CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – Occupied Bodies: Women of Color Speak on
Self-Image – Deadline October 15, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010 at 1:07am
I am soliciting essays for an anthology on women of color’s
self-image/body image as shaped by family, friends, media, society,
history, lived experiences, etc. I’m looking for smart, accessible, and
snappy personal narratives that also offer nuanced analysis of the
underlying constructs that affect how we perceive ourselves. Exploring
intersectionality of identities is extremely important. I particularly
want the voices of women of color that are not often heard to be
represented, such as trans* WOC, disabled WOC, queer WOC, WOC outside
the U.S., WOC with eating disorders, working class/poor WOC and fat WOC.
Of course, all the varied perspectives any woman of color can offer are
This is an exciting project, as this topic has not been explored in
depth and including such a diverse collection of viewpoints before. The
final manuscript will be submitted to relevant independent publishers.
Some possible jumping off points include, but are not limited to:
– What images of yourself were instilled in you by your
parents/guardians/other family members when you were a young child? What
positive or negative encounters with adults as a child helped shape that
– If you were born in a country other than the U.S. and then immigrated
to the U.S., how did the society in which you were born play a role in
your developing self-image, and what contrasts did you find difficult to
navigate between the two societies?
– How did the media you consumed as a child/teen shape your body/self
image today? How does it complicate it? How does the media you consume
NOW affect your body/self image?
– How did pressure from family and friends affect the way you perceived
yourself after you were old enough to take care of yourself?
– How did you feel about societal beauty and body standards as a teen?
Did you rebel, or conform by any means necessary to avoid confrontation?
– How has the globalization and dissemination of the Western beauty
ideal affected you and women of color worldwide?
– Debunk this: “in some cultures they ______”, – deconstructing a
commonly held belief about an ethnic group’s relation to body (such as
the black community supposedly being OK with fat).
– If you’re queer, how has being a queer woman of color affected your
self-image and how you desire your partner to look? If you’ve had
partners who were also women of color, did/do you gaze upon them with
the same critical eye you reserve for yourself? Why or why not?
– If you’re a trans* WOC, how was your perception of your gender
identity shaped? How has your self/body image changed over the years and
have there been any other shifts in your thinking about your self/body
image? How does being a WOC interact with your trans* identity? How does
it affect how other people perceive you and your gender?
– How has being a disabled WOC affected your body/self image? Do you
feel it’s a detriment or a positive part of your person? How did you
come to terms with your disability, or has it never been problematic for
– As a fat WOC, has weight shaped your self/body image your whole life?
Have you developed an eating disorder? Was it exacerbated by there being
virtually no resources for women of color, especially for fat WOC?
– Are you a sexual assault/rape survivor? How did that trauma affect
your view of yourself?
If your experiences overlap on any of the suggested jumping off points,
PLEASE feel free to explore that.
– Deadline for submissions is October 15, 2010;
– Submissions should be saved in Word format or Rich Text, double
spaced, size 12 Arial or Times New Roman;
– 500 to 5,000 words;
– Include RELIABLE contact information and a brief biography;
– Only e-mail submissions will be accepted, however, if you can’t
arrange that please contact me and we’ll work something out.
– Send submissions to: email@example.com;
– Again, the deadline for submissions is October 15, 2010.
Who I Am:
The woman spearheading this project is Tasha Fierce, a freelance writer
who also happens to be a fat, queer, disabled woman of color. I’ve
written about race politics, fat acceptance, disability and feminism in
several zines, including Evolution of a Race Riot and the zine I edited
from 1998-2001, Bitchcore. I have contributed to Jezebel several times,
the fat acceptance blog Shapely Prose, the race & pop culture blog
Racialicious, and the feminist disability activism blog FWD/Forward. My
work has also been featured in The Huffington Post. I live, love and
write in Los Angeles, California. You can regularly read me at my own
blog, Red Vinyl Shoes (http://redvinylshoes.com/blog) and on Twitter as