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Well, I got a bunch of presents wrapped in super-annoying paper (it tears easily and won't fold properly), Bob's stocking is filled (though part of it is suspiciously box shaped, because some of the contents didn't fit), drivers have shipped their brains by Fed-Ex somewhere nice but their bodies are still driving, I hurt so bad I stayed home today, and I'm in a snarling holiday mood.  Perfect, I think, for a vent on the whole Diet Industry "You can't enjoy holiday parties because you'll get fat, no one will love you and YOU'LL DIE ALONE OMG!!!!!!" scare machine that goes into overdrive right about now (just in time for eggnog).  Their ads are almost as pervasive as the perfume ads on TV.

(By the way, what is it with all the perfume ads?  Do people really want a gift pack of Britney's perfume, or is this a ploy to trick the guy who's desperate for a gift that is nice, but not too personal?  And J.Lo's perfume?  Is it selling as well as her last album?  And what is the "Armarni Code" - I can only assume it's a secret word that gets you into penthouse parties where everyone gets naked?  I do miss the old Stetson ads, though - and I find myself wanting a bottle of "Blue Grass" perfume, which I wore constantly (but lightly!) as a teenager.)

 

Yeah, the diet ads.  People are supposed to gain a little weight over the winter - without parties and booze, most of us in the Northern Hemisphere wouldn't make it 'til spring.  And you can always work it off once the weather gets nice enough to stick your nose outside for anything other than the obligation of work.  

(Speaking of work, where I usually post, I'm taking the week between Christmas and New Year's off, so I may not be posting much.  If I do, act all delighted - it makes me feel special.  You don't have to be delighted, just act it.  It's the pretense that counts.)

I blame Wallis Simpson.  

(The Duchess of Windsor.  Look it up.)

She was the "skinny bitch" who opined "You can never be too rich or too thin".  Thanks to her, generations of women have hated themselves.  

(This may also be why women buy new purses constantly - maybe they hope the alchemy of the exact right purse and shoes combination will suddenly make them super rich.)

[this paragraph redacted for internalized misogyny.]

But back to Mrs. Simpson; I hear her words quoted regularly, and the question that always comes to my mind is:  Why are we giving credence to the words of a known Nazi sympathizer who thought that the total eradication of all Jewish people was an excellent idea?

(Like I said, look it up.  And be glad that Edward VIII abdicated; he thought Hitler was a swell guy too.)

There nothing wrong with wanting to resemble society's standards of beauty - studies show that pretty people do get nicer things, better job offers, and bigger bunches of roses (mostly from the geeky lab guys running the studies).  Unfair as this is, and no matter how much it should not be the case, it's still perfectly natural to want a piece of the action.  

(I myself, have seen the difference in treatment I get from random shallow assholes who wouldn't have given me a second glance when I was fat.  They're still assholes, though, so oops!  Too bad, so sad.  I'd rather be with someone who likes women for their attributes, not their assets, if you get me.  Everything else, though, has pretty much remained the same, so I'm guessing that the lab guys were making most of those job offers themselves.)

What isn't good is assuming that anyone who doesn't conform is less worthy by comparison.  We all do this - and before anyone gets on my case about how they're not like that, hear me out.  It isn't just the pretty that reject non-pretty people - some of the guys that turned me down were pretty unattractive by societal standards, but somehow felt that I wasnt good enough for them because I didn't fit those same standards.  I've seen women give other women and men a hard time for being less attractive, and I've seen frankly ugly women snark on someone else's beauty deficiencies.  We all do it, even me, and I'm a paragon of tolerance *cough*irony*cough*.  I see this all the time.  It's part of being human - we naturally create hierarchies.  we can break free of this, but it takes effort, and it's hard to leave the herd.  Awareness of the tendency is the first step to curbing the habit.

(If you never, ever, cross your heart, make any mean comment about someone else's appearance, I applaud you.  I'm not entirely sure I believe you, but I applaud you.)

