#bodiesBody Image Buzzkill

10 comments | April 21st, 2012

Screen shot 2011-10-05 at 2.35.04 PM

(story submitted anonymously, by an 18 yo Chestist) ~ On Repeat

Yesterday we spoke at the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham about the Medi and Public Health Act.  Along with other panelists, the conversation touched on what we're eaching doing to perpetutate, create and/or change norms.  It's with this in mind, that we re-share this user-submitted story from Februrary.  Here it is: 


On our FB page the other day we posted a Teddy Roosevelt quote reading "comparison is the thief of joy."  No doubt, and to think he lived before mass, popular culture.  This reader writes us with a story that takes us to a similar space.  Here's her story:

I'm 18 and have been struggling with my body image since I was 12.

I've never been overweight, but compared to the girls in magazines and all over TV, I'm huge.  I've struggled so much with comparing myself to others, starving myself and purging. As hard as I try to not have these feelings, and I try to think "maybe I can be normal and healthy and accept my body" that mentality only lasts ...

The Female Funny

7 comments | April 19th, 2012


(story by Allison Goldberg and Jen Jamula, co-creators of Blogologues)

The writers are 2 funny people.  And they happen to be ladies too.  Imagine that.  If you're in NYC, go see their show.  If you're not, fight and defy stereotypes wherever you can.  Stereotypes aren't funny.  Usually.  Here's their story:

Stereotypes are interesting. They point out so many very true things. Alli is Jewish, and she definitely always checks for quarters when we pass pay phones. Jen is Polish, so obviously she’s an idiot. Mexicans are lazy, Asian men have small penises, and women? Don’t get me started. Women. Ugh. They’re so... not funny.

We all know that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are exceptions, not the rule. I mean, come on! Have you been to the movies? Men, men, men.

Oh, wait.

That’s right.

Just in case you thought that performance was the one field where women are overrepresented (well, us and the gays) ... WRONG! The Huffington Post recently reported that 1 out of every 3 roles goes to a woman, and pointed out that “[t]his means that men's stories out number women's by the same ...

#lifestagesI’m a Mean Facebook Mom

101 comments | April 17th, 2012

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(story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda) We're hardly Luddites. My kids have their own computer. They have iPods. My daughter has a cell phone; my son has a Nook. We're a very tech-savvy family. And I use Facebook, as does my husband and, I assume, my kids' dad. I have nothing against Facebook. Still... my daughter is nearing her 14th birthday, and she still doesn't have Facebook. Because I haven't okayed it yet. Is this logical? Probably not. It started logically enough: She wanted Facebook, and many of her friends---middle-schoolers, all---had it. But the Facebook terms of service say you have to be 13, and although people are clearly bending the rules to create underage accounts, we weren't okay with that. "You're not starting your online presence with a lie," we told her, as she moped around, muttering about how everyone else's parents were cooler than we are. (Aside: I'm sure they are.) Sorry, kid. You have to be 13, and that's that. Her 13th birthday arrived, and now we couldn't use the Facebook TOS excuse. ...

#bodiesForever Young

11 comments | April 17th, 2012

Sketch 2011-02-04 11_48_03(2)

(submitted by OOC, an OOC repeat)

"The other day a patient of mine asked what I thought about her daughter's desire to get Botox.  Her daughter is 16."  - Too Young To Look Old?  Dealing With the Fear of Aging, Vivian Diller, Ph.D for The Huffington Post

Is saying "you're getting older" the same as saying "you're getting uglier"?  Why are we afraid of aging?  What will you do to look younger as you grow older?  Does aging, or the thought of it, hate on your happy?  You can tell us.


6 comments | April 16th, 2012


(by OOC)

One of the best pieces of parenting advice we ever got was this.  You know when a baby cries?  Let the baby know crying is okay.  Don't try and shoosh away what the child is feeling.  Let them feel it.

Most of us, pick them up anbd gently start ricking them and shooshing them and saying something like "oh, don't cry.  Don't be sad, baby, it's going to be okay."

