"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Body Positive

My friend Jen pointed me to a great organization, The Body Positive. They do work with people through the Health At Every Size model of health, and they place a good deal of their focus on restructuring how we imagine our own bodies. Jen, who has worked as a fitness trainer for many years, had this to say:

Two years ago I had the great fortune of meeting Connie Sobczak. Connie is the co-founder of The Body Positive, a non-profit organization created with the purpose of helping people overcome negative body image and distorted relationships to food. The Body Positive connects people to their internal wisdom, freeing them to live joyfully in their bodies. When Connie and her good friend, Elizabeth Scott, LCSW, founded The Body Positive in 1996, concerned stories about body image and eating disorders we're still topping the news. Lately, most of the stories covering body image focus on female celebrities' weight loss/weight gain extremes, trivializing the significance of the issues.

I can tell you that for the years I worked as a Fitness Trainer I don't think I worked with a single client who wasn't afflicted with some degree of body hatred. It broke my heart to see otherwise healthy, successful and dynamic people who existed in a constant state of dissatisfaction with their bodies or questioned their very worth as human beings because they were unhappy with the way their bodies looked.

Recently I was telling a good friend of mine about The Body Positive and how important and urgent their work is. Her look told me she wasn't convinced. My reply was this: "Consider over the course of your life all the time you've spent agonizing about your body, trying to lose weight or control you're appearance in some way. Now multiply that number by virtually every woman (and now more men) in the U.S. Now imagine all of those collective hours being redirected towards something positive for our world."

The Body Positive is trying to raise some money. If you have some, you might think about giving some of it to them.

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