The Body Manifesto
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The Body Manifesto
For centuries, society has restricted what women can do with their bodies and with their brains, and whilst we have made much progress in terms of women’s ability to do what they want with their brains, the same cannot be said of their bodies.
At a time when women’s bodily freedoms are under threat - and when the future is hanging in the balance - we need to both define and keep our sights clearly fixed on the kind of world we wish to see; the world we should all be working towards building for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.
This brings us to a simple set of demands which we are calling the Body Manifesto. Whilst these demands may seem straightforward, they are as of yet unrealized, and they have the power to transform all of our daily lives by freeing us from an unhealthy culture of comparison, if we unite to bring them to fruition. This is also something we recognize as relevant to people in general, not just women.
The below signed thereby demand a world in which:
1. Every person can feel valued and confident in their own skin
2. Nobody is made to feel ashamed about their body
3. We value the whole variety of body shapes, ages, ethnicities, and genders – as opposed to a single, mythical, fabricated ideal driven by profit
4. No body is considered “flawed”
5. No person’s value is held to fundamentally rest on their body, appearance, or “virginity”
6. No person’s worth depends on what that person chooses to cover or uncover of their body
7. No person is instructed by any state or society to “cover up” or “uncover”
8. Every person can make different body choices and feel their own choices are respected: a world of “my body, my choice”
9. Every person has full agency to determine for themselves how their body is valued, where it lives, where it goes, and what it does
10. We call upon the media to cease digitally manipulating photos of people, which distorts our view and causes unhealthy behaviours. We call for a first media outlet to lead the way by refusing to edit human photos, and we call on consumers to support this
If we unite, such a world is entirely within reach, and it is a world for which we, the undersigned, pledge to commence, lead, and keep up the fight.
Victoria N. Bateman, Cambridge
Susanna R. Cerasuolo, Oxford
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Artist credits: Susanna's portrait, Juli Adams; Victoria's portrait, Anthony Connelly
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