We asked the young women in our project to tell us about the times when they were most conscious of their bodies. Then we explored these stories to find other ways of thinking about their experiences that might help them feel better about themselves. Below are some examples. Remember, you can share yours with us on our Facebook page or try other resources for thinking differently about body image by clicking here.
Our participants often felt self-conscious when people were looking at them – it made them feel that there was something wrong with them. But when we explored these experiences often there were other ways to think about it.
For example, one of our groups of participants found walking into their school difficult, everyone looked up as they came in and they felt judged. They were able to retell this experience as just a natural thing for people to look up when they’re waiting for a friend. Similarly, another group of participants had been hurt by looks from other girls, they were able to retell these looks as positive – that other girls were checking them out because they were looking good.
Stories about other people can give us new ways of thinking about ourselves, especially if we think about the story in particular ways. Click to see a podcast on this kind of ‘transformative’ reading or try out some of the digital fictions we’ve found that have some kind of link to body image or are more broadly about being a young woman (listed below). Play them for fun, or watch the podcast for ideas about how to play them in ways that help you think more deeply about the stories.
Inanimate Alice – a story in four episodes of a girl growing up in unusual circumstances.
My Body – a retrospective diary of a woman thinking back to how she felt about her body, and the thoughts and fantasies she had about it.
Underbelly – As woman sculptor carves on the site of a former colliery in the north of England she is disturbed by a medley of voices, some from the site’s dark industrial past, and the player/reader is plunged into an underworld of repressed fears and desire.
The Doll Games – an online exhibition of the games two sisters played with their dolls that they describe as “a secret laboratory, where inequity is redressed, stupidity violently derided, all desires gratified. Here the “little” girl is, frankly, huge…”
Fitting the Pattern – “Cutting through memories, pinning down facts, stitching fabrications, unpicking the past – an interactive, animated memoir, exploring aspects of my relationship with my dressmaking mother”.
The Path – a short horror game inspired by older versions of Little Red Ridinghood, set in modern day. The Path offers an atmospheric experience of exploration, discovery and introspection through a unique form of gameplay, designed to immerse you deeply into its dark themes.
Chat about your own issues and solutions on our Facebook page.
We also encourage you to listen to and watch our podcast on transformative reading.