Body political issues are widespread, covering experiences spanning gender, race, age, sexuality, body ability and body type. With 36% of girls aged between 7 and 11 made to feel their looks are their most important attribute across Great Britain, (Girlguiding “Girls Attitudes” Survey, 2016), and up to 1 million people in the UK – predominantly men – utilise steroids for image enhancement (IPED, 2017), the situation is stark for gender alone.
Creating societies where body image is not treated as a reflection of an individual’s worth.
Our widely spanning research into body political issues shows the majority of negative body-related experiences to be CULTURAL, with the power for change lying in societal beliefs, attitudes and behaviours towards diverse body types.
Whilst perceptions of our bodies have long been influenced by the mass-media and reflections from our own friends and family, the introduction of social media has exacerbated the willingness and ability of individuals to both compare, appropriate others and change their body image for the sake of conforming to society’s expectations.
Such expectations are reflected back through economic norms. The issue of fat acceptance can be seen in retail sizing policies and female beauty standards in the pricing of gendered product iterations. Public policy too is a cause for concern, with pullbacks on disability-based welfare and a drop in mental health funding in the UK impacting already challenged people.
Body politics is a highly PERSONAL issue too. Whilst its assumed that people of colour, or individuals identifying outside the gender binary, have a heightened sense of their own body political experiences, overwhelmingly, most people’s attitudes towards their own bodies are subconscious, which goes some way to explaining the rise in male suicide and eating disorders across the globe.
Free to Be OK with Me
With the aim of enabling body freedom and acceptance, Noisy Cricket built a body politics community and collective, providing a platform for campaigners, storytellers and artists to open up the narrative around our bodies through running projects, creating experiences and campaigning.