2006.06.21: June 21, 2006: Headlines: COS - Dominica: Women's Issues: Body Image: South Bend Tribune: Dominica RPCV Amanda Petrucelli writes: When I was in the Peace Corps, for two years there were almost no mirrors, no reflective surfaces, no billboards or magazines and very little TV. I have never felt better about my body than I did then.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Dominica: Peace Corps Dominica: Peace Corps Dominica: Newest Stories: 2006.06.21: June 21, 2006: Headlines: COS - Dominica: Women's Issues: Body Image: South Bend Tribune: Dominica RPCV Amanda Petrucelli writes: When I was in the Peace Corps, for two years there were almost no mirrors, no reflective surfaces, no billboards or magazines and very little TV. I have never felt better about my body than I did then.

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-254-9-144.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.254.9.144) on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 11:23 am: Edit Post

Dominica RPCV Amanda Petrucelli writes: When I was in the Peace Corps, for two years there were almost no mirrors, no reflective surfaces, no billboards or magazines and very little TV. I have never felt better about my body than I did then.

Dominica RPCV Amanda Petrucelli writes: When I was in the Peace Corps, for two years there were almost no mirrors, no reflective surfaces, no billboards or magazines and very little TV. I have never felt better about my body than I did then.

"I once took a cross-island trek with a group of other Peace Corps volunteers up rugged rainforest hills and down rocky gullies. For six hours the guide walked right behind me. Just as we were coming back to the hotel, as part of the slow, casual conversation that had lasted through the rainfalls and heat and steam and chills of the day, he asked me what kinds of foods I liked to eat. My response was that I like breads and crackers and best of all, cheese. "Oh," said the dark-skinned islander staring at my hips, "that's why you're so fat." More than 10 years later, I remember everything about that moment: My exact weight, the shorts and boots I was wearing, the length of my hair. Everything. This man was telling me he had enjoyed watching me from behind for six hours and this was his way of saying so. Still, it was quite hard to take for a white girl from Indiana."

Dominica RPCV Amanda Petrucelli writes: When I was in the Peace Corps, for two years there were almost no mirrors, no reflective surfaces, no billboards or magazines and very little TV. I have never felt better about my body than I did then.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Jun 21, 2006

South Bend Tribune

Caption: Amanda Petrucelli has noticed a big change in her muscle tone, even if she hasn't lost a lot of weight in the Plymouth's Biggest Loser contest.

The Plymouth's Biggest Loser contest promises $1,000 prizes to the man and woman who lose the largest percentage of their body weight in the 12-week period ending June 30. It is sponsored by Faded Orange, the efforts of a local couple, Ryan and Kristen Ripley. Kristen Ripley is a personal trainer and fitness authority working with the Plymouth High School Athletic Department. There are more than 140 people participating. This is the sixth column about one woman's efforts in the contest. -- Editor

When I was in the Peace Corps, for two years there were almost no mirrors, no reflective surfaces, no billboards or magazines and very little TV.

The men there -- as I suspect is true in most of the rest of the world -- just want women to be shaped like women.

I have never felt better about my body than I did then.

I'm about the same size as I was in 1994 and married to a man who swears that there is only one thing guys want a woman to be: naked.

But I still check myself out in a full-length mirror several times a day, criticizing various parts, sucking in others, turning and stretching in different directions in the eternal -- yet impossible -- quest to look like the lady in the fashion magazine.

Gaining a pound or two can put me in a foul mood for days.

An informal survey of several girlfriends tells me the rest of you do the same thing ... every day. Even those of us who are thin enough to wear thong bikinis spend time in mirrors critiquing unseen- by-all-but-us imperfections.

There has to be a better balance between self-loathing and knowing when it's time to cut back on the doughnuts.

Though this nation is a melting pot with women of all different shapes, sizes and colors, it's strange that -- as the most obese nation in the world -- our ideal woman is among the thinnest and most athletic. And those women all look the same.

I once took a cross-island trek with a group of other Peace Corps volunteers up rugged rainforest hills and down rocky gullies. For six hours the guide walked right behind me. Just as we were coming back to the hotel, as part of the slow, casual conversation that had lasted through the rainfalls and heat and steam and chills of the day, he asked me what kinds of foods I liked to eat.

My response was that I like breads and crackers and best of all, cheese.

"Oh," said the dark-skinned islander staring at my hips, "that's why you're so fat."

More than 10 years later, I remember everything about that moment: My exact weight, the shorts and boots I was wearing, the length of my hair. Everything.

I remember the way my face flushed and my shoulders stiffened. In America, calling a woman fat is tantamount to calling her ugly.

In fact, with stars like Cameron Diaz and Uma Thurman, it tells me that skinny, tall and blonde, but ugly, is better than pretty, short and plump, e.g. Janeane Garofalo.

Of course, there, I did realize at the time, this man was telling me he had enjoyed watching me from behind for six hours and this was his way of saying so. Still, it was quite hard to take for a white girl from Indiana.

But even a white girl from Indiana can easily get used to her body being appreciated the way it is when not faced with Victoria's Secret models in her mailbox and popping up on her Yahoo homepage.

