Proud2Bme | Video: Photobooth of Change, Body Image Edition

Video: Photobooth of Change, Body Image Edition

By Melanie Klein--My students and I talked back to mainstream media by creating our own  messages. We let them know that we're fed up with what we're being given and told them what we want.

Sometimes anger can spark real change, especially when it gets us to move away from thinking "What's wrong with me?" and start questioning what's wrong with a culture that makes us feel so bad about ourselves so much of the time. Margaret Cho knows a little something about that. She went off in a much-publicized and justified Twitter tirade last week. After being on the receiving end of some snarky comments about her body, Cho lost it. As she eloquently put it, "I blew a f****ing gasket. I screamed out loud and tracked the perps down and blocked them, but not before really ramming it to them in the strongest language I could use." For years she's been told she needed to lose more weight, she wasn't pretty enough, and worse. Cho reacted to this latest criticism in a massive, over-the-top rant, during which she basically told the haters to shove it.

When you're repeatedly told you don't meet the ridiculously narrow and unrealistic expectations of beauty, that negativity can mess with your head for a long time until you eventually just get sick of it...and then get totally pissed off. And the way I see it, getting pissed off is a whole lot healthier than retreating into self-hatred.

While not all of us have our anger at this body-hating injustice shared across the internet, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist or that it isn't valid. As I quoted in an earlier post:

It is that act of speech, of “talking back,” that is no mere gesture of empty words, that is the expression of our movement from object to subject – the liberated voice.” --bell hooks

 

About this blogger: Melanie Klein is an Associate Faculty member at Santa Monica College, teaching Sociology and Women’s Studies. She attributes feminism and yoga as the two primary influences in her work. She is committed to communal collaboration, raising consciousness, media literacy, facilitating the healing of distorted body images and promoting healthy body relationships. She has worked with the new citizen journalists of the LA Academy of Global Girl Media and the peer-educators of J.A.D.E (Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating) on ways to tap into the power of their own voice. She is the adviser of the Santa Monica College Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and founder and co-coordinator of WAM! LA.Her work may also be found at Feminist FataleAdios Barbie, Elephant Journal, Ms. Magazine's blog and WIMN's Voices. She is featured in the forthcoming book, Conversations with Modern Yogis and the documentary, The American Housewife.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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