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“Body Image During a Pandemic:” A Zine

This Bwogger made a zine about how body image will be affected by quarantine. Check it out! 

Quaranzine: Body Image During A Pandemic

When we were sent home from Columbia and forced into quarantine, I began to notice a different rhetoric on social media. People and companies were describing quarantine as the time to get in shape, to change your eating habits, to work on your “summer body,” and to better yourself in general. I was infuriated. Here we are in the midst of a global pandemic, and the media are using this time as a new angle to promote diet culture. I figured this would be detrimental to our mental health, especially because it only adds to the stress created by living through a pandemic. I wanted to research this topic further and try to understand how quarantine will affect body image. How will this pandemic affect our relationships with our bodies?

I intended to write a long article here on Bwog about the topic. However, as I was writing, I couldn’t help but interject my opinion. I struggled with self-love for so many years, and I have grown over-passionate about the subject. I wanted to emphasize that your body does not need to change in order for you to feel empowered…but if it does change, that’s no big deal! Times change, bodies change. The villainization of body fat has made us unwelcoming to these changes, which harms our relationships with our bodies. In this zine, I inspect various forms of this villainization, and how it affects our mental health. I also explain how we can overcome this villainization with an understanding of the motives behind fatphobic media and a powerful sense of self-love. 

The idea to turn this project into a zine came to me from Jenna Freedman, the Associate Director of Communications and Zine Librarian at Barnard. I made another zine as a final for my Religion in America II class, and I attended Jenna’s zine workshop to learn all about zines and how to make them. The workshop was titled “Zines for Fun, Fighting the Power, and Self-Documentation.” We looked at examples of different types of zines and made our own 8 page zines before sharing our work with each other. This workshop was my introduction to the world of zines, and I have had a blast with the information I learned. I highly recommend attending one of Jenna’s future workshops, whether it be on campus or over Zoom.   

To actually make the zine, I used Adobe InDesign software. It took a little time to get used to, but you can take full advantage of a week-long free trial and decide if it’s right for you. It took a surprisingly long time to organize the zine, but I am happy with the aesthetics of it. Zines are a wonderful medium for information because they invite creativity. One of the pro tips I learned during the workshop was “you do you,” as there are no limits to what you can include.  

I will be sharing this zine with Barnard’s zine collection. According to the zine library’s website, they are “working on projects to document the experiences of the Barnard Community during the Covid-19 pandemic.” This documentation includes the “collecting [of] COVID-19 themed zines made by womxn, nonbinary people, and all members of the Barnard community.” If you are interested in contributing a zine (or other forms of media) to this documentation, visit the Barnard zine website or email zines@barnard.edu

If I haven’t convinced you to read my zine yet, here is a list of reasons why you should:

  • There’s a crossword puzzle on page 24.
  • It will help you cultivate a positive body image. 
  • The fonts and color schemes are reminiscent of 80s cartoons like My Little Pony ‘n Friends and Care Bears.
  • It contains my highly classified banana bread recipe, as well as a page of banana bread beauty shots. 
  • The artwork comes from incredible artists who generously gave me permission to use their work. 
  • It references Billy Joel’s song, Scenes from an Italian Restauranta smashing song despite the problematic line about weight-loss. 
  • It will introduce you to my self-love inspiration, Allison Kimmey.  
  • It will give you the tools to deflect negativity. 
  • What else are you going to do in quarantine anyway?

 

 

The Birth of Venus via Wikipedia

Face Mask via Pikist

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1 Comment

  • Jenna Freedman, Zine Librarian says:

    @Jenna Freedman, Zine Librarian <3

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