For folks who don't know, the LRU is a compilation of items from the past week that may be of interest to VPers and is intended to broaden the kinds of conversations we have here.
To submit articles for next week's round-up, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have additional articles you'd like folks to know about this week, feel free to comment directly to this post.
As a reminder, in lieu of trigger warnings, I use keywords describing the themes of the piece. Please skim these before deciding to read the excerpt or click through for the full article. Outside sources are not safe spaces, and mainstream source's comments should almost always be avoided. The links I highlight don't necessarily reflect VP's views, or even my own, for that matter.
This week's round-up includes: access intimacy; bodily autonomy and popular culture; why it's okay to be fat; on the phrase "strong is the new skinny;" body positivity and disability; and a critique of Chrysalis Lingerie.
- Access Intimacy: The Missing Link by Mia Mingus at Leaving Evidence (Keywords: disability, access, relationships, language)
Access intimacy is that elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else “gets” your access needs. The kind of eerie comfort that your disabled self feels with someone on a purely access level. Sometimes it can happen with complete strangers, disabled or not, or sometimes it can be built over years. It could also be the way your body relaxes and opens up with someone when all your access needs are being met.
- Who Owns Our Bodies? by Leopard at Crates and Ribbons (Keywords: bodily autonomy, gender roles, male gaze, breasts, rape culture)
It stems from the idea that women’s bodies are public property, in particular, men’s property, and thus everything that a woman chooses to do with it is viewed as a way of pleasing them, or as an affront to them. It is for this reason that strange men on the Internet feel entitled to chastise Angelina Jolie for prioritizing her health over their right to ogle her breasts, and it is for this reason that whenever a woman is unhappy about her weight, random men think it a great comfort to her to proclaim, “It’s fine, I prefer larger women.” Because, didn’t you know, women’s bodies exist primarily for male pleasure.
- Why It's Okay to Be Fat by Golda Poretsky at Body Love Wellness (Keywords: TEDx talk, video, health at every size, body image, fat, diets)
To my knowledge, this the first TED or TEDx video on Health At Every Size and/or fat acceptance, so we need to represent!
- What happens when the pursuits of "skinny" and "strong" collide? by Caitlin at Fit and Feminist (Keywords: body image, fitness, strength, beauty standards, fitspo)
“Strong” is a word that describes actions and state of being, not appearances. Yet fitspo rarely shows women in the act of doing things that require strength, and instead shows them posing and flexing. Posing a-straddle a loaded barbell while showing some impressive underboob might make for some good cheesecake photography, but it does nothing to convey that the woman doing the straddling is actually capable of lifting said loaded barbell. Often, the emphasis continues to be on what a body looks like over what the body can do.
- Where Are All the Disabled People in the Body Positivity Campaigns? by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg at This Body Is Not an Apology (Keywords: body image, disability, media, visibility)
In the popular media, so-called “body positivity” campaigns leave out disability to a remarkable extent. The body about which we are supposed to feel positive is nearly always the able body. That body might be fat or thin, white or black, Hispanic or Asian, tall or short, rich or poor, but it is almost always able.
- A bra that fits me by Teagan Widmer at Interrupt (Keywords: bras, body image, anti-trans* discrimination)
I was super excited about Chrysalis Lingerie’s new line of lingerie that debuted in their online store this week. The company boasts garments created by trans women and for trans women. Their launch has been delayed multiple, but now it was finally coming to a mailbox near you. So when I saw a post on my Tumblr dashboard saying that their store was finally open, I eagerly clicked the link for the store. My jaw subsequently hit the floor, and I don’t mean that in a good way.
Thoughts on any of these stories? Also, what have you been reading (or writing!) this week?