When “Body Neutrality” Is the Best That You Can Do

By De Elizabeth

Trigger Warning: The following contains language about eating disorders.

A few days ago, I pulled out a romper from the back of my closet. The black fabric was slightly wrinkled, a few beads on the neckline coming loose on the thread. I hadn’t worn it since the summer of 2016, almost two years ago at this point, months before I got pregnant. I stumbled upon it on the first hot day of the year, and, out of curiosity, I put it on, hoping it would fit.

I’m not sure if I was surprise or relieved — or maybe both — to find that it did still fit. The cinched waistband slipped up over my hips easily, the buttons closing behind my shoulders without a fight. But when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t feel like the 2016 girl who wore that same romper. Something felt off, out of place, unfamiliar. Continue reading

Can We Please Just Stop With “Swimsuit Ready Bikini Bodies”?

Can We Please Just Stop With “Swimsuit Ready Bikini Bodies”.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

Trigger Warning: The following contains specific details regarding disordered eating and restricting diet.

Summer is just around the corner, and that means swimsuit sales are on the rise. Target has had them since January, I would surmise for cruises and the ever-popular spring break. With the promise of sunshine, swimming pools and campouts, boating and rafting, come the articles touting ‘6 quick ways to a bikini body’ or ‘get beach ready in 10 days’. And therein lies my issue with summer.

Let me explain. From the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, there are at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffering from an eating disorder in the US alone. Eating disorders do not only present themselves as what are commonly known as anorexia and bulimia. They don’t only affect those who are thin. They don’t only affect women. And they don’t ever go away. Not completely. Continue reading

I’m Not The Enemy, You’re Not The Competition, We’re In This Together

I’m Not My Enemy, You're Not My Competition, We’re In This Together.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

Can I just say that I am tired? I am so tired. I’m tired of using other women as a barometer of how I feel about myself on any given day. I’m tired of constantly feeling as though I’m less than because I’m not as thin as I once was, and envying women who appear to be walking around without a care in the world. I’m tired of making assumptions about women that I don’t know because of my own insecurities. I’m tired of making other women competition in my mind.

I’m tired of wearing undergarments that physically hurt me in order to appear as though my physique is different than what it actually is. It’s exhausting. I am never equal, I’m always better than or less than. It is absurd. I’m tired of hating myself because I don’t fit into what society says is beautiful. I’m tired of basing my value on what I think I see in the mirror. Continue reading