Love Your Body Day

Love Your Body Day Philadelphia:

THE PARTY !

Sunday, May 4th (next Sunday)
1:00-3:30pm
at the Elmwood Roller Rink
2406 South 71st Street – take the 36 trolley to 71st street, get off and go right 1 block, it will be on your left hand side
It’s a Roller Skating Party!  Actually, it’s a roller skating, zine release Love Your Body Day celebration.  Soooo, you come out, pay $5**, and enjoy yourself roller skating.  You’ll get a copy of the fabulous Love Your Body Day zine and get a chance to meet many of the artists involved.  Its going to be So Much Fun.

** – the party costs $5, and the money goes to reimburse NOLOSE who have sponsored this party and the zine re-print with a super-generous grant.  However, don’t skip it just because you don’t have the money – we can make a few exceptions so that broke people can have a body-loving roller-skating good time too.  Sweet!

About Love Your Body Day:

Love Your Body Day, which takes place yearly on Oct. 17, was originally conceived by the National Organization for Women, about ten years ago, with a focus on protesting sexism and unrealistic beauty standards in advertising. It’s since grown well beyond the buttoned-down confines of NOW, and feminist groups on campuses and in neighborhood around the country participate with various activities.

How does this relate to a blog about real food? Glad you asked, my friends.

We live in a society where women and even young girls (and, increasingly, men as well) are encouraged to diet their way to the “perfect” body– and we don’t get to define what “perfect” means. Instead we are bombarded with ads featuring emaciated models and impossibly plastic bodies. Those who don’t live up to that ideal (in other words, the vast majority) are told that we are fat, ugly, and worthless. As a result, eating disorders have skyrocketed, and women in particular spend their lives dieting, buying beauty products and trying desperately to look the way we’re told to look.

Don’t take it from me: here are some stats from the Eating Disorders Council:

• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner
• 45% of boys and girls in grades 3-6 want to be thinner
• 37% have already dieted
• 6.9% score in the eating disorder range
• 51% of 9-10 year old girls feel better about themselves when dieting
• 9% of 9 year olds have vomited to lose weight
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat
• 53% of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies
• 78% of 18 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies
• The #1 wish of girls 11-17 years old is to lose weight

And all that dieting doesn’t come without a price, either, according to the British Medical Journal, since

adolescent girls who diet even ‘moderately’ are five times more likely to become anorexic or bulimic than those who do not diet. Those on strict (‘severe’) diets are eighteen times more likely to develop an eating disorder.

It’s not just about dieting, either. People of color are constantly either made to feel ugly or exoticed by a beauty standard that’s skewed in favor of whiteness. (I recommend reading the Angry Black Woman’s post on black women and natural hair for a great discussion on this issue– or, really, just read the whole blog, it’s excellent.) People with disabilities and chronic illnesses are excluded, as are people who don’t easily fit into gender categories. And the list goes on and on.

In celebration of Love Your Body Day, a small, diverse group of activists (including myself) organized a zine-making party in West Philadelphia. Over 35 people participated, got creative and wrote and drew pages for a zine that celebrates bodies of all types. It was a rousing success, and the Love Your Body Day group subsequently received a grant from the activist group NOLOSE to hold the fabulous party you’ll be roller dancing at next Sunday.

For more on this issue, check out Shapely Prose, The F Word, Pound, and the hilarious The Health Institute of Nutrition (THIN).

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