READ THIS! (we kindly suggest)

We know that our responsibility to posting has been on the fritz a bit lately – such is life, ladies and gents.  But in the meantime, we want you to keep abreast of some like-minded reads. Newspaper articles, scientific studies, amateur blog posts – they might take different forms, but they approach the same topics. What we writers are all trying to address is a viable conversation that needs to remain.  Exposure is often the first step toward real dialogue – and acceptance.

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“Plus-Sized Stars Still Face Minuses” – Roxane Gay brings the same arguments that we’ve made about Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson together in discussion with Jennifer Hudson, Adele, and Gabourney Sidibe in this well-constructed piece published in the Wall Street Journal on October 9.

Representative Quote: “Overweight actresses are routinely constrained to roles and plots that make their body a focal point and, more often than not, a source of ridicule or humiliation. They are always considered overweight long before they are considered women. The constancy of this erasure is telling.”

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“Laughter as a Form of Exercise” – In this October 24 New York Times article by Gretchen Reynolds looks to scientific studies to ask first if laughter is a legitimate form of exercise.  It moves, interestingly, to the topic of synchronicity, of working together or communally towards better results – even unconsciously.  Think about it, a movie is funnier when you laugh with the audience or your friends.  When we work out, we push each other harder even by making each other forget that we’re working out.  Proof that community is key [Elle gives dramatic, heartfelt nod to our readers.]

Representative Quote: “Why the interplay of endorphins and laughing should be of interest to those of us who exercise may not be immediately obvious. But as Dr. Dunbar points out, what happens during one type of physical exertion probably happens in others. Laughter is an intensely infectious activity. In this study, people laughed more readily and lustily when they watched the comic videos as a group than when they watched them individually, and their pain thresholds, concomitantly, rose higher after group viewing.”

“Losing Weight Won’t Fill the Emptiness Inside.  Only Cake Will Do That.” – Everyone should at least be aware of Jezebel’s Weighty Matters section, where this post by contributor Laura Beck appeared. The website is at turns bitchy and ballsy and beautiful, but it’s worth checking out.  In this post, Beck reviews a related essay (“My History of Being Fat” by Jami Attenberg) about her life struggle with weight, essentially viewing it as a tough road but feeling cheated by Attenberg’s equivocation of happiness with thinness.

Representative Quote: “Taking control” of your life when said in regard to weight shouldn’t be synonymous with losing pounds. At least, I really don’t want it to be, because that burden is not healthy. But in every article like Attenberg’s that I’ve ever read, the one where the woman who triumphs over her hunger and emerges a svelte butterfly from her cocoon of lard, there are always tons of comments like, “Congratulations!” and, “You’re an inspiration!” I’m like, really? An inspiration? I think the fact that she writes and publishes novels is a fucking inspiration, but her weight? Nope.”

Different approaches, different stories.  We’re delighted that so many people are writing on the same topics as us, but amidst the clamor, we want to highlight issues that need to be said in ways people need to hear them.  This public conversation is needed and welcome, but it makes us wonder where we fit in.  As we get back on the tired, old, cliché and probably (by now) growing bandwagon – both on this blog and on our own paths towards better health, we want to know: what do you want to hear about?  What kinds of posts interest you most (here or elsewhere) and what topics need more exposure?  Please let us know in the comments here and on our Facebook page (and on Twitter, if you can limit yourself to 140 characters).

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