If you've been following the controversy surrounding Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh you already know, but just in case you don't: a few weeks ago he essentially blamed a now deceased 16-year-old for her own rape. He stated that she was "older than her chronological age" — basically saying that she acted older than she was and got what was coming to her. Understandably there was a gigantic wave of outcry, and he's since apologized and called for a new hearing.
This is Offbeat Families's archive of body image posts.
Thanks to my son, I've now got a better understanding of who I am and why I should be proud of it. You won't hear me tell my boys that I'm fat, or unhappy with my body because I've truly learned the value of self image. I still watch what I eat and exercise, but it's not to change my physical self. It's to stay fit and healthy so I can keep up with these boys.
The other day, I got fat-shamed. When you get fat-shamed often, like every time you turn on a television, it takes a lot to make an impact. My husband, Chris, and I went to our city's second annual Afro-Centric Pregnancy Fair in Portland, Oregon. I had high hopes of being in a supportive environment of people who care about the unique challenges facing black women as they enter pregnancy, childbirth, and childbearing. I fantasized about talking with midwives, doulas, and new mothers about their amazing experiences and horror stories of hospitals, birth centers, and their living rooms. Instead, I got a major dressing down by a black doctor manning an information table for a clinic.
We had a wildly successful show this past weekend, the club was packed and the crowd was very enthusiastic and responsive, which was fantastic. I'd spent the last month wavering between being very excited about my two solos, and being very scared about how exposed I was going to be up there. Normally when I perform, I leave a waist cincher on because body issues.
I have obsessed about my weight since I was eleven. I'm not going to get into all of the years of disordered eating and self-loathing in this post, but when I look back on photos of myself, I can't believe I thought there was anything wrong with me. I was a fox — long, lean, lithe, and curvy in just the right places. I could shimmy into tons of really cute clothes, and heads would turn. These days, you could describe me as "pillowy" rather than "willowy."
In January we ran a post about photographer Jade Beall and her A Beautiful Body Project. Jade spent time with several women, listening to their stories about their own struggles with self-love and their bodies. She photographed many of these women with their children, and the photos bring the stories to life. Last week Offbeat Home ran a post written by Michelle, one of the women photographed.
My sister-in-law is planning to undergo elective plastic surgery after her second child is born. I love and support her in whatever she chooses to do but we have different values in regards to this topic. How do I explain that to my little girl in a way that can be used as a teaching moment and not offend someone we love so dearly?
As I evaluate my role as a strong, positive role model in Johannah's life, I am particularly cognizant of the image of myself that I share with her, that I unconsciously project into the world. I may be found, at times, in front of a full length mirror scrutinizing the lumps and bumps of my body, rough patches of skin, the crookedness of my front teeth.