#bodiesFashion’s Responsibility

2 comments | January 4th, 2012


(story by OOC via HuffingtonPost)   This first appeared in HuffPo back in September.  While it may have been more of a news story then, it's (sadly) no less topical or relevant now.  The CFDA is trying to embrace their role and responsibility, which is nothing short of great.  We look forward to some of the other major (and minor) players in the worlds of popular culture doing the same.  From the original article:  

"When the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) re-released its health guidelines earlier this year, it called for increasing awareness about eating disorder symptoms and recommended a ban on models younger than 16 walking in fashion shows. The goal was industry-specific: To address what the council's website calls the "overwhelming concern about whether some models are unhealthily thin."

But as CFDA CEO Steven Kolb acknowledged, fashion's influence is broader than that.

"As Diane [Von Furstenburg, CFDA president] and I wrote in our outreach letter to the industry ... 'Fashion Week has become a powerful voice, which reaches millions of people across the globe and we should not ...

#bodiesMust Watch Video

5 comments | January 3rd, 2012

FLY post

This was sent to us by one of you...and it's just such an inspiring bit of self-acceptance and self-love we wanted to share it.  And then be it.  Just click on the link.  Totally, totally uplifting.  I Am Who I Am

#lifestagesBullied and a Lingering, Unshakeable Shame

3 comments | January 1st, 2012

chestist black scratch

(story submitted by Leah, a 22 yo Chestist)

Leah's story was actually submitted as a comment to this story.  We thought hers worthy of bringing to everyone's attention too.  We hope you'll get why we chose New Year's Day as the day for this less-than-feel-good tale when you get to the end.  This is her story shared:

The memories are too hazy to tell if there was a pattern of bullying, but that's what I assume happened. That's what my Mom says happened. There was always this one girl with whom I had some conflict from the very first days of elementary school. I remember sitting with two girls reading a book on the school bus. The one who owned the book pushed my five-year old face into a window and told me I wasn't allowed to read with them. Why? Who knows? Maybe I did something. Maybe I was the bully (probably not). I became a silent, insecure child who had a anxious Hell of a time trying to socialize. I was a loose cannon, ready to lash out at the slightest perceived insult, and ...

#chestismsAdele Has Insecurities…

2 comments | December 31st, 2011


...which makes her oh-so-human, no?  Maybe even super-human for speaking them outloud (you know how we feel about that here.)

In this little sinppet found somewhere in our travels across the interwebs, she says this about the pressures to be perfect while living in the public eye:

“I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, who want to be thinner or have bigger boobs, and how it wears them down. And I don’t want that in my life. I have insecurities, of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.”

What do you say, let's do like Adele does and inthe new year, resolve to spend time only with those who build us up, and don't tear us down.  That means ourselves too, of course.  'Tis human to be insecure.  'Tis self-defeating and punishing to to spend undo time with those who make us feel worse not better. 

Happy 012, Chestists. 

#bodiesSee More Fat People

5 comments | December 30th, 2011

50s chestist

(Story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

One reader writes us with this:

I'd love to see more fat people on TV. In most shows I've watched it seems like very few characters are fat.

Sometimes a TV show will basically have one token fat person, like Lost or Glee. It seems rare to have multiple fat characters unless the show is specifically about fat people.

Occasionally I'll be watching a TV show and when a person who is even a little bit fat does appear someone I'm watching with will comment that they're fat like it's some sort of novelty.

It would be nice to see enough fat people on TV that it wasn't remarkable. {end story}

We've talked about this before, but not in a while.  What would you like to see more of (or less of) reflected in popular culture?  DO you see you?  How's it make you feel?  

#lifestagesISO: Housemate and Advice

1 response | December 29th, 2011

chestist sad

(story submitted by Sara, a 20 yo Chestist)

Have you ever been hesitant to do the right thing - because you think it's the wrong thing for you?  She ias and here's her story:

My friends and I are looking for an extra housemate for next year. A girl we all know has asked if she can live with us. We have always been good friends, but she has taken this year out to have therapy. She had depression and has a personality disorder. She says she is doing much better, and is taking medication etc, but I am cautious about living with her.

I really want to help her out, I'm just wondering whether it is a good idea. We all like her a lot, so it may well be better than if we had to live with a stranger, but if it turns out that coming back to study is too much for her, I don't want to have to deal with it too much. I have also suffered from stress and anxiety related problems, although not to the same extent, and I know ...

#bodiesCoverGirl, Taylor Swift and The Self Esteem Act.

1 response | December 22nd, 2011


We think it's great that CoverGirl is taking down their Taylor Swift ads because the lashes they show and the lashes you get have nothing to do with each other.  But is the lie they told photographically any more or less significant than the lies any ad or editorial that's photoshopped and digitally-manipulated the human body shows?  Here @OOC HQ, we don't think so. We think it'd be even greater, and help a lot more girls and women (to say nothing of boys and men) feel good about themselves, if truth-in-advertising was proactive and not reactive, and not simply done because and after you've been caught. Photoshopping isn't necessarily bad. Pretending the ideal is real and attainable when it's not is bad, and the consequences of it can be dire. If you agree, and if you support transparency and truth-in-advertising, we hope you'll sign and forward this:



#lifestagesMy Image of Me Looks A lot Like You

3 comments | December 22nd, 2011

cloudy talk burst

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Sometimes our story titles are almost as long as the stories themselves.  This is a reminder that we should be more brief, and that some stories don't need a lot of words to hit you right between the eyes.  Here's one of them, shared by one of you:

Because I didn't know who I was, I let you tell me who I should be.  {end story}

Do you know who you are?  What about who you want to be?  Yes, deep thoughts and questions for this time of year...But could there be a better day to figure it out?  Party on and #discuss.  XO, OOC

#lifestagesFriends, a Love/Hate Relationship

1 response | December 16th, 2011

Chestist grunge

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

One of you wrote us with this:

I hate and love my friends. I love them because they are always there for me. I hate them because they don't quite understand why I need them so much, and sometimes they think that maybe I'm just being a bit dramatic.

I have an anxiety disorder, ADD and a bunch of health issues. They all compound each other. When I'm stressed, everything is worse. My friends are so good at making sure I eat with them before an exam, knowing I won't eat otherwise. But they don't get that when I'm left alone with my anxieties, they shake me too much to consider eating. My stomach is in my throat and I feel ill.

My friends are always willing to put something on hold to take me to a counselor for the first time or something like that, but they don't get that I'm terrified of going because I'm terrified of being dismissed. Or that the reason I need someone to convince me that my dreams aren't over because of one bad exam is ...

#lifestagesGrowing Into Oneself

3 comments | December 15th, 2011


(story submitted by Kate in Michigan, a Chestist)

I am wondering. 40 is the beginning of a new and improved part of my life. Or something.

Until I turned 10, I was cute, shy, sweet, devious, lying, clever, smart, chubby.

From 10 to 20, I was trying to be old. Trying to be awesome, sexy, popular, smart, and awesome (yes, I said it again). I succeeded in being moderately smart, popular with a very limited group of people, and fairly pretty but falling short of sexy, and not really awesome. I showed glimmers, but it didn't happen.

From 20-30, I tried to be superwoman. I tried to be powerful, sexy, smart, organized, efficient, loving, successful, talented, and amazing. I succeeded in being smart, fairly sexy, pretty organized and efficient, mostly loving, and mildly successful. I was beginning to feel powerful. I worked my ass off. I tried hard to be everything to everybody. I managed to be a good daughter, wife, mom, teacher, player. What I didn't manage? Myself.

30-40 was pretty awesome and pretty friggin' awful. I was learning to be a mom, a wife, a professional. I went through some ...

#bodiesNipple Envy

9 comments | December 7th, 2011

chestist swirl

(story submitted by Wendy Colbert, a Chestist)

I miss my nipples.  Sure, there are benefits to being a 44-year-old nipple-free woman.  I can wear skimpy tops now without a bra.  No matter how cold the breeze is, my chest remains smooth and unstimulated.  And of course, those pesky cancer cells that had nested just behind my right nipple are gone, along with all the tissue that made up my breasts.

