Building Big, My Documentary On The Warped World Of Bigorexia

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Written, directed and produced by Lydia Morrish and Leah Revivo

Building Big uncovers the correlation between muscle and male body image in a world full of pressure to show that men too have insecurities and they shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. Watch it below.

Although pop culture still portrays body woes as a female problem, men are also struggling with pressures to look masculine and muscular.

Around 10% of Britain’s male gym-goers are suffering from the underreported mental health condition ‘bigorexia’ (AKA muscle dysmorphia), the strand of body dysmorphic disorder which sees (mostly) men obsessed with packing on muscle. Despite being great big hunks of meat, they perceive themselves as small and skinny and feel anxious about their bodies.

We headed to a London body building gym to meet some of the capital’s hench guys to explore this detrimental condition and how it can affect the male psyche. As you know, men aren’t openly “allowed” to discuss their deepest insecurities, so it took a while for the guys to open up. BFFs Joe and Harry talked openly about their relationship with their bodies for the first time. But, sadly, off-camera they later vowed never to discuss the subject with each other again.

Even we had a hard time remembering this issue is a serious one during the making of the documentary; it’s tough to remove yourself from decades of men being told to stop being pussies and to start treating male body issues with the same energy we treat female ones.

Written, directed and produced by Lydia Morrish and Leah Revivo
Presented by Lydia Morrish
Edited by Thom Johnson
Cinematography by Samuel Taylor
Music by Ollie McMillan
Colour grade by Joseph Mills
Motion graphics by Anna Bednarik

Wet Ham, An Investigation Into The Political Circus

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“Between egotism and elections, the political circus might be the most vain profession in existence. Lydia Morrish investigates the new wave of Western politics, where ideas have been replaced with something a lot more trivial”

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Wet Ham was featured in the second issue of LYRA magazine, the quarterly print magazine offering a bold feminine perspective on society, politics and the arts.

Why We Need To Rid The Morning-After Pill Consultation

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A split condom, a missed pill, an impulsive night… There are countless reasons a human with ovaries might skip down to the local pharmacy to get emergency contraception, aka the morning-after pill. But attaining that little baby-avoiding pill isn’t as easy as most of the female population would like.

The birth-control tablet, which prevents pregnancy after unprotected sex by delaying or preventing eggs being released from the ovaries, currently sees girls and women in the UK giving up £30 for one dose. This is up to five times more than what our European counterparts pay. But we’re not paying for the tablet alone.

To obtain emergency contraception from a pharmacy, British women must have a mandatory consultation which lasts around 10 minutes, the cost of which is paid for by a woman who is manicly going over every sex position in her head, trying to decipher exactly what time that bastard came while remembering the diminishing potency of the pill as the minutes tick by. But does a woman in need of really need the extra stress of a day’s wages gone in less than half an hour?

(Photo: XConfessions)

(Photo: XConfessions)

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Tracing The Secret History Of Love Bites

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There are many ways for us to show our love (and lust) to someone. Whether it’s a simple snog on a summer night or a sweaty palm on the crotch in the dark – whatever floats your boat really. I’m not judging – us humans are pretty good at demonstrations of passion. But if there’s one bedroom antic that’s way more underground than it should be, it’s the love bite. Despite it seeming like a simple by-product of making out, it’s often viewed as carnal baggage, a bruise your mum absolutely cannot see. And yet, perhaps this raw assault of the neck is actually more paramount for sexual connection than culture is letting on.

Concerned that the hickey could spend another age under itchy scarves and at the very back of sex ed textbooks, I did what any hickey enthusiast would do and read some old books and consulted the professionals.

paolo-raeli

(Photo: Paolo Raeli)

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#RapeMelania And Misogyny: In Defence Of Melania Trump

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There are few things that anger me as much as sexism. Rape survivors, spiralling domestic violence numbers and the tenacious pay gap demonstrate how clear and indisputable inequality for women is. The election of Donald Trump hasn’t just alerted the world that men can be awfully successful whilst being blatantly misogynistic – the business mogul’s wife Melania Trump is wading through her own burst of disgusting sexism.

On top of general slurs – “fake”, “trophy wife”, “prostitute” etc – that belittle and objectify the Slovene-American for being a former model with nudes on the net, “#RapeMelania” became a trending topic on Twitter yesterday.

After a photo of a protester’s sign reading “Rape Melania” went viral, outrage has been unleashed. The hashtag was used tens of thousands of times on Twitter, users both supporting and critiquing it. However, the social network failed to stop the hashtag appearing in the “trending” section – it’s been condemned for allowing such a violent issue to be promoted when it previously banned #HillaryForPrison straight away.

(Photo: Q Political)

(Photo: Q Political)

Claims have been circulating that the sign is a photoshop jobby – one Twitter user claims she was there during the protest but the sign wasn’t. Others are denouncing it for being backwards, when all the other signs are facing towards the front of the rally. Some people are going so far as to claim the fake photo is a result of someone from the alt-right Breitbart world who is likely trying to defame left-wingers and fourth-wave feminism for allowing threats against a woman on the basis she’s married to Trump. Meanwhile, others are convinced “liberals” are regarding the sign fake to scapegoat having to answer for it. And yet, whether the sign is real and who made it if so is unconfirmed.

