It’s Wednesday – Time for a Little Body Positivity!

It’s Wednesday and time to hear from a voice that might be different from our own. Today I want to share this article from Romper with you: 9 Body Positive Terms You Need to Teach Your Daughter.

I have 2 year old daughters and they are very different in how they react to food. One daughter loves to eat, she tries new things easily, enjoys things that taste good to her, comments on liking food, and I trust her to eat when she’s hungry and stop when she’s full. (I’ve been trying to follow RIE’s lead on trust.) One daughter is a non-stop action machine, and while she has food she loves (sugar, fruit) and is a “good eater,” she typically eats just enough to not be starving and to get back to playing. It’s harder for me to trust her to listen to her own body and not project my momma concerns on if she’s eating enough, growing enough, and getting her nutrients.

But I find that my concerns for her nutrition are often framed in weight. Partly because one way young children’s health and growth is measured is in weight gain, but also because we are so socialized to monitor each other’s bodies.

I have spent decades working on my relationship with my fat body. Recognizing the truths about it (every body is a good body), visualizing it (am I the only one that avoided mirrors?), and accepting it (fat hairy legs in shorts, baby!). But I still talk about my daughter’s weight, comment on their eating habits, joke about their full bellies. I’m giving them the same issues I’ve had to work so hard to overcome.

Right now they are too young to seem to even notice their bodies, so long as it’s not hurting. They run around naked, covered in food, in totally mismatched clothing, without a trace of self-consciousness. I want them to hold on to that as long as possible.

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A close up of the author with her two daughters, one on each side of her face, all smiling at the camera.

From the article on Romper:

Daughters pick up so many social cues from their mothers. Being negative about appearance or throwing shade at someone else’s looks legitimizes the idea that judging bodies is OK. So choose your words carefully.

Click through to read it all, and let’s (moms, dads, and friends of people with kids!) change the way we talk about ourselves and about our bodies, and give our kids the confidence they deserve.

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It’s Wednesday – on being black and Muslim in the U. S.

Let’s hear from someone new today. Please click through to read the article On the Bodies of My People by Tyson Amir. This is a beautiful memoir of a man reconciling his faith, his culture, and how he is treated and should be treated.

I proudly come from that tradition of Islam being mixed with a fight for the freedom and liberation of Black people and all oppressed peoples.

This fight began once the first men and women were stolen from their homeland and placed aboard Portuguese ships to be carried across the Atlantic Ocean. The reality is their fight didn’t end with them; their fight has been passed down to every generation of their offspring.

My generation is attempting to practice Islam and fast Ramadan in the age of mass incarceration, school to prison pipeline, the war on drugs, the era of every 28 hours a Black person being killed by law enforcement or security personnel.

It’s Monday – Is Wonder Woman the feminist model we should aspire to?

wonder_woman_mainSo pretty much everyone has seen Wonder Woman by now, right? (Well, not me, I won’t see it until it comes out on Amazon or DVD.) So in checking our privilege this Monday, I’d like to share some (relatively, but not totally) spoiler-free critiques of the movie. Continue reading “It’s Monday – Is Wonder Woman the feminist model we should aspire to?”

It’s Wednesday – Let’s Hear From Someone New

Today I want to share an article from Screen Crush, where trans actors talk about representation, roles, and how Hollywood can improve: What It’s Like to Be a Trans Actor in Hollywood. Here’s a quote from Ian Harvie to get you started:

If when I was younger, had I seen positive trans roles in film and TV, yeah, of course my life would be different. My life would be different because I would have felt like I had existed a lot sooner than I did. I don’t feel like I existed until I met my first trans person, and they weren’t on TV. I didn’t know they existed, and I didn’t know I existed as a result of it. Had I seen someone when I was younger I might have known who I was, and it might have saved me from a lot of struggle.

It’s Monday – cis/straight privilege

It’s Monday and time to think about our privilege!

When we found out we were having twins, the first question people asked (almost without fail) is if we were having boys or girls. When our babies were small, that was still strangers’ first question. It didn’t bother me, per se, so much as surprise me how ubiquitous it was. Our twins are both female and although we are not pushing “girl” stuff we identify them as girls. But now that they are a little older, there is a lot of talk of potential boyfriends and how daddy needs to get a shotgun. This does bother me. It is disheartening how much conversation revolves around gender and heteronormativity with babies and toddlers.

prideflagToday I want to share this article from Everyday Feminism: 10 Examples of Straight Privilege. Click through to read the whole thing. The thing that stood out to me was that heteronormativity is both assumed from birth, and is reflected constantly in media. I’ve noticed this as we’ve watched so many children’s shows. From preschool shows that actually center episodes on the characters trying to get “boyfriends” and “girlfriends” to just minor passing scenes when romance is not a subject on the show at all.

So what to do? Those of us that are cis gendered and heterosexual have a long way to go in being supportive of our LGBTQA friends and family. But the changes that are needed – no more bathroom bills, intersectional feminism as the only feminism, real diverse representation in media, legal protections regardless of sexuality – all of that feels overwhelming. But we can change the culture of microaggressions today! Start here by reading this article on Huffington Post: Being an Ally Means Sometimes Having to Say You’re Sorry. Then practice! Listen, apologize, keep our mouths shut. We can do it!

 

Father’s Day

I have some conflicted feelings about father’s day. Every year it reminds me that I didn’t have the relationship I wanted with my father, and that my children do not have a grandfather in their lives. But I also love watching their relationship with their dad grow, and see how hard my husband works at being the best dad he can be.

Today we also got to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday today. We stuffed ourselves with delicious food, chased the kids around the house, and picked cucumbers in the garden. And then, after everyone was gone, and the kids were in bed, I opened facebook and was met with such horrible news.

Just after midnight, in London, a man drove a van into the crowds leaving several mosques after late-night prayers. At least one person was killed and several were injured.

This morning in Virginia a group of Muslim teenagers were confronted by a man with a baseball bat. They all ran, but one young woman was taken and killed by him. Her body was found this afternoon.

A woman in Seattle called police to her home after a break in and was shot and killed by them in front of her children. She was 3 months pregnant. The police claim she was armed with a knife, her family denies this.

This all following a rough week after Philando Castile’s murderer was acquitted.

So many lives lost to hate, so many families hurting today. A friend posted on facebook about how much discomfort it takes for people to overcome their apathy and be moved to empathy. It is easy to be filled with our lives – we are all busy, we all have struggles. But things will not improve – black lives won’t matter, muslim men, women, and children won’t be safe – until we all step up and and stand for each other. No one else will do it. Each of us have to.