We are all brainwashed women.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  WE ARE ALL BRAINWASHED.  Instead of embracing feminist ideals and saying "to hell with beauty standards!", society has started seriously infecting men with the same ideas.  Or, should I say, commercial greed has started preying on another lucrative demographic, and we're encouraging it.  It is no better to ogle a man and make suggestive comments about his looks (and conversely, rejecting him for same) than it is for a man to do it to a woman.  We do not fix inequality by paying it forward.

And it isn't enough that we occasionally judge others negatively based on appearance; we do it to ourselves, and when we do it to ourselves, we do it constantly.  No respite.  We heap an amazing amount of hatred on our poor bodies, and current societal standards encourage the hate (as do all beauty and diet related companies).

I dye my hair; I worked hard to lose weight and stay thin.  I seriously contemplate going under anaesthesia to have considerable parts of my belly fat surgically excised from my body to achieve an ideal that I know is completely unneccessary to my success.  Most days, I can value my talents, my sense of humour, and my brain over my looks.  On bad days, all I see is my poochy belly, my huge thighs, and my complete lack of attractiveness.  On those days, I think my beautiful body is the ugliest thing on earth.

We are brainwashed.  We have created impossible beauty ideals and made ugly the supreme beauty idols of previous ages.  Elizabeth Hurley has said that she would kill herself before she got as fat as Marilyn Monroe, the ne plus ultra of beauty in the 1940s and '50s.  MM was so beautiful, she seduced an entire nation and its President.  Today, we look at her lush soft beauty and think "fat!".

Brainwashed.

MM has actually become a rallying symbol for the fat acceptance movement.  

Fucking brainwashed.

Yes, she was a size fourteen - in 1940s sizes.  Her waist measurement was roughly 26".  She was slightly thinner than me.  I am a size 16 in 1940s clothing, which translates to a size 8 in modern sizes; this makes her a size 6.  Who's a fat cow?  I'm bigger than her (though we have the same boob size).  Those disgusting rolls of fat that simply hung off her body were 6 sizes smaller than the national average size today (12, and nothing wrong with that).

You could take this information and become utterly depressed, and I wouldn't blame you.  But why give in to the manipulations of the fascistfashion-industrial complex?  They have decreed that women should look like coat hangers with built in high heels.  Why are we listening to the opinions of people who won't even design clothes for three-dimensional bodies?  Do diet companies have our best interests at heart, or are they looking for their part of a multi-billion dollar cash cow?  Why do we need to cover tiny, tiny wrinkles and flaws if the only time anyone sees them is if we stand under a klieg light?  Who's playing on our fears of being unloved and dying alone?

Madison Avenue, come here this instant!  Bad dog!  Stop spilling anti-wrinkle cream on the carpet and telling us we're ugly crones if we don't use it!  *smack*

Instead, take heart in the fact that Marilyn is still considered one of the most beautiful women who ever lived.  The current crop of little girls trying their best to take on the characteristics of stick insects in response to the film and television industry's demand that they look thinner and thinner should be pitied, not emulated.  No-one will remember them like they remember Monroe.  

Damn that Duchess.  Years of hating the very substance of our bodies, thinking that thin is the only beautiful, and all on the say-so of a woman who supported eugenics and the sterilization/lobotomization of genetically "imperfect" people (i.e., Jews, gays, blacks, and the mentally/physically disabled).

[redacted for ableist language.]

I am beautiful.  You are beautiful.  All of us, men and women, are beautiful.  We are so much more than the sum of our measurements, no matter what the media, "diet" doctors, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (who hate eggnog and all it stands for), and that asshole guy wearing too much cologne who said our thighs were "cottage cheesy" think.  Hate is the most truly unhealthy thing we can do to our bodies.  If we are to see the truth of real beauty, then we have no reason to hate anyone, least of all ourselves.