Perhaps the global perspective on the female body is a better ideal. Women should have curves. In other words; you should look like a woman.

Otherwise, you will never be good enough. There will always be someone younger and prettier and thinner and more athletic than you. And with cosmetic surgery so available, there are always more of them.

Dove soaps has come up with an innovative ad campaign -- The Campaign for Real Beauty, they call it. In their magazine ads, for example, three or four women of different heights and colors stand confidently in their underwear. They are real women with not- perfect hair and no makeup and of all different shapes -- like Americans.

But even with this valiant effort on Dove's part, most of us, myself included, still don't look as good as these women.

For most of us, there are parts of our bodies that don't disgust us, and other parts that have been the source of insecurity for years.

Van Morrison sings in his iconic song "Wild Night," "The girls go by dressed up for each other."

Sometimes I do this, too -- more concerned about the other women thinking "who does she thinks she is wearing that" than about my own husband being delighted at seeing me in a short skirt.

We all need to get our bodies into shape. Humans need to maintain a healthy body mass index -- or at least get close -- to reduce the risks of chronic disease.

Beyond that, it probably should not just be about attracting men or about garnering approval from other women, but about feeling comfortable in our own skin, happy with the way our body feels.

And it should feel healthy and be healthy, which it would be if we maintained our bodies as we do our favorite outfits.

If we aren't in shape, there is always exercise. But if we are otherwise in shape, we need to accept the minor flaws that make each woman a bit different and celebrate the great parts of our body with the way we move and dress.

For more information about this contest, check out http://www.fadedorange.com.





When this story was posted in August 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:


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RPCV Ron Tschetter to head Peace Corps Date: July 29 2006 No: 937 RPCV Ron Tschetter to head Peace Corps
President Bush has nominated Ron Tschetter to serve as Director of the Peace Corps. Tschetter, 64, is the president of an investment firm based in Montana. He volunteered with his wife to work as family planning advisers in India and is a former Chairman of the National Peace Corps Association.

PCOL Comment: Congratulations to the Bush administration for an inspired choice for Peace Corps Director. Ron Tschetter is not only an RPCV but was Chairman of the NPCA. Best wishes to Mr. Tschetter on his future tenure as Director of the Peace Corps.

Latest: How Ron Tschetter was selected as Peace Corps Director.

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The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again Date: July 31 2006 No: 947 The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again
The LA Times says that "the Peace Corps is booming again and "It's hard to know exactly what's behind the resurgence." PCOL Comment: Since the founding of the Peace Corps 45 years ago, Americans have answered Kennedy's call: "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." Over 182,000 have served. Another 200,000 have applied and been unable to serve because of lack of Congressional funding. The Peace Corps has never gone out of fashion. It's Congress that hasn't been keeping pace.

The Peace Corps Library Date: July 11 2006 No: 923 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory or leave a message on our Bulletin Board. New: Sign up to receive our free Monthly Magazine by email, research the History of the Peace Corps, or sign up for a daily news summary of Peace Corps stories. FAQ: Visit our FAQ for more information about PCOL.

Support the US-Peruvian Trade Pact Date: July 20 2006 No: 930 Support the US-Peruvian Trade Pact
Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, the Peace Corps President, has been lobbying both Democratic and Republican legislators to support the US-Peruvian trade pact before July 28, when his term ends and a US congressional recess begins. If President Bush fails to get approval before Congress goes on recess, it will be a case study proving that the United States does not reward its friends. Please call your representatives.

July 20, 2006: This Week's Top Stories Date: July 20 2006 No: 925 July 20, 2006: This Week's Top Stories
Friedman win could create new coalition 14 July
Bellamy writes: G8 summit lacks results 19 July
Peace Corps Fund Raiser in NYC on July 25 19 July
Hodding Carter writes "Flushed" on plumbing 18 July
Doyle places Peace Corps ad 18 July
Matt Taylor releases CD "Subject to the Wind" 16 July
Matthew Orosz builds reflective parabolic troughs 14 July
RPCVs run organic HERB FARMacy 13 July
Jerome Miliszkiewicz discusses Chavez in Venezuela 12 July
Ric Haas founded the Fistula Foundation 11 July
Susan Deller Ross helps women's equal rights 11 July
Mark Maxam installs solar lighting in Kenya 11 July
Eunice Kennedy Shriver at White House for 85th 11 July
Hastings gives $1 million for charter schools 11 July
Alejandro Toledo meets Bush in final days 11 July
Hill is hopes to reconvene Korea talks 10 July
"My World" takes Tanzanian children to Kilimanjaro 9 July
Bob Watada supports his son in court-martial 8 July
James Brunton Jr. builds boat for Embera Indians 8 July
Tim Wilson sews the Seeds of Peace 8 July
Petri says Guantanamo prisoners should 'face accusers' 7 Jul
Tom Murphy cuts deal with feds 3 July

Jody Olsen will be acting Peace Corps Director Date: July 20 2006 No: 926 Jody Olsen will be acting Peace Corps Director
The Senate confirmed Gaddi Vasquez to head the FAO on June 30. Jody Olsen will be acting Director until the President makes a permanent appointment. Olsen has been Deputy Director of the Peace Corps since 2002. She served in Tunisia as a PCV. Latest: "As of now (July 20), Gaddi Vasquez is still the Peace Corps Director."

