There are more ‘body positive’ blogs out there every day, although not as many as there about wacky new ways of losing weight, restricting food, new and “more effective” diet programs and the vital importance to your very being of having a thin body! So I thought a post about the top ten body image blogs would help you to broaden the range of information you’re reading in your quest to find peace with your body while you balance what your body wants with what society seems to demand your body should be.
Choosing ten body image blogs turned out to be trickier than I expected, and it took weeks rather than hours to put together.
I eliminated sites that talk about weight loss, and that left me with a lot less to choose from. I broadened my search to body-positive websites, and in the final gasp, to a solidly-researched series of articles that give an interesting overview of the whole body-image debate and its associated weight-loss scene.
My Personal Top Body Image Blogs
Please note, these are the sites and blogs I most enjoy reading and are not in any particular order! My criteria, and they were very personal, were that the blogs were easy to move around, had body-loving useful content, didn’t hurt my eyes (with for example pink text on a black background or loads of sidebar clutter), and were size- and woman-accepting.
There are other good body image blogs out there that didn’t make it to this list, many in the ‘fatosphere’: please feel free to add them to the bottom of this list. Personally I don’t enjoy most “I’m fat and I’m angry” blogs. I get that the writers are angry about the way the world treats fat people (been there, got over the anger), and I acknowledge their right to feel and present the way they do.
Update: Jan 2011 – There are more and more great blogs popping up on this subject, so I’m adding them now, but since a lot of people come looking for this page I’ll leave the title as it is – just so you know I know there are more than ten listings here 🙂
Update July 2013: Many of the sites below are now inactive. I’m updating the list to add new favourites – as I said above it takes quite some time and research so if you’d like to be notified when the page is up please sign up for my site updates by signing up for the blisspirations.
My picks for the top body image blogs
Here they are, and they’re not ranked in any particular order:
Fat Girls Guide To Living – no longer active so I’ve removed the link
I love this site! It just enjoys life. The girls here are a big team of talented writers (one bloke there 🙂 ) who all live in average female bodies, in others words with a range of sizes and shapes. They write about life, the universe and everything, often addressing the ridiculousness of our cultural anorexic thinking. This is a place where you’ll really comfortable, go there now! 🙂
Big Fat Deal – still there but largely inactive
http://www.bfdblog.com “Mo Pie” and “Weetabix” run this blog, which has been around since 2004. Their audience is, “I guess the teenage me, and I’m trying to convince her she’s worth something.”. The posts here get a lot of comments, and mostly they’re very much worth reading. Mo also has a blog where she discusses her many attempts at weight loss (just like the rest of us – the attempts that is, not the blog 🙂 ) and she discusses how conflicted she is about having a body acceptance blog and a weight loss blog. The weight loss blog these days is, she says, more about nutrition and exercise than about dieting. I love to see women move to healthy attitudes, and even more I love to see them be so open about the experience because it helps so many others.
Beauty and the Breast – sadly this site has shut down so I’ve removed the link
Breasts, along with hips and thighs, are the body parts most women most often want to change. Co-incidence of course, that these are the body parts that most visibly make women different from men. The blog is run by four women, Kacey, Gretchen, Krista, and Beth, who have all had breast implants and have all had major health crises because of the implants rupturing. The site is definitely anti-breast implants, and also has a load of great posts about body image, celebrities and breast implants and more. Unbiased info that can help you weigh up the pros and cons of having implants.
Junkfood Science – sadly no longer active but still has excellent references
http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/ Any time I read something in the main stream media about the latest findings of scientists (what Sandy calls “pop science”) that support the obesity crisis hysteria, I head over to junkfood science where Sandy Szwarc has often posted the whole story. She finds the original study, summarises it, tells you in plain English what it means, and fills in information that might be missing. She also reports loads of research that isn’t sensational enough to make it to the media. Sandy is a registered nurse with a biological science degree working in the field for more than 30 years, and a professional writer for more than 15 years. All that experience tells her that: “Science is being misused for marketing and political purposes. Unsound information proliferates in professional and advocacy organizations, academic institutions and journals; and even professionals aren’t reaching beyond beliefs to critically examine studies and recognize credible information.” Her commitment is to give people information that is “as true as I know it to be”. Deciphering the technicalities is her way of helping you protect yourself!
