Episode 15: Exposing Female Beauty Standards – Assumptions, Stereotypes, & Experiences [Part 2 of 2]

In this episode, we build on the foundations of last week’s conversation. How do these beauty standards operate today? How do they effect the relationship that we have with ourselves? How do they effect the relationship that we have with each other? We also take a good look at the assumed messages the fat body sends because, if anything, a woman must be slim before she in considered beautiful. To summarise, we talk about the other ways that we can illuminate our world with different beauties, how we can support our sisters, and also how we can move forward to start creating a new way of being.

Knowledge is power. From having researched these episodes, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and the relationship I have with my own body. My hope for you is that, armed with this knowledge, you walk away from this episode with a bit more freedom than you had yesterday. If this means that you move through the world with your head held higher, more confidence, more unity with yourself and others…then that’s a great start.

…Because, honestly, it’s time to put down what isn’t yours to carry. And if you put it down, you’ll invite others to do the same.

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider giving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts. It really does help! Listen through the player below or via Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Spotify | Radio Public | Breaker | Google Podcasts. If your preferred listening platform isn’t listed here, please drop me an email and I will rectify this for you. Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode.

When Normal Isn’t Normal.

I wrote this in an Instagram post but I felt it was too important to not share here.

I used to walk past these and not even blink.
Today, I stopped and felt the outrage building. As I sit here now, I just feel deep, deep sadness.

Even though its been normalised, THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

It is a heinous crime to infiltrate someone’s consciousness and cause them to doubt themselves. In some cases, it’s called gaslighting.

This is what diet culture and beauty standards do. They tell us we are flawed, then make use feel as thought it is our fault, and we must fix it.

You are not a problem to be solved.
You are not ugly.
You are not wrong…
It is the framework you exist in that is wrong.

I see you, beautiful. I see you carrying the burden that is heavier than any number on the scale could tell you. I feel it, too. The discomfort in my own skin, and feeling like a stranger in my own body.

But, you see, there is more to you than this. So much more. In a world that tells you that you’re too much, or not enough, it’s hard to listen to your own thoughts and hear your own voice.

By the way, this is no shade to any woman who has used one of these. I love you. I grew up with you. I exist with you now. It is a tough old world, isn’t it? We fight our battles in many, many different ways. Remember that the world will (try to) teach us to hate ourselves before it will ever tell us that we are enough, just as we are.

And you are stronger than that, aren’t you?
WE are stronger than that.

So, before you do anything else, ask yourself one question: How much of what you carry is genuinely yours to carry, and how much of it has been inherited from the world simply because you fall into a consumer category that benefits everyone else but you?

Sending love this Sunday.

Episode 14: Exposing Female Beauty Standards – Capitalism & Power [Part 1 of 2]

I realise that all I ever post now is links to my podcast but that’s where most of my effort is concentrated for the time being. Thank you for every listen, every click, and every curiosity. It’s much appreciated and I am so thankful that you’d give up your time to simply listen to me speak what’s on my mind. Through listening to me, you’ve created a space for me to expand and explore ideas which I previously only had limited outlets to do.

This week’s episode is very special to me as it was months in the making, and it became a self-driven labour of love. I have a soft spot for research; connecting dots and making links between knowledge gives me a little buzz, particularly in the arena of Sociology. So, doing this was a pleasure and a chore, and I enjoyed every minute (even in the moments where it pissed me off. You’ll understand when you listen…)

If you did enjoy this episode or, fuck, even if you didn’t – please get in touch. Let me know. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please consider taking some time to leave a review – every little helps and it’ll help me to improve things going forward.

We all know that women’s bodies are subject to scrutiny and the criticism women receive for not keeping up with normalised, narrow standards of attractiveness are tangible. From magazine covers to social media, from online forums to newspapers…the female body is heavily judged, debated, and critiqued.

In this episode, we’re looking at the historical roots of female beauty standards, and how they operate. We talk about capitalism and power relations; this is vital in laying the foundation for understanding where these impossible, ever-changing standards developed and how they operate on females today. Ultimately, it helps us in understanding the dangerous messages they send to all of us who threaten to fall outside of this beauty remit.

It’s a heavy one. Grab a brew, and get ready. You know what they say – the truth will set you free but first it’ll piss you off.

Of course, these episodes would be nothing without the informative books mentioned throughout. The list of those most relied on (including next week’s episode):

Julia SeranoWhipping Girl
Emma DabiriDon’t Touch My Hair
Michel Foucault – various (…but I’d recommend The Foucault Reader by Paul Rabinow)
John BergerWays of Seeing
Sabrina Strings Fearing the Black Body
Erving GoffmanThe Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life
Cresida Hayes“I See Her Being Obesed!” (research paper)
Karen Throsby“How Could You Let Yourself Get Like That?” (research paper)
Florence GivenWomen Don’t Owe You Pretty

Listen through the player below or via Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Spotify | Radio Public | Breaker | Google Podcasts. If your preferred listening platform isn’t listed here, please drop me an email and I will rectify this for you. Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode.