#bodiesCan We?

3 comments | February 2nd, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted by Amey, a Chestist)

Amey offered what follows as a comment to this story.  We loved it...here you go:

It seems as women we will always be drawn to the mirror and pick apart what we don't like and remember how we liked ourselves better when...What if we start a revolutionary change...when I look into the mirror everyday I will choose one thing I like, smile at myself, and then walk away from the mirror?  Could I actually do that?  Could you? Could we as women?  One day at a time...make this change? To like what we see? {end story}

What do you think, can you make this change?  What (or who) could stop you?  (NO ONE should). 

#bodiesRenaming The Self-Esteem Act

comment | February 1st, 2012


What's in a name, anyway?  We'll find out.  We're renaming The Self Esteem Act, and from now on it will be known as the Media and Public Health Act.  What?!  Yes, that's right, the Media and Public Health Act.  Catchy, no?  Everything about its intent, its focus, and our call for Truth-in-Advertising labeling remains exactly the same.

So why change the name?  A few reasons.  One, along with the amazing people at the National Eating Disorder Association who are joining with us as co-sponsors of the Media and Public Health Act, we wanted to make crystal clear the cause and effect relationship between the media (and media industries) and public health (ie how people feel and don't, and the consequences of same, based on the images we're served up - and not).

Two, since we first announced it, there have been some who have stood with us and supported the Act's intent but who felt "self-esteem" was not the right articulation of the problem nor the psychological consequence. 

Three, after looking at 1 and 2 together, we took a look at the grassroots support we'd captured so far - and ...

#thecumulativeeffectWhat’s in a Word?

24 comments | January 24th, 2012


(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda)

So I'm currently in the middle of rehearsals for a local production of "The Vagina Monologues," and I can already tell you that this experience is invigorating in a dozen different ways. (Not the least of which being that I haven't been on stage in twenty years, and memorizing lines seems a lot more complicated now than it did back then.)

One of the things that's happening as a result of my involvement is that I find myself thinking about words a lot more often. (Warning! Profanity ahead!) If you've never seen the show, there's an entire monologue about the word "cunt." Now, I'm one of those people who believes in using proper words for learning about body parts, but that aside, I can honestly say that "cunt" probably tops the list of my least-favorite words for the female anatomy. (In can you're curious, "twat" comes in as a distant second.) Prior to "The Vagina Monologues" I've only ever heard cunt used as the basest of insults. Calling a woman a cunt is meant to reduce her to nothing but a receptacle ...

Love & SexMs.

6 comments | January 21st, 2012

Sketch 2011-01-23 16_29_37(2)

(submitted by OOC)

This was a question Maureen Dowd from the NYT asked about and during the hearings for Supreme Court Justice Kagan.  We've been talking to a lot of unmarried women lately, friends and such, and it seems more than a couple of them wold feel better being in a bad marriage than no marriage at all.  We don't get it, but who are we to judge what works for them?

What do you think?  Is the difference between single and unmarried age or a mindset?  And what about you...would you rather be (or have been) in a bad marriage than no marriage at all?  Is marriage something you think completes your expectations of self?  Let's talk about it.



4 comments | January 20th, 2012

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 10.17.50 AM

We first published this back in the early days of OOC, and just bumped into it again.  We thought it merited another passwith you, our new and larger audience, because so much of who we are today and how we feel about us, has to do with how our parents (often times our moms) helped us to feel...or not.

Sooooooo, did your mother teach you well, or were hers lessons you'd just as soon forget?  What?  Why?  Did your mom help instill self-resepct and self-confidence or self-loathing?  Was she happy with who she was?  How do you think that affects how you feel about you - now?  Moms.  Let's share.

#lifestagesFans, Followers, Friends

5 comments | January 19th, 2012


(by OOC via FastCompany.com)

Some of you may recall that there was a time when life was less quantifiable.  But today, we can count how many friends, fans, followers, comments, replies, likes, links, and how much Klout we all have.  Talk about the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses.

From the original FastCompany article we quote..."While it’s human nature to be social and want to help others, we also have a natural tendency to be competitive, envious, and jealous of others. It is our nature to evaluate our own lives in relative terms. I’m happier when things improve for me relative to how they used to be, but I’m also happier when things seem better for me than for my neighbor. And social media platforms now allow me to make much more direct comparisons."

Not surprisingly, their article was business focused, but the truth of the comparative and relative nature of so much of our lives holds personally as well.  We've always compared ourselves to others - for good and ill.  But now, well, there's just so much more to compare ourselves and others too, and we wonder ...

#lifestagesThe Happiest Girls Are the Prettiest Ones

7 comments | January 18th, 2012

party girl

(Story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

We're betting not everyone will agree with the short story that follows.  We don't.  But we do get it.  Here it is, from one of you:

Somedays you feel like the prettiest girl in the world and other days, you look at other girls and feel ugly in comparison.  And what i've learned in the great words of Audrey Hepburn is that "...the happiest girls are the prettiest girls."   And I think it's true. {end story}

Heidi Klum does seem to have it pretty good, right?  But who knows if she's really happy, and what we here @OOC HQ do think is that like having money, being pretty, is probably better than not...but in and of itself it's no guarantee of anything.  But that's just us, what about you?  Do you think Adurey and our writer are right?  Are the prettiest girls (and boys) the happiest?  What's that mean for those amongst us who aren't "pretty"?  Let's talk pretty.  Go.  

#chestismsIf You’re a Mom, or Might 1 Day Be

3 comments | January 16th, 2012


A bunch of you flipped this to us (thank you).  From the HuffingtonPost...it's about raising a child confidently in the absence of knowing what to do situationally.  Some stories just need to be read, not introduced so here you go:


#chestismsDrew Barrymore on Happiness

1 response | January 13th, 2012


"Happiness is a choice.  You have to choose it - and you have to fight for it." 

