Activism: 2016 updates pending

#Thx4Support Event to Support People Struggling with an Eating Disorder or Disordered Eating
November 2015

On November 26, 2015, U.S. Thanksgiving, Adios Barbie facilitated the third annual #thx4support Twitter party in partnership with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), the Yoga and Body Image Coalition, the Reasons Eating Disorder Center, Nalgona Positivity Pride, the Libero Network, and The Body is Not an Apology. According to TweetReach.com, #thx4support 2015 reached over half a million people in the United States. Sharon participated via @Sharon_Haywood and @AdiosBarbie alongside her other team members throughout the day.

#thx4support thx4support

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#AdiosStigma Twitter Party
September 2015

On September 28, 2015, as Campaign Advisor for Adios Barbie, Sharon participated in Adios Barbie's first #AdiosStigma event during Invisible Illness Awareness Week to create a dialogue about and offer support for invisible and chronic illnesses. Sharon participated via @Sharon_Haywood and @AdiosBarbie alongside her other team members. See the following Storify link for a full summary of the event.

Adios tweet Sayantani

 

Sharon Maddie

WAM! It Yourself in Buenos Aires
March 28, 2015

On March 28, 2015, AnyBody Argentina continued the debate started at the screening of the documentary "Miss Representation" earlier in March concerning the representation of women of women in the media and Argentine society. Under the umbrella of #WAM2015, Sharon and her team met with a few of their followers at the Libros del Pasaje Bar in Buenos Aires. They engaged in a rich discussion and a lively brainstorming session focused on how to improve society’s representation of Argentine women.

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First Argentine screening of "Miss Representation"
March 14, 2015

Miss

AnyBody Argentina hosted the country's first screening of the internationally-acclaimed documentary, Miss Representation in the historic Manzana de las Luces in the Sala de Representantes, the first legislative salon founded in the province of Buenos Aires in 1822. When the salon was active, women were not permitted to participate in the political arena, making the screening of Miss Representation—a film that explores the representation of girls and women in society—that much more significant. Following the film, a lively panel discussion featuring Lohana Berkins, a trans activist and founder of ALITT, Laura Contrera, a body image activist and the editor of Gorda! Zine, Graciela Tejero Coni, the Director of the Women’s Museum in Argentina, and Cristina Regazzoni, ex-Congresswoman and the Director of country’s national bank (Banco del Nación) explored the issues as how to they pertain to Argentine society.

#FatisnotaFeeling Victory
February-March 2015

Victory

In a true collaborative effort, the eight Endangered Bodies chapters (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Ireland, Mexico and the United States), in addition to a local group in Colombia petitioned Facebook through Change.org to remove its “I feel fat” and “I feel ugly” emoticons and status update options. On February 25, each participating country launched its own petition and the Change.org team ensured all signatures were amalgamated into one total. Endangered Bodies explained the reasoning behind the petition on its global blog:

"Fat is a substance that every body has and needs. Fat is also an adjective - a descriptive word about a physical attribute. Just like tall, short, black or white, it should not be misused to shame oneself or others. However, the fashion, beauty and diet industries have an interest in making us feel insecure about our own bodies and over time "fat" has become a negative word, not a simple statement of size. There is nothing neutral about it. The stigma and criticism of fat and the elevation of thin make them stand-ins for other kinds of words, feelings and moods.

Endangered Bodies sees this fear of fat and idealisation of thinness throughout society as a form of weight stigma, which can have a serious impact on the millions of people dealing with negative body image. Body-shaming and weight stigma are associated with lower self-esteem and disordered eating, an issue that Facebook – being a social platform – needs to take seriously."

On March 10, after collecting over 16,000 signatures, Endangered Bodies and Change.org declared the international petition a success when Facebook released this official statement and removed the "I feel fat" emoticon option. From the Washington Post to the BBC to national newspapers and news programs throughout South America and Europe, the victory garnered headlines around the world.

#AdiosED 2015
February 2015

Alongside other body image activists and eating disorder recovery advocates Melanie Klein, Melissa A. Fabello, Dagan VanDemark, and Gloria TepiliUelia, Sharon was a panelist for Adios Barbie's third annual #AdiosED Twitter party, focusing on self-care in recovery. The event was held on the first day of the U.S. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 22, 2015.

