Occupy Your Body

By Maia

‘We need feminists in the rugby clubs’

Why is violence in the media so normalised but long underarm hair so appalled? Anybody UK is a charity which tackles the issue of body anxiety in Britain. The stimulating participatory workshop brought together the collective experiences of everyday structural violence against our self esteem.

‘Our bodies are perpetually sabotaged for profits because feeling good about yourself makes you a terrible consumer!’

It is an ongoing form of ‘body fascism’ that the fitness, health food, cosmetic and fashion industries collectively capitalise on our body image at our expense. Participants labelled it ‘a double edged sword’ that we consume processed high sugar cheap food while ‘going to the gym as a form of individual affirmation’ and collectively judge each other on image as an indicator of individual ‘failure’.

‘She’s got a great personality – in other words she must be ugly’

The way we talk about our size, and complement each other is deeply entwined in the image centred society that is permanently damaging our mental health. The first step in tackling this injustice is to speak up about it. This change will start from the discourse we use around our image;

‘I have fat – but I am not fat for fat doesn’t define me’

We also need a creative way to reclaim the media through acts of ‘brandalism’ ‘sub-vertising.’ Moreover, a conscious self acceptance about our physical appearance from a young age needs to be nurtured in order to prevent mental scaring that will impair us for life. One mini-strategy to tackle everyday sexism was to publish A pocket guide to cat calls; so that ‘even if they don’t listen, at least you made sure you told them that their comment made you feel uncomfortable!’



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