Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged body image

It's Not That I'm Bitter...: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World

Challenging the norms of our modern society and how the feminist movement has evolved into a misfire of sorts (a mix of improvements with unexpected setbacks), Gina Barreca wrote her book It’s Not that I’m Bitter... to share her perspective.

New Moon Girls (The Beauty Issue)

If you’re a parent or a person who interacts with and cares about children, you might have noticed some worrisome trends, especially among girls. I have seen girls as young as seven show concerns over “getting fat” or being unpopular. Bullying, body image conflict, and other issues seem to be plaguing young women earlier and earlier. Most women who call themselves feminists would agree that enriching the younger generation is crucial.

The Bathers

A collection of striking black and white stills, The Bathers is not just about the theme of bathers, but more importantly about the way women are portrayed and perceived.


As someone who has struggled with disordered eating, I was very eager to dig into Thinandbeautiful.com. This young adult book was written by Liane Shaw, a teacher who once struggled with anorexia. The story follows Maddie, an anorexic teenage girl who finds herself sucked into the "pro-ana" (pro-anorexia) website thinandbeautiful.com.

Woman as Design: Before, Behind, Between, Above, Below

Stephen Bayley’s Woman as Design is a large, and fairly heavy, coffee table book that examines how a woman’s body has inspired and changed the world. A woman’s body has been used as the inspiration (whether conscious or unconscious) for a myriad of products including cars, soda bottles, and buildings. Divided into two parts, part one focuses on the sexualized and eroticized parts of a woman’s body and dress in a more historical context.

Creating Myself: How I Learned That Beauty Comes in All Shapes, Sizes, and Packages, Including Me

Imagine growing up with these parents: Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Cyrinda Foxe, a popular actress and model from the 1970s.

You'd Be So Pretty If...: Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own

In presenting the best ways to work with our daughters regarding self-image, author Dara Chadwick offers relatively comprehensive ideas pertaining to the aspects of maturing for girls into women.

Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with your Body

Quit dieting and declare a truce with your body. This seemingly straight-forward proposition functions as the springboard from which authors Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby jump into a discussion of what it means to accept one's self and how to dismantle the countless negative and judgmental messages we receive and propagate on the daily.

It Doesn’t Count If… It’s the Last One: And 204 More Reasons Why You Can Eat That

Fat is not just a feminist issue; it’s everyone’s concern. We’re in an age where good health equals happiness—not a bad philosophy, but for our society's increasing problem with the relationship we have with our food. What we consider to be fat is often misguided; bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Yet, people go on unnecessary diets and eating obsessions to attain that "perfect" Western body sold to us by the higher powers. The word diet itself has negative connotations: to not eat, to lose weight, to lose something of the self.

Bitchin' Bodies: Young Women Talk About Body Dissatisfaction

Another day, another book exploring women and their bodies is published. The media is saturated with literature surrounding the female figure—just take a look inside any Barnes and Noble and prepare to be overwhelmed. And sure, we've read them all, so what could possibly be so appealing about Bitchin' Bodies? How can an author tread ground that is already so well-worn? Is this book even worth bothering with?

Red: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today

My teenage years have always seemed to be something that I’ve wanted to forget: awkwardness, feeling clueless about life, not feeling comfortable in my body, navigating love and friendships, hating my family, loving my family, not knowing who my family really was, and knowing that there must be something more to life than what I was doing. Ugh, high school. Now that I’m past my teens and well on to other decades of my life, I haven’t taken the time to look back and consider all of those big Life Questions I once had.

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour, which began in February 2008, is still scheduled to visit a number of lucky locations throughout the United States. As usual, Cho’s brand of feminist, LGBTQ, activist, and politicized humor was hilarious, raunchy, and thought-provoking. Unlike so much of the comedy gracing television screens lately, Cho continues to infuse her comedy with cutting edge analysis of race, gender, body image, and sexuality.

Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric #4

This zine, published in April of 2006, is tiny but powerfully personal. It has 30 pages, and, at only 5½ by 4¼ inches, it’s small enough to fit in a pocket for on-the-go reading. On the very first page, zinester Sarah Arr! writes, “this issue is a lot more personal than things I’ve previously written,” and adds that she will not give copies to co-workers and casual friends.

The Curse of the Holy Pail

When I first laid my hands on this book, I really didn’t know what to think. I’d never heard of this series before, the only thing I did know was that it was a mystery novel. Before reading it, I studied the book’s cover and found myself smiling; it was the outline of a thick woman in casual garb, not the typical "attractive" silhouette squeezed in a curve-hugging, tailored suit that I was expecting. I guess that was my first clue this book would not be what I expected. For a moment I pondered if I should have read the first book before reading this one.

How to be a Model (A 12 Step Plan)

How to be a Model (A 12 Step Plan) is everything you didn’t anticipate. This ex-model uses her newfound filmmaking skills to take viewers behind the scenes of this not-so-glamorous lifestyle, and - instead of teaching us how to become a model - she teaches us how to recover from modeling.

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters

Jessica Valenti is a part of the feminist blogger elite, and for good reason. The blog she helped to establish, Feministing.com, receives a significant amount of web traffic and is well-known among young, internet savvy, hip feminists. Full disclosure: I read Feministing every now and then. Having read Valenti’s writing on the blog—which tends to be oversimplified and, quite frankly, bratty—I was hoping her analysis in book form would show a tad more depth.

Color Me Pink

The other day I was walking through a department store when a scent stopped me in my tracks: my mother’s makeup, a lá 1978. I recognized the smell as one-part foundation and one-part lipstick, two contraband goods I spent hours poring over in a locked bathroom, dazzled by the possibilities of a new and improved me. At the time I was only ten, forbidden to wear the barest hint of blush or even paint my nails, as some of my friends did.

The Woman’s Belly Book

The title made me laugh. After all, I am a woman with a belly upon which childbirth and a lack of exercise have left their marks. Like countless women, I love to loathe it. However, the uplifting tone of the author, Lisa Sarasohn, (also a public speaker, yoga instructor and bodywork therapist) has changed my outlook on my pudgy pooch and may do the same for others. Boosting vitality, releasing stress, revving up one’s sex life and sensuality, plus even increasing confidence are many of the goals Sarasohn aims to accomplish through suggested yoga-based exercises, journaling and crafting.