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Slut Walk (La Marcha de las Putas) in Buenos Aires
November 2014

On November 22 in downtown Buenos Aires, AnyBody Argentina participated in the Slut Walk Festival that preceded Slut Walk alongside other NGOs and activist groups.

Festival 2014Crowd

Feminist March in Buenos Aires
March 2014

On March 8, International Women's Day, thousands of women and men took to the streets of Buenos Aires to march for equal rights on all fronts. Sharon and her AnyBody Argentina colleagues proudly took part.

Marcha 2014Marcha 2014

See the following link for photos.

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#AdiosED 2014
February 2014

In honor of National Eating Disorders Week in the U.S., Adios Barbie teamed up with the National Eating Disorders Association to host #AdiosED their second annual Twitter party to raise awareness, provide resources, support recovery, and end misinformation around eating disorders. Sharon participated via @Sharon_Haywood and @AdiosBarbie alongside her other team members.

Adios tweet

BED

NEDA tweet

See the following Storify link for a full summary of the event.

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#RespectSportsWomen
January 22, 2014

In reaction to the abuse World Champion and Olympic medalist Beth Tweddle received about her appearance during a live Q&A on SkyNews, the AnyBody/Endangered Bodies UK team created the hashtag #respectsportswomen to show support and solidarity for female athletes everywhere.

AnyBody tweet

Sharon's tweet

Within 24 hours of launching #respectsportswomen, GirlGuiding UK, the YWCA Scotland, Miss Representation, The Clare Balding Show, actress and comedian Roseanne Barr and the No More Page Three campaign among others publicly showed their support by sharing the hashtag. The campaign remains ongoing on Twitter and Facebook.

Girlguiding tweet

Miss Representation tweet

Read more about #respectsportswomen at AnyBody's blog.

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Taking Down Plastic Surgery Apps for Kids
January 14, 2014

On January 14, the @EverydaySexism project on Twitter drew attention to apps on both iTunes and Google Play featuring plastic surgery "games". One such description read: "This unfortunate girl has so much extra weight that no diet can help her. In our clinic she can go through a surgery called liposuction that will make her slim and beautiful. We'll need to make small cuts on problem areas and suck out the extra fat. Will you operate her {sic} doctor?"

Sharon spent most of the day on social media mobilizing support from allies in the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada, asking them to join the growing protest on Twitter, something that not only Everyday Sexism was promoting but also her colleagues at Endangered Bodies, such as author and activist Susie Orbach, Director of Endangered Bodies Ireland Deirdre Cowman, and AnyBody and No More Page 3 activist, Jo Harrison.

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It took only a few hours for iTunes to remove the app, and Google Play followed suit the next day.

Although attacking specific apps doesn't eliminate the unrealistic and dangerous beauty ideals girls and women are faced with daily, taking action rather than standing by and accepting such harmful influences as a given is important in forging real change. As Sharon explained to journalist Soraya Chemaly for Role/Reboot on January 16: "Games such as these essentially teach girls that if they want to be accepted in the world and feel comfortable in their own skin, they need to ‘fix’ themselves first. That’s not a message they need to internalize."

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Activism on the Inside: Advocating for a National Size Law
May 2013

Congreso

On May 29, 2013, as the Founder and Director of AnyBody Argentina, Sharon presented recommendations for a National Size Law to the federal Industry Commission alongside various legislative advisors and other key players such as IRAM, la Cámara de la Indumentaria and INTI Textiles. Sharon, alongside another AnyBody activist, highlighted the suffering (both physical and emotional) that the majority of Argentine women experience for not being able to find clothes in their size; the research which associates poor body image with low self-esteem and eating disorders; and the confusion that comes with not having a system of standardized sizing.

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The Model Meter in Buenos Aires - El Modelómetro en Buenos Aires
December 2012

Partial MM shot

On December 8, 2012 AnyBody Argentina brought the Model Meter back into the streets of Buenos Aires to visually highlight the fact that 95% of women and girls are excluded from the images they consume in the media. The Model Meter is an interactive art installation developed by a member of the London AnyBody/Endangered Bodies team, Stephanie Heart, who created it to illustrate the “ideal” proportions of a runway model (34-24-34 inches). We invited users to stand behind the Model Meter to compare their bodies with this unrealistic social ideal and to "break the mold."

