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Body Image

Sophie Tucker: All About That Bass

Sophie Tucker was a heavyweight performer—in every sense of the word. Right up to her death in 1966 at age 82, Tucker, the so-called “Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” took her act worldwide, combining her singing talents and bawdy humor into a legendary act that would manage to survive the demise of vaudeville and the dawn of the television age—all while remaining determinedly and definitively plus-sized.

Taking on Fat Shaming

This week I learned about a blog that had taken up the mantle of “fat-shaming week.” For a week, this blog posted shaming and demeaning content about fat women. The stated reason behind fat-shaming week is that the fat-acceptance movement is attempting to change beauty standards, and that shouldn’t be allowed to happen. They believe that shame will get people to lose weight, and that will ultimately make people healthier and benefit society. Here are some titles of posts they published:

  • 5 Reasons Fat Girls Don’t Deserve Love
  • Always Take Photos of Fat Women
  • 5 Ways to Bully Fat Sluts on a Date

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Tefillin Barbie: Considering Gender and Ritual Garb

Do women in your community wear tefillin and tallit when they pray? Do you? For many, the relationship between gender and ritual garb is still evolving, as Jews consider their personal and communal associations with these objects and practices. This Go & Learn guide uses the provocative image of "Tefillin Barbie"—created in 2006 by soferet (ritual scribe) Jen Taylor Friedman—to explore issues of gender, ritual, and body image.

Queen Esther and Bella Abzug: Costumes, Leadership, and Identity

On Purim we dress in costume to create a new persona. We delight in unexpected images. We poke holes in the humdrum everyday roles of men and women, rich and poor, young and old. Our assumptions about people shift, and thus, the holiday transforms us.

Braving a Botoxed World: A Mother's Tale

In the recent Disney/Pixar film, Brave, a young princess defies an age-old custom and fights to make her mother understand that she is not ready for marriage. I know you’d rather not think of the Disney princesses at all, but we live and breathe, and shop at Target, so I contend---if forced to choose among that whole pastel-clad, sugary lot, you’d want your daughter to be more independent, courageous Merida, less Cinderella waiting for her prince to come, right?

We've Come A Long Way, Rosa: Title IX and The American Jewess

You didn’t think Title IX would reach its 40th birthday and go unrecognized here at JWA, did you?

How Gilda Radner taught me to love my nose

I have my mom’s nose.

"Jewesses with Attitude" gets a makeover

The team at JWA is excited to share the results of our quick and dirty Jewesses with Attitude makeover! We love the updated look and the new and improved functionality of the blog.

Ultra-Orthodox photoshop of horrors: Round 2

In May, the Hasidic Jewish newspaper, Der Tzitung, made a lot of people angry by photoshopping Hillary Clinton out of a photo in the name of tzniut, or modesty. Within days, the incident spawned a fabulous internet meme where people photoshopped women out of iconic images. The point that photoshop should not be used to erase or alter women in images as to rewrite history or reality was made ... or so we thought.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Body Image." (Viewed on November 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/body-image>.

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