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Body Image

The 36-year-old Mar Vista mom and businesswoman has long been married to a man who finds her body irresistible, even though she considers herself overweight. He even declares his love for her stomach, the very part of her body she most loathes. But despite her husband's admiration, the woman, who asked to be anonymous, doesn't like to be nude in front of him. "I was never the kind of person to run around naked with all the lights on," she said.
November 2, 2010 | By Tina Daunt, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Some remarks, like radioactive elements, have a lingering half-life that allows them to poison one generation after another. One that still contaminates our body-obsessed popular culture is the Duchess of Windsor's notorious admonition that no woman can ever be "too rich or too thin. " As the age of anorexia has succeeded the age of anxiety ? or perhaps simply compounded it ? we've learned just how wrong the duchess really was. The actress Portia de Rossi came perilously close to being a casualty of that delusion, and her compellingly honest memoir, "Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain," is a candid account of the toll a tyrannical body image can exact.
At 5 feet 4 and 130 pounds, Roniece Weaver is a happy, healthy, size 8. Yet when her husband first introduced her to his family, they told him: "She's a nice girl, but you gotta fatten her up." In the black community "we don't view excess pounds as negatively as white folks do," says Weaver, who is African American and runs a nonprofit nutritional consulting firm in Orlando, Fla. "We don't want to be a size 2, 4 or 6 . . . we enjoy being full-figured."
June 23, 2012 | By Jessica P. Ogilvie, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Jennie Finch began playing softball as a kid, and her passion and talent for the sport carried her all the way to the U.S. National Team and, in 2004 and 2008, the women's U.S. Olympic team. A star pitcher, Finch led her fellow Olympians to win gold and silver medals. In 2010, Finch announced her retirement from the game to focus on her family. Now, the 31-year-old mother of two has written a book, "Throw Like a Girl," in which she relates the lessons she learned playing softball and her desire to bring the world of sports to more young women.
February 5, 2005 | Carmela Ciuraru, Special to The Times
Fat. It's a "three-letter word larded with meaning," write the editors of the book "Fat." At a time when the subject of body image provokes widespread anxiety, insecurity and self-consciousness, especially about weight, 13 anthropologists and a self-described "fat activist" consider the word as a concept, a stigma, an aesthetic, an epidemic and even a status symbol in a collection of provocative and entertaining essays subtitled "The Anthropology of an Obsession."
At a recent visit to her doctor, one mother of a teenage daughter had a concern. Her daughter was a little chubby, the mother said. She wanted to lose 10 pounds. What did the physician think of prescribing the latest hot diet drug, fen-phen, for her. Other parents were getting it for their daughters, she said. The physician refused. "Fen-phen is not for people who want to lose 10 pounds, let alone for young women who haven't fully developed," said an adamant Dr.
February 19, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
Forget Barbie on the cover wrap of Sports Illustrated's 50th annual swimsuit issue.  My personal bathing suit hero is 27-year-old Lena Dunham, who has done more to improve the self-esteem of young women in her scant career than the iconic plastic doll has ever done, despite a 55-year career that has seen her transformed from princess into pilot, police officer, paleontologist and presidential candidate. In last Sunday's episode of “Girls,” Dunham's delightfully transgressive HBO series about an annoying quartet of self-involved, post-college adultlets, Dunham spent most of the 30-minute show, set in a resort town on Long Island's North Fork, in a green string bikini.
October 9, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Shatarka Nuby just wanted to be pretty. She longed to fill out her jeans, to look curvier in her bikini, so she sought out a man with a syringe who said he could sell her the body she wanted for $1,000. In her bedroom in South Florida, witnesses later told police, Nuby handed Oneal Ron Morris a wad of cash and stretched out on her stomach. Morris plunged a syringe filled with clear liquid into Nuby's hips and buttocks, the onlookers said. Her skin began to rise under the needle.
July 8, 2001 | PETER CLOTHIER, Peter Clothier is the author of "While I Am Not Afraid: Secrets of a Man's Heart."
Approaching my middle 60s, I am only now beginning to appreciate what a rich and complex relationship I have with this body that has carried me around for so long. Not that I haven't been preoccupied with it before--with its strengths and weaknesses, with how it might appear to others, with its familiar aches and gripes. But I have only recently begun to fully understand, in the flesh and bones, the extent to which body and mind are integrally related to each other.
November 13, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Remember when the first installment of “The Hunger Games” came out and critics said Jennifer Lawrence didn't look hungry enough to play heroine Katniss Everdeen? Well, about that nonsense : Lawrence recently told BBC News that she made a conscious decision to make her character strong instead of svelte. “I feel like somebody like Kate Moss running at you with a bow and arrow wouldn't be scary,” she said during the interview . And that's not all. The actress also wanted to be a positive role model for the young, impressionable women who'd see the movie.
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