We replicated the Model Meter as part of our Size Law campaign to emphasize the issues behind the lack of available sizes in many Argentine clothing stores and the problems with the “one size fits all” approach.

El Modelómetro es una instalación artística interactiva desarrollada por una integrante en Londres, Stephanie Heart. El Modelómetro muestra las proporciones “ideales” de una mujer modelo (90-60-90), un modelo en el que solamente encaja un 5% de la población femenina mundial pero que, sin embargo, es uno de los pocos ejemplos de un cuerpo femenino que vemos en los medios de comunicación. El Modelometro sirve para mostrar las diferencias entre los cuerpos reales y este ideal impuesto en las mujeres por la sociedad.

El 8 de diciembre, 2012 AnyBody Argentina volvió usar el Modelómetro como parte de su Campaña para la Ley de Talles, resaltando temas como la falta de talles en muchas tiendas de indumentaria y la cultura de los talles únicos.

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SlutWalk / Marcha de las Putas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
November 2012

As Co-Editor of Adios Barbie, Sharon participated in the "Adios, Stereotypes" Festival that took place prior to SlutWalk in Buenos Aires on November 3, 2012.

adios_and_hollabackobjectification

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Petition for a National Size Law in Argentina - Petición para una Ley de Talles nacional en la Argentina
July 2012

Help fight against size discrimination and sign AnyBody Argentina's petition for a national and inclusive size law. Currently, 70% of Argentine women cannot find fashionable clothing in their size. Support our message that one size does not fit all.

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Ayuda a combatir contra la discriminación de peso y firmar la petición de AnyBody Argentina para una Ley de Talles nacional e inclusiva. En la actualidad, el 70% de las mujeres argentinas no se puede encontrar ropa de moda en su talle. Apoyá a nuestro mensaje de que el talle único no es el único talle.

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The Model Meter in Buenos Aires - El Modelómetro en Buenos Aires
July 8-9, 2012

Partial MM shot

On July 8-9, 2012 hundreds of people interacted with the Model Meter, an interactive art installation developed by a member of the London AnyBody/Endangered Bodies team, Stephanie Heart, to visually highlight the fact that 95% of women and girls are excluded from the images they consume in the media. The Model Meter illustrates the “ideal” proportions of a runway model (34-24-34 inches) and invites users to stand behind the Model Meter to compare their bodies with this unrealistic social ideal.

AnyBody Argentina replicated the Model Meter as part of our Size Law campaign to emphasize the issues behind the lack of available sizes in many Argentine clothing stores and the problems with the “one size fits all” approach.

El Modelómetro es una instalación artística interactiva desarrollada por una integrante en Londres, Stephanie Heart. El Modelómetro muestra las proporciones “ideales” de una mujer modelo (90-60-90), un modelo en el que solamente encaja un 5% de la población femenina mundial pero que, sin embargo, es uno de los pocos ejemplos de un cuerpo femenino que vemos en los medios de comunicación. El Modelometro sirve para mostrar las diferencias entre los cuerpos reales y este ideal impuesto en las mujeres por la sociedad.

El 8 y 9 de julio, 2012 AnyBody Argentina usaba el Modelómetro como parte de su Campaña para la Ley de Talles, resaltando temas como la falta de talles en muchas tiendas de indumentaria y la cultura de los talles únicos.

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Ditching Dieting Protest, London, UK
January 2012

January 15, 2012 - Pre-protest Placard Making

loveyourbodyriot

January 16, 2012 - Ditching Dieting Protest to Parliament

ditchingeb-team

to ParliamentParliament

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AnyBody in Argentina: Seeking Size Law Compliance
September 2011

By Sharon Haywood
Originally published on September 1, 2011 at AnyBody.
Republished in Herizons magazine, Spring 2012.

Fashion in Buenos Aires is no frivolous matter. Apart from being the fashion capital of Latin America, the first season of Project Runway Latin America was held in Buenos Aires and almost a third of the reality show’s participants were Argentine. Home-grown designers have no shortage of venues to showcase their work: Buenos Aires Fashion Week, Argentina Fashion Week, and Buenos Aires Moda all attract national media coverage. And most recently, the Buenos Aires government has launched Buenos Aires Runway, where the country’s newest designers exhibit their work via regular fashion shows and conferences. Considering what big business fashion is in Argentina, it’s perplexing that retailers sell clothes that only about 30% of average-sized women can wear.

