Thursday, December 31, 2009
Healthy beauty is not about pounds, calories, or hours logged at the gym. It's about making important changes in your life that will lead you to true body confidence. It's a positive attitude that you can pass on to your children.
We send you our best wishes for a healthy, happy new year!
Claire & Magali
Friday, December 11, 2009
"A really healing thing has happened with my daughter. When I see her--I call her naked baby because she loves being naked--it's amazing to see her body. She's growing into my body shape. I love it so much in her. It's just making me accept it more in me."
--Lisa, 35, quoted in Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?
How about you? Have you had a moment of body image wisdom as a mom or mom-to-be?
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Monday, November 30, 2009
The latest buzz about Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? The Essential Guide to Loving Your Body Before and After Baby...
One of the Top 6 Parenting Books for Moms—SHE KNOWS
“A lighthearted guide to combating a silent societal epidemic...[T]he authors do a great service in bringing to light a fear that women may believe they suffer with alone...The concepts and solidarity offered here should prove valuable for millions of American women.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"...a good read that pregnant women will find comforting as they watch their bodies change."—LIBRARY JOURNAL
“It's never good to want to resist the changes your body is putting you through [during pregnancy]. But the fact is, a lot of us do. I'm excited to say that two women are taking on this issue in this book, to capture the many different ways we women go through, and what it makes us think and feel about out bodies. I haven't met a single woman yet who didn't have something to say about this.”—Stacy Morrison, Editor-In-Chief, REDBOOK
“Aside from offering great tips on dealing with hormones, breastfeeding, and those offhand comments from strangers, this book helps to remind me that NOW is the time to be grateful, not hateful, of my body.”—WORKOUT MOMMY
“I think I just found my favorite baby shower gift.”—THE GREAT FITNESS EXPERIMENT
“DOES THIS PREGNANCY MAKE ME LOOK FAT is full of fun and insightful anecdotes from real women talking about their changing feelings, and very helpful steps women can take to make their pregnancy experience a positive one.”—THE GIRL REVOLUTION
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
All that negative body talk takes its toll. So this Thanksgiving, take a moment to stop the self-criticism and thank your body.
Healthy Beauty Tip
Write a letter to your body. Yep, pick up a pen and write down all the reasons you are thankful for the body you have, not the body you wish you could have. For inspiration, listen to other women read their letters and get tips from self-esteem expert Jess Weiner.
Magali's Thanksgiving Moment
"I remember my first shower in my own bathroom after I came home from the hospital with my daughter. I looked down at my body in awe. For the first time, I saw it as an incredible machine, and I realized what an astoundingly complex mystery it was to me. I thought of all those years of abuse I had put it through and how resilient it had been. What my body had accomplished was a miracle and I was proud of it. I said 'Thank you' out loud."
--excerpted from Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?
As always, we thank you for your support of our mission and for being an important part of the healthy beauty revolution! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Claire & Magali
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Mourning the loss of too-small-to-squeeze-into-'em pieces and obsessing over "getting your body back" when everything else around you is moving forward can be a real drag. That's why we outlined our maternity and new mom style essentials in Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? They are all based on letting go of the idea that something is wrong with you if you don't fit into your old clothes. It's those clothes that don't fit your new life.
In the spirit of celebrating all the style possibilities that exist if we can get beyond this unhealthy fixation with prebaby bodies, we've partnered with Beyond Yoga to offer 30% off all online purchases for our readers. Just enter the code PREGGY at checkout (sale and charity items do not apply). Shop online before November 30th!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Blacktating (a blogger who was interviewed about breastfeeding and body image for our book) reviewed Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? and is giving away a copy. Leave a comment to enter. The contest ends November 18th.
"Breast-feed the Baby, Love the Calorie Burn" [New York Times]. We weigh in about the "breastfeeding diet."
"The Baby Weight Obsession: Lose it Quickly and You're Selfish. Keep it On and You're a Failure" [Daily Mail]. A mom talks about her own struggles to achieve healthy body image in a culture obsessed with postbaby weight loss.
"Top 6 Parenting Books for Moms" [She Knows]. We're in good company!
"That's a Big Belly! Yeah, I'm Pregnant" [Tonic]. Love the opening line of this review: "Did pioneer women have this worry: 'Oh, no, I've just churned the butter, hoed the fields, given birth in between, but darn it, I can't fit into my skinny jeans!'"
"Trendwatch: How to Be 'Skinny Pregnant'" [The Great Fitness Experiment]. Blogger Charlotte Hilton Anderson takes on the media pressure to have the "perfect" pergnant body.