The woman speaks her truth and the truth.


#bodiesBody Image is Hating on Men’s Happy

5 comments | January 11th, 2012


(submitted by OOC via Blisstree.com)

Here's a bit of gender equality that can't make anyone happy - even if misery does love company.  Men are increasingly and rapidly becoming ever more dissatisfied with their own bodies and body image.  The original article points to this most recent data out of the U.K. based on a survey of 400 men:

80.7% of men use language that promotes anxiety about their body image (i.e. referring to physical flaws), compared with 75% of women. 38% of men would sacrifice at least a year of their life in exchange for a perfect body. 80.7% talked about their own or others’ appearance in ways that draw attention to weight, lack of hair or slim frame. 23% said concerns about their appearance had deterred them from going to the gym.

The author of the Blistree.com piece (read it here) offers the following thoughts: "the study is fairly narrow, so to be honest, I wouldn’t take most of those numbers at face value. But the study just confirms something we’ve known for awhile: That both men and women are increasingly unhappy with their bodies, in part because, well, everyone’s getting ...

#bodiesJennifer Hudson and The Self-Esteem Act

3 comments | January 10th, 2012


Jennifer Hudson helps make the case for why we need The Self-Esteem Act, full media disclosure, and truth-in-advertising.  Or maybe it's just an overzealous, photshopping record executive that does.  You be the judge.  (via @Jezebel):

Doing the rounds for her weight-loss memoir I Got This: How I Changed My Ways And Lost What Weighed Me Down, Jennifer Hudson says she's pissed that the Photoshop hobgoblins trimmed her down to within an inch of her life for the cover of her eponymous 2008 album.

"It's like, ‘Where's the rest of me?' They Photoshopped me probably to the size I am now on that cover, when we all know I was nowhere near that," she said. "To me, it did not send out a good message. And it did not represent me well. Did I not just prove that talent is enough if I made it this far? Being who I am, being the size that I am?"  [NYDN] Sign The Self-Esteem Act petition and Support Truth-In-Advertising here  

Love & SexA Kiss @Midnight

7 comments | January 9th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

We know, the statute of limitations on New Year's stories is about up, but this one epitomizes why we here @OOC HQ have never been big fans of the big night.  In a word, it's expectations.  Sky high expectations of living up to the hype.  And so we avoid the hype like a plague.  Not everyone wants to, not everyone does, and not everyone can. Here's one reader's story:

It's New Year's Eve and everyone is sitting in front of the television watching Dick Clark's New Year's Eve show. You look out into the crowds and stare at all the people and wish you could be there. Wishing that you could have a New Year's kiss. An amazing life changing one.

Anyone ever been there? I have always wanted a kiss at midnight but never got one. I can only wish. {end story}

Who's got something to share with our writer?  Remember, if you share your story, you can change hers.  Or, maybe, just help her feel more better.  And that wouldn't be a bad thing, would it?


#chestismsI’m Normal

2 comments | January 6th, 2012

chestist soup

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Oh how we love this story sent in by one of you, let us count the ways:

What if they find out I'm worried about what they think about me? What? Seriously, tha's about as anxious as you can get - worried that they'll know I'm worried. It is twisted.

That's what's been going on in my head lately. Here's the deal. I have been working really hard the past 2.25 years or so, at cleaning up my life. After a decade of living like the long lost member of Motley Crue (circa 1985-1989ish), I kicked the booze, cigs, bad food, naughty friends, and replaced them with water, chewing gum, healthy food, and well, nobody. I'm OK though. I have a couple girls at work that I'm close with, great parents, and a couple of awkward online dating dates here and there. That's enough for now. What I am struggling with, however, is trying not to make this recovery turn into the never ending quest for perfection.

Right now, I'm in the so-proud-that-I've-got-things-together-don't-ever-let-anyone-know-I'm-still-human mode. Somewhere along the line, in my life cleaning, I ...

#thecumulativeeffectEinstein and The Secret to Happiness

4 comments | January 5th, 2012

enjoy your life

(by OOC via PsychCentral.com and originally by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.)

We've spent a lot of the past year focused on and talking about how to make the world a happier place for women and girls, and an easier place for women and girls to be happier.  Like the article below, we come across the tension between "success" and "happiness" a lot.  We've seen it here, on OOC, and it's fundamentally the exact tension that lead us to start OOC to begin with.  Check this out:

"It seems like an increasing phenomenon that a number of individuals are finding themselves with a psychic emptiness at some point in life. There is some kind of dissatisfaction, an uncertainty as to why they feel so unhappy and what will help them feel more complete. This runs rampant with people who have acquired some kind of success in life and find their minds saying, now what?

Albert Einstein once said 'Try not to become a man of success but rather a man of value.'

Today we’re driving our kids more than ever ...

#thecumulativeeffectIs She Doing Feminism Right?

6 comments | January 5th, 2012

Chestist grunge

(story submitted by "FeministGamer", a 25 yo Chestist)

Oh, the expectations and judgments of others...and havoc they can play with our sense of self.  Here's FeminsitGamer's story:

I've been told several times in just the last few months that I'm making things about gender that aren't (about gender), or that I'm, well, being too much of a feminist (they won't SAY "feminazi", but yeah).

I felt bad. I felt that I should just never mention gender issues anymore. I felt the universe was telling me I was doing feminism wrong. And then I realized that all these people telling me this were men. Maybe I'm doing it right? Or am I being "too gendered" yet again? {end story}

How much do gender considerations/conversations come into your life?  Can you do feminism wrong (we suspect that there are folks on many sides of this who would say yes)?  What have you got to offer FeministGamer as she tries to figure it out?  Let's play...