I have followed the work of the brilliant indie hardware engineer, Sarah Petkus, for years. Her first projects to capture my attention were her delta robot army and NoodleFeet (see her YouTube feed for project videos). Sarah is an extremely talented engineer and artist whose design and fabrication skills are undeniably impressive. With her high-tech engineering skills, her unique and sincere presence, and her overall deep-geek badassery, Sarah wouldn't be out of place in a Gibson cyberpunk novel. Read the rest
Alicia Tan reports on an online "challenge" trend in China in which women prove that the have a thin waist by covering it completely with a sheet of office paper.
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For the challenge, women are required to take photos of themselves with a piece of A4 printer paper in front of their waists.
The width of an A4 paper is eight inches, and women are trying to prove that their waistlines are narrower than that.
The A4 waist challenge started in China around February and has seen hordes of Chinese women taking to their Weibo accounts to show off their trim waistlines.
Bill Barnwell topped the scales at 334.7 pounds on January 1, 2105. This year, he's a little over 200. In this essay he writes about his depression, body image, compulsive eating, and what he did about it. Barnwell describes his compulsive eating as "the fear of missing out."
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My compulsive eating had little to do with hunger and was almost never enjoyable. Instead, it was like trying to chase a vague, indefinable comfort, some satisfaction that never arrived?—?or even could arrive. It was the fear of missing out, but for food and constantly. I would struggle to pick between two fast food places and just stop at each of their drive-thrus, hiding the soda cup and the wrappers from the first one so the second cashier wouldn’t see, because being caught in my embarrassing act was somehow more shamefug than the actual behavior I was committing. The idea of just waiting for another day just wasn’t realistic to me; I absolutely, compulsively had to get that sandwich from Wendy’s. The act of ordering the food, of making the conscious choice to indulge, was far more important than eating the stupid thing.
PsychGuides.com created the Miss America Morph, which shows how the winners' body mass index has declined over time, while the average American woman's body mass index has increased of the same period.
The women who compete in Miss America, as well as other pageants, dedicate a lot of time and effort to maintaining their physique and health. Still, nearly a third of Miss America winners are considered to be underweight*, making their figures almost unattainable for the average American woman. While the underweight frames of Miss America contestants don’t necessarily represent disordered eating and exercise habits within that group, they can perpetuate an unrealistic expectation for the average female’s body.
Research has shown that during puberty, adolescents, especially females, experience higher levels of body dissatisfaction which can be attributed to the many physical and chemical body changes during this time. Studies have also shown a correlation between ideal body images highlighted in television and the media. This makes teens, and even adults, more susceptible to be influenced by media portrayals of the ideal body. In addition, people with negative body images are also at higher risk of developing eating disorders, suffering from depression, and becoming obsessed with weight loss.
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I love the "reverse Photoshopping" of these comics -- digitally adding normal physiques -- as performed by Bulemia.com. The group says it wants to call attention to bodies so far out line with those of most Americans.
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Heads up - if you're a fat woman who wants to dress up as a popular fat character for Halloween, good luck trying to find a plus-size Ursula (from "The Little Mermaid") costume.
Disney DOES partner with a company called Disguise Costumes to offer those ubiquitous, often inappropriate "sexy" versions of characters, and they do offer an Ursula costume - but Ursula can't be fat and sexy at the same time, so if you're an actual plus-size woman, better look elsewhere. The "Sassy Ursula" offered in their "Fabulous Flirts" collection comes in sizes S, M & L - with L equal to a US 12-14. (The company does have a small range of actual plus size "Disney Princess" costumes - you can be Fat Cinderella or Fat Belle if you want to, but you can't be Ursula. Better luck next time, fatties.)
It's outrageously exclusionary - it basically tells fat women that we're too fat to play a fat character; it also tells fat women that in order to be sexy, a character must be made skinny.
(Thanks, Tavie!) Read the rest