YENKO NKOAA, by Eduwoji

 

This is my absolute favorite song from studying abroad in Ghana. I spent the month of April 2011 doing dance research in a small village near where this was filmed, Klikor-Agbozume. (You have to drive through Sogakope where this was filmed to get to Agbozume.) I spent the evenings of my research time drinking Star, a local beer, and dancing in the village “spot” (bar) whenever we had electricity for music. Yenko Nkoaa was on every night that we had electricity, usually several times during the night. I always wore handmade bright new dresses with African prints to go dancing with my translator, and never once wore a bra– just like every other woman in the village. Klikor will always remain in my heart, and shape the way that I feel about my body.

[cranky] why is twiggy the ultimate (midwest) american beauty?

My midwest university is obsessed with the double zero, zero, and size 2. It seems as if the only way to be attractive to men and even other women is to be skin-and-bone skinny to the point where we might be afraid you’ll pass out at any moment. Entering campus freshman year as a solid size 8 (Marilyn’s size, right?) I already felt out of place, and too large to fit in.

Since when did men find it so appealing to fantasize and sleep with twiggy? Why are plump breasts and real hips going out of style faster than disposable water bottles? I feel like if I were a man I would be afraid to sleep with a woman as skinny as Nicole or Kirsten, I might accidentally break them in half. But I guess if you can watch a seemingly anorexic girl in a porno, then why can’t you have that in your own life, right?

And I bet that seemingly anorexic girl in the porno doesn’t have just a neatly trimmed bikini, she’s got it completely shaven bald. So she already looks like she has the body of a pre-pubescent middle schooler, but now she has the vagina to match. Secretly, unbeknownst to men, are they all carrying around pedophile tendencies if they’re only attracted to women with bodies of ten year old girls?

[fat] a new diet begins

I’ve joined weight watchers this week. The online food diary from last semester helped me figure out what I should and shouldn’t eat, but somehow weight watchers feels more legitimate?
I have metabolic syndrome, meaning that I have elevated cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, a slow metabolism, elevated blood pressure, and a knack for not ever being able to lose weight. The carrots and hummus diet did nothing. The protein water diet did nothing. So now I’m on to the most legitimate thing I can find online. I weighed in this week at a whopping 220.5 pounds. Standing at just 5 feet and 6 inches tall when I bother to stand straight, my BMI tells me that I’m obese, and that my ideal weight is 125-155. That’s 65.5 pounds to lose. And according to my doctor if I don’t lose it, I’ll be diabetic just like my grandmother. I inherited the huge boobs and bad blood, way to go.

My cortisol levels aren’t terrible right now, but stress and anxiety are words that would best describe the inside of my head. My younger sister has borderline personality disorder, my parents are going through a nasty divorce, and things spiraled out of control over four and a half years ago after my sister was drunk, drugged, and raped by a friend. At the age of 14. Chocolate and beer have been great coping mechanisms, but coupled with stress and a predisposition for diabetes, I backed myself into a cave I’m not sure I can find my way out of.
Cortisol levels screwing up means that my fat doesn’t amass on my arms, legs, belly, and boobs in a somewhat proportional manner. My legs are still as skinny and muscular as when I was swimming and weightlifting at 140 pounds. My arms have a little more fat on them than back when I could bench 95 pounds, which is pretty great for a girl. My boobs now look proportional, now that I’ve had three pounds removed at the age of 16 and they’ve grown back.
My belly looks like I’m pregnant. I bought maternity jeans because they’re the only thing that will fit me besides sweatpants. I don’t get to walk around with a sign that says “I have a thyroid problem. I have severe anxiety. I have a predisposition for diabetes.” I get to appear as the fat blob in my university classes, the girl no one can share clothes with. My weight has begun to affect the way that I can sit and move, and as a former dancer it kills me to feel unable to move easily. It feels as though no matter what I do, what I eat, what I don’t eat, my weight is slowly and surely inching up, and spiraling out of control.
Hopefully the new diet works. Right now my goal is just 209.5, 5% of my weight. And my challenge for the week is to drink all eight glasses of water every day.