Why do we do that?  Why not let the baby cry and be sad on their way to being happier and feeling more better?  It's like we're demonizing an inevitable part of our emotional lives.  Sadness isn't bad, it's sad.  We all feel sad, we all will feel sad, and while hopefully we won't spend a lot if time in that space, we often don't give oursleves the permission to spend any time there.  Why is that?

How do you deal with sadness in your life?  How do you work your way throught it and past it ~ or don't you?  Do you let yourself feel all your emotions, or do you try and compartmentalize ...

#thecumulativeeffectWhy and How

8 comments | April 16th, 2012

dude, wtf

(by OOC)

Why do you think our culture objectifies women so much more than men?

Why do you think we have idioms like "man up" but no equivalent on the other side of the gender aisle?

Why is beer a "man's drink" and a white wine spritzer a "lady drink"?

Why is it okay to insult a boy or a man by saying they're acting like a girl? 

Why is acting like a girl usually presumed to be a bad thing?

Why do men hold doors for women, but women don't for men?

Why's it still more common (and sometimes expected) for a man to pick up a first-date check than a woman (if you don't go dutch)?

Why is it considered so much more natural for younger women to be with older guys than it is in the opposite?  Why are women "cougars" and men are just...men?

Why is it so much more common for physically beautiful women to be with physically unattractive men?  (Think, would you ever see a male version of Sophia Vergara ever married to a female version of Ed O'Neil?)

Why can men walk around without their shirts on every beach ...

#lifestagesDressed to Impress

32 comments | April 10th, 2012

clothese horse

(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda) I don't think I'd characterize myself as "fashionable," past or present, by any stretch of the imagination. The way I dress is... fine. I think. I enjoy clothes, and I especially enjoy shoes. But I don't spend a lot of money on clothes, or a lot of time. In my current life, I'm a jeans-and-t-shirts type, most of the time. Do I clean up pretty good? I like to think so. Do people look at me and go, "I wish I had her fashion sense!"? Probably not unless they're sniffing a lot of glue. Still, it's clothing that encapsulates so many memories for me, when I look back on my life. I've written about some of my more unfortunate clothing incidents here, even. There's lots of good memories attached to clothes, too, though... even though a lot of the clothing in question is---now, at least---similarly cringe-inducing. There was my first pair of Esprit pants, in middle school, when Esprit was very "in" and hip. The pants were wide ankle-crops and sort of a coral-colored chino, and I ...

#thecumulativeeffectThe World According to Google

7 comments | April 9th, 2012


With nothing else to do on a quiet Easter morning, we were thinking about this story submitted by one of you a year ago, and started randomly putting words into Google's Image Search to see how the world looks through the eyes of the Great Google in the sky.  We'll admit that our analysis is not a thorough one, but a quick look atthe first images that come up seem to reinforce a lot of gender stereotypes, and interestinly - by and large - women are shot from the nipples up while men from the shoulders.  Hmm.

Take a look and let us know what you think about what you see (and don't) in the comments.  Also, add your words to the library below and let's see what your world looks like through the eyes of search. 






White Men:

White Women:

African American Women:

African American Men:








#bodiesLose The Cape

7 comments | April 5th, 2012

Sketch 2011-01-22 17_35_39

(submitted by OOC)

"It sucks.  Lots of pressure is put on girls to be pretty in the world's eyes, and still get good grades, and be popular and have an awesome job, and do extra-curricular activities, and spend loads of time with their families at home." 

- Anonymous 12th Grade Girl, "The Supergirl Syndrome"

Feeling pressure to be a Supergirl? 

It sucks at any age. 

Why do you feel it?  What's the hardest part?

#thecumulativeeffectHow Do You Deal With Stress?

10 comments | April 4th, 2012


Stress has got to be among the bigger haters on anyone's happy. 

No matter its cause, family, finance, love, work, something good might happen and you're waiting to see if it will, school, health...the list is as long and varied as the lives we lead.  Figuring out how to productively deal with stress can make a big difference in the quality of our lives and how happy we are.

So, how do you deal with it?  What signs does your body/mind send you that stress is running amok inside?  Getting it off our chests seems a fine place to start (get it?).  Stress.  #discuss.