"A new book tackles body issues before, during, and after pregnancy" [Parents Ask]
"No Fat Talk During Pregnancy" [You'd Be So Pretty If]
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
If you're in the NYC area, Claire will be reading from Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? tonight and moderating a panel discussion about body image, pregnancy, and motherhood. The event is hosted by Momasphere and Bump. All the details are right here.
Date: Thursday, October 29, 2009
Place: The Old Stone House, 336 3rd St (bet. 4th & 5th Ave), Brooklyn, NY 11215
Price: Tickets are $10 online & $15 at the door
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Girls Incorporated, a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.Space is limited so please RSVP by purchasing tickets online. Tickets are available for sale at the door for $15.00 on a first-come-first-served basis. Cash only to purchase tickets at the door.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Let's also pause for a retouching reality check. Forget stretch marks and cellulite, there's not even the tiniest blemish to be found on this photo! In other words, the body that Kendra feels beautiful in has surely been altered for the cover.
At the end of the day, celebrity pregnancy and new mom media coverage is filled with the same mixed messages you'll find in women's magazines that feature weight loss stories alongside tips on how to love your body. "Embrace your pregnant shape!" by looking at this digitally perfected image of a former Playmate in a bikini. "Feel sexy!" now, but it won't be long before we'll be feeding you this celebrity's "exact" diet and workout plan to help you slim down that fat ass. Stephanie, 40, expressed her frustration with this contradictory approach when we interviewed her for Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?:
"It's a strange phenomenon because some celebrities are hailed for accepting their new shapely bodies and others are bashed for not bouncing back sooner. It doesn't make sense because the tabloids constantly flip-flop between celebrating a woman's curves and condemning postpregnancy weight."
While these stories might be packaged to make us feel like we can identify with this or that A-lister or reality TV star, the real reality is that they usually end up playing into our insecurities and vulnerabilities. As if pregnancy and new motherhood aren't stressful enough.
Become a fan of Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Win a copy of Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?
There are two book giveaways running right now. Go throw your name in the hat!
1. Singlemommyhood says: "Every woman deserves to feel good about herself — and to pass along healthy attitudes about weight and body image to her children." Contest ends October 20th.
2. Workoutmommy (one of our new favorite expecting moms!) says: "This book helps to remind me that NOW is the time to be grateful, not hateful, of my body." Contest ends October 24th.
Read the latest book buzz on Jezebel, I'm Not Obsessed, The Girl Revolution, Demo Dirt, Girl w/Pen, and The Lamp NYC. We're also offering some body image advice to new moms in the November issue of Babytalk magazine, out now. Other interviews and guest posts are in the works so stay tuned.
See us live and in-person
You can catch Claire in NYC on October 29th for a Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? panel discussion presented by Momasphere and Bump Brooklyn. Get all the details here.
A reading and signing is planned for December in Los Angeles. More on that soon.
Want to book us for a discussion, signing, or workshop? Contact us.
Become a fan of Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? on Facebook.
Write a review on Amazon.
Monday, October 12, 2009
From Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? The Essential Guide to Loving Your Body Before and After Baby.
Related: The Healthy Beauty Pledge for Mothers and Mothers-to-Be
Monday, October 5, 2009
We asked mothers to tell us how they see themselves. These illustrations reflect their answers. The words we use to describe our own bodies have a direct impact on how our children learn to value their bodies. It is our responsibility to lay a positive foundation, to celebrate our strengths and treat ourselves with kindness and compassion. But when we speak the language of what we lack or what is "wrong" with us, our children will learn to speak that language, too. When we sigh, roll our eyes, and turn away from the mirror, there is no doubt that our children will absorb those lessons. Remember that we all have the power to stop the legacy of body hatred--one word at a time.
Related: "Pregnancy & Body Image: Illustrated in Women's Words"
Illustrations by Monica Martinez, from Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? The Essential Guide to Loving Your Body Before and After Baby. Click on images to see them at full size.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Versions of this scene take place in offices all across America, and anywhere else pregnant women happen to be. There is something about being in the presence of an expectant mom that causes otherwise rational people to say and do inexplicably inane things. And for those who are already lacking in the tact department? Well, their blunders can be downright epic. We heard so many doozies from the women we interviewed, we wrote a whole chapter in Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? on how to deal with them: "The WTF Files: How to Deal With Dumb Comments and Stupid Moves."