(We could probably hate Asshole Cologne Guy, who was wearing really tacky gold chains and had really bad breath.  But why bother?  He's suffering without our help.)

In fact, in a world where Marilyn Monroe is too fat, and Callie on Grey's Anatomy is a "plus size" (she's maybe a size 12, more likely a 10), it's not us who's insane.  The lunatics are running the asylum, and we must do the only truly honourable thing and lobotomize the lot of them and start over.

In the mean time, have a pastry.  Have two, why not.  And don't hate yourself in the morning.

[2/25/2010: This entry has been edited for abelist and misogynistic language.]

Comments

( 60 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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isabelladangelo
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
So wait, I can eat the entire box of Reeses Pieces I bought downstairs? :-)

Personally, I think the most beautiful woman in modern times is Catherine Zeta Jones. I wanna look like her. Maybe if I wear my corset really tight....hey, It would help give me a better posture rather than the "slumped over glaring at the dog" look I've perfected at some SCA events....

In a more serious note (not that I don't think Catherine Zeta Jones is the most beautiful woman in the world. I do. I just doubt my wearing a corset would help much. And I'm not exactly ginormous to begin with..): I think the diet ads are out enforce right now, not because of all the eating, but because of New Year resolutions. Same arguments all around, just different motives....

Edited at 2007-12-19 08:35 pm (UTC)
tacnukesoul
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
I've always thought of corsets as an end in themselves and I'd like to go on record in appreciation of that end.

My only regret with them is it can be difficult to get into a good dance position when a partner is wearing one - though that might have to do with the material.
heatermcca
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
I'm going to have an arepa. With butter on. And maybe cheese. Want one?

Mmmmm, food.

Edited at 2007-12-19 08:39 pm (UTC)
heatermcca
Dec. 19th, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
Okay, I had three. They were lunch.

And they were delicious. Now I'm gonna have some milk. Heh.
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Dec. 20th, 2007 11:07 am (UTC) - Expand
melaniesuzanne
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this. I've been feeling like a monster lately. This helps.
pirategirleee
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
Ditto that for me too. Hell I was even complimented last Saturay at an event on how much weight I lost and all I cold respond with was "really??!! I feel so fat I'm sure I look horrible!"

*sigh*
(no subject) - gianetta - Dec. 19th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pirategirleee - Dec. 19th, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
hugh_mannity
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
*applauds wildly, throws roses at your feet, and presents you with a gift-wrapped chocolate-dipped internets*
sarahbellem
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, she was a size fourteen - in 1940s sizes. Her waist measurement was roughly 26". She was slightly thinner than me. I am a size 16 in 1940s clothing, which translates to a size 8 in modern sizes; this makes her a size 6. Who's a fat cow? I'm bigger than her (though we have the same boob size). Those disgusting rolls of fat that simply hung off her body were 6 sizes smaller than the national average size today (12, and nothing wrong with that).

You shoulda seen the jaws drop in my class when I told them that the whole Marilyn Monroe-big-beautiful-woman propaganda was a load of tosh. Someone said "Well, Marilyn Monroe was fat and she was considered beautiful back then". To which I laughed and told them that MM was 4 inches taller than me and had a waist 4 inches smaller than mine. Am I "fat"?

Since I'm part and parcel of the evil fashion industry, I felt it necessary to explain the differences between industry sizes and market sizes. Industry sizing is still based on circa 1960s standards, which means an Size 8 industry form has a 34" Bust, 25" waist and 33" hips. A person with those measurments today buys and wears a market size 2, maybe even a 1 in some cases (US sizing here. In UK terms, an industry 8 is about a UK 4). Vanity sizing makes everyone feel ok about their increasing girth!

On a slightly related side note, one of the reasons we're bigger on the whole than our parents and grandparents also has to do with post-war affluence and cheaper, better food more readily available to the masses. Prior to the market revolution in the 1960s, a certain amount of undernourishment was factored into our genepool, and it kept our forebearers less broad in the ribs, shoulders and hips. Give us better/more food, vaccines, etc and viola! We're gigantic!

