I’m No Angel, Either

Image courtesy of Lane Bryant

Image courtesy of Lane Bryant

By Kemora Williams

Beyoncé stated it best in her song “No Angel”, when she said, “You’re no angel, either.”

Lane Bryant, a plus size clothing brand, launched an advertising campaign on Monday, April 6, 2015. The advertisement is call #ImNoAngel, signifying that plus size women are no Victoria Secret models-but they can still embody and symbolize sexiness. These featured models include: Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring, Candice Huffine, and many more women. The plus size models are all wearing Bryant’s new bra collection, Cacique.

Women around the world have been posting pictures of themselves on their social media accounts hash tagging “I’m No Angel”. Join the campaign by liking us on Facebook and tagging the UMKCWomensCenter in your photo #ImNoAngel. Stay on the lookout for picutures of the Women’s Center Staff hash tagged “Im No Angel”. While there has been some criticism regarding lack of diversity in the ads, it is still a big step forward for the plus size community.

You’re Beautiful!

Photo Sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

Photo Sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

By Rocky Richards

What do you love about music? I love the fact that our emotions are affected by music. Anytime I find myself down or happy, music is always my turning point. As I was sitting listening to the radio a little while back, a song came out that really touched me. I knew I had to share it with other women around me!

If you have not heard John Legends amazing song entitled “Nobody in the World” please take the time to go listen to it now.

In this song, John Legend takes the time to examine the many things that women go through on a daily basis and how these things may pull our confidence levels down. We see a woman with cancer, a transgender woman, a bride, a mother, a young girl judging her appearance, and many more. He takes the time to highlight that beauty is not what is reflected on the outside but what’s internal no matter your age, ethnicity, or culture. Everyone is different in their own way, shape, form, or fashion. You may not always see the beauty in yourself because you’re so busy judging your reflection you see in the mirror when what really counts is how you feel inside and loving yourself as you are.

I stopped and let a friend listen to this song a few days ago and the reaction she had moved me so much that I knew others would benefit by watching the video. Sometimes we all need a little bit more encouragement and this video motivates me so many days to love myself for who I am. Remember there’s no one in the world like you! If no one’s told you today, “you’re Beautiful!”

In Response to Tess Munster: Plus Size Model

The Fat Women by Igor Grabar. Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images.

The Fat Women by Igor Grabar. Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images.

By Matiara Huff

Please watch this video before reading this blog!

First of all I would like to say, Laci Green is so great. I encourage everyone to watch all of her other videos on her channel Sex+. Secondly, Tess Munster is my new idol, so follow her on Instagram!

In this video, Laci made many very interesting points, but the one that stuck with me is when she said, “We already glorify an unhealthy lifestyle!” May I just say this is the truest statement I have ever heard in my entire life! When I went home for Christmas, my 13 year old sister told me she was counting her calories, I almost cried. Instead, I had a long talk with her about society’s BS and bought her ice cream. She is one of the most confident kids that I have ever met, and to know that even she is facing body image related issues is heartbreaking, and quite frankly terrifying. I makes me think of all of the other little girls who don’t have someone to tell them that they are perfect, which is yet another reason why I am a feminist.

Things like this give me power to want to make a change, so to every person out there who reads this blog, please know that you are beautiful, just the way you are!If you need to hear it in person, or a hug, or someone to talk to come visit me at the UMKC Women’s Center.

I am Not My Hair

Image sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

Image sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

By Torshawna Griffin

One of my favorite songs to listen to is India Arie’s “I am not my hair”. This is a favorite of mine because it not only tells people not to define you by your hair, but not to define you by your skin either. It is a powerful #GirlPower song that speaks to the heart and lets you know that it is okay to be unique and different. In her video, she dresses up in many costumes and hair types to prove that all types of women are seen as beautiful.

Check out the video below.

I Am Not My Hair

Small Numbers with Big Impacts

Image sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

Image sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

 

By Matiara Huff

I recently a saw this commercial on TV, and I loved every second of it. I thought it was empowering, and I feel that it brought up some necessary food for thought. It made me wonder how are clothing sizes measured? So I decided to do some research to find the answer, and it brought me to this video created by Laci Green, with all of the answers that I needed.

Women’s clothing sizes are small numbers that have big impacts. As Laci states in the above video, making our sizes smaller implies that women should be smaller. Sizes like 0, 00, and 000 are literally not even possible, yet the tags on many fashion brands say otherwise. I think that clothing sizes should be determined by actual body measurements. This way, there would be a universal sizing chart, and there wouldn’t be any confusion from store to store. Though the sizing in the Special K commercial is unrealistic, it would be such a relief for me if my size wasn’t number, but universal sizing might be a great start. We have the right to remember that our value isn’t determined by our dress size

I’m Joining the Fat Acceptance Movement

Image credit to http://mightyhealthyquest.tumblr.com/

Image credit to http://mightyhealthyquest.tumblr.com/

By Matiara Huff and Kacie Otto

I have noticed this happing a lot lately, and I think it is time that I blogged about it. Fat Shaming is when a person is made fun of or treated like less of a person because they are overweight. This can range from little comments like, “Wow! You’re having a muffin and a salad for lunch?!” to flat out bullying like “You’re so fat and such a waste of space” on someone’s body positivity blog. But fat shaming doesn’t end there, not in our society! Everywhere you look there is someone telling us what the perfect body “should” look like. Being a fat girl in this society means dealing with some pretty harsh bullying that is still accepted by society. It should no longer be accepted!