Women face such intense pressure to have the "perfect" pregnancy (including the perfect-sized bump, which of course transforms into the perfectly flat, toned stomach right after childbirth). It certainly doesn't help that there is an endless parade of colorful characters--The Know-It-Alls, The Judges, The Space Invaders, The Horror Show Oversharers--lining up to question everything from the weight you've gained to the food choices you're making, and to tell you that you're doing it wrong.
How about you? Were you on the receiving end of any WTF comments or stupid moves during your pregnancy? Have you witnessed any?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
First, a heartfelt to all of you who took the time to fill out our surveys and share your thoughts, experiences, and expertise in interviews. There are more than 400 women represented in this book--and we are two very proud parents (yes, we plan to milk these birth and parenting puns for all they're worth).
Now that our baby is officially out in the world, here are five simple ways you can help us make it a success:
1. Buy the book.
2. Spread the word to the moms and moms-to-be you know.
3. Sign our Healthy Beauty Pledge and add a badge to your blog or website.
4. Know of a moms group, birth education class, retail store or book club that would be interested in a signing or workshop? Contact us.
5. Join the discussion on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter.
And of course we welcome your book reviews on Amazon and your own blogs/websites. We're looking forward to hearing your feedback on the book, and thanks again for your continued support of our mission!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
We interviewed more than 400 women for Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? When we asked expectant mothers to describe their bodies, there was little hesitation. We were struck by the visceral quality of their descriptions, which were filled with enthusiasm, awe, and sometimes sheer frustration and disgust. These illustrations from our book represent a sampling of the actual words women shared with us.
What words would you use/have used to describe your pregnant body?
Illustrations by Monica Martinez
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
How are all those stories affecting women? For starters, an endless parade of "perfect" postbaby bodies is not the biggest confidence booster for new moms, most of whom are already feeling vulnerable and prone to self-doubt. But there's something else. Now that baby fever has become big business, it's the Mommy Brand that's being sold to us--the must-have maternity wear and baby gear, the designer diets and fitness plans. None of that has anything to do with Mommy Reality.
We talked to actress Bridget Moynahan, a celebrity mom who is all too familiar with the paparazzi. Here's a sneak peek of what she told us in her interview for Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?:
"I think it's horrible for young girls and women to see all these pictures of celebrities and the way they bounce back and they're strolling around and they have all these nice things. It's all about how cute the baby looks. It's not that easy and it's not that glamorous. It's not like having the new bag or shoe."
Motherhood is not about diets, workouts, and products. It's about new responsibilities and hopes and dreams for your child. As Moynahan points out, the danger with this "baby (or 'baby bump') as accessory" treatment is that it steers us away form the big picture: what it's really like to be a mother.
Monday, September 21, 2009
If tabloids can make Halle Berry feel like there's something wrong with her body, let's reflect for a moment on how those messages make the rest of us feel. Here's what one new mom told us when we interviewed her for Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?:
"If the bump isn't big enough the celebrities are starving themselves, but if it's too big they're pigging out. And of course, they're failures if they're not in a bikini six days after giving birth. If women aren't allowed to have even a millimeter of fat on their bodies in pregnancy and postpregnancy, then it's like we're not allowed to be human." --Mara, 35
What do you think about Hollywood's fixation with "bump watch"? How does it affect you?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Model Crystal Renn Gets Real About the Fashion Industry, Weight Pressures, and the Success that Came with Body Acceptance
Renn's story is detailed in her new memoir, Hungry. She is interviewed by Salon's Kate Harding this week:
Since I was 14 years old, I had a dream: I want to be in Vogue. I want to travel the world doing editorials, and working in high fashion. That is why I starved myself. That is why I almost lost my life. Because I wanted it that bad.
So when my body wouldn't allow me to do that, I decided I'd rather not lose my life, and I would like to continue my dream. I thought, you know what? I'm gonna keep the dream, different path. I didn't lose hope, I didn't lose confidence, I just said let's channel it differently. I think that's why I've accomplished the things I have, even at this size, because I never gave up.
What's especially inspiring about Renn's experience is that she found happiness and success by letting go of her obsession with weight. Whether you are in the fashion industry or not, that is a lesson every woman can learn from. It's hard to fight the pervasive message that there is a magic number on the scale that is the key to our confidence. But when we take the focus away from weight, it's amazing how much easier it is to find health and fulfillment in all aspects of our lives.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
"[T]he authors do a great service in bringing to light a fear that women may believe they suffer with alone...The concepts and solidarity offered here should prove valuable for millions of American women."