I miss my breast tissue, and the sensation of my chest skin.  I'm mostly numb now.  But I miss my nipples the most.  I wish I heard more women value and grieve their loss of sexual sensation after mastectomy and breast reconstruction, so that I would have had a better understanding before diving into the process myself.

Before breast cancer, I never thought much about my nipples.  You could say I took them for granted.

Now, I wonder, where did my nipples end up?  Were they chucked into some hospital waste dumpster, along with other spare parts - tumors, cysts, and cellulite?   My nipples were special.  Shouldn't they have been properly grieved for and more ceremoniously disposed of?

My nipples represented ...

#bodiesThe Self-Esteem Act is Dumb

26 comments | December 2nd, 2011


(submitted by lailainthecity)

We're all about diversity of opinions here @ Camp OOC...even the ones we don't agree with.  Imagine!  That said, there's a lot in Laialinthecity's comments we do agree with.  The first paragraph pretty much entirely.  As for the rest, well, for us, not so much.  But you decide for you, and let us and Laila know what you think. Here's what she does:

The "Self-Esteem Act"? Why do we have to keep lowering the bar for everything, and making it law no less? When I see someone svelte walking down the street, I don't ask them if they're wearing Spanx. When I see someone with a smile that lights up the room, I don't ask them if they're caps. When I see someone with waist length full bodied curly hair, I don't ask if it's a lace-front wig. Because the truth about what they look like when they get up in the morning, doesn't belong to me, it belongs to them. There's plenty of artifice in world, it starts with lip gloss when you're a teenager. So what?

Nobody is perfect, that should be common sense, ...

#bodiesHow Much Do I Weigh Now

8 comments | December 1st, 2011

ona scale

(by OOC via TheGirlProject)

We first bumped into these amazing images of teenaged girls a few months back, all of which can be found in Please Read (If At All Possible): The Girl Project, by Kate Engelbrecht.

Since we both like a good cliche and happen to believe that a picture can actually be worth 1000 words, we'll be featuring a handful of images from the book over the next week.  We're hoping you'll share with us what words (even if not 1000 of them) come to mind...what they make you think of, and how they make you feel.

Our first reactions here @OOC HQ, will serve as the titles for these posts.

To check out more of The Girl Project and Kate's work,

please also check out:



#bodiesI Cut Myself

4 comments | November 17th, 2011

black explosion chestist

(story submitted anonymnously, by a Chestist)

We're guessing this was sent to us by you, one of our younger Chestists.  We're old enough here 2OOC HQ, that we don't recll cutting being anything anyone we knew gorwing up did.  Now it seems almost epidemic...whether it's physical cutting or emotional cutting.  Here's a story from one of you:

Every morning, i wake up feeling terrified.

I get scared.

I get worried something bad is going to happen.

I  feel invisible, and a waste of space. I guess i have gotten to an age where you start realizing things.

I cut myself, hoping that i will get attention. Obviously, not. After a counselor called from the school, i was a bit overwhelmed and worried that this was it. My mom was going to find out, and i was going to die.

On the bright side, i talked to a psychiatrist. Then from there, they told me that i needed extra help, so my mom took me to see a therapist.

I'm actually very thankful for all the support i have been getting. Although this is killing me inside, i know that this ...

#bodiesIs Fat a Disease?

7 comments | November 12th, 2011

dude, wtf

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

I'm so frustrated!

I hate that there are so many people, who like me, are overweight. And so many people, not like me but just like me, who are underweight. Obese. Fat. Underweight. Skinny. A disease. Imagine defining the way someone looks as a disease.

Imagine your respected doctor or health professional telling you your appearance is a disease. How is that legal? Why do we allow that?

My diet might be a problem. My activity might be a problem. Maybe I'm not doing healthy things, maybe I have an eating disorder, but the way I look is not the actual issue. The issue is that my body image is terrible because airbrushed magazines give other people and myself unreasonable goals and doctors like you validate them by telling me I look like a disease and that's the problem.  {end story.}

You ever had a doctor - or some professional - say something to you where you were all WTF?!  When?  What'd you do or say back?