#lifestagesWalking Tall

19 comments | April 3rd, 2012


(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda)

It finally happened, and I have to tell you... I'm not usually all that sentimental, but it got to me. Not even when it was happening, but later.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start over.

Yesterday I took my daughter to Goodwill with me. I've been a dedicated thrifter since high school, which is a fancy way of saying "I'm cheap and I don't mind buying used." It's only recently that my teenage daughter put two and two together and realized that the chances of me saying "yes" to a purchase at a thrift store are astronomically higher than if we're at, say, the mall. (This is a no-brainer to me. A t-shirt for $2? Sure. The same t-shirt for $35? Uh, no.) So nowadays if I say I'm going to the thrift store, she's eager to join me.

As it happens, I was looking for shorts for my son. And as it often happens when it comes to thrifting, the thing I needed that day was in short supply. It seemed silly to leave five minutes after I discovered someone had ...

#bodiesWhat Is Prettiness (and Why’s It Matter)?

9 comments | April 2nd, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story originally submitted as a comment to Distortion, by Mir)

What is it about prettiness that makes us care so much (me included)?

We fight “you’re not pretty” messages with “yes you are, everyone’s pretty!” messages. We don’t feel a need to tell everyone that they’re athletic, or agile, or a story-teller, or musical, or scientific-minded, or a great linguist. We accept that there are degrees of talent or luck and if you’re at the low end of these, that’s fine. Go be great at the things you’re great at.

Kind-of drives home how much prettiness matters, which is just weird.  {end story}  

Why do we care so much about "prettiness"?  Do you care about prettiness?  What do you think pretty is?

#bodiesLiposuction Can Make You Happier?

7 comments | March 30th, 2012

plastic surgery

(OOC via Marketwatch.com)

According to this article, folks who get their lipos-suctioned and their tummy's tucked "report significant improvements in self-esteem and quality of life."  How bout that?!

So a few things.  One, we here @OOC are neither for nor against plastic surgery - we're totally for happiness and against feeling bad about yourself.  Our attitude, do what makes you feel good (and don;t do what makes you feel bad). Two, it kind of makes sense that patients who chose elective surgery would, on balance, feel good about their choice (though we're not sure these same #s hold when it comes to breast augmentation).  Three, this survey was done by a group with an interest in the outcome, which seems worth noting.  All this aside...

Have you ever had elective surgery?  Would you?  If you have, did it make you feel better about you? (We hope so.)  Plastic surgery, let's #discuss.


#bodiesWhere’s the Outrage?

8 comments | March 23rd, 2012

dude, wtf

So Kim Kardashian get hit with a flour-bomb last night at the launch of her new perfume?  Does Katy really have a new guy? 

Doesn't it sometimes seem like popular culture is focusing on things that maybe just don't matter all that much (and, we like gossip as much as anyone) and on those things that affect one or two of us but not that many of us?  Does it ever seem that maybe we should spend more time talking about things like this...


- 50% of children 8-10 years old report being "unhappy" with their bodies?

- More than 81% of 10-year-olds said they are terrified of "getting fat."

- 80% of women feel worse about themselves after seeing a beauty ad?

We could go on - and on.  We won't though.  But we will invite you to keep joining us - and so many others fighting this fight day to day - to try and make a difference.  We'll ask you to use your voice to ask "WTF" is going on and question how we begin to change it ...

#lifestagesTea for You, Tea for Me

31 comments | March 22nd, 2012


(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda.com) Both of my kids were big fans of the ubiquitous pretend tea party when they were little. We always had a tot-sized tea set (or two) floating around, and I would obediently fold myself into a child-size chair when directed, so that we could sip our air together. My daughter often donned a special outfit for the occasion---either from the dress-up clothing or her closet---while my son usually opted only for a funny hat. ("This is my tea drinking hat!") She would hold her pinky up and "act fancy;" he would dig through the play food and serve me a banana on a hot dog bun or something similarly weird, and then laugh and laugh at my reaction. I want to tell you that I treasured every moment of those tea parties. I'd love to be able to say that in the moment I knew that it would all be over in just a few short years, and I savored it fully. I could tell you that, but it wouldn't be true. Sometimes I savored ...