Thanks again to all of YOU for your continued support of this project. We can't wait to see our "baby" out into the world!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Read it, sign it by leaving a comment with your commitment, and pass it on!
The Healthy Beauty Pledge for Mothers and Mothers-to-Be
I promise to . . .
Acknowledge that there is no such thing as the “perfect” body—or the “perfect” mommy.
Never define my self-worth according to the number on the scale or the size of my clothes.
Make decisions that are right for me. They don’t have to be right for everyone else.
Ask for help when I need it. I’ll make a phone call, write an e-mail, or send a text—whatever it takes to reach out for support.
Take care of myself and take time for myself, even if some days I can only manage one-minute increments.
Separate the retouched, made-up beauty fantasies in the media from what matters most to me in reality.
Work on developing a relationship with food that is about health, nourishment, and enjoyment, not deprivation, indulging, and punishment.
Stop all body-bashing talk with my friends, my colleagues, my partner, my family, and myself.
Give up the mission to get my “prebaby body” back and start focusing my energy on moving forward in my new life.
Remember that, one person at a time, healthy beauty is a revolution—for ourselves and for our children.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I have no doubt that the show’s stars, Brooke Elliott and Margaret Cho, are serious about raising awareness about body image issues. Cho has been open about her own past struggles with weight and eating disorders. “I was very obsessive as a dieter and I thought being thin was the answer to all of my problems and so I wrecked my health in order to become thin," she recently told Ok! magazine. Both actors also talked passionately about their personal connections to Drop Dead Diva last week at a blogger meet and greet, respectfully taking on the criticisms that the show plays into stereotypes.
“This is a journey from being invisible to being visible. When [my first series] All-American Girl came out, it was hard to get the Asian American community to accept it," Cho said. "They couldn’t believe they were seeing themselves, and they couldn’t believe it could be positive.” I get what she’s saying, but how does a plus-sized main character create positive visibility when she’s leaning back in her chair so her assistant (played by Cho) can squirt canned cheese into her mouth? That’s a tough one to swallow.
I came away from the premiere with the message that Jane's size is connected to her emotional overeating. Oh, and now she happens to have the soul of a skinny woman living inside her. As Kim from Big Fat Blog pointed out, isn’t that trope pretty much the party line of the diet industry? Everyone has the power to be thin! “The show is about self-acceptance,” Elliott responded. “I happen to love my body. There’s me inside of me, a me who knows I’m beautiful.” Unfortunately, Elliott isn’t playing herself—she’s playing Jane, an unfulfilled workaholic who takes comfort in doughnuts.
I am curious to see how Deb and Jane will find self-acceptance. Their food issues (Deb’s restricting and Jane’s bingeing) were put right on the table in first episode, so how will they be addressed throughout the series? Will we get to see a plus-sized character who is confident and healthy? Truthfully, I want to believe that the stars’ good intentions will eventually translate into a good show.
Drop Dead Diva Mother-Daughter Discussion Guide
Margaret Cho suggested that Drop Dead Diva is a good show for mothers and daughters to watch together. Here are a five discussion questions to get your conversations started. Feel free to submit your own questions in the comments section.
1. What messages did you get about thin people from this episode?
2. What messages did you get about fat people from this episode?
3. Does Deb feel good about her body? Does she eat in a healthy way? Talk about examples from the episode.
4. Does Jane feel good about her body? Does she eat in a healthy? Talk about examples from the episode.
5. How did you relate to the characters in this show?
Drop Dead Diva airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on Lifetime
Thursday, June 25, 2009
More contests coming up soon!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This seemingly endless blame game is now playing out on an international stage, after British Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman sent a letter to several major fashion houses--including Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Prada and Versace--complaining that their sample sizes were so itty-bitty that editors must use girls with "jutting hipbones" and "no breasts or hips." Designers, however, tell a different story.
"When I go through the agency books, the sizes of the girls are pretty consistent. The girls who work the most are of a consistent size - the same height, shape. When we make samples, we make samples to fit that consistent model size," said designer Kinder Aggugini. "The size zero is a trend that's gone on too long, but it's a vicious cycle," he added.
A vicious cycle, indeed. The agencies are "forced" to sign super-skinny models because they are the only ones who book jobs. The editors are "forced" to hire said super-skinny models because they are the only ones who will be able to squeeze into the samples. And the designers are "forced" to make those tiny samples because the only models available are super-skinny! Got that?