That’s right. Seven out of ten women struggle to find their size in the latest trends. What’s more discouraging is that this reality exists in spite of municipal and provincial laws created specifically to eradicate designers’ and retailers’ preference for smaller sizes. The size law in the capital requires that retailers stock eight sizes (usually AR 36-50/UK 8-22/US 6-20) and the law in the province of Buenos Aires requires sizes AR 38-48 (UK 10-20/US 8-18); both laws mandate standardized sizing. Compliance is frighteningly low at less than 25%. Despite that the provincial law has been on the books for six years and the municipal law for two years, it’s obvious that the current consequences for not adhering to the law—fines and store closures—have not increased size law compliance. Which is why Any-Body Argentina, a grassroots movement born out of the Endangered Bodies global campaign[1] is employing an alternative tactic. 

Instead of taking a punitive approach our size law campaign focuses on the positive. Our original aim was to reward stores that demonstrated 100% size law compliance but we discovered we had set the bar too high. Over several months, our team investigated stores throughout the capital trying to find one store—just one—that fully complied with the law. We couldn’t. So we adjusted our focus and short-listed a handful of near-compliant brands, both Argentine and international to further research, with VER and Portsaid sharing the top spot. So as not to rely solely on our independent investigation of stores, we collected data by conducting interviews with teens and women both inside and outside of a major shopping center and we widely distributed an online survey[2].The results confirmed our investigation: 50% of women shopped at the top two stores we identified.

On July 1, 2011 we launched our size law campaign by officially recognizing these two Argentine brands, VER and Portsaid for offering the most extensive range of sizes in the country. We awarded them with a sticker that can be found in their store windows, which allows consumers to easily identify women-friendly retailers. Both brands presently display the Any-Body Argentina sticker in almost 100 stores throughout the country and we continue to collaborate with the two brands to support them in reaching full size law compliance.

The reaction to our campaign has been encouraging. Within weeks of launching, the country’s three major newspapers covered our initiative: Clarín, La Nación, and Página 12, in addition to television coverage by CNN Español and Moda Bit. Even more exciting is that a major Argentine brand has approached us wanting to be recognized; currently we’re working with the brand to ensure it meets a basic level of compliance. (We have also identified other clothing brands, both for teens and women, that we would like to see displaying our sticker.) And of course, the continual feedback from Argentine teens and women keeps us inspired. My favorite to date is from Vanina C: “Thank you for defending our rights so that women have the freedom to choose.” We’re ecstatic that women have choices at VER and Portsaid but we also recognize that the current fashionable options are still limited.

On this side of the equator, spring is just a few weeks away. As the new season’s collections hit the racks we’ll be there, investigating the range of standardized sizes offered. Our commitment to achieving size law compliance is more than about eradicating size discrimination. In a country with the second highest rate of eating disorders in the world, where over 90% of women are on a diet, and more than 50% would like to be one dress size smaller, size law compliance translates to greater mental and physical health for Argentine girls, teens, and women.

 


[1] Originally called Endangered Species.

[2] Data collection is ongoing.

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Success! MTV Networks Won’t Air “Monster”
June 2011

Success! MTV Networks Won’t Air “Monster”

Written by Sharon Haywood, co-editor of Adios Barbie
Published at Care2 Causes, June 30, 2011

It’s not easy to forget those uncut clips of Kanye West’s music video “Monster” that were leaked online back in December and January. But thanks to you, MTV and VH1, part of MTV Networks, have chosen not to air the official version of “Monster,” which bears much resemblance to the earlier excerpts. We believe that your signatures on the Care2 petition, an incredible 16,000, played an enormous role in their decision.

Fetishized violence assumes the video’s starring role: nearly naked women dead by hanging, decapitation, and just dead (or drugged) enough to be played with in bed like a sex toy. It’s what prompted us (Melinda Tankard Reist, Collective Shout, Coalition Against Trafficking Women Australia and Adios Barbie) to create a petition against the official release of “Monster.” But it was YOU who took the time to insist that violence against women is unacceptable, even if labeled as art.

In March, we discovered that MTV sent West and Def Jam (the creators of the video; its parent company, Universal Music Group or UMG only distributes Def Jam content) back to the production studio to make edits. It was a move in the right direction but we knew we had to keep the campaign alive. You recognized that hate speech is not the same as free speech and your support continued to grow into the thousands.

