I’m here at BlogHer and it’s once again being wonderful. I’ve met bloggers from Israel,Germany and England, in addition to seeing people from my home neighborhood who I don’t get to see enough, like Sarah Dopp and Liz Henry.
The conference is on the Navy Pier, which means that I get intermittent views of the lake. I’m pretty jet lagged and underslept but I feel great. And it’s not hot here in Chicago in July.
The Our Bodies,Our Blogs panel was passionate and intense.
Jenny Lauck, Wendy McClure, and Yvonne Marie were really good to be on a panel with. Together, we clearly created a safe space for women to tell their stories, ranging from “how I worked sucessfully to love my fat body” to “I feel like a failure every time I gain weight” and everything in between. There were lots of stories from women being body positive, as well as many hard stories that deeply touched me.
I passed Women En Large and Familiar Men around and I expect I’ll be hearing more about people’s reactions to the photos during the conference. I talked about the political context for how we feel about our bodies and the multibillion dollar diet and beauty industry that teaches people to hate themselves. Wendy talked among other things about using “fat abuse” as a way to attack women in the blogosphere. And Yvonne Marie spoke very movingly about how hard it is for her to feel good about her body. And Jenny moderated all of this beautifully.
There are lots of moms here, so I made sure that I talked about how hard it is for children and expecially fat children in the present fat-hating environment.
As you know, I’d hoped that we would be talking about the broader issues of body image. While we certainly did get to talk about them some, it was clear that what was important to people was to share their stories and and to support each other.
It all went really well; hopefully next year we’ll have a chance to have the larger discussion and also to hear more stories.