Long Live Body Positivity and Body rEvolution: A Reflection

By Lauren Anthony

Self-Love

At the beginning of this year I started my adventure being a blog writer for the Women’s Center at the University of Idaho. The very first article I ever wrote is Body Positivity, Meet Body Revolution. As a novice writer, I wanted to talk about something of great interest, body positivity.

I took two internships at the women’s center this semester: one being a blog writer and the other is being a part of Body rEvolution. In a sense, this blog is the beginning of my own written body revolution. It helped me reinforce body positivity through writing while I was also doing presentations around campus with Body rEvolution.

Body positivity week is one of the many ways of personally connecting with the college community. Body rEvolution presented a slideshow about the topics we worked on all semester along with activities to encourage body positivity at Kappa Alpha Theta and at Palouse Prairie Charter School. By going out and talking with others, the body revolution, which is to help empower those around us to talk about the topics that are uncomfortable and create a safe and welcoming environment. It also helps me become more comfortable talking about some sensitive topics, but also having ways of handling and coping with them.

Looking back, this journey with the blog and Body rEvolution has been one of the best ways to leave college. The blog challenged me to get out of my comfort zone, to be honest and to talk about topics that I may of never considered. With Body rEvolution, I found my voice on topics that used to be too hard to talk about; I also was able to share it with others through presentations.

As this article shares, talking about body positivity for both men and women is not an easy task. By taking those steps to get involved in body positivity campaigns on campuses or even in the local community is important. Loving one’s body, even for myself, is not an overnight success, but it does get easier in time.

Being involved in these two internships helped me find out what I love about myself and how to encourage others to feel beautiful and handsome as they are.

Never forget that you’re all beautiful and handsome and to never stop smiling!

Read Body Positivity, Meet Body Revolution 

Is Body Positivity All Inclusive?

victorias-secret-and-dove-models
Victoria’s Secret campaign in 2010 compared to Dove’s in 2004

By Lauren Anthony

Loving your body is important on all accounts, but it helps so much when campaigns are launched and companies spread the love for the human body. In a world where Victoria’s Secret has its annual fashion show, sometimes it feels really good to see ads with other body types. We, as a society, are trying to move away from having to be thin and having the perfect assets and into accepting what we are born with. Now, this is inclusive for all women, right?

 

Well, not exactly.

While the current body positivity movement is all fine and well, women of color among others are being left out of the scene. If you look at Dove’s campaign photo above you can see that the majority of women who are used for the campaign are white. Other campaigns have the same method going, so when first looking at it, you might think this is not much of a problem. So, why are all women not represented equally when it comes to body positivity?

Continue reading “Is Body Positivity All Inclusive?”

Losing my Vagina Monologues V-Card

By Madison Griffin 

The UI Women's Center presents The Vagina Monologues

As the Vagina Monologues celebrates its 20th birthday in 2016, many people are asking—is the play still relevant to women today?

The Women’s Center at the University of Idaho will be performing its 14th annual production of the Vagina Monologues this year. The show caps off our Body Positive Week—running from Thursday through Saturday at the Kenworthy Theater downtown. Tickets can be purchased at the door or (for a little less) in advance at the Women’s Center or at Eclectica—in the Safari Pearl Comic Shop on 3rd and Jefferson. The money raised from ticket purchases will go to benefit Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, which works to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Latah and Whitman Counties.

Check out the show February 18th-20th at 7 pm.

Whether you’re a “Vagina Monologues-Virgin” like myself, or a Vagina Monologues-Veteran, the show still has something to offer. It acts as a rite of passage for many women in college, it benefits a local nonprofit, it brings awareness to the worldwide problem of sexual violence, and it unites women globally through campaigns such as One Billion Rising.

Continue reading “Losing my Vagina Monologues V-Card”

Body Positivity, Meet Body Revolution

By Lauren Anthony

Body Positivity
Wall with the words “I believe in you” written on it

 

Hey, you’re beautiful. You’re handsome. What does it mean when we’re told these phrases by a friend, family member, or loved one? Most times it brings a smile to our faces and leads us to spread this message to others. Body positivity is one thing that is getting a lot more recognition now a day. It is important to spread body positivity because once someone acts on then it will catch like fire. Whether it is through an inspirational quote on Facebook, a sweet text, or a compliment while walking to class, there are many ways we can spread the love to one another.

Let me begin by introducing myself, my name is Lauren Anthony and I am a senior here at the University of Idaho. As someone who struggles with her body image, I knew it was time to do something about it. By sharing music, videos, events on campus, and other things I come across my intention is to share the beautiful power that is body positivity. One way I’m doing this is through Body rEvolution. Body rEvolution is an internship here at the University of Idaho through the Women’s Center.

Continue reading “Body Positivity, Meet Body Revolution”

Pure Blue Nudity: SciFi and the benefits of being naked

Amber Atalaya Evans Pinel

Trying to gain some peace and calm in your hectic life?
Wanting to feel grounded?
Feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable about your body when not clothed?
Well then, being naked is for you!

