Well, I'll go to the foot of my stairs...

Often startled, frequently amused, sometimes scared; rarely speechless. Can be found at witchywoo22@yahoo.co.uk

Saturday, July 08, 2006

This...

...is an amazing post on an amazing blog.

However you think about women and weight, Christi Nielsen's message is poignant and powerful.

Everything she posts is so graphic. She posts it graphically. We are what we look like and if what we look like doesn't happen to comply with the accepted, patriarchial, 'attractive' norm - well then, we're fucked, basically. And that's how we feel - fucked.

I'm interested in female body image. I believe it affects how we relate to our world.

Without being intrusive, I'd like anyone who sees this post to take a look through Christi's blog, have a think about what they see and let me have their thoughts and comments. I'll be responding on this one.

10 Comments:

  • At 11:57 AM, Blogger Pippa said…

    Witchy! What are you doing to me!!! I spent the morning going through Christi's blog. I am now troubled! I love her photography and I think her discussions and comments about body image are great but it terrifies me that she (and others who comment there) are so absolutely focused on ridding themselves of their fat.
    Christi is not a "fat woman". She is heavier than she wants to be and clearly feels uncomfortable with that, but she cannot possibly know what it feels like to be obese. I don't say that to undermine the validity of her feelings, rather I want to point out that there is a major difference between overweight and obese.
    I feel that some of the blogs that she links to are problematic. Some are fantastic fat acceptance sites but some are all about dieting?! I really expected to be tripping over there to read some great stuff about gaining a positive body image and what I got was quite different! I feel frustrated! I want to wave a magic wand at Christi and make her feel good about her beautiful self! She could be doing this amazing artwork and showing women how a properly fed female body can look.
    Oh pants. I want to support her work because I see some value in it, but i can't accept the idea that the end goal must be weight loss. Right, I'm going to have my breakfast now!! (at 12 noon!) Cheers, Pippa x

     
  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger Pippa said…

    He he! Just started on one of the links from Christi's site- fattymcblog.blogspot.com now this I like!!! Pippa xxx

     
  • At 4:02 PM, Blogger Yawning Lion said…

    see? here I am, reading your blog! I do, I do, I do TRY to read blogs, yours especially, but there are SO many.
    -YL

     
  • At 7:56 PM, Blogger SecondWaver said…

    This is a brilliant video; I just shared it with my teen-aged daughter and niece; they got it almost immediately.

    The artist is indeed beautiful, but she seems not to know it. How can she not?

    How can we all not know how beautiful we are? We are somehow all taught exactly the opposite.

     
  • At 10:38 PM, Blogger Ellee Seymour said…

    I love the video, she has a great skin and a lovely face, she looks really cool.

     
  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger Ellee Seymour said…

    Yes, I agree, it's a vblog which are big in the Netherlands. Christi looked really cool.

     
  • At 6:01 AM, Blogger Christi Nielsen said…

    Hi everyone - it's the artist here.

    Witchy-woo - I'm laughing after reading your profile as I sit here typing with a glass of red wine next to the computer! ;-)

    Anyway - It's interesting to read your responses.
    Pippa - you got it! I know I contradict myself, but that’s often part of the whole body acceptance psychology. It’s like this tug-of-war inside my head. I think for me personally, it’s much more honest to admit that even though I have the ideal of self-acceptance, the reality is that the goal of perfection is beaten into our heads from a very young age. And ridding ourselves of that is a daily struggle, a very frustrating daily struggle! So sorry to frustrate you before breakfast, but that means you got it. ;-)

    And even though the images are all self-portraits, the messages extend beyond me. I often don’t even see myself in them. They could be any woman.

    No - I don’t consider myself obese. Several of my readers have told me that when they first started reading my blog, they felt like I didn’t know what it was like to be fat. But after hanging around a while, they now “get” me. Some don’t, and that’s okay. Hopefully they at least find something to consider.

    Oh - and the fattymcblog girls are HILARIOUS!

     
  • At 9:12 AM, Anonymous idontbuyit said…

    Hello Witchywoo. "I'm interested in female body image. I believe it affects how we relate to our world."

    I think it is absolutely fundamental. We have a terribly warped culture which teaches girls, from the very earliest age, that they are not good enough as they are. An impossible and shifting ideal is presented: be perfect (in looks and behaviour) and you will be accepted. Deviate and no-one will love you. In particular, men will not love you, and they are the ones who are sitting in judgement, they are the ones who get to decide if you will be accepted or not. (Despite that people will say "but women dress for other women!", no they don't. Other women might take on the role of enforcers, but they're doing men's job for them in keeping women chasing round after the cultural demands to look like a plasticised freak).

    This terror of rejection is absolutely ingrained into most female psyches and is an excellent tool for the billions of dollars diet and fashion industries. Destroy someone's self image and then promise them redemption if they can ever manage to match up to your demands. Buy this shampoo/wrinkle cream/diet plan/fashion collection and you will no longer be a worthless reject. Not suprising so many women cling to false beauty ideals and all the other patriachal lies, it's sold to them as the way to escape from their shitty worthless female selves.

    Girls and younger women are particularly vunerable. With age the desperation to "have boys like you" wears off somewhat, but it would be preferable if women never had this crap inflicted on them in the first place.

     
  • At 10:17 PM, Blogger Z said…

    I too know 'intellectually' the reasons WHY I feel I must lose more more more weight in order to be 'good'. I know these reasons absolutely... SUCK (for lack of a better word).

    Some days I feel really good about myself, other days I can't stand how 'fat and disgusting' I am... some days I decide to give up dieting, and other days I really try hard to lose weight.

    Ohhhh it is definitely a big conflict.

    I also have the 'doctor words' in my head.... to be 'healthy' I need to be a certain weight and have a certain freakin waist measurement. I WANT to be a healthy person, so that is another thing that is always going through my head.

    Take good care!

    Z

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger hexyhex said…

    She hits on something that's bothered me about my own body acceptance... that she had to make the choice between buying new clothes or trying to lose weight, and that frankly losing weight was cheaper.

    I love my new body so much more than my old one. Skinny hexy was miserable and neurotic, curvy hexy feels like a beautiful, confident, womanly woman. Unfortunately, she's still not the richest creature on the block, and still trying to make do with a wardrobe that is still about 60% skinny hexy's clothes.

    I've often felt that it would just be EASIER to try and lose the weight so I could wear my old clothes, rather than trying to shop with little money for (what was then) an unfamiliar body shape. EASIER. I used that word even knowing that weight loss is neither an easy process nor the easy option, and one I didn't even want to take.

    Sometimes the pressure to be thin doesn't come straight from societal norms, but from one's capacity for change... and that capacity can be emotional or financial.

     

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