Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: The Body Project, 8 years later

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Body Project, 8 years later

 The Body Project was one of the first books, if not the first to inspire me. In Junior college I was assigned to read many books, everything from Lance Armstrong's bio to Eli Witzel's holocaust survival book. But the one that hit me hardest in the gut was "The Body Project" by Joan Jacobs Brumberg. I grew up female and understood most of the peer pressure females felt, even if I didn't personally fall victim to it. This book was fantastic because it spanned from the Victorian era to the 60's to now. I couldn't put this book down, and I couldn't stop thinking. At the time I was also in a film production class. We were assigned to make a PSA, and I wanted mine to be about body image. The beauty in the music video that results is, a completely natural morning routine by a college age girl. I felt like the average girl experienced a lot of anxiety just picking out what to wear and how she looks.

 Again, I never felt this anxiety personally, but this book showed me how sad and prevalent it was. When I was a teenager I think my family thought the best way to "teach me how to be a girl" was to give me beauty magazines. Even at the time, I knew this was a horrible idea. At this point I was totally into rock and roll, so I wanted subscriptions to Rolling Stone and Spin. I would still flip through the magazines, Teen, YM, and Seventeen I can remember specifically. I think Teen People too. Is that even still around?? Anyways, they were full of obvious and dumb questions like "Will oral sex get me pregnant?" and "Is masturbation bad?" I found it a riot.

 Teen magazines and The Body Project book taught me a lot about the average female experience. My eyes were opened to the fact that we are still dealing with body issues to this day. So I decided to make this music video to convey the production women go through and that you should love yourself, pretty basic stuff. I set up the camera and allowed myself to feel anxiety about my body, really put it under a microscope and forget about the pending audience. I decided to use a David Bowie song I recently discovered, "Conversation Piece" it was great for 2 main reasons, fantastic lyrics and it's a little known DB song. I soon put the video on Internet Archive, I'm pretty sure this was before Youtube, or before I knew it existed. Later on I put it on Youtube.

 I got a great grade for this video, and my favorite part is it seems to elicit an emotional response. My video couldn't be presented because it had copyrighted music in it, but I was happy. The music helps make my music video, period.

 I don't really want to dissect the video, but essentially I wanted to send the message that "Your body is fine." There is so much to be said to loving yourself, and knowing yourself. My video currently has over 1,100 downloads on Internet Archive and over 26,000 views on Youtube. Neat! The Body Project is a fantastic book and I highly suggest it. It's historically important, and culturally significant. It made me understand that we need to have healthy role models for young girls, and they need to be feel like they have self worth. 

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