Meet Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan – She is a tenth level Pa’u (priest) in the Delvian Seek.
She enjoys basking in the sun and spending time in the nude. She and the Delvians are part of the known universe in the television series Farscape.

Image link

Farscape takes place in a distant part of the universe. The main character, a human from earth, is shot through a wormhole and comes into contact with a space ship full of escaped prisoners.

Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan is one of the several alien prisoners on the ship. Zhaan is a Delvian – a blue humanoid species that is biologically plant-like. They life in a theocratic society ruled by Pa’u (priests) that follow the way of a gentle, healing Goddess. Zhaan studied to become a Pa’u of the Delvian Seek in order to master her dark emotions borne of her imprisonment.

Zhaan is kind, peaceful, and very powerful in her own right. She spends her free time dabbling in herbal medicines and meditating in her quarters – always nude.

Image link

While I’m not an expert, I hear that meditation has fantastic affects on the body and mind. Generally, the purpose of meditation is to focus all of your attention inward. It can help you reduce anxiety and perhaps even increase happiness. I have used meditation to reduce my own anxiety and I agree that it is often times extremely helpful.

However, Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan would agree that the benefits of meditation are significantly heightened if the meditation is done in the nude.

It is my belief that nudity has a lot of benefits, whenever you choose to leave the clothes off. Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan enjoys being nude whenever she is in her private room and sometimes when she is not. In one episode of Farscape, she spends some time on a sand planet whose sun is having solar flares. Being a plant-like humanoid Zhaan relishes sunlight and has a literally orgasmic experience with the solar flares (whilst nude, of course.)

I used to be self-conscious about being nude, even in my own home. I spent several years bouncing between my parents house, dorms, and overcrowded apartments. It seemed like I never had any privacy to be nude, even for a moment out of the shower. Then I met my now girlfriend who is a partial nudist herself. She is not shy about the human body; and unless it’s in the dead of winter she spends all her time at home completely naked. At first this was unnerving to me. I had often been one to linger before dressing after a shower, but this was another matter entirely. She cooks, lounges, studies, and sleeps without clothing; and in our firmly-clothed culture that’s a total oddity.

However, while in her presence, I am part of her culture. Rather, we create a culture together, and that culture is a nude one. Since meeting her I’ve gotten over my timidity at being naked outside the bedroom, and I relish the opportunity to be around someone who encourages my nudity. I now stay nude more often when I am alone than I ever did before. And, it has definitely had its benefits. I feel less self-conscious about being nude, and more confident in my body. Hanging around in just my skin has solidified the normality of my body; I’m used to looking at my body. And the more I look at my body, the more I realize that I am beautiful. Being nude has helped me eliminate the gap between society’s expectations for my body and my body in its natural state. It has made me more confident when I’m wearing clothing, even. And I owe this all to some time spent in the nude.

There is an existing and constantly developing movement to use female nudity to empower and to protest. Women all over the world are marching partially nude and completely nude, and sometimes posting nude pictures of themselves to protest the exploitation of women’s bodies. Some journalists are arguing that using nudity in activism is one of the best tools to combat the body shaming of women who do not fit the “young, thin, and white” mold. In this article by Soraya Chemaly she lists six reasons female nudity can be powerful, most of them being ways to stand up to misogynist and sexist culture (and it’s a fascinating read, I highly recommend it.)

“Self-defined public female nudity is a challenge to capitalism and its uses of women as products, props, assets and distributable resources. Nothing on Earth is used to drive sales and profits and display male wealth and status like women’s, often naked and semi-naked, bodies,” wrote Chemaly.

However, not everyone agrees nudity is the best tactic to bring attention to important issues. Lorelei Vener writes in this article that nudity in campaigns can distract people from the purpose of the campaign. She says that when nude protests are covered by the media women are not reclaiming their nude bodies, they are only furthering the objectification of them.

Whether or not nudity is a helpful tactic in political activism, it certainly is beneficial to cultivating body positivity. People are scared of the unclothed human body, especially their own. But it’s not because we’re all scary looking underneath our garments: it’s because we don’t spend enough time looking at naked people. Sure, in the media we are bombarded with images of naked women constantly. But almost all of those images are of women who fit a very particular mold. Those women are beautiful, but the point is that all women are beautiful; and in order to cultivate the belief that we are all beautiful, we need to get down with our naked selves.

abeautifulbodyproject.com is dedicated to the mission of body positivity through nudity, and Jade Beall is one of their warriors. She takes pictures of her friends and strangers in the nude in order to show that we are all beautiful.

Nudity is a powerful tool: it can help us rebel, and it can help us make peace with ourselves. Whatever your reason, Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan recommends you spend some time naked.

Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan was played by the Australian actress and former model Virginia Hey. I think it’s worth mentioning that since her time on Farscape Hey has become a Pa’u in her own right: she opened her own perfume and soap company, and she teaches meditation and natural therapy.