Tag Archives: bodies

What If Barbie Reflected an Average 19-Year-Old’s Body?

829420150_1371948989If Barbie were a real woman, she would have half a liver, a head too heavy for her neck to hold up, and feet so tiny she’d have to move on all fours. The iconic Mattel doll’s proportions are so wildly unrealistic yet pervasively admired that it’s no wonder women around the world are plagued with a sense of inadequacy.

Well move aside, Barbie, because there’s a new doll in town! Artist Nickolay Lamm has created a 3-D model of what Barbie would look like if she were based on the proportions of an average 19-year-old American girl (as reported by the CDC.) Granted, the average 19-year-old will have a youthful body, a fast metabolism, and may not yet have had children – so her body is still going to look a lot different than the average adult woman’s. But with eating disorders and body image issues so prevalent during teenage years, it’s imperative to have representations of beauty that model something closer to real life.

In an interview with Huffington Post, Lamm said, “If we criticize skinny models, we should at least be open to the possibility that Barbie may negatively influence young girls as well. Furthermore, a realistically proportioned Barbie actually looks pretty good.”

Drum-roll, please! Here is Barbie as a beautiful young woman, who would have a head raised high, a full set of organs, and two sturdy feet to carry her to college, work, or wherever her heart wishes!

Barbie 3

Barbie 4

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Barbie 1

What do you think of this re-imagining of the Barbie doll? Is it still too far from what the average woman’s body really looks like? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

“A Beautiful Body”: Reclaiming Beauty from a Backward Culture that Devalues Mothers’ Bodies

Motherhood brings love, joy, and children into women’s lives. It also brings responsibility, body changes, and considerable sleepless nights – these are parts of the bargain. One thing it should not entail, but often does, is body shame and low self-esteem. In pregnancy and motherhood, women’s bodies become vessels of life. They are the sites of ultimate creativity and abundance, and there is no shame in that.

But then come the stretch marks and scars, the loose skin and soft breasts, and it’s hard not to look at yourself and feel alienated from the image of beauty our culture promotes. This phenomenon has inspired photographer Jade Beall to reclaim women’s natural beauty in her series “A Beautiful Body.” The project began when Beall entered into the world of motherhood and, as way of coping with the changes her body was experiencing, began posting photos of her post-pregnancy body to Facebook. The response was overwhelming, Beall writes on her website. There was clearly a deep longing for and desperate lack of widespread representations of real mom bodies, in all their beauty and life-giving power.

Thus Beall began photographing women in all stages of pregnancy and motherhood, some with big baby bellies, some with newborns, some with grown kids and years-old stretch marks kissing their soft tummies. The degree of enthusiasm for this project led Beall to embark on publishing a book by the same title, now available for pre-order. The book will contain photographs of mothers (like the ones above) along with each woman’s personal story of finding beauty and strength in spite of media-enforced stereotypes.

It speaks to the world we live in to see so many women crippled by feelings of shame and inadequacy. The materialist, superficial culture we live in outlines a narrow box with the label “Beauty,” and anything that doesn’t fit into it gets brushed aside. This leaves us feeling responsible for our own lack. But the reality is that these labels and values are 100% arbitrary, empty, and meaningless. Thus the task for all of us, as Beall’s series demonstrates, is to reframe our lens; to reclaim our bodies, as well as our aesthetic values, which have been co-opted for so many years by a media culture that has no real interest in our well-being.

What do you think? Are you inspired by Beall’s photo series? Please share your own photos and stories in the comments below and on social media!

 

All photographs by Jade Beall.

This is What Your Body Will Do in the Next 30 Seconds (Video)

30 seconds might sound like nothing! But in the time it takes you to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water, your body is hard at work. Compiled from a range of scientific studies, BuzzFeed presents an impressive and surprising video on exactly what the human body does in the span of just 30 seconds. Some of our favorites…

In 30 seconds, your body will (on average):

  • Produce 0.3 grams of carbon dioxide
  • Generate 100 watts of energy
  • Produce 72 million red blood cells

Watch the video to find out more!

