FEMINIST FRIDAY: Jessamyn Stanley’s ‘Every Body Yoga’ & ESPNW Celebrates Women In Sports

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday, our weekly series where we get to share the videos we are crushing on with our readers. This week we’re getting sporty, doing some industry hacking, and hearing some yoga queen Jessamyn Stanley about her new book ‘Every Body Yoga’.

First up, Dove’s new “Image_Hack” campaign which seeks to disrupt the way the advertising industry markets to and shapes narratives about women. This campaign and video was made in conjunction with Danish creative agency Mindshare, and is specifically targeting the rest of the advertising industry, as opposed to just consumers.

Dove is certainly considered one of the most prominent modern disruptive brands that started the change in the representation of women over a decade ago. With their “Real Beauty” campaign and many others which became the catalyst for the femvertising trend and the current female empowerment branding we are seeing in many other brands, they certainly have been leading the way in some respects.

While we weren’t a huge fan of some of Dove’s more recent videos, especially out of the US, this video seems more on track with what made many of us fall in love with their messaging. It’s not the first time we are seeing the advertising industry being called into account for the way it markets to women. The ‘Women Not Objects’ campaign started by an advertising industry executive by the name of Madonna Badger took things to a whole new level by laying out the long-term implications of raising a generation of girls on a message that defines their worth through their sex appeal and looks.

And in line with a campaign Getty Images recently launched with Refinery29 where they created a series of royalty-free stock photos of many diverse women for publishers to use in their editorials (so as not to continually hear excuses like “we can’t find stock images of different types of models, etc), Dove have uploaded a series of images to stock photo service Shutterstock to ensure that when industry executives are searching for an image of a “beautiful woman”, they get to see not just one stereotypical portrayal, but a range of women.

Speaking of empowering images, we can’t go past this badass short film made by espnW senior writer Allison Glock, called ‘When I Play’. Celebrating women in sports, the short film “gives voice to every woman and girl who sees their movement as a movement”, according to a description.

The film features a volunteer group made up of female athletes from the Atlanta area participating in sports ranging from powerlifting to ballet. The project began as a poem by Allison called ‘To Whom It May Concern’, and morphed into a film. It features a diverse group of women in age, ethnicity and in sport.

With empowering lyrics like this, it’s hard not to watch and feel inspired to go out and accomplish your goals and dreams without fear:

What I am doing here is not for you
Not for your judgment or your appraisal
Not for your assessment or your arousal
No boy I know has ever been told he shouldn’t play
Couldn’t play
I am no longer interested in shouldn’ts
Or couldn’ts
Or rules not written for me
I am not worried about getting too big or too strong
Or too fast
Or too full of myself
I do not agree that “playing like a man” is a compliment
What I am doing here is not
For You
Is a movement
My effort, my ambition, my desire
For me
For every woman, every girl
Who dares to see herself as something more
Than a body to be rated
A score to be kept
When I play, I keep my own score
When I play, I know who I am
When I play, I forget how it feels to be boxed in
To be boxed out
When I play, I feel no shame
When I play, I remember
How it feels To be free

Finally, another industry disrupter, yoga queen Jessamyn Stanley is taking her messages to the masses with her new book ‘Every Body Yoga’. You may know her as the viral sensation who has been featured almost everywhere for the way she is subverting the stereotypical images of what it looks like to be a yoga instructor. She is unapologetically owning her plus size body, her black identity and shutting down the body-shaming police who like to offer unsolicited advice to strangers on the internet about weight in relation to health.

In the video below for The Root, Jessamyn talks about how simply being celebrated by the mainstream white media took her aback, and that she doesn’t just want to be the “token” black yoga sensation. It’s one of the reasons she wrote her book, to give voice to others who feel they have been marginalized or ignored by the health and fitness industry at large.

“‘Every Body Yoga’ is meant for every single person who has not seen themselves in the yoga world. There’s so many different people, not just POC, but everybody’s got a thing where they feel like ‘I’m not good enough or I’m not flexible enough’. And this book is meant to show you that you have it,” she said.

Watch the video below, get into your flow, and be sure to buy Jessamyn’s book and subscribe to her Youtube channel for more.




One Comment

  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: Netflix's New Wrestling Series 'GLOW' & Youtuber Documents Her Repro Health Journey - GirlTalkHQ

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