[feminist] mass produced bras and my breast reduction surgery

In response to:
Brumberg, Joan Jacobs. “Breast Buds and the ‘Training’ Bra.” 1977. Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 4th edition. 249-254.
Before reading this I had no idea that the first bra was created in 1913, “designed simply to flatten,” and that the more current/modern bra came about in the 1930’s (Brumberg 250). The concept of the bra is so new yet so universal now. Mass production and mass media are so influential in society, and the bra is a prime example. With mass production came sizing—A, B, C, D, the infamous DD, and the realm of un-tamed breasts even larger. (As a person who once wore the “more than a DD,” I know firsthand the impossibility of buying a bra in a department store that will be the correct size.) I was still in middle school when I made the transition to “larger than my mother” and up to DD, and had to face the realization that I wasn’t just larger than normal, larger than my peers, but I was freakishly, abnormally larger than society as a whole. For years I wore two minimizer bras at a time in an effort to “tame” my breasts even more, as they continued to grow. I was known as “jugs” for years in high school before I had breast reduction surgery, after which I spent my final year in baggy shirts so that no one would I know that I had “gotten my tits cut off.”  (which to this day people perceive as a “tragedy” despite the fact that it was practically a medical necessity)
The physical pain I had from wearing underwire bras aimed at “taming” my breasts has always led me to wonder why anyone would wear a AAA or AA (or even an A) bra when to me they so obviously don’t need one. But with stores and brands like Victoria’s Secret a AAA girl can wear a bra that makes her look like she has real B-size breasts. (I’ve always wondered how disappointed the boyfriend is once the bra comes off?) 

The concept of “teenage breast management” developed in the 1950’s by male doctors (I would also like to call them pedophiles) is absolutely sick and totally bullshit (Brumberg 251). The medical world has been cutting people open and examining them for hundreds of years, and obviously know that breasts are held up by more than skin, and are going to sag no matter how great your bra is, and how often you wear it. These doctors were either funded by the bra-industry or had lots of sons looking for perky-breasted women to marry. And the “boob check” sounds horrifying. No one’s breasts are perfectly symmetrical , proportional, with mirror-image nipples. No one should chart your “breast development” to promote the idea that you need huge boobs to breast feed the children you make with your perfect husband. (Were they doing “penis development checkups”? NOPE. I’d personally be a bit more concerned with whether or not my son was becoming a man than if my daughter had the perfectly-growing boobs to go with her period.)
Junior figure control? (Brumberg 251) Great, if you want to wear spanx at the age of 40, I’m all for it. If you want your 14 year old daughter to wear some spanx to make her look slimmer, you’ve clearly not questioned your daughter’s pediatrician properly. Through the mass-marketing of spanx (and knock off spanx) I’ve managed to buy a few pairs myself in my efforts to look slimmer and “fit in” better. (PS- fail.)Through the media and my own lovely mother I managed to spend middle and high school larger than most of my peers and desperate to find solutions to fit in to the stereotypical  image of the ideal high schooler. In the 1950’s junior figure control companies provided “free purse-size booklets on calorie counting”—way to go making the world feel fat by the age of twelve (253). 
In the back of magazines there are always sketchy ads for dating sites, making your long hair more beautiful (you know, the white girl hair that you can flip), and making your tiny boobs bigger. There were never any creams or exercising for making your breasts smaller. The song “I must, I must, I must develop my bust” (Brumberg 253) I learned in 5th grade, as the song “I must, I must, I must increase my bust.” Way to make the mosquito-bite girls feel like crap about themselves. 
I did not wear a B bra until after my surgery—my mother refused to let me wear more than a tank top until I was clearly, desperately in need of something more to cover my breasts in order to fit in at school… she waited until I was a full C. This was how she grew up (a conservative Southern Baptist). This also meant that I was not allowed to have colored, polka dotted, or lacy bras. Not that they made those in 36DD, 36DDD, 38DDD, 38-“hm. Big…” The very first bra that I bought for myself was light blue with a tiny peephole between my breasts. It cost me $20, and had no underwire and held my breasts perfectly. It didn’t cost me $50, squish me until I couldn’t breathe, and come in an ugly nude grandma style. (I know, I’m perpetuating age-ism, but that’s the only way I can put it…) FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE AGE OF NINE I FELT LIKE I FIT IN; I WORE A BRA THAT DIDN’T RESTRICT MY BREATHING; AND I WORE A BRA THAT I FELT BEAUTIFUL IN. 

body positive feminist blogger. saving the world one picture book at a time; pissed about the apathy of the world around her, and ready to create change

HTML Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com