UC Berkeley brings us “My Body Issue”

MY BODY ISSUE OAKLAND A disturbed young woman's face wrapped in a tape measure

Directed by: Nick Randhawa, Reaa Puri, Brett Tanonaka

Cinematography by: Nick Randhawa, Reaa Puri, Brett Tanonaka, Eugene Clewlow

Starring: Michelle Hair

This talented team from UC Berkeley created a video project for a Cinematography class, where students teach other students the art of filmmaking.

The assignment: A Visual Essay based on ”DISCOVERY”.

UC Berkeley  is fast becoming a growing space for artists and filmmakers, groups of creative and forward thinking students like this could certainly lead the way in giving women in media the overhaul it needs.

”Because Berkeley has a great mix of artists and activists, our group chose to create a piece focused on a young woman who struggles with her perception of herself”.

This film was created to give us a visual experience of how self deprecation looks and feels. It uses well timed and clever, if not slightly graphic visuals and the strength in repetition – the idea to show how emotionally and physically draining eating disorders and obsessing over ones body can be.

In the words of the artists:

”The ending is left ambiguous and slightly sour-tasting because we wanted to depict the very real image that individuals sometimes fail to recognize or admit to themselves when they mistreat their bodies in this way. We also hint at the influence that mainstream media has over an individual’s body image.

The point, according to us, is to recognize when media shows a skewed perception of beauty, and ask questions instead of falling into the I’m-not-good-enough trap. Moreover, the point is to recognize self-distructive behavior, reflect on it, and learn from it.”

WYV is very supportive of artists keeping it real and is happy to give voice to such projects. I want to personally congratulate these students for having the courage and the awareness to bring light to these real issues that impact us everyday.

This film is to bring about awareness, reality and thought…how will it leave you feeling?

Let me share my experience…

‘This video made me acknowledge the unhealthy vision I have of myself, the obsession I have on certain parts, if not all my body. The way I refuse to look at myself naked in the mirror & the fact that I purposely chose not to have a full length mirror in my room or bathroom. The way I berate my ”ugly” body on a daily basis. It’s un-healthy but it’s real for me and so many other women, everyday, every hour, every meal and every single bite of food the we ingest…this is it’



Some statistics:

  • 35-57% of adolescent girls engage in crash dieting, fasting, self-induced vomiting, diet pills, or laxatives. (Boutelle, Neumark-Sztainer, Story, &Resnick, 2002; Neumark-Sztainer&Hannan, 2001; Wertheim et al., 2009).
  • Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005).
  • The average BMI of Miss America winners has decreased from around 22 in the 1920s to 16.9 in the 2000s. The World Health Organization classifies a normal BMI as falling between 18.5 and 24.9 (Martin, 2010).
  • Of American, elementary school girls who read magazines, 69% say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape. 47% say the pictures make them want to lose weight (Martin, 2010).