Sarah Shotton, head designer for Agent Provocateur, sais she wants to work with bigger models, but the agencies send "girls so thin we have to ask them to leave."
"I actually think it has got worse since they started talking about skinny models a few years ago," Shotton added.And that right there is the heart of the matter. We can talk about skinny models forever, but nothing will change until players at all points in this vicious cycle start taking some action.
"Fashion houses hit back in row over who's to blame for 'size zero' models" [Guardian]
"CFDA Health Initiative Discussion: 'We've Been Drinking the Kool-Aid'"
"Anna Wintour Says Models Today Are Pale, Thin and Joyless"
"Designer Bradley Bayou Pushes for Changes After His Own Daughter Suffers From Bulimia"
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Win It! You'd Be So Pretty If...Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies--Even When We Don't Love Our Own
You'd Be So Pretty If... includes her personal story along with her helpful tips on how to pass along healthy attitudes to your daughters. We're giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Here's how to enter. You can earn a total of four entries:
+1 entry: Follow us on Twitter
+1 entry: Join our Facebook group
+2 entries: Post a link to this contest on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or elsewhere on the interwebs.
To be eligible, leave a comment here and tell us what you did. This contest is open to U.S. residents only. The winner will be announced on June 25th. Good luck!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Her larger size first made headlines in January and the story was just resurrected for the June issue of Vanity Fair, in which oh-so-observant writer Rich Cohen asserted that "her extra pounds had gone back to wherever they came from, existing only in a few dated pictures on the Internet. Jessica was skinny again, in dark pants, velvety coat, and high heels." Ugh.
And therein lies the problem with most celebrity attempts to promote positive body image. Sure, they can talk about self-acceptance and authenticity. But to get a platform, they have to get thin first. They have to prove that they are still attractive (by Hollywood's ridiculous standards) and bankable before they can go out and talk to fans about how important it is to just be healthy and be yourself. It's a pattern we've seen before.
1. Jennifer Love Hewitt was the target of tabloid photographers, who published unflattering photos of her in a bikini. Her public response was to tell the world how outraged she was that girls everywhere were struggling with their body image--and to reassure everyone that she was an itty bitty SIZE 2! A few months later, she appeared on the cover of Us to talk about how she "lost 18 pounds in 10 weeks!"
2. Tyra Banks also found herself the victim of swimsuit snark, so she went on her show to tell those haters to "kiss her fat ass." She just happened to be wearing the same exact swimsuit she was photographed in, simultaneously making the case that her ass was nowhere near fat.
3. Debra Messing was on the January cover of Shape magazine. In the article, she candidly discussed how awful it was to have to deal with the pressure to lose weight right after she gave birth to her son.
"It was written about in the tabloids a lot...On one page it showed all the actresses who got skinny in six weeks or less, and on the other page was me! I was so depressed and frustrated."
Messing tried to shed the pounds quickly, but the stress of working out constantly was too much. So she went with a slow and steady approach and took the weight off over three years. That does sound very reasonable, but lets' not forget the context. The cover line reads: "Debra Messing: How I lost 42 pounds." To the left: "Weight Loss Made Easy!" Above it: "Slim Down Special" Below it: "Get Firm and Sexy in 28 Days."
Stars are often forced to play this weighting game to stay on top of their game. And that makes it very, very difficult to walk the positive body image talk if they want to keep walking the red carpet. Will Jessica Simpson's show break the mold? I'll set my DVR and wait to find out.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
"Get off your high horse and start valuing what really matters in life--and it's not your looks!" wrote one commenter.
"Wow these shallow snotty little brats with no concept of reality or any sort of decency...They would rather pass up the miracle of motherhood than risk any damage to their young bodies(that I am sure have flaws but we wont mention those)last laughs on you! Your going to get OLD LOL have fun with that nutcases! Maybe you will miss out on being a mother you dont deserve to have a gentle spirit in your care anyway" another chimed in.
There was talk about self-centered skinny bitches, too.
Oy. Those who live with an intense fear of weight gain are not shallow nutcases. They are our friends, our family members, our colleagues. They did not choose to be trapped by thoughts that they will never be thin enough or good enough. And the reasons they have arrived at those skewed beliefs are complex, varied, and deeply rooted. They can't just "shake it off" or "come to their senses," but they can seek help and begin the process of getting healthier.
It is true that people who are obsessed with food and weight often say and do exasperating things (believe me, I've said and done my share in the past). As hard as it can be, we have to remember that their words and actions come from a place of illness. Judgment and harsh reprimands won't encourage anyone toward a place of health. Compassion and persistence will.