The human body is full of surprises. Did you know that everyone has a unique “tongue print” similar to a fingerprint? Or that our stomach lining replaces itself every 3 to 4 days? Give it up for the body – doing so much behind the scenes while our minds can wander!

18 Amazing Facts About the Human Body (infographic)

Did you know human bone is 4 times stronger than concrete? That a sneeze can travel at 100 mph or more? If your lungs were laid out flat, they would span 1,500 miles!

Check out this amazing infographic and learn some unbelievable facts about your own body:

human-body

A Year and $100,000 for Positive Birthing

One year. One hundred thousand dollars.

It sounds like a dream, or a twisted prank. But this is no joke. Gold Peak Tea is offering $100,000 and a year off to one deserving candidate. It is a chance to relax and rejuvenate, or to pursue some ambition, or realize some goal. This is a once in a lifetime offer, and I have a BIG imagination. So here goes the wildest, most exciting and ambitious $100,000 Year:

The Birth Connection

As a trained birth doula and aspiring midwife, I am passionate about reproductive health and positive birthing. I believe in a woman’s power and innate ability to bear her babies (at least without, though sometimes in spite of, pre-existing conditions); I believe in the sacredness of menstruation and all aspects of fertility; I believe in sex-positive education; I believe in the wisdom of our bodies.

The first two months of my year would focus on creating a comprehensive database and online social network of doulas, midwives, parents, politicians, anthropologists, social workers, yogis, professors, students, artists, media experts, and writers. We would develop a virtual forum and an unprecedented platform on which to discuss sex, birthing, bodies, gender politics, and reproductive rights. The network’s mission would outline clear, actionable goals to foster ongoing, international dialogue on the above topics. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google + would be employed to maximize connectedness.

Stage 1 Costs: $0

The Birth Conference

With a comprehensive network well underway, I would spend the next four months planning an international conference. The conference would focus on maternal and infant mortality and the power of positive birthing. Sierra Leone and Afghanistan have the world’s highest maternal mortality ratios (number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.) Ideally we would host the conference in one of these countries, which would require tireless strategic planning and cooperation on the part of politicians, diplomats, NGOs, anthropologists, and local grassroots organizations.

The three-day conference would feature speakers, panels, and breakout workshops aimed at addressing the global crisis of maternal and infant mortality through education, women’s rights, and medical anthropology. That means: how to train local midwives and doulas in communities that suffer from particularly high MMR rates and restricted medical access, the need to encourage local governments and schools (worldwide!) to support sex-positive and women-positive values, and how to work with doctors, midwives and local healers to envision a new medical model that is as wise as it is effective.

Stage 2 Costs: $10,000 Airfare for our team, $10,000 Food and Paraphernalia, $10,000 Other Stuff I Would Know About If I Regularly Planned Conferences

The Birth Center

After a successful conference, my team of positive birthing strategists would begin work to open a birth center wherever there is the greatest need (in Sierra Leone or Afghanistan). The aim: to create a space in which to train local midwives and doulas, accommodate expecting mothers for their births, and welcome teenagers and young adults for classes on reproductive health, self-care, and parenting. Anthropologists and grassroots organizations would be critical at this stage to ensure our project be executed with utmost respect, intelligence, and efficacy.

The greatest expenses in this stage would be land and building costs for the physical center, labor and travel costs for our contributing doctors and midwives who would help train the first round of birth workers, and medical supplies. We would enlist the support of local organizations and community members to create, decorate, and promote the space. And hopefully, with time, money, love, and cooperation, we would find ourselves six months later with a building, a group of soon-to-be-fully-trained midwives, and the promise of a thriving birth and community center.

Stage 3 Costs: $60,000 Land, Building, Training, Etc. – Yes, I’m an optimist.

Misc. Costs: $10,000 Antonia’s Coffee, Cat Food and Bus Fare

This is my passion and my sketch of a challenging, ambitious, and potentially rewarding year. What’s your passion? What would you do with $100,000 and a year off? Dream big, and ask not what is probable, but what is possible.

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photo by: aturkus