ABSTRACT: Discourses surrounding motherhood function increasingly to police the parameters of women's bodies during pregnancy and postpartum. Rising against this trend is Jade Beall's "A Beautiful Body Project" honoring mothers' bodies in all their diversity. Using feminist rhetorical criticism, we investigate responses to the Facebook post announcing this project to gain an understanding of how commenters respond to Beall's effort to reclaim and redefine postpartum embodiment. We argue that the comments function to further the project of reclaiming and redefining the postpartum body; provide a therapeutic community where participants render visible their struggle with narrowly defined beauty norms; and resist, miss, or ignore the point of the project. Through a discussion of these comments, our article gives insight on feminist rhetorical resistance to postpartum body norms and the third shift of bodywork.
A hundred years ago, women were lacing themselves into corsets and teaching their daughters to do the same. The ideal of the day, however, was inner beauty: a focus on good deeds and a pure heart. Today American women have more social choices and personal freedom than ever before. But fifty-three percent of our girls are dissatisfied with their bodies by the age of thirteen, and many begin a pattern of weight obsession and dieting as early as eight or nine. Why? In The Body Project, historian Joan Jacobs Brumberg answers this question, drawing on diary excerpts and media images from 1830 to the present. Tracing girls' attitudes toward topics ranging from breast size and menstruation to hair, clothing, and cosmetics, she exposes the shift from the Victorian concern with character to our modern focus on outward appearance—in particular, the desire to be model-thin and sexy. Compassionate, insightful, and gracefully written, The Body Project explores the gains and losses adolescent girls have inherited since they shed the corset and the ideal of virginity for a new world of sexual freedom and consumerism—a world in which the body is their primary project.
How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds,and Thrive Through Ad olescence
Author: SuEllen Hamkins
Category: Family & Relationships
Ten years ago, SuEllen Hamkins, MD, and Renée Schultz, MA, created the Mother- Daughter Project with other women in their community, hoping to strengthen their bonds with their then seven-year-old girls. The group met regularly to speak frankly about such issues as friendships and aggression, puberty, body image, drugs, and sexuality. The results were amazing: confident, assertive teenage girls with strong self-images and close ties to their moms. Equally important, the mothers navigated their own concerns about adolescence with integrity and grace. This book details the success of the Project’s groundbreaking model, providing the reader with a road map for staying close with her own daughter through adolescence and beyond.
Real Stories and Untouched Portraits of Women & Motherhood
Author: Natalie McCain
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Social Science
Only 4 percent of women around the world consider themselves to be beautiful, according to research done by Dove, and twenty million women suffer from significant eating disorders at some point in their life—The Honest Body Project was created to combat this tragic problem of poor body image in our society. Founded by photographer Natalie McCain, this project is opening the eyes of women around the world and helping them to see the beauty both outside and inside of themselves. It is a collection of black and white portraits and stories, raw and untouched, from hundreds of women who have bared their hearts and souls to be a part of the project. Natalie tastefully photographs the women in their underwear, showing off their natural shapes and “imperfections.” There is no editing done after the fact, and the natural beauty of these women—from all backgrounds and walks of life—shines through the lens. Together, they create a beautiful, honest picture of both motherhood and what it means to be a woman. Topics include body image issues, breast cancer, depression (postpartum and otherwise), anxiety, bottle feeding versus breast feeding, aging, and more. The Honest Body Project is a breath of fresh air, breaking down walls and helping women learn that they are not alone in their hardships. It wants to help women everywhere contribute to a better world, and to learn to love themselves and appreciate their bodies for what they are: perfectly imperfect. It is time to celebrate the true form of women.
With essays from some of the most influential contemporary feminist writers, such as Jessica Valenti, bell hooks, Afua Cooper, Gloria Steinem, and Kim Anderson, and covering topics as diverse as women with disabilities, transgender rights, abortion, ageism, and Tyra Banks, this collection goes beyond the Canadian context to form an ideal introductory-level textbook for the contemporary gender studies classroom. Reflecting the intersectional nature of feminist thought today, these essays incorporate voices from across multiple marginalities, discussing gender, race, class, Aboriginality, ability, age, sexuality, and weight. A unique combination of scholarly articles, news clips, fact sheets, blog posts, poetry, short fiction, and personal narratives keep the collection engaging and varied. Editors Margaret Hobbs and Carla Rice have compiled a comprehensive introduction to the past, present, and future of gender and women's studies in Canada. Features: includes feminist theory and scholarship stemming from multiple disciplines such as sociology, psychology, Indigenous studies, cultural studies, health studies, Canadian studies, political economy, and anthropology provides a strong foundation in the history of the field, while also offering fresh perspectives that point toward the future direction of this meaningful area of inquiry contains rich pedagogy, including critical thinking questions, statistics, and activist insights
Gendered Behaviour and Consumerism before the Baby Boom
Author: Cheryl Krasnick Warsh
Publisher: UBC Press
Category: Social Science
Positioning consumer culture in Canada within a wider international context, Consuming Modernity explores the roots of modern Western mass culture between 1919 and 1945, when the female worker, student, and homemaker relied on new products to raise their standards of living and separate themselves from oppressive traditional attitudes. Mass-produced consumer products promised to free up women to pursue other interests shaped by marketing campaigns, advertisements, films, and radio shows. Concerns over fashion, personal hygiene, body image, and health reflected these new expectations. This volume is a fascinating look at how the forces of consumerism defined and redefined a generation.
The Media and Body Image draws together literature from sociology, gender studies, and psychology; brings together new empirical work on both media representations and audience responses; and offers a broad discussion of this topic in the context of socio-cultural change, gender politics, and self-identity.
The epidemic of mass rape in the former Yugoslavia has illustrated once again, and in particularly brutal fashion, the inextricable relationship between national politics, sexual politics, and body politics. The nexus of these three forces is highly charged in any culture, at any time in history, but especially so among cultures in which rapid, even cataclysmic, changes in material realities and national self-conceptions are eroding or overwhelming previously secure boundaries. The postcommunist moment in the so-called Second World--Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union--has dramatically exposed the opportunities and dangers that arise when the political, cultural, and economic foundations of a society are de- and then re-structured. Gender roles and relations, expressions of sexuality or attempts to recontain them, representations of the body, especially the female body, and the larger, cultural meanings it assumes, are particularly marked sites to witness the performance of complex national dramas of crisis and change. This groundbreaking volume turns its attention to the Second World, specifically to such subjects as the birth of the sex media and porn industry in Russia; Russian women and alcoholism; cinema in post-communist Hungary; patriotism and gender in Poland; sexual dissidence in Eastern Europe; and women in the former Yugoslavia. [ go to the Genders website ]