National Eating Disorders Association: Information for Family and Friends
Monday, June 8, 2009
In an interview with The Guardian, Ziff explains that young, aspiring models are caught up in a system where intense competition combined with a lack of support and supervision creates a recipe for exploitation. "Vulnerable girls are being put into a potentially predatory environment," says Ziff. "What's in the agency's interest is not always best for the girl, and if she's in a compromising situation, she doesn't necessarily have anyone to turn to."
In one scene of the film, model Sena Cech desribes her experience of being coerced to perform a sex act on a photographer. According to Ziff, these incidents are rampant in the industry. Unfortunately, they are rarely discussed.
"It doesn't happen in front of anyone. It happens in the dark recesses," she says. "Pretty much every girl I have talked to has a story like it, but no one talks about it. It's all under the radar because people are embarrassed and because the people in the industry who are doing these things are much more powerful, and the model is totally disposable. She could be gone in two years."
Unlike actors, models do not have the protection of a union. Sure, there are still plenty of shady goings-on in Hollywood casting offices. But there also strict on-the-job regulations for child actors. Even though a 14-year-old model might be treated like she's older, she is still a child.
"Sara Ziff talks to Louise France about the world of teen modelling" [Guardian]
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
[F]or me, pregnancy was a nine-month battle in which I lived in a dissociated state from my body -- horrified by my expanding "self" that protested every ounce of weight I gained. I did not experience the freedom to eat for two; rather, I experienced the restriction of starving for two.
While this article stresses the dangers of not gaining enough weight during pregnancy, the newly released guidelines from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council (the first revision since 1990) recommend that very overweight and obese women gain less weight during pregnancy than what was previously advised.
Yes, it's unhealthy to gain too little weight during pregnancy and it's unhealthy to gain too much. But an obsessive focus on pounds is not the solution when you're trying to grow a baby, especially because so many women who struggle with unhealthy eating are already caught up in a dangerous relationship with the scale. Doctors should be helping their patients get to the root of what is causing them to overeat or undereat. Women should feel safe enough to communicate honestly with their healthcare providers about past and current body image issues or disordered eating. Sadly, this is rarely happening.
Of the pregnant women and mothers we surveyed for Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?, seventy-six percent of those who said they had suffered with poor body image, disordered eating or full-blown eating disorders admitted that they had not discussed these issues with their OB or midwife. If we really want to ensure the health of mothers and babies, we need to start addressing this very heavy silence.
"Pregorexia: Starving for Two" [Mom Logic]
"Pregorexia: What Happens When Moms Aren't Eating Enough?"
"Drunkorexia, Stressorexia, Orthorexia, Diabulimia: Is Healthy Eating Extinct?"
"Less Weight Gain for Pregnant Women" [New York Times]
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? The Essential Guide to Loving Your Body Before and After Baby is "due" October 1st, 2009. We surveyed and interviewed more than four hundred women for this project and we were absolutely floored by their honesty. We know you will be, too. A few things we learned:
Seventy-eight percent of women we surveyed who do not have children yet or don't plan to have children said they have concerns about how pregnancy and motherhood will change their bodies. At the top of the list of concerns? Weight (how much they'll gain during pregnancy and how soon they'll be able to lose it after delivery).
Women keep their body worries to themselves. Fifty-seven percent said they don't talk about the connections between body image, pregnancy, and motherhood with their friends. Fifty-one percent said they never discuss the connections with their partners. Many told us that they don't want to admit to their fears because others might deem them "selfish."
Perhaps most disturbing is the silence between patients and doctors. Of the pregnant women and mothers we surveyed who said they have a history of body image issues, disordered eating or eating disorders, seventy-six percent said they did not discuss this history with their OB or midwife.
For all the buzz about celebrity mom slim-downs and "how to get your body back," there are some serious insecurities that mothers and mothers-to-be just aren't talking about. Our hope is that this book will spark those conversations and help women find the support they need and deserve. We'll be previewing more stats, facts and quotes in the months leading up to the book release, and we invite you to share your thoughts and experiences.
We'll also be at Book Expo. If you are there, please stop by and say hello! Take a sneak peek at our Healthy Beauty Pledge (more on that soon) and pick up a gift bag filled with goodies from Mama Mio, Carol's Daughter, Preggie Pops, and more. We'll be at the HCI booth on Friday, May 29th from 3-4 p.m. and in the central signing area on Saturday, May 30th at 11:30 a.m. And yes, we'll be tweeting.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
A teen magazine down under has just launched the "Heart Your Body" campaign, which includes an issue with non-airbrushed photos. Dolly editor Gemma Crisp appeared on Australia's Today show to discuss the campaign.
