Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves

This week’s three posts all explore a similar topic — being comfortable in one’s own body — yet diverge on that theme in markedly different ways.

Bikini Body

This, friends, is a cultural phenomenon that confounds me. In Los Angeles specifically, and the whole of America more generally, we are confronted again and again with the universal understanding that women need to be ashamed of wanting to eat food.

Whiny Baby’s blog title may be tongue-in-cheek, but her observation of the feminine relationship to food is astute and real. Women should be the ones to consume food, she argues, instead of letting our own anxieties and fears about food consume us. Reading her post made us ponder the ways women are encouraged to let insecurity guide their eating habits, and the ways these very insecurities are grown and cultivated by our society.

Traveling to Guatemala

This is my first time traveling as Jamie. My new passport says Jamie, my driver’s license says Jamie, my credit cards say Jamie, my tickets say Jamie. Donna even says Jamie 95% of the time. Last year when we went to India, I went as Amy.

On A Boy And Her Dog, Jamie writes about preparing to visit a new and unfamiliar place while inhabiting a gender identity that is also raw and uncertain. As the title of Jamie’s blog might show, this writer prefers not to commit to particular pronouns. But when Jamie travels, people assign their own pronouns to feel more comfortable. Here, Jamie reflects on how visiting new places influences your internal identity.

Metamorphosis (Or: Apparently My Body is Missing?)

Our bodies are constantly undergoing minute changes, but the processes of pregnancy and childbirth wreak such hurried transformations – it’s like watching one of those time lapse nature videos of seeds sprouting and flowering, while the sun skims repeatedly across the sky, marking days like seconds. Only instead of a seed, it’s my own body expanding and unfurling before my eyes.

Expensive advertising campaigns are designed to make women believe that their postpartum bodies are something to be ashamed of. Mama Unabridged, however, regards her new body without judgement, but instead with awe at how it has transformed to best fit this new stage in her life. Left to its own biology, her body did what it needed to do to survive. The post is about Mama making peace with herself, even as her sense of self adjusts to a new body.

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  1. brettfish

    Yes! Great theme. I wrote a similar themed [although differently styled] post recently inspired by that Dove video that was doing the roads with the police sketch artist drawing women from their description and then from the description someone else gave on them – powerful topic:



    The feeling of “shame” has even seeped through to fitness physiques for men ! And the fear of taking your shirt off in the beach is so blinding that we would rather suffer “manarexia” than be healthy!
    It is a lack of balance that causes illness and distress whether it is being too fat or too thin, and still we are made to believe that a good diet means hardly eating at all.
    It’s a great way to sell supplements that were meant to be added to a healthy diet not replace food in general.
    Great post !


  3. Sayuri

    As an ex-exotic dancer, this subject hits home with me. Having the “right” body was a means of success at work and a means of survival, so it was more than just how I felt about myself. It was literally my job to have the right body which put more pressure on me than those who only saw there nude bodies in the privacy of their own homes. I have struggled with weight issues that change with the world’s idea of beauty. During my adolescence, I struggled with anorexia and bulimia briefly as well.
    It is also interesting to read about having different identities which was a big part of strip club work as well. Giving a name that was obviously not my birth name was liberating because I felt that I did need to keep a part of me secret although I seemed to bear it all. It became really weird when people outside of work asked my name and I had to stop and think about which name to give!


  4. sneebliah

    in reply to Sayuri, i used to be anorexic. But then my stomach always hurt. So, i tried hundreds of ways to see what was the healthiest way to lose weight, and possibly gain muscle. My second to last test was the winner. My weight loss secret most people would kill for? here it is…

    swim laps, constantly, with no breaks, for 1 hour and 45 mins every day, for 7 days. I had to push myself, it was hard, (to swim laps without even taking the time to fix my goggles) BUT: the winning result: i lost 13 LBS in those SEVEN DAYS! Plus: i got sexy abs! (not the guy ones, but like, a perfect tummy! And i lost some extra weight off of my under arms and from my legs. Try this, and really push yourself. Even if you are sore, still push yourself. Because that feeling, is the feeling of muscle building, and fat fading away 😀


  5. August McLaughlin

    I’m so glad you chose to feature the Bikini Body post. It was a highlight for me (I’m also an eating disorder survivor), and the type of post there simply can’t be enough of.


    • jonedae

      Yes. Men and women both are taught that “winners” have trim, muscular bodies, and that such athletes are better than we are. That is one of the dominant views in America today; and I think it is wrong. To me, a winner is someone who loves, and without an object. That is, when someone says ‘I love you’ or ‘I love this or that’, what they are referring to is not love, and not the kind that I mean. It is really love, when you just love; other words are the true ones for the forms that take an object. That is, you either love or you don’t, it isn’t a transitive verb.


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