Changing the Face of Hunger Date: June 28 2006 No: 915 Changing the Face of Hunger
In his new book, Former Congressman Tony Hall (RPCV Thailand) says humanitarian aid is the most potent weapon the United States can deploy against terrorism. An evangelical Christian, he is a big believer in faith-based organizations in the fight against hunger. Members of Congress have recently recommended that Hall be appointed special envoy to Sudan to focus on ending the genocide in Darfur.

PC will not return to East Timor in 2006 Date: June 8 2006 No: 913 PC will not return to East Timor in 2006
Volunteers serving in East Timor have safely left the country as a result of the recent civil unrest and government instability. Latest: The Peace Corps has informed us that at this time, the Peace Corps has no plans to re-enter the country in 2006. The Peace Corps recently sent a letter offering eligible volunteers the opportunity to reinstate their service in another country.

Chris Dodd considers run for the White House Date: June 3 2006 No: 903 Chris Dodd considers run for the White House
Senator Chris Dodd plans to spend the next six to eight months raising money and reaching out to Democrats around the country to gauge his viability as a candidate. Just how far Dodd can go depends largely on his ability to reach Democrats looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton. PCOL Comment: Dodd served as a Volunteer in the Dominican Republic and has been one of the strongest supporters of the Peace Corps in Congress.

The RPCV who wrote about Ben Hogan Date: June 6 2006 No: 912 The RPCV who wrote about Ben Hogan
Probably no RPCV has done more to further the Third Goal of the Peace Corps than John Coyne with the Peace Corps Writers web site and newsletter that he and Marian Haley Beil have produced since 1989. Now John returns to writing about his first love - golf in "The Caddie who knew Ben Hogan." Read an excerpt from his novel, an interview with the author and a schedule of his book readings in Maryland and DC this week.

Vasquez testifies before Senate Committee Date: June 3 2006 No: 905 Vasquez testifies before Senate Committee
Director Vasquez testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his nomination as the new Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture replacing Tony Hall. He has been the third longest serving Peace Corps Director after Loret Ruppe Miller and Sargent Shriver. PCOL Comment: Read our thanks to Director Vasquez for his service to the Peace Corps.

First Amendment Watch Date: May 4 2006 No: 883 First Amendment Watch
Maine Web Report hit with Federal Lawsuit
Website wins trademark suit against Jerry Falwell

Interview with a Hit Man Date: April 25 2006 No: 880 Interview with a Hit Man
RPCV John Perkins says that for many years he was an "economic hit man" in the world of international finance whose primary job was to convince less developed countries to accept multibillion dollar loans for infrastructure projects that left the recipient countries wallowing in debt and highly vulnerable to outside political and commercial interests. In this exclusive interview for "Peace Corps Online," Colombia RPCV Joanne Roll, author of Remember with Honor, talks to Perkins about his Peace Corps service, his relation with the NSA, "colonization" in Ecuador, the consequences of his work, why he decided to speak out, and what his hopes are for change.

PC Program in Chad temporarily suspended Date: April 14 2006 No: 872 PC Program in Chad temporarily suspended
Director Vasquez announced the temporary suspension of the Peace Corps program in Chad on April 14 and that all 29 Peace Corps volunteers have left the country. With a program dating back forty years (See Page 4 of the April 1966 "Peace Corps Volunteer"), RPCVs hope that volunteers can return to Chad as soon as the situation has stabilized. Congratulations to the Peace Corps for handling the suspension quickly and professionally.

Peace Corps stonewalls on FOIA request Date: April 12 2006 No: 869 Peace Corps stonewalls on FOIA request
The Ashland Daily Tidings reports that Peace Corps has blocked their request for information on the Volkart case. "After the Tidings requested information pertaining to why Volkart was denied the position on March 2 the newspaper received a letter from the Peace Corps FOIA officer stating the requested information was protected under an exemption of the act." The Dayton Daily News had similar problems with FOIA requests for their award winning series on Volunteer Safety and Security.

PCOL readership increases 100% Date: April 3 2006 No: 853 PCOL readership increases 100%
Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.

RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps Date: February 3 2006 No: 780 RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps
Timothy Ronald Obert has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Costa Rica while serving there as a Peace Corps volunteer. "The Peace Corps has a zero tolerance policy for misconduct that violates the law or standards of conduct established by the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. Could inadequate screening have been partly to blame? Mr. Obert's resume, which he had submitted to the Peace Corps in support of his application to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, showed that he had repeatedly sought and obtained positions working with underprivileged children. Read what RPCVs have to say about this case.

Military Option sparks concerns Date: January 3 2006 No: 773 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read our poll results. Latest: Congress passed a bill on December 22 including language to remove Peace Corps from the National Call to Service (NCS) military recruitment program

Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger Date: October 22 2005 No: 738 Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger
When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.


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Story Source: South Bend Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Dominica; Women's Issues; Body Image

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