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NOW Foundation's Love Your Body Poster Contest Winners

NOW Foundation's Love Your Body 2011 Poster Contest winners have been announced. The winning entry looks nice, but there's no hint that it's possible to love a larger than average body. The images in winning posters from past years have been perhaps slightly more fat-positive. Maybe. A little.

Of course, that's not really the point. The point is that all women are taught to hate their bodies.

Hollywood and the fashion, cosmetics and diet industries work hard to make each of us believe that our bodies are unacceptable and need constant improvement. Print ads and television commercials reduce us to body parts -- lips, legs, breasts -- airbrushed and touched up to meet impossible standards. TV shows tell women and teenage girls that cosmetic surgery is good for self-esteem. Is it any wonder that 80% of U.S. women are dissatisfied with their appearance?

Women and girls spend billions of dollars every year on cosmetics, fashion, magazines and diet aids. These industries can't use negative images to sell their products without our assistance.

Well, I can get behind that. However, how much cooler would it be if the "Love Your Body" poster made it clear that larger or (better yet!) bodies of all sizes, shapes and abilities are worth loving?

The deadline for next year's poster contest is December 3, 2011. Details are here. NOW tends to choose artwork depicting thin to average sized bodies. Let's make sure that isn't because it's the only kind of entry they get.

Paul Campos on Bullying | U.S. Life Expectancy Increases (as usual)

richie79's picture
March 17th, 2011 | Link | "The winning entry looks

"The winning entry looks nice, but there's no hint that it's possible to love a larger than average body. The images in winning posters from past years have been perhaps slightly more fat-positive".

Unfortunately I suspect this may be part of a wider trend which I attribute to the immense influence of anti-obesity pressure groups and the increasingly accusatory way in which they attack and condemn any business / outlet / organisation who they see as 'condoning' or 'encouraging' obesity, often merely by omitting to condemn it in sufficiently robust terms. A number of documentaries on British TV have covered traditionally 'taboo' areas such as facial disfigurement and those excluded from mainstream notions of sexual attractiveness, yet have nevertheless repeatedly and deliberately stopped short of including people of all shapes and sizes in their message, presumably to remain 'on-message' (obesity panic 'shock docs' are a staple of Channel 4 and Sky in particular) but also to avoid incurring the wrath of Tam Fry et al.

"What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right" - Albert Einstein

withoutscene's picture
March 29th, 2011 | Link | Yeah, I totally balked when

Yeah, I totally balked when I looked at this year's winners and the winners overall. I mean, what the hell?

And not only do they depict thin bodies, but bodies which tend to be "acceptably feminine." And while most of the posters are seemingly trying for "raceless" depictions, we know the default for most people is to assume whiteness and only one of the past posters really disrupts and assumption of whiteness.

I totally agree that we need to create a barrage of posters that depict a real diversity of bodies. It hurts me (though it doesn't necessarily surprise me) that an organization like NOW would not make it a priority to depict diverse bodies, obesity booga booga or not. I wonder what Chenese Lewis would say about it.

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