XPosted to We’ve Arrived! And other such myths.
The other day I lamented during a radio show that it’s impossible for a woman to just be. It seems the women I know and hear about are either overweight, watching their weight, dieting, getting in shape, laboriously counting calories or carbs, or nipping and tucking. Other measures of vanity toward the almighty feminine are included in this concern, but of particular interest to me right now is health and body size.
Health and Body Size: the official preoccupation of women. Even when we consider fat pride in contradiction to Western beauty standards, we are still talking about perimeters of body size. And when we try to shift the conversation away from inches and pounds towards health and body pride, there remain complications. Like the fact that we can’t seem to embrace ‘health’ or ‘body pride’.
Among the many, my most rage inciting encounter recently was while watching Julie Louise Dreyfus on Ellen. Dreyfus was recently on the cover of Shape, which seems to want to be a magazine about ‘healthy’ lifestyles. When asked by Ellen how she kept in such good shape, Dreyfus claimed to not really work out but run sometimes and of course, heavily restrict food before the photo shoot. I was so mad I punched a throw pillow.
Magazine covers of healthy lifestyle magazines are often photos of fit, not necessarily famous people. They showcase to the reading and passing public the epitome of good shape in many instances and, of course, subconsciously suggest that we too will look like that if we buy the magazine. Though after hearing Dreyfus’ interview, what I suspected all along about lifestyle magazines promoting health turns out to be true. That is, they showcase bodies that are either unattainable or attainable only through drastic, sometimes lethal, unhealthy methods, despite being healthy lifestyle magazines.
So the healthy body that just bes is hard to come across in media, but the proud, unapologetic body is even harder. One of my fav people(<3), Beth Ditto of The Gossip (<3), once posed nude for NME. But as you will see if you click the link, despite being what would likely be considered obese, there is not a dimple of cellulite on her, pointing quite obviously to airbrushing out of ‘flaws’. It doesn’t make me punch anything, but it still makes me mad…and sad…
Even real, healthy bodies are obviously flawed. Why can’t we just deal with it? And also, I need better language than ‘flawed’ for this connotes a perfection from which to stray. Booooo! ( I blame the patriarchy).