"Airbrushing in magazines is quite insidious, everyone does it...I'm really worried about girls looking at magazines and these so-called 'perfect' images." A survey conducted by Dolly revealed that four out of five of girls are unhappy with their bodies.
Of course not every image in the magazine, which hit newsstands May 13th, is free of retouching. The editor admits that they often get photos directly from publicists or photo agencies that have already been altered. And while Crisp discusses a series of before/after shots (including Jessica Alba in the Campari ad campaign), revealing how dramatically retouching can alter the shape of someone's body, she's reluctant to admit that Dolly has done any digital slim-downs in the past. She said most of their retouching has been limited to removing red-eye, bruises, and "patchy, fake tan." As part of this new campaign, which includes Kat Dennings and Taylor Swift, non-retouched images will be labeled throughout the magazine.
The campaign seems like a great idea, but they only showed one image from the magazine. It was difficult to see the bruise on actress Jessica Mauboy's arm or the red-eye that Crisp mentioned. And what about the cover? The "all airbrush-free" tagline refers to specific stars (not cover girl Kristen Stewart) and the article included with Today appearance says that "all the action starts on page 61," referring to "retouch-free zones." Did they leave Kristen Stewart alone? Because there is not a blemish or a bruise to be found, and the whites of her eyes are white as white can be.
When asked if this campaign would continue in future issues, Crisp responded: "Probably. Definitely."
"Dolly goes air-brush free" [Nine MSN]
Thursday, April 30, 2009
"The Queen of Fat Bloggers Takes No Prisoners" [Chicago Tribune]
Sunday, April 26, 2009
My love for Bea Arthur has been well-documented. I've spent many a late night watching Golden Girls reruns and entire weekend afternoons immersed in Maude marathons. Bea was the personification of a classy dame. She played wise-cracking, take-no-B.S. characters who still seem downright progressive when you look at what's on TV these days. She knew how to deliver a punchline with a raised eyebrow and she was never afraid to go into the realm of the ridiculous for some laughs. Whoa, did she get a lot of laughs in her amazing career.
Salon's Rebecca Traister calls her "one of television's finest and funniest feminists." I agree wholeheartedly. Rest in peace, Bea. You will certainly be missed.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
MamaV of Mamavision
Roni of Roni's Weigh
Melissa Henriquez of Tales of a Disordered Eater
Stephanie Quilao of Back in Skinny Jeans
Carla Birnberg of MizFit
Friday, April 17, 2009
Tori Spelling Says New Moms Outside of Hollywood Don't Think About Losing Weight. We Say: Yeah, Right.
"I knew as soon as I left the house a week, even two weeks after giving birth, [to daughter Stella] people are going to take pictures and scrutinize," Spelling told People magazine. "Whereas mothers everywhere don't even think about losing the weight for a year. It was hard to find that balance of what's acceptable."
Unfortunately, her assumption about new mothers everywhere is false--at least according to the 400 women we talked to for our upcoming book, Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? (HCI Books, Fall 2009). While they might not be under the same intense spotlight as celebrities, women outside of Hollywood are feeling the pressure to lose their baby weight and get back to their "pre-baby bodies" (a tabloid-invented term that has probably created even more stress and disappointment than the "anti-aging" fantasy).
Spelling admits she compared her body to Jessica Alba's: "When I had Stella, I remember looking at Jessica Alba [after she gave birth] and thinking, 'Wait a minute, it flew right off her.' Then I read that she works out six days a week and I'm like, 'Oh God, no, I can't do that.' " The truth is, Jessica Alba didn't want to do that either.
Celebrities compare themselves to each other and feel insecure. And in the real world, new mothers compare themselves to celebrities and feel insecure. It's a lose-lose for women. But the celebrity media machine--and the diet, fitness, and beauty industries in its orbit--are making out like bandits.
"Tori Spelling Reveals Struggles With Body Issues in Hollywood" [People]
Related: "Jessica Alba: Losing the Baby Weight Was 'Horrible'"
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Girls Inc. launched its "Dear World" campaign with the goal of encouraging girls to speak their minds and share their own experiences. Watch this ad to see the campaign in action. The spot is a finalist in the 2009 DoGooder TV Best Nonprofit Video Awards. If you want to help make it a winner, you can vote here in the short-form category.
