Archive for June 29, 2015

What is Sexy?

Submitted by Abby Philip

When asked to submit something for Media Monday I immediately thought of Victoria’s Secret. The company’s models are who I’ve compared my bigger frame to since I was 13. While I was looking through their website I found a video titled, “Victoria’s Secret announces the 2014 What is Sexy? List”. The video appeared to be targeted to young women around my age because it mentioned celebrities girls like myself could potentially look up to. After watching the video I felt knots build up in my stomach. I felt insulted as a woman because these women were only mentioned for physical attributes, but I couldn’t help the feelings of insecurity. I do not look like these women. Does that mean I’m not sexy? As a young woman I find myself always struggling with the concept of being “sexy” because quite frankly I have no idea what it means. According to “sexy” is defined as, “concerned predominantly or excessively with sex, sexually interesting or exciting, radiating sexuality, and excitingly appealing; glamorous.”

Allure Magazine says to be sexy I need to:

  1. Wear Red but not on my lips
  2. Smile
  3. Add MEGA shine to my hair
  4. Choose the right perfume
  5. Dim the lights (my personal favorite)
  6. Animate my face

According to this list, I am not sexy. Watching the “Victoria’s Secret What is Sexy? List” made me question whether or not I’ll be considered “sexy”. Will I ever be put on a list recognizing “sexy” women? Another problem I found while watching the video was that I started to feel like I resented these women. I compared myself to them and started to internally shame them, hoping to find some sort of flaw to make me feel better about all of mine. As women we should be celebrating each other’s bodies, flaws and all. Beauty shouldn’t be a contest. It should be basic knowledge that the female body is beautiful, sexy, sacred. List’s like this shouldn’t exist, it should just be a known fact that every body is sexy. I fear for the girls who see this video and have the same reaction I did. I don’t want them to feel any less because they don’t have Blake Lively’s skin, or Amber Heard’s legs. This video is not socially responsible at all, it sets unrealistic expectations for women and girls and it sets the standard for beauty way to high. Not to mention there are no people of color mentioned in this list. If there were more women of color, women of different ages and sexual orientations, women from different background, women who have bigger bodies, etc. this video could be just a little bit less offensive. There are so many bodies that are left out of the “What is Sexy? List” For once it’d be nice to see representation of all body shapes and races. So what do you think being sexy means? What characteristics can be seen from someone who is “sexy”, physical or otherwise?

And more importantly, What is Sexy? Are you sexy?

I think so.




This blog post was sponsored by: Dirk Miller and Jennifer Cramer-Miller

Loving my Lips

Submitted by Stephanie Schenk

One of my favorite body parts of mine is my lips. They are not particularly large, but they have a nice shape. I will generally only wear bold lip colors when I am dressed up for some kind of event, but I think I am going to try to make an effort to try to find more occasions to wear it because it makes me feel confident. I recently got a fantastic new shade of red lipstick that is flattering with my skin tone and is very easy to apply to my lips in a way that accentuates the shape. As soon as I put it on I was even more pleased. I do not like to draw attention to myself, which is probably a main reason why this is not a color I usually choose, but I need to begin to think about myself. If I like the color and the way that it looks on my lips, who cares if it makes other people look? I dress for myself, so why not wear red lipstick for myself as well?

This realization that there is this part of me that I really enjoy has led me to try to pay more attention to the parts of me that I enjoy, and try to embrace the parts of me that I am not as content with. Humans are not perfect, and if we were, the world would not be as interesting and diverse as it is. My lips are not perfect, I have a small freckle that interrupts my Cupid’s bow, but it is a small flaw in a feature that I enjoy, and I do not believe that it detracts from them in any way. It makes them more unique, they are my lips, and no one has the same ones as me.

A couple of years ago when I was getting my hair cut, my mom, sister and I were all complaining about things that we didn’t like, and the woman who cuts our hair asked us to each name our favorite feature. It was an interesting question, and I feel as though that is something more important to dwell on than our flaws. If you find that part, or those parts, that you really like, you can do something to emphasize it. By emphasizing it, you are celebrating this part of yourself that makes you feel confident, and confidence can get you very far in life.

This blog post was sponsored by: Viking Automatic Sprinkler Co.

Target Taking a New Direction in Swimwear

Submitted by Stephanie Schenk

As I was on Facebook earlier today (6/12) I came across this post about Target putting out a bathing suit ad with women of a few different sizes. This is likely geared towards teens, as the majority of Target’s swimsuits are in the juniors section. It was interesting and promising to see this as, as in past years Target has received a fair amount of criticism for using heavy photo editing to make their models appear unrealistically thin as well as lacking in a good selection of clothing for plus-size women.

I think that this ad is very appealing, as it shows women who are happy with their appearances, and are not afraid to show off their bodies, celebrating the beauty of diverse body shapes. This ad is also appealing to a more diverse audience, because it feature racial diversity as well. The message is clear. People of all sizes can wear the types of bathing suits that they want without feeling self-conscious about themselves. Just because a person does not fit a certain body type that the media has deemed necessary to have does not mean that they should have to wear something that hides their bodies when they go to the pool or the beach. If they feel comfortable enough to wear it, then they should. And they should not have to worry about what others will think. This ad and ads like it seem to aim to normalize diversity in shape, and once it is normalized, there will be less of a stigma about these body types that do not conform to the current concept of beauty.

