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Posts from — February 2016

Female Lighting v. Male Lighting

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at

The New York Times has a thought-provoking article on the difference between the way female politicians are photographed v. their male counterparts: Sarah Palin’s Mustache.

The article discusses the reaction to the 2008 Newsweek cover of Sarah Palin that was considered less than flattering:

“In effect, we had typically ‘man lighting’ and ‘female lighting’ — and they weren’t the same. Also, because our editorial policy was not to alter news photos, we generally did not use close-up images of women on the cover because of the potential for an unflattering image.”

Great examination of the expectations we have regarding the media images of prominent women v. prominent men.



February 27, 2016   No Comments

“Good” Fat People?

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Image courtesy of stockimages at


Lesley Kinzel just posted an insightful article on the current state of fat activism and body positivism, Falling Out of Fatshion: How I Lost My Appetite for Writing About Fat Politics

She got me with this point:

“always under pressure to also demonstrate that they are ‘good’ fat people, who eat the correct foods, who exercise regularly, and who achieve perfect bloodwork numbers at their annual physical. Fat people who eat at Burger King and have health problems are not afforded the same tolerance, because we prefer our positive representations to stand in opposition to the negative cultural assumptions about fat people — to prove the exception to the rule — rather than spend effort dismantling those negative cultural assumptions altogether.”

I’ve used the very phrase, “I eat right, exercise regularly, and have great bloodwork numbers,” to justify my right to exist in the world. To Lesley’s point, what does this imply about those who don’t eat right, exercise regularly, and have great bloodwork–should they be stigmatized? Point taken.


February 16, 2016   No Comments

Curvy Adventurer: Kara Richardson Whitely

Gorge book


Some body love for Valentine’s Day: just ordered Kara Richardson Whitely’s book, “Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds,” featured in USA Today on February 14, 2016. Of the many things I admire about Kara’s story, here are my top 3:

1. “What I wanted to do was to love where I was, which was just about 300 pounds, and go from there. That was a very different take on my weight journey than ever before.” Even though she wanted to change her weight, she chose to come at it from a body love approach rather than body loathing.

2. The video at the end of the article: Kara is very “real” about the experience of being fat in public. There’s a scene in the video on Kilimanjaro where she overhears her guides joking about whether or not she’ll summit. She jokes with them about what they are saying, but later, in her tent, she cries while discussing the pain of that kind of reaction. And to her point–this sense of being shamed for exercising in public keeps a lot of fat people out of gyms.

3. Kara “completed the book while working with Wild author Cheryl Strayed in Butler University’s Chamonix Summer Writing Program in the French Alps.” Uh, sign me up, please!

February 14, 2016   No Comments