When the video was officially released on June 5, the anticipated edits were practically non-existent. Except of course, for the disclaimer, which I wrote about at Adios Barbie earlier this week:

The only thing that was strikingly different from the leaked clips was the disclaimer at the beginning of the video: “The following content is in no way to be interpreted as misogynistic or negative towards any groups of people. It is an art piece and shall be taken as such.” It might as well have read: “Warning: The following content may cause physical and emotional upset such as nausea and seething anger” because the final cut still contained the same sexually violent images that sparked our activism in the first place. It’s obvious that the inclusion of a disclaimer tells us that someone at Def Jam, UMG, or even West himself is paying attention to our protest. Note to artists and producers: A disclaimer does not erase nor excuse misogynistic content.

It seems that MTV agrees. This past week, the network confirmed that MTV and VH1 will not provide airtime to “Monster.” Although UMG, the other target of our petition, refused to provide a statement and take a stand on the issue, we have delivered a potent message to the music industry. Preventing the distribution of one video won't automatically produce responsible and respectful depictions of women overnight but we have taken one positive step forward. It is because of each and every one of you that MTV Networks paid attention to our message: Eroticized violence against women is not entertainment. Keep the message alive.

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March 2011: We challenge the culture that teaches women and girls to hate their own bodies

Endangered Species

Endangered Species is an international summit planned for March 2011. The aim is to save future generations of girls from the misery that turns women against their own bodies. The challenge – to make people understand how and why this is an emergency, to show them how they can do something about it, and to inspire them to embrace change.

There are 5 summits that will happen around the world:
March 4 in London, UK
March 18-19 in New York, USA in conjunction with the Women's Therapy Centre Institute
March 16th in Buenos Aires, Argentina
March 8th in Melbourne, Australia
March 26th in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Endangered Species London
March 4, 2011

Sharon Haywood's presentation at the London Endangered Species summit about the urgent issues surrounding bodies in Argentina. March 4th, 2011 Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

Endangered Species LONDON - Sharon Haywood from Elena Rossini on Vimeo.
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Highlights from the international summit "Endangered Species: Preserving the Female Body." London, UK. March 4th, 2011. Film by Elena Rossini.

Endangered Species LONDON - Highlights from Elena Rossini on Vimeo.
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Susie Orbach's speech that launched Endangered Species in London, March 4, 2011

Endangered Species LONDON - Speech by Susie Orbach from Elena Rossini on Vimeo.
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Endangered Species Buenos Aires
March 16, 2011

Shopping and the Size Law in Buenos Aires


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A Typical Argentine Story: Shopping, Bodies, and Plastic Surgery in Buenos Aires


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Argentine media outlet, TN interviews the organizers of
Especies en riesgo de extinción in Buenos Aires,
Ashley Baldwin and Sharon Haywood, during the event on March 16, 2011. (in Spanish)

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Put a Stop to Kanye's Monstrous Video & Sign Petition
January 2011

Bed with Dead Heads

On January 10, 2011, the petition I co-authored with Melinda Tankard Reist on Care2.com's petition site went live. Here is the overview:

HipHopConnection.com has leaked a video teaser for the Kanye West hit song "Monster" and what we've seen is beyond disturbing. In just 30 seconds, viewers take in image after image of eroticized violence against women:

If that's not enough, a behind-the-scenes clip of the video includes a semi-naked dead woman laying spread eagled on a table in front of Rick Ross as he eats a plate of raw meat. It is likely we can expect more brutal images in the full-length video. The victims in this video are clearly women. Only women. And the men, Kanye West, Rick Ross, and Jay-Z are far from bothered by the female corpses. They seem to enjoy being surrounded by lifeless female bodies, apparent victims of a serial killing. >The official release date of the full-length video has not yet been announced Let's make it clear to Universal Music Group, the controlling company of West's record label, Roc-A-Fella Records, and MTV that the music industry's portrayals of women's pain, suffering, abuse, objectification, and victimization as valid forms of entertainment are not acceptable.

Rapper FoodWe call on Universal Music Group and MTV to combat violence against women by refusing to support, promote, and/or give airtime to West's "Monster" video. Please add your name to the petition.

If you'd like to read my personal reasons for initiating this action, read my interview with Care2.com here.

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