Luvin’ My Curves – still going strong 🙂
http://luvinmycurves.blogspot.com Time for a break from the heavy reading! This is a fashion site for plus-sized women owned by law student Ms. LMC. Normally I’m fairly indifferent to the dictates of fashion. I’m a classic-look girl myself, I still wear stuff I had ten years ago because I love it; the power of the classic. 🙂 But this site is different. The feel is real self-acceptance by Ms LMC while recognizing that she’s not the size 0 “ideal” – and clearly does not want to be. There’s not a whole lot of content like some of the blogs on this list, but there is a whole lot of “I love me” that we could all use more of!
Fat Chicks Rule! Still going strong
http://fatchicksrule.blogs.com/fat_chicks_rule/ This is the blog of Laura Frater, author of Fat chicks Rule!: How to Survive in a Thin-Centric World. Laura watches much of what goes on the media and popular culture around weight loss issues, and offers discussion and commentary around them.
The Healthy Weight Network – Still Going Strong
http://www.healthyweight.net/ Developed by nutritionist and author Francie Berg, the Healthy Weight Network is a great read – expect to spend some time there. Francie has reported the scientific research and commentary on obesity, weight loss, dysfunctional eating and size harassment to health professionals worldwide for over two decades. The site has a great collection of articles on research, the Health at Every Size Movement, and fat politics. Definitely worth spending some time there, and revisiting when the popular press’ bias gets you down! Consider also buying Francies’ books, and the Health At Every Size book, all excellent and very readable reading!
First, Do No Harm
http://www.jonrobison.net This isn’t a blog, but it’s an excellent site! Jon Robison is an exercise physiologist and professor. His site is primarily aimed at health care professionals who are looking for alternatives (or should be looking for alternatives!) to telling their ‘overweight’ patients to go on a diet, by providing a more balanced science-based view around weight and eating issues. Clear plain-English information, and loads of it. He is very clear that the unrelenting pressure on women to be thin is driven by those industries which benefit by selling solutions to women’s failing self-esteem. If you want some information to give your GP, send him/her here!
The Body Positive – Still excellent
http://www.bodypositive.com At first glance you’d think this site owned and developed by Debora Burgard is not large. Look a bit deeper though and you’ll find it’s packed full of great discussion for anyone who has body image issues, and also for medical professionals. Find your way around from the “content” link at the top of the page – I found it useful to work through the pages in the order listed on that page, and go back to that page to find the next one. The heart of the site is the ‘body positive’ approach to living in your own skin; changing your thinking from “weight loss thinking” to “quality of life thinking”. There are simple exercises sprinkled throughout the site to help you challenge your automatic thinking which adds to the real quality of this site.
Weightless – still excellent
http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/ This is one of the blogs at psychcentral, so it’s a professional blog updated several times a week. Written by psych Margarita Tartovsky, once you go there you’ll stay for a while, it’s got that much diverse and very readable content. Most of all, it’s wirtten by someone who understands the ins and outs of body image, and she’s very active in the body image community. Highly recommended.
Digital Retouching – sadly no longer available
This is not a body image site in that it doesn’t have any information on how body image is distorted all around us. What it does have is an amazing interactive pictorial that shows how one lovely young model’s image was digitally retouched to make her match the current idea of “perfect”. We hear that magazines retouch photos, but this makes it very real. And very scary. Because the retouching is so good that you’d never know this perfect creature doesn’t actually exist on the planet. Watch how her breasts get larger, her hips and thighs get smaller, she loses a couple of ribs, and miraculously her skin gets perfect. She’s less a women, more a girl. Probably there’s a place on the planet for photo retouching, I’m not sure where it is, but I think it’s only okay if there’s full disclosure. The lies that ‘digital surgery’ represents as truth is killing people women!
The Way We Eat, at Time Magazine
http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/0,28757,1626795,00.html This is a special feature from Time Magazine, with a series of well-researched and pretty balanced articles about food, body image, weight regulation, and so on. Pay particular attention to the photo series, How the World Eats. Links to all the articles in this feature are on the main page and in a box on the right, part way down the page. The magazine’s health archive is also well worth reading.
And of course, this blog you’re on is pretty good too – please do read more while you’re here 🙂