Thick Dumpling Skin

[It's what's on the inside that counts]

Posts tagged body image

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Lisa at NEDA Conference Today


A reminder that our co-founder Lisa Lee will be speaking at The National Eating Disorders Association Conference in San Antonio, TX in the Eating Disorders in Asian American Communities Panel:

Men and women of Asian descent have long been underrepresented in conversations about body image struggles and eating disorders. This panel will discuss cultural factors that may impact choices and feelings about food; common attitudes, comments or discussions among family and peers about body size and shape; how gender may impact pressures related to the body; and other unique factors that may contribute to the onset of an eating disorder. The panel will discuss differences and commonalities among ethnicities within Asian American communities and generations, and highlight resources currently available, as well as exploring what resources are in need of development in the future. Treatment professionals, educators and family members will learn about the cultural competency needs in outreach efforts, treatment settings and within communities.

The Panel begins at 3pm.

Filed under neda lisa lee asian american body image eating disorders

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Marvel’s “Silk” Series

Curious to what our readers who are comic book fans think of this news, as reported by The Daily News:

Months after making a splash with her debut in the pages of “Amazing Spider-Man" - the product of the Eureka idea of having a second person bitten by comics’ most famous radioactive spider - Silk, aka Cindy Moon, will be the subject of a new series, the Daily News has learned.

There have been Spider-Girls and Spider-Women throughout Marvel history, but the Asian American Queens resident has been sparking conversations since her introduction earlier this year - part of the publisher’s ongoing effort to match the diversity of its readership.

The first issue will be written and drawn by Stacy Lee.  Are you excited to have an Asian American Female Superhero?  Do you feel comics set up an unrealistic body image for both men and women?  Or do you think they are just for fun - and that fantasy is the whole point?

Filed under comics marvel silk asian american body image

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Love Your Body Day

Today, October 14th, is Love Your Body Day, started by the National Organization for Women Foundation (NOW Foundation). 

Body Image

  • One study reports that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.
  • 50% of teens are “self-conscious” about their bodies; 26.2% report being “dissatisfied”. By age 60, 28.7% of women feel “dissatisfied” and 32.6% feel “self-conscious” about their bodies
  • 45.5% of teens report considering cosmetic surgery, 43.7% of women over 60 report considering cosmetic surgery
  • When asked “Are you happy with your body?” 43.2% of teens answered “yes,” 37.7% of women in their 60s answered “yes”.
  • 40-60% of elementary school girls are concerned about their weight or about becoming “too fat”.
  • A majority of girls (59%) reported dissatisfaction with their body shape, and 66 percent expressed the desire to lose weight.
  • 46% of 9-11 year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets, and 82% of their families are ‘”sometimes” or “very often” on diets.
  • Studies at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts found that 70% of college women say they feel worse about their own looks after reading women’s magazines.

How to help/Body image:

  • De-emphasize numbers. Neither weight nor Body Mass Index tell us anything substantial about body composition and health. Eating habits, activity patterns, and other self-care choices are much more important.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Your physiology is unique to you; you can’t get a sense of your body’s needs and abilities with someone else’s body as a reference point. And the research has shown that frequent comparing tends to increase negative body image.

Eating Disorders

  • Fifteen percent of young women have substantially disordered eating attitudes and behaviors.
  • Studies indicate that by their first year of college, 4.5 to 18 percent of women and 0.4 percent of men have a history of bulimia and that as many as 1 in 100 females between the ages of 12 and 18 have anorexia.
  • According to The Center for Mental Health Services 90 percent of those who have eating disorders are women between the ages of 12 and 25.
  • For females between fifteen to twenty-four years old who suffer from anorexia nervosa, the mortality rate associated with the illness is twelve times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death.
  • 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.
  • The rate of development of new cases of eating disorders has been increasing since 1950.

Both of Thick Dumpling Skin’s co-founders, Lisa Lee and Lynn Chen, have contributed videos in the past.  

Filed under eating disorders body image NOW feminism

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Not Feeling Alone

My sister discovered The Actor’s Diet Podcast and suggested that I listen to it, since she noticed that some of the things you’ve been through and how you reacted were similar to experiences in my life. After listening to your podcast, I felt relieved to know that I was not the only one struggling with body image and family issues. I felt (and still do currently) as though these issues are not outwardly spoken about especially in the Asian American community. I have been battling with body image throughout most of life (about 17 years) and now I’m 27.