You can watch all the finalist videos at DoGooder TV, including spots from Step Up Women's Network, Campus Progress, and others. The deadline to vote is April 25th.
Monday, April 13, 2009
While Amazon first claimed that this was a "glitch" and now a "catologing error," I think their language remains vague enough to leave room for the possibility that there were major loopholes in their tagging system that were neglected and possibly exploited. The result? A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality is now (as of writing this post) the first result returned when you search "homosexuality."
In a taste-of-your-own-medicine uprising, outraged Amazon users have come up with all kinds of awesomely creative tags for the new #1 gay and lesbian title, as well as some fun customer images! We got a few screen grabs:
While Twitter users were creating a coordinated firestorm, complete with calls to tag the hell out Amazon.com and Google bomb a new definition of Amazon Rank, Amazon was busy working on a lame statement they would (eventually) release to the Associated Press. I am sure they are still trying to get a handle on what happened, but their PR response was laughably behind the times--especially for an internet company. About as laughable as a load of dingo's kidneys.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I'm giving away a copy, autographed by two of the writers published in Red. Enter here. The winner will be announced April 20th.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thumbs up on the oh-so-subtle use of Photoshop, though. Much more inspired than those muffin top ads.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The world's fascination with the first lady's toned upper arms has been well-documented. Apparently it's time to move on. To her hips.
Marian Burros interviewed Michelle Obama for a New York Times piece called "Mrs. Obama Speaks Out About Her Household," which roughly translates to "Belts! Shoes! Diets! We Just Can't Stop Ourselves From Asking Mrs. Obama More Questions About Fashion and Her Body."
The interview, which started out on the subject of the new White House vegetable garden, ended up ranging over a variety of household topics...
Because no interview about organic gardening is complete without a discussion of "household topics" like weight and trouble spots, of course. We have to wonder what question led to this:
The first lady said she was not naturally thin and, like most other people, had to exercise and watch what she eats.
“I have hips, and I have them covered up with these pleats,” she said, pointing to her Maria Pinto skirt.To keep those hips from spreading, she said, she follows an exercise regimen of light weights, calisthenics, jump-rope and a cardiovascular routine that includes interval running.
Really, NYT? Really!?! "To keep those hips from spreading"? Is this paragraph going to be followed by a quiz to help us test our diet IQ? Should we keep reading for bathing suit styles that flatter every shape?
Actually, the article goes on to highlight Michelle Obama's attempts to instill healthy eating habits in her daughters. But we want to know more about how the Obamas are helping Sasha and Malia to develop healthy body image--especially when there is so much public scrutiny of their mother's body.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Remember Chris Elliot's show Get a Life? Here we see Sparkles the male model as he's set up to be the "before" shot for a health drink. And just when he starts to really feel the vibe of the shoot, the photographer asks him to do things they never warned him about at Handsome Boy Modeling School. Watch and learn everything you need to know about the modeling industry.
Thanks to Dixie for the tip!
Related: Bigger, Stronger, Faster: The Side Effects of Being an American
Monday, March 9, 2009
The big question will be if F21 manages to pull off good fit with recession-friendly affordability. We're seeking some roving reporters who can give us the scoop on whether these "Faith" pieces are actually wearable. Drop us a line if you're interested. We promise we won't make you dress up like Pocahontas.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Thanks to everyone who entered here and as part of our Facebook group. We've got more super fun giveaways coming up soon.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
You can see the full list here. It includes fiction and non-fiction recommendations for early readers, middle readers and young adults.
Friday, February 6, 2009
"I did it for the Campari job. [The workouts] were horrible. I cried. And I haven’t worked out since...I’m not completely back to where I was. It’s not the same, but it’s not that serious. I’d rather spend an evening with my baby and give her a bath and read her stories and watch her roll around than go work out in a gym."
And even with those grueling workouts that brought her to tears, Campari still gave Alba the digital slimdown.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Those were high times in my modeling career, but I was not a happy (or healthy) camper. Consider this a friendly public service announcement. Next time you think it might be nice to have '90s Tommy Lee cupping your ass, remember that the modeling biz is not what it's cracked up to be. So You Wanna Be A Model...
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
To celebrate the book's release, we're giving away a copy to one of our lucky readers. To enter, join our Facebook group, sign up for our newsletter, or become a follower of our blog on Blogger and leave a comment letting us know. If you've already done one or all three, just tell us in the comments.
Good luck! We will announce the winner on February 17th.