I hope that this is a positive direction change for Target, and hopefully it will lead the charge for more national chains to celebrate body diversity.

This blog post was sponsored by: Sebesta

A Body of Miracles

Submitted by Ellen Squires

I stood up after a few hours at my desk, and a sharp pain shot down my right leg. I cringed. And then I got angry, again. I was angry about unfairness; why would a twenty-three year old have to experience constant, chronic pain? I was angry about inability; why did I have to miss last weekend’s hike? But I was mostly angry about my body in general, about the network of muscles that weren’t cooperating. The physical pain turned inward, morphing into a pervasive negativity about my body and myself. It wasn’t working for me, so I wasn’t about to give it any credit, let alone love.

Like most people, I have a complicated relationship with my body. But in these moments when it’s not working, I eventually realize how much I take it for granted. When I was pain free, I didn’t appreciate how easy and effortless it felt to walk down the hall. Now I wished that were true. When I was pain free, I didn’t think about how sitting itself is a miracle. It takes the coordination of so many muscles just to make that happen!

Then I started to realize the other miracles that my body performs every single day. My body senses that it’s time to wake up when the early morning sun shines through my window. It can recruit the muscles to smile or laugh. I take thousands of steps every day without thinking how my quadriceps have to contract and extend with each motion. The image of the screen that I’m looking at now is filtered through an intricate network of rods and cones before being whisked away to the brain for processing, without any apparent effort from me. I don’t usually stop and think about things like photoreceptors or quadricep physiology, because I don’t have to—my body does it for me.

My body is not perfect. I’m in pain now, and I’m frustrated when I have to sit out of a pick-up Frisbee game at the beach because my twenty-three year old body isn’t working properly. I’ve certainly had to make some adjustments, but I’ve learned a slew of lessons in the process. First, I’ve learned that I need to treat my body well. The hurt I feel now is a product of neglect: never stretching, rarely working to build my muscles, running too often without rest days. I’ve also learned that my body is still incredible, pain and all. It’s amazing that the inflammation in my knees and hip are my body’s way of protecting itself. It’s amazing that I can still bike to work every day, up the big hill and down. It’s amazing that my fingers have the dexterity and muscle memory to type the words my brain is dictating right now.

When I finally learned how to let go of some of the negativity, I was free to see what was truly beautiful and awesome about my body, not just in the abstract, but in the real and powerful way that it moves and carries me. It enables me to do so much, and even in moments of pain, I’ve realized I need to embrace it, be frustrated with it, and then love it anyway – with all of its ups and downs.

This blog post was sponsored by: ESG Architects

Lobby Day was a “phenomenal blessing”

Submitted by Cait Rosellini

On Tuesday, May 12th I found myself standing, bags packed, on the curb of Sea-Tac Airport wondering what the hell I was doing. I consider myself a confident person; I understand what I want and know the most efficient way to secure it, and while I experience doubts I settle in knowing everything happens for a reason. But standing in the departure zone that morning I had a moment of panic.Cait2

What makes me qualified to travel to D.C. and advocate for the millions of people suffering?

What if I cannot articulate myself?

What if I just start sobbing?

But, armed with my EDC Lobby Day packet and what I didn’t know would be my last Starbucks until returning to Seattle, I silenced the negative thoughts and began my journey back east. It wasn’t very sure about how this would all work once I got to Lobby Day. I realized as I was walking into the initial meeting space that I didn’t know anyone, aside from Jillian who I had seen at The Emily Program’s Recovery Night in Spokane. I was a little lost at first but was quickly and warmly welcomed by a mirage of people who were quite stunned that I was from Washington STATE and not the Washington they always referred to.

During training we were tasked with learning about Anna’s Law and then writing about our own experience with eating disorders, whether that meant within ourselves or someone we knew. I was immediately thrown off by this, I have never been asked to share my story with a team of people I barely knew the names of. This hesitation, though, quickly vanished as I was met with care, compassion, and understanding by each individual on my team. The insight and solidarity that happened immediately gave me the ability to claim my story and present it with confidence and eloquence during our meetings.

Meeting with Senators, Congressmen and women, and staffers from each office was empowering. Having the time and space to champion a cause so close to each of us made for an exhilarating day. We ended up splitting the points between each of us and we tackled the problems of treatment, training, and truth in advertising with eloquence and empathy. And hey, we got bipartisan support, no big deal.

As we walked into our last meeting my team was joined by Kitty Westin. Having the chance to watch her expertly gauge the room and speak so articulately made me reflect personally on my journey. It made me think more deeply about what it must be like to be the parent of someone suffering from any of the numerous eating disorders presented, and how it must be so difficult to time and time again fight with insurance over the value of someone’s life. There are so many layers to this struggle, and so many facets through which people experience this insidious disease and it was quite simply an honor to have the opportunity to represent such a strong group of men and women.

Coming back to Seattle has been tough, mostly because I recently graduated from college and have moved home leaving my trustworthy TEP team in Spokane. Luckily, I have made incredibly supportive friends through different aspects of TEP and have been able to process my experience with them. It has been such an phenomenal blessing to represent this program in D.C. and I truly cannot wait to get back over to the hill to lobby again in a few short months.