Fake photo aside, the case still confirms that misogyny against Melania Trump is rampant. Wherever the sign came from, it’s inspired a new wave of misogyny-allowance and continuation of everyday sexism. And nobody can dismiss it – not even left-wing people and definitely not feminists.

Continue reading on Konbini.

Obama Just Permanently Protected Women’s Rights To Contraceptives And Abortion

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One of the main concerns about the results of the US Presidential election is the impact Donald Trump will have on women’s rights. He is prolifically misogynist, boasts about sexually assaulting women and wants to get rid of abortion; these aren’t just things that show being sexist can boost a man’s career – they starkly oppress the freedoms of women.

But Barack Obama is here to save the day, once again. The Obama administration has just signed off on a rule that will permanently protect Planned Parenthood, the nonprofit which provides women, men and young people access to birth control, sexual health and cancer screenings and, in some of its clinics, abortions.

(Photo: Snopes)

(Photo: Snopes)

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Despite Its Benefits, We Can’t Ignore The Contraceptive Pill’s Dark Side

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The biggest social advance in medicine of the century was welcomed into society and women’s mouths in the 60s: the oral contraceptive pill. Even though “the pill” has now been available on the NHS for 55 years and around 3.5 million women take it in Britain alone, critical investigations into the relationship between the hormonal supplement and women’s states of mind have been lacking.

A new study from the University of Copenhagen reveals what many women who have experienced negative side effects of the pill have been waiting for. The newly-published research confirms a huge link between taking the hormonal contraceptive pill and symptoms of depression.

Women who take the combined contraceptive pill are 23% more likely to be treated for depression and prescribed antidepressants, the Danish research found. Similarly, women taking the progestogen-only pill (also known as the “mini pill”) were 34% more likely to be given antidepressants by their doctor than women who weren’t on the pill.

The large study looked at the medical records of over a million girls and women, finding that teen girls are at a higher risk of experiencing depression when taking the pill. The link with depression was also found in women using implants, patches and intrauterine devices like the coil.

(Photo: Travis Rathbone/Trunk Archive)

(Photo: Travis Rathbone/Trunk Archive)

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The Curious Case Of ‘Tampon Boy’

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For the last 24 hours, Ryan Williams – or as I like to call him, ‘Tampon Boy’ – has been causing a hefty bloody stir on the internet.

After tweeting incessantly that the tampon tax shouldn’t be axed because sanitary items are “luxury” and that women just need to “learn to control their bladders”, the ‘meninist’ from Canvey Island, Essex basically went viral – if we’re still dubbing people who piss off a lot of other people on the net “viral”.

The Twitter masses’ blood boiled after hearing Ryan’s claims that women just need to learn to have more “self-control” and “hold” their bladders instead of using tampons, as he seemingly went on a rampage to piss off feminists and ovaries everywhere. And, despite promising he has a girlfriend of 15 months, Tampon Boy insists she defies laws of female biology and “never bleeds” and is “clean”.

(Photo: Mercury Press)

(Photo: Mercury Press)

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Meet The Men Quitting Masturbation And Porn

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Love and sex in the modern world is like never before. The new era has welcomed many perks: freely-available internet porn, dating apps, masturbation equality, a focus on female and LGBT pleasure and general sexual liberation. While these developments are good news for many of us, for some the rise in sexual freedom has actually resulted in the opposite of being free.

The domination of free porn on the internet has driven many of today’s young men to addiction. While porn itself isn’t inherently damaging – representative, pleasure-driven porn can enhance people’s sexual experiences – addiction to it can be dire.

The dangers of too much porn on people’s sex lives aren’t secret. While regular masturbation can boost mental and physical health, if that goes too far, the opposite can be a reality. As the enjoyment of online smut seeps into obsession, guys can find themselves with various sexual problems like erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and delayed ejaculation.

As much as 18% of the globe’s men think they are addicted to or obsessed with porn. But an online community is attempting to overthrow below the belt addictions with a movement of unity, porn abstinence and zero orgasms.

(Photo: See-Saw Films)

(Photo: See-Saw Films)

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Uncovering Islamophobia At London’s Beach Party Burkini Ban Protest

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Since the French government’s ban on women wearing burkinis on the beach, the world’s socially aware haven’t been quiet about this controversial move, and Muslim women all over the world prove they will not be silenced.

Today dozens of women clad in bikinis, burkinis and beach get-up descended on the French embassy in London for a beach-themed protest against the ban on the full-body swimsuit which has already resulted in two arrests and a woman being forced to strip on Nice beach by police officers.

Under the name Wear What You Want Beach Party, the protest’s organisers wanted to draw attention to the oppressive nature of such a ban in a bid to protect women from misogynistic laws and curb the rampant Islamophobia currently sweeping the west.

The raucous rally’s attendees, of all ages and walks of life, donned bikinis, burkinis, flip flops and straw hats. Sand bags were offloaded from the back of a van and blow-up lilos and beach balls were thrown around as the embassy’s armed policemen looked on.

(Photo: Trudy Barry)

(Photo: Trudy Barry)

Continue reading on Konbini.