That’s why I’ve decided to embrace fat acceptance. The way I do that is by encouraging my fat friends in positive ways. The best way to start is by not making “fat” a bad word, Nowadays, calling someone fat is the same as cussing at them, and it is time we changed that. When someone calls themselves fat, don’t say “No, you’re beautiful.” Instead, say “…plus you’re beautiful”. This way it doesn’t seem like your friend is only allowed to be one or the other. Stop saying things like “As long as you’re healthy!” This can be offensive and condescending, because you wouldn’t say something like this to a skinny person.

We need to start moving toward more realistic and inclusive beauty standards for all body types. I think one way to do that is treat people the way you want to be treated.

Women’s Center Welcomes New Staff Member!

By Torshawna Griffin

TorshawnaHi, my name is Torshawna Griffin. I am a second year student studying Mechanical Engineering. I chose UMKC because of the prestigious engineering community and the distance from home, not too far away but not too nearby.

I am happy to be working in the Women’s Center because I have watched so many women in my life go through various hardships. I feel that working in the Women’s Center will give me the resources and experience to be able to give advice to different women, both young and old.

This semester I hope to continue to fight for equal pay for women on Equal Pay Day, and to encourage everyone to love their body, big or small. By the end of the semester, I also hope to know and share more about what it means to be a woman in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field. So, come visit me in the Women’s Center!

Sister Circle and Self Image

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 9.11.20 AMBy Rocky Richards

There are 365 days that make up a year and out of those days everyone receives one day (Halloween) to be someone or something else. Would you prefer to be someone else or be yourself for Halloween? Are you happy with yourself? That’s a question many think about but never dare to answer out loud. The woman of Sister Circle came together Monday October 27th to provide a space for women to actually discuss this topic.

Sister Circle is an organization on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus whose purpose is to provide unity amongst women on campus and to provide young women with a positive environment to discuss social, personal, and academic topics.

To narrow in on the topic the women decided to reflect more on self-image and self-worth. They started by writing down anonymous questions that they had on self-image and self-worth on small pieces of paper. They were then drawn randomly from a bowl to inspire discussion. Some of the questions the women wrote down included: “How do you overcome insecurities?” “What can I do to have consistent confidence?” “How do people cope with stretch marks?” “What types of characteristics gives you a bad image?”

In a short matter of time, the women became very open with discussing these questions. Not only were they able to give support to one another but they received support as well. They found that discussing these topics out loud helped them learn that they were not the only ones with these questions in their mind. It was great to see the women come together and discuss such sensitive topics! Sometimes we forget that we are human and we all have things that we won’t like about ourselves, we all have bad days, and we don’t always wake up FLAWLESS!! Yet, it’s up to us to that everyone struggles at one point or another with self-image and self-worth! It’s also up to us to build our own confidence and positive self image.

For more information on Sister Circle please visit Roo groups: https://roogroups.collegiatelink.net/organization/sistercircle

Choose Your Halloween Costume for You

costumeBy Matiara Huff

Halloween is a time where people can express themselves though costumes without being judged. However, over the years Halloween has made women’s costumes less playful and more sexual. Halloween’s stereotypes of women have made the way we dress up for this holiday focus on our bodies, which is ok if that is what you are going for, but all women should have the option to choose how to represent themselves at Halloween, and not feel pressured by society.

If you were to Google almost any costume, you would notice a trend of men’s costumes being more accurate and women’s costumes being more sexualized. I just tested this by Googling male animal costumes in one window and female animal costumes in another and, sure enough, my point was proved. I also tried bumble bee, superhero, and just Halloween in general and got the same results. The pressure to be sexy for Halloween affects young girls and teens as well. The pressure for them to become a part of this standard is another reason they might find stress over body image.

We should not believe that we need to dress like a sexy toy to celebrate and be accepted on this holiday. We are stronger than that so I propose to every woman to dare to be different this year. I want you all to ignore everyone else’s opinion or stereotypes and be whatever you want to be! Rather than blending in with the crowd, stand out and shine. Become the role model for younger girls who think they have to be sexy to celebrate Halloween. Don’t be self-conscious, be self-confident! Choose your costume because it makes you happy, whether it’s sexy or silly.

We Are Enough

LYBDEvite.10.07.2014By Kacie Otto

Self confidence is something that I’ve got to work on every day. Because my body is not what I see in the media, it took me a long time to accept and love my body for what it is. That’s why I’m particularly excited about the program that the Women’s Center will be putting on today in collaboration with the MindBody Connection, the UMKC Counseling Center, Swinney Recreation Center and UMKC Health and Wellness.

Love Your Body Day is a national campaign that encourages women to disregard what the media tells us is beautiful and love our bodies for what they are. In celebration of Love Your Body Day, we are launching the I Am Enough! Photo campaign. Students, staff, and faculty can visit one of our two tables today and reject the pursuit of body ‘perfection’ and declare themselves ‘Good Enough!’

Find our tables today from 11:00-1:00 PM in the ASSC Cafeteria and from 4:00-7:00 PM in Swinney Recreation Center. Love Your Body Yoga (for free!) is also taking place today at 6:00 PM in Swinney Recreation Center.