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Hurry up fatty

June 7, 2012

Today two pieces of news and one article have caught my eye, and though they may not seem related to each other I believe that they are part of the same issue that affects mainly but not exclusively women. Firstly lets consider the newly released report on body image. Surprise surprise being bullied as a child because of body images causes problems as an adult. This is not new news to us who were bullied as children! This is not a new phenomena. In the 70’s I was being called “fat” and “tree trunk legs” as well as numerous taunts about my hair etc, and I still remember running out of the changing rooms to begin a cross-country run, something that up until that day that I actually enjoyed, having the P.E teacher, a certain Miss Clarke shouting out “hurry up fatty”! I was mortified, as if it wasn’t already bad enough having to get changed in front of dozens of other girls being quite a well-developed 12-year-old. I proceeded to skive every P.E. and games lesson from that day onwards for the entire time I was at that school. Looking back one of the things that annoys me now is that I was convinced that I was fat, throughout my teenage years I was 5/7 and a size twelve, that is not fat, I believed I was though because I was continually told it. I also had a mother who was constantly dieting, I’m sure this too effected my body image, as my Mum is a dainty skinny woman, unlike me who is bigger built regardless of fat etc. Whether or not bullying is worse now I don’t know, but I do know the pressure to conform to the ideal shape for girls now is huge compared to how it was when I was young, as this report shows. http://bodyimage.org.uk/news/body-image-report-launched . I base my opinion on what it is like for young girls on the conversations with my teenage daughter and her conversations with her friends. I used to see my mum starve herself and now I see lots of girls not just starve themselves but exercise to extremes. I am also aware or the growing trend for young men to become buff and to achieve the six-pack, a trend that appears to be growing.

What has happened to the self-esteem of these young girls? Why is self-esteem so wrapped up with body image? When did being intelligent become so uncool? This brings me to the next news article.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-

Women are being blamed for not achieving career success and although there are many things that I disagree with in this article I do however agree that low self-esteem and lack of confidence is an issue for many many women. unfortunately lack of confidence in how you look can become a lack of confidence in everything about yourself. How can anyone have confidence in how they look if they are constantly criticised or witness the criticism of others? Look how magazines are constantly attacking celebrities for their cellulite etc, if they can’t achieve perfection what hope do we have? Not every article is an attack it can be written as a helpful guide but its ultimate effect is to criticise and to tell us we aren’t good enough. Take for example this article on whether or not a maxi dress will suit you.18127469http://thelondonlook.com/fashion/maxi-dresses-handle-with-care/

This article isn’t written deliberately to criticise but that is in effect what it does, it tells women how they should look and how they should conform to the norm. Any women now reading this article who are tall, short or big breasted are now looking at their maxi dresses in a different way and possibly are not so confident as they were yesterday that they looked good in it.

Bullying takes many forms and it is a difficult monster to get rid of even as an adult. The truisms in this poem always springs to mind when I think how a young mind is so easy to influence.   http://www.noogenesis.com/pineapple/Kristone.html

The question we should ask ourselves is what is the pay off for this kind of bullying? Lets not victim blame, lets look to the perpetrators and change their attitudes.

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Caroline Criado-Perez

A Pox on the Patriarchy

feministmeup

Lady things, explained.

norfolknonaligned.wordpress.com/

"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

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