The eight chapters of Endangered Bodies (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Ireland, Mexico and the United States) and a local group in Colombia have come together for a global campaign: We ask Facebook to remove its body-shaming ‘I feel fat’ and ‘I feel ugly’ emoticons and status options.
JOIN US AND SIGN THE PETITION IN YOUR COUNTRY! (We declared our petition a success on March 10, 2015 - see below)
Fat is a substance that every body has and needs. Fat is also an adjective - a descriptive word about a physical attribute. Just like tall, short, black or white, it should not be misused to shame oneself or others. However, the fashion, beauty and diet industries have an interest in making us feel insecure about our own bodies and over time "fat" has become a negative word, not a simple statement of size. There is nothing neutral about it. The stigma and criticism of fat and the elevation of thin make them stand-ins for other kinds of words, feelings and moods.
Endangered Bodies sees this fear of fat and idealisation of thinness throughout society as a form of weight stigma, which can have a serious impact on the millions of people dealing with negative body image. Body-shaming and weight stigma are associated with lower self-esteem and disordered eating, an issue that Facebook – being a social platform – needs to take seriously.
If only I looked like her. If only I had bigger boobs, skinnier thighs, and a flatter stomach, I would be…what? Happier, more successful, less insecure?
If only I was prettier, a bit sexier, or looked like a pin-up girl…then I might have a life partner, be promoted at work, and own the life of my dreams.
We could talk about eating disorders and cosmetic surgery or mainstream media and how damaging its images of women are to our self-esteem. We could criticize the “thigh gap” and “flabdomen” debates and blame magazines that slam the bodies of female celebrities. But I would rather do something different. I want to widen the discussion to get at the core of what it’s really all about.
Everywhere, all over the globe, women don't feel "enough."
"If only I looked like her" is the biggest epidemic facing women, and it’s not just in the U.S. It’s everywhere. Women spend thousands of dollars trying to achieve a beauty ideal that keeps changing and is different in every country and culture. While women in the U.S. get breast implants and tummy tucks, in Asia, women opt for eyelid procedures – all in an effort to look beautiful – whatever that means.
We chase a moving target, trying to convince ourselves we will eventually track down that elusive beauty ideal. Unfortunately, in trying to look beautiful, we end up rejecting ourselves. We seek to become something different from what we naturally are.
According to the survey of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Brazil is the champion of plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes in the world.
Precisely, 1,491.721 surgeries were performed here in 2013 (see the Brazilian newspaper's story bellow). Note that this occurs in an unfavorable economic situation context, also considering that these procedures are not covered neither by the government health system, nor by private health plans.
Another aggravating factor that is worth analising in this classification of first in the ranking of aesthetical plastic surgery is the HDI (Human Development Index), which includes three variables: long and healthy life; access to education and an acceptable standard of living. At this world ranking, Brazil is classified into 79th place. Among the 10 leading countries in the ranking of cosmetic surgeries, Brazil is at 9th position, followed by Iran, in the last one.
There is an intimate relationship between being champions in aesthetic plastic surgery and the low position in HDI terms, because Brazil still neither values education, culture and health, nor prioritizes the importance of the quality of life for its citizens. Unfortunately, we are immersed in an ideology that turns the body in to a merchandise.
(Written by: Luciana Saddi, from Endangered Bodies São Paulo - Brazil, collaborated and Miriam Tawil, from Endangered Bodies São Paulo - Brazil, translated)
In 2012, we were proud to launch AnyBody Deutschland, the German chapter of Endangered Bodies. Having started from scratch, we are truly delighted with how quickly things are developing and how our work and efforts for more body diversity have been appreciated and supported by so many. Naturally, we received help and support from the global Endangered Bodies network, but beyond that, we have also made exciting new links, finding support in all kinds of unexpected places. Being a body activist is challenging in a lot of ways, a lot of the time. But just as often, we are rewarded and encouraged because of the great interest, approval and support our work has received. A great example is the response from across the world to our sticker campaign, launched in August 2012, which asks people to engage with the question, “What is beauty?”.
There's more to life than being a princess, right? Don’t we want our girls to know that? Don’t we want them to know that life is made up of a palette of more than just pink?
It has been a long time coming but today there are several websites working hard to show our girls there is much more to life than playing a princess. Having the choice of interesting and non-stereotyped books and toys is so refreshing, and so very necessary. Recently, we applauded Toward the Stars, but many other groundbreaking online initiatives also deserve our recognition and support.
Another standout platform is A Mighty Girl, an impressive repository of books, toys and clothing, all consciously chosen for promoting values of strength and equality. Their tag line (which I love) is:
“The world's largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls.”
Is the Katniss action figure from The Hunger Games the Malibu Barbie for the next generation of girls? We sure hope so, and thanks to Inês Almeida’s launch of Toward the Stars, this might be the case. Toward the Stars is an online global marketplace selling a wide range of merchandise free from the constraints of gender stereotypes that currently saturate the youth market. As Almeida states on the site’s blog, its aim is to bring “together independent producers, businesses, arts and not-for-profits to create.” They create products to empower girls to shoot for the stars and set their dreams in whatever direction they choose.
Happy New Year! (Can I get away with saying that right through January?) Over the last 12 months I have been reaching out to other women in Ireland who have had enough of the toxic culture of body hatred, who are tired of the lack of diversity of size, shape, age and colour that they see in the mainstream media, who are sick of hearing their friends counting calories and worrying about their weight when they should be enjoying their lives, and who don’t want their children to grow up in a world where they will be judged on their appearance instead of all the wonderful qualities they bring to the world. Through tweets and Facebook posts, email conversations and phone calls, discussion groups and chats over cups of tea, we are finding our voices and finding strength in one other. We know that we are not alone and we believe in change. As we start into a new year, it seems like the perfect time to reflect on EB Ireland’s journey so far.
The Italian government recently banned plastic surgery for anyone under 18 years old, and they are not the only country to consider such precautions. In Italy, this legislation has been talked about for several years, specifically in terms of breast augmentation. Recently after a recall in France for breast implants containing carcinogens, Italy passed the ban as reported on Televisia.com (2012). Officially, the law bans plastic surgery for aesthetic purposes for anyone under 18, unless needed for medical purposes. Any surgeons found in violation of the law will face a fine of 20,000 euros and a three-month suspension.
Besucht AnyBody Deutschland auf Facebook, folgt uns auf Twitter @AnyBody_de und kontaktiert uns gerne per Mail, wenn ihr euch mit uns gemeinsam engagieren möchtet oder Fragen zu uns und unseren Projekten habt:
kontakt ät anybodydeutschland . de
Wir freuen uns auf euch!