beauty?

I'd actually love to see a diverse shape of dolls on the shelves. Young girls need to see that there are more body shapes in the world. It's as simple as making a mold and pouring plastic into it. I'd love to take this on. Hey, anyone out there a multi-millionaire and want to back a project with me? If you don't want to think that dolls have an effect on girls' psyches, than agree with the visual aesthetics of looking at dolls that all look different than each other? I remember when I played with Barbie I used to think they all looked exactly the same and just had different hair colors. I wasn't overly influenced by their body shapes because I was too busy pulling their heads off, cutting the hair into wild styles and putting on plays in my closet set as the stage.

It's about time that corporate America stops thinking about its bottom line and image, and how their influence affects the rest of us. Ruby's legacy was over ten years ago, and if Mattel gets their way, there will not be another Ruby, from anyone.

For now, I've got my super secret project.

One of my references was from this page, whose author is much more eloquent than I am. 

May 6, 2011


I was able to pick up a CD with images from my thesis presentation. Thankfully, there weren't any of me speaking. This isn't a horror blog!

I've never been so terrified in my entire life. I tried to psychoanalyze what was making me afraid speaking in public, and the only thing that I could come up with was that I was afraid of messing up. So I started my speech and found that I was reading from my cards too heavily. I couldn't stop myself. I looked up at my panel, and then looked over at an area where there weren't any people. Who was I speaking to?
I was able to break away from the podium, but barely. I think I felt like I needed to hold onto something grounded. Maybe so that I didn't float away? So that I didn't faint?

I had a small group that came to watch me talk. Some were strangers (one woman came up to me to apologize that she was going to have to leave before it was over, but was really excited to see my presentation), there were some friends that came to see my presentation (how cool is that?!) and some classmates (having them there really comforted me). I didn't want a big crowd, and what I had was PERFECT.

The speech was over before I knew it. The entire process was emotional, draining and everything it needed to be. I won't go into details, but I will say this. Everything that happened during my speech, from tears to joy, was everything that I had ever wanted and more. I touched people. And as cynical as I've grown to be,  I was able to reach out and connect with people who've suffered cruelly from others because of their bodies. I never expected to get a reaction, to get people excited for what I was doing. I DID IT! I touched people. What an honor. Seriously.

A week later, and I still don't have the right words to sum up the entire experience. I will sit and write out something a little more eloquent later.

For now, here's a sampling of images of the layout :

(Photos by Heather Zinger)

May 2, 2011

Did she just say that?!

Did Ellen Degeneres JUST tell me "Inner beauty is important, but not nearly as important as outer beauty"?!

Even meant as a joke, it's a poor way to address beauty standards. Of all people, I would have expected something more from her. There's a way to make something that sounds so ludicrous into a joke, and I didn't see it.

I'm a big fan of sarcasm, and if there was any way that sarcasm was supposed to be in this commercial, it was lost in editing.

May 1, 2011

Where do we go from here?

My thesis is over.... For the time being. But it's not dead. It will live on with the expansion of this blog (what the world needs is more active and updated body acceptance blogs) and with a book project that I'm in the process of planning.

No, I'm not in the stages of penning a memoir. I don't have a captivating story that anyone wants to read. But I'm not really going to share the nature of this project with anyone (outside of what I said in my thesis defense) until I have more of it planned out and created. Thankfully, there's kickstarter.com. I'm going to try my hand at raising some funds so that I can get my book printed.

Aside from that, IT'S DONE!! I thought that I would fall on my face, and die. But I didn't. It was very unnerving and although, I thought I knew my notes, I felt like I was so nervous that I had to rely on them more than I cared to.
I had a small group, but that's ok, because there were people there that I care about and who cared about my project. I'm not used to having such caring people actually give a shit about what I'm doing and I can't even come up with the right words to express exactly how awesome that makes me feel.

I got to see how my project touched people. And I could have failed my thesis and had to start over and even if that happened, knowing that I touched people, my thesis would have still been successful. I don't care if it sounds too "lollipop and sunshine" but the reason I did this project was to reach out to EVERYONE and especially women who've been tormented. Us fatties aren't the only ones who get taunted and jeered at. And we all need to accept this, and we all need to accept that we are different and beautiful and spending time pointing out that someone's too fat, or someone's too skinny is just a waste of energy. There are so many more beautiful things that we could be doing!
So go shove your "real women have curves" line of insecurity and throw using "fat" as a lame insult out the window. Say something nice to someone that doesn't have anything to do with their size for once. Compliment their radiant smile, or their gorgeous eyes, rapturing personalities, amazing talent! Look, at all the other more positive adjectives you can use. I helped you out.

I nabbed a photo of my presentation from my friend Christy, who was there with her family to support me. Another thing that gets me, is that NO ONE had to come to this presentation. But they did. Students, strangers and friends. WOW!

Pretty dolls all in a row

I might have some more images coming that I'll share with you next week. But right now, the birds are chirping, the sky is finally blue and it's over 48 degrees. I've spent the last several months tethered to my desk. I'm taking my pup and am going to soak up some vitamin D.

Stay in touch.