Monday, February 18, 2013

Stop the Body Hate: A Fight for All Bodies

Is it any wonder that people develop body image issues when we grow up with this THIS!

We are bombarded with messages every day that teach us how to be "better," to change ourselves, but most of all, to hate ourselves. We are told that we are not good enough the way we are-- we need to be bigger, thinner, whiter, more symmetrical, less ethnic, more exotic, flawless, more muscular, curvacious, etc. These unrealistic expectations make us judge ourselves and others, make us say hateful things, and think cruel thoughts. These messages from the media and popular culture are hurting us. They want to take our bodies, to own them. They want to strip us of our culture, our free will, our self respect, our pleasure, and our dignity. They are using us and our bodies as something to be bought and sold. When do we say ENOUGH!
If you are ready, join the movement toward Body Sovereignty.

Body Sovereignty is for everyone.
I am the owner of my body. I decide what is done to it and how it is treated.
I have a right to modify or decline to modify my body in order to best express myself.
My moral value is independent of my weight or appearance.
My body is an instrument, not an ornament.
I will eat what I want.
I will not allow anyone to shame my body or my self, or the body and selves of others.
My body deserves pleasure.
I have the right to know and define my body.
I will recognize that the bodies I’m attracted to aren’t the only attractive bodies.
Every body has a claim to beauty.
I will affirm and support the personhood of others.
I will never apologize for my weight or how my body looks.
I will recognize the privileges my body has.
I will celebrate the abilities of my body, even if they are different from others.
My body is a part of my self and my being. I will treat it and nurture it as such.

Body Sovereignty for:  
  •    Our ethnic and brown bodies:  
Minority women deal with body stereotype
  • Our queer and trans bodies 
Body image and anti-colonialism
  •  Our female bodies
Our vulvas ourselves
  • Our male bodies
  •   Our differently abled body

All of our bodies are unique and we all will follow our own journey toward understanding and acceptance.
Take a moment-   Look at yourself in the mirror for one minute and hold a strong position. Like Superman/ Wonder woman, fists raised, teeth bared. You are a fighter. Studies show this builds confidence. Check this out à

Everyone has their own battles to fight. We may not fully understand the stories of each other bodies, but we need to be willing to listen, hear, and acknowledge all stories. If we continue to perpetrate body hate against people because they do not look like ourselves or because they do not meet the unrealistic, ethnocentric and narrow standards of beauty in the U.S. then we are contributing to this war.  

Body Image: Self Acceptance vs Imperfection by Desiree Capri King

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Dreaded V-Day

As I move my mouse to the bottom right of my screen and click open the calendar, the daunting number continues to frighten me. It seems like just weeks ago it was only a rumor, with girls giggling in the hall way and guys actually starting to care about the way they dress. The date has my most dreaded day in most years, a day when I would be singled out and judged ( whether jokingly or seriously). A day filled with pink heart-shaped stickers and rainbow bouquets of expensive roses. As the price of the chocolate at QFC go higher and higher, my expectations sink lower and lower. Seems like I am going to be alone this year, again. For those of you that haven't yet caught my drift, yes I am indeed talking about the one and only valentine's day.

 First thing's first, I must clarify that, indeed, I am a guy. At this point many of you have probably snickered or outright laughed at me. It seems that obviously, since I am a guy, I should be out there aggressively seeking out a date or hanging out with someone special on February 14. People seem to think that only single girls feel lonely and sit crying next to a box of chocolates (not saying that I do this) on the big V Day. But a day that reminds us lowly single people, how single we really are, isn't necessarily a day I personally look forward to. As one of my clever friends has termed it, Valentine's Day is essentially a Single-Awareness day for those of us not fortunate enough to have a date or a person to be with.

Not only can we not stop thinking about our ex(es) (for those of us fortunate, or perhaps unfortunate, enough to have one) , but we are also forced to endure expansive public displays of affection ranging from a simple peck on the cheek to a flat-out make out session next to the lockers. Roses, balloons, chocolates, and heart shaped cards float around the halls. Friends laugh and joke about who they're spending the night with and teachers continuously try to embarrass the two most awkward students in a joking attempt to set them up for a date. It's different for all of us, and it really is hard to explain why we feel the way we do to someone who hasn't walked our same path.

In fact, even for those who are already happily with a partner, valentine's day could be an extremely stressful time. High expectations from our lover could often lead to strategic planning weeks ahead of the big date. Many would be counting the bills in their wallet, praying that it would be enough to endure the onslaught of chocolate, roses, and fancy dinner bills. Other's might be feverishly trying out clothes at every clothing store possible. Pink, red, blue, or purple. Which shoes match with which top that match with their eye color. True, for those that claim to be a couple, the day is still one to be celebrated, whether willingly or not. After all, it is a day of love and bonding, a day where people recognize how deep (or shallow) their love is for each other. Sigh, if only more of us can celebrate this bond.
Well, this year I am definitely not part of the lovebird crowd. I can't say that reading this blog post would make anyone feel any better but hey, at least us singles can stick together and tread through this holiday! I'm not going to give some cheesy advice like "try hanging out with your friends" or "read a good book", those aren't usually helpful and more often than not are more easily said than done.

However, do feel free to call Teen Link if you feel like you want to talk to vent or just to talk to someone. Hey, even if we can't be your valentine's date or make one magically appear on your door step, we're definitely hear to listen and to care about you, as you are.

Teen Link is open 6-10pm, every night, and we will be on chat tonight as well. Our number is 866TeenLink (833-6546) and our website, where you can access chat is I hope you can at least show yourself some love today!