It started when I was in 5th grade where I would sometimes deprive myself of eating lunch just because of the pressure to be thin. It never got to the point where I would have an eating disorder, but I would deprive myself of eating certain things as well as monitor the quantity. These pressures were mostly attributed to my family on my mom’s side, where the first thing they would say to me when they would come visit is about my weight. I was praised if I lost weight and I would be criticized if I gained weight. It got to the point where my grandmother would repeatedly tell me I was fat while my mother stood next to her without defending me and telling me I was beautiful. And that part was really hard for me to deal with knowing my mom wouldn’t even defend me. While I understood where my mom was coming from (the tradition of respecting your elders), it was extremely difficult for me to accept how she couldn’t support me knowing how much those words hurt. 

While I’ve remained thin all my life, I was never really told that I was beautiful and smart, except from my sister. And that was hard for me, since I guess I’m the kind of person who needs that reassurance. So my self-esteem has always been fairly low as well. To make matters worse, I would butt heads with my parents since pretty much everyone in my family doesn’t communicate about their feelings and I do. I have always been communicative, but my parents didn’t know how to handle that. Instead, they put me in the middle of their fights and forced me to mediate their relationship, which growing up - even as a little kid - was traumatizing. My parents’ relationship has always been rocky and sometimes physically abusive. I promised myself even as a little kid that I would try my best to never have the relationship my parents had to make sure that my husband or boyfriend would know how much I love them. And that’s what I did with my first/only boyfriend so far. However, he broke up with me 3 months ago in a pretty nasty way. He broke up with me after it was my first time/our first time. And that traumatized me to the utmost as a woman, feeling disrespected. I felt as though he broke up with me because of my body. Since then, I have been healing and dealing with that issue however it still doesn’t take way the pain. I immediately went to see a therapist after the breakup which truly helped. I’ve been seeing a therapist for the past 4 years. 

In a nutshell, I just want to thank you for providing this blog and also for being outspoken about these issues. It helps me knowing that I’m not the only Asian-American female struggling with body images and I’m sure it will help others.

Hsiao Chi | Massachusetts | U.S.A.

Share your story

Filed under body image asian american

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Do You Read Healthy Living Blogs?

Help a PhD student in Toronto out! 

My name is Alexandra Rodney and I am a PhD student at the University of Toronto. As part of my dissertation research I am looking at why people read healthy living blogs. I am interested in the reasons people start reading them, how they use the information on them and how their lives have changed since starting to read them.

As part of my dissertation research I am searching for healthy living blog readers to interview about why they read healthy living blogs, and how they use the information on healthy living blogs.   I am looking to interview people in Canada or the United States who would like an opportunity to present their thoughts about how they use healthy living blogs. We can arrange a time and method for conducting the interview that suits their convenience. The  interview has been designed to last about 45 minutes to an hour. Interviews can be conducted in-person (for those who live in or near the Greater Toronto Area), or via phone, Skype, Windows Messenger, or Gmail video chat.  Please contact Ali at if you are interested.  Interview participants will receive a $20 Starbucks card in consideration of volunteering their time for this study. More information about me can be found at my website at

Filed under healthy living blogs study body image

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GIRLS Star on Eating Disorders and Body Image

(Photo from

Actor Zosia Mamet recently wrote about her experience with these subjects for Glamour Magazine.

Here’s how I think of my eating disorder: I’m an addict in recovery. We’ve brought other addictions into the light; we’ve talked about them, dissected them, made them acceptable issues to discuss and work out. We need to treat eating disorders just as seriously. (What’s different about eating disorders, of course, is that you can’t just avoid food for the rest of your life. You have to eat to live.) Nobody is addressing the fact that so many women wake up in the morning, look at themselves in the mirror, and, out of habit, attack what they see. Maybe that’s not an all-out disorder, but it’s certainly the seed of one. I read a study once that said that more than a third of casual dieters develop pathological eating habits (and of those, up to 25 percent wind up with an eating disorder). Of course, not all of those people will end up deathly ill, but obsession—and doesn’t every diet require some degree of obsessing?—is a slippery slope. Did you know that only one in 10 people who are suffering gets proper treatment? And that eating disorders have the highest death rate of any mental illness?

Read the full article here.

Filed under zosia mamet actor eating disorders body image body love girls