January 24, 2012

See Me! Hear Me! This Is Who I Am: The Century Project

Rachel (17), a cutter on the path to healing
Girlhood in America is wrought with insecurities and complexes, wounds and shame, haunting many through womanhood. It can also be inspired by hopes and dreams, rebellion and empowerment. For two decades, photographer Frank Cordelle has given voice to the many silenced stories of numerous women’s all-too-real experiences with the disgrace and injustice done to them as girls and women, especially as they pertain to the women’s body image. The Century Project, a chronological series of nude photographic portraits of more than a hundred diverse girls and women ranging in age from the moment of birth through one hundred years, and accompanied by the women’s personal statements, is Cordelle’s magnum opus.

The exhibit has toured college campuses and galleries across the nations for nearly two decades. The book of the project, Bodies and Souls: The Century Project was published in 2006. Through the women’s own words and naked portraits we learn their powerful accounts of their conflicted feelings about their bodies and their vows to own and celebrate them.

The project is heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time, and a very important contribution to our body-negative culture with its unrealistic beauty ideals and warped ideas about sex. Opposed to those, the participating women shed their clothes in defiance, not because they are exhibitionists, but because they refuse to be censured and dismissed, demanding to be seen for who they are. Real women, with real bodies and real issues, because we all have them, to a varying degree, whether it’s beating ourselves up for not looking just right, or the shame we feel for what has been inflicted upon us, by others or ourselves.

January 16, 2012

If You Want Your Sex Talk to Stay in the Family

Recently all the Good Vibrations Sexy Mama bloggers received the following email from the editor:
I was chatting with a friend the other day about talking with kids about sex and she mentioned something interesting. Part of her resistance to doing so, despite her awareness of the value of it, is her concern that she'll have to deal with the fallout if her kid passes information along to other kids, who then tell their parents. Another is that kids are learning about what's ok to talk about in public and she didn't want to deal with situations of her child saying something about sex at the supermarket.
What are some ways to deal with other children's parents? What happens when your child says something in public that would be fine at home but feels embarrassing when it's out among strangers? How do you deal with the social repercussions of other people's negative reactions? How do you teach your child that you have different expectations and awareness about sex than lots of their friend's parents?
The above parent recognizes the importance of talking to her kids about sex, but she prefers the sex talk to stay in the family. I personally feel a responsibility to publicly stand by everything I teach my daughter about sex, but my position does not match this parent's comfort level. To her, my position might seem idealist and impractical. While I would at least try to encourage her to see how she in fact could have a positive effect also on her child's friends if her child were to pass on what she teaches her child, I would give her this as another option: Tell the truth.

sex talk

January 13, 2012

Fotoshop by Adobé {featured video}

This commercial isn’t real, and neither are society’s standards of beauty.

By Jesse Rosten.

January 10, 2012

Preventing Gender Bullying in the Classroom | TFJCK {featured read}

This is an inspiring account of one teacher's experiences with teaching young children about gender, gender bullying, gender stereotypes and helping young children debunk narrow gender roles.


As teachers, we often use gender to divide students into groups or teams. It seems easy and obvious. Many of us do this when we line students up to go to the bathroom. In one conversation that I had with Allie’s mother, she told me that Allie did not like using public bathrooms because many times Allie would be accused of being in the wrong bathroom. As soon as she told me I felt bad. By dividing the children into two lines by assigned gender, I had unintentionally made the children whose labels aren’t so clear feel uncomfortable in more ways than one.

When we lined up to go to the bathroom, I kept my students in one line until we reached the bathroom, and then let them separate to enter their bathrooms. Allie usually said she didn’t need to use the bathroom. The few times that she did, I offered the bathroom around the corner, a single-stall bathroom that was usually unoccupied. When the kids came out of the bathroom, they wanted to line up as most classrooms do, in boys’ and girls’ lines. Instead, I thought up a new way for them to line up each day. For example: “If you like popsicles, line up here. If you like ice cream, line up here.” They loved this and it kept them entertained while they waited for their classmates.
Read More at Together For Jackson County Kids (TFJCK) >>