The Shape of a Mother The Shape of a Mother The Shape of a Mother The Shape of a Mother The Shape of a Mother

Home | »

A Welcome Message

April 13, 2011

Welcome to This is a Woman! I’ve long wanted to create this website and I’m so happy the time has finally arrived. I hope we can work together here to explore our body issues, where they come from and how we can heal them. I hope we can apply that work to deeper within us to whole, radical self-love, and to farther without us as we work together to change the world.

A couple of weeks ago, a woman shared this video on SOAM’s Facebook page. I loved it so much I wanted to feature it here today. Go ahead watch it, I’ll wait.

Isn’t she beautiful?

The thing about Fat Acceptance is that people get extremely upset over the idea that we might possibly accept someone unhealthy. Not even embrace or love, just accept. But as you can see in this video, fat simply doesn’t necessarily mean a person is lazy and eats poorly. Sometimes fat is a symptom of some other issue – an undetected food sensitivity, or underactive thyroid, maybe something else entirely. So to refuse to accept someone because they are fat on the assumption that they have created their own shape is erroneous and cold.

I want to be clear, though, that TIAW is not merely a fat acceptance blog. This is a place for everyone no matter what your body fat percentage is. Skinny women can endure just as much prejudice as overweight women can even though, in some cases, their size is beyond their control for one reason or another. Even women right in the middle of the spectrum – those who are generally agreed upon to be conventionally beautiful – have to fight negativity about what they look like and how they feel about that.

The point of this site is to normalize. To expand the idea of what is beautiful. The more we see of what women really look like, at any size or shape, the more we feel comfortable with those images. The more comfort we feel, the faster and further we can move forward to ditching this stupid narrow image of conventional beauty. Unconventional beauty is just as beautiful.

So I want to be very clear here that I absolutely support healthy eating and exercise. Absolutely. To say that a women who is underweight or overweight is beautiful is NOT the same thing as supporting unhealthy choices. For one thing, even if the size is related to poor choices, nagging people about it isn’t helpful. The info is out there – they know. But I have known people who make very healthy choices for their bodies and it simply doesn’t make much, if any, difference in their size. Sometimes it is a very hard puzzle to solve. And they deserve to be loved while they look for answers. And the people making poor choices? They deserve to be loved, too.

The conclusion I’ve recently come to – and forgive me if you’ve heard me say this before, I’ll likely say it again and again – is that body image is really just a symbol of wholeself image. Women in our culture tend to dislike their looks no matter what they look like. I believe strongly this is often merely a symptom of inner dislike, and that working on wholeself love will naturally help the process of body-love.

So make healthy choices. Even if it doesn’t change your size it will support your body and mind in other vital ways. And work on wholeself love, because no matter your size you deserve it. Share your journey here so we can learn from one another and support one another. And I honestly believe with my whole heart that together we can change the world!


What to do here?  For one thing, you can participate!  You can check out our brand new Facebook page and Flickr group!  You can follow me on Twitter where I’ll share things relevant to both SOAM and TIAW.  You can grab an image to put on your blog.  You can also go check out BlogHer’s incredible new initiative called Own Your Beauty which I write a post for each month.  And did I mention you can participate? Finally, I’ll be having a very cool giveaway very soon, so stay tuned for details on that.

Once again, I welcome you to This is a Woman.  I hope you love it here!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

5 Responses to “A Welcome Message”

  1. bethany actually Says:
    April 13th, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    You know what struck me as I was watching that video? I don’t think anyone would think it was weird at ALL to see a big, fat MAN lifting weights, and most people wouldn’t see a 300-pound man and assume he was weak and lazy. I mean, above and beyond the fact that in general men are physically stronger than women, I think most people in our culture would jump to conclusions about the state of a fat woman’s health much more quickly than they would about the state of a fat man’s health, myself included. Just something to think about.

  2. Mina Says:
    April 14th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Bethany I thought of that too.
    This is a cool video, my favorite part is her face every time she lifts that heavy weight up over her head and breaks into a joyous, accomplished grin!
    This gym looks like a place where the focus is not so much on what your body looks like but what it can do.

  3. Bonnie (TIAW) Says:
    April 14th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I loved hearing everyone support her, and seeing her thrill at her accomplishments. And I like the way she spoke honestly and openly.

    Bethany, I’ve been thinking about what you said all day and I think it’s really interesting. I’m so glad she put this out there to begin to change that stereotype.

  4. Paula Says:
    April 15th, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    You are an inspiration. Good luck with the new Web Site! Sending you lots of good stuff. XXX

  5. Bonnie (TIAW) Says:
    April 15th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you, Paula!

Next | Previous

Support This Site