Oh, and ask me sometime about my philosophy regarding larger waist sizes in women and the adoption of "low rise" trousers in the 1990s. I could go on and on for days about this stuff... It seriously keeps me up at night sometimes! :)
lady_guenievre
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
I'd be curious about the "low rise" thing... I mean, who decided muffin tops were attractive? (or is it just a conspiracy to show who has them and who doesn't?)
(no subject) - heatermcca - Dec. 19th, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lady_guenievre - Dec. 19th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - heatermcca - Dec. 19th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - murasakinoyoroi - Dec. 19th, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahbellem - Dec. 20th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xntryk - Dec. 20th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC) - Expand
lifeofglamour
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
*stands up and applauds*
Also - I'm delighted every time you post, not just over the holidays. ;-)
pirategirleee
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
Preach it Sista!

And all this has turned the world into a place where it was somehow socially acceptable for a passing motorist to moo at me when I was in college and one of my boyfriends who I was quite literally 1/3 to 1/4 his size telling me that I (and I quote) "don't take good enough care of myself and should consider loosing weight." Oye.

And MM fat?!! I would KILL to look like MM. Sheesh this stick figure image thing has definitely gone too far.
vom_schwarzwald
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
"And what is the "Armarni Code"

Shhh! Extensive research in the neo-art history of advertisement has revealed repeated hidden references to the "divine masculine". Turns out there is a hidden sect of deeply tanned, hand tailored suit wearing men waging a secret war to keep the centuries old truth about the male ego lost in the mists of cigar smoke. One lone Cosmo writer is putting her life on the line as she races around the world unraveling the Armani Code and a conspiracy that threatens to rock the foundations of society as we know it.

A secret society descendant from the cobblers of medieval Italy.

Hong Kong suit wearing execs.

One woman.

One Secret.

Only one way it can all end...
bdeb
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
I'm sure the Templars are invovled...and the Masons. The dirty, dirty Masons.
(no subject) - isenglass - Dec. 19th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - melaniesuzanne - Dec. 19th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vom_schwarzwald - Dec. 19th, 2007 09:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - heatermcca - Dec. 19th, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
thatpotteryguy
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
Hey, I just wanna say, I think Nigella Lawson is the hottest woman on television today. I mean, smokin...and man, can she eat. Even hotter.
vom_schwarzwald
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
ohohohohohohoho.

Her accent reminds me of someone else, can't quite put my finger on it....but I could listen to her read the dictionary for HOURS.
andras120
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
You are sooooo beautiful! And I only know you from your writings. 'Nuff said.
chargirlgenius
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)
Aw, c'mon! Everybody liked Hitler for a while there! Even Time Magazine...

I do find the whole beauty/weight issue to be quite complex. We hate our food. We're at war with it. We eat products, not food. Skinny is in, and everybody complains that supermodels are too thin, but Americans as a whole are growing fatter and fatter. It's like there's a disappearing middle class in weight, as well as money.

BTW, did you see where America what'sherface Ugly Betty chick was on the cover of Glamour, celebrating curvy women? She's a size SIX!

Are models becoming thinner in backlash to fatter Americans? Are Americans getting fatter in backlash and self-loathing because of fatter models? I don't think there's really an easy answer to any of it.

Well, except for bringing back the corner store, sidewalks, and creating great public transportation. Not that I've ranted about this in my own mind at all...
murasakinoyoroi
Dec. 19th, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
The thing that is in is almost always the thing that takes more time and money to achieve. Being pale was in when it was cheaper to get sunburnt in the field than it was to stay indoors all day, but once vacationing to warm climates became expensive, but jobs at a desk inside all day were more normal -poof- they switch. It is a matter of marketing for a large part. It is difficult to get people to spend money on something they already have.
(no subject) - chargirlgenius - Dec. 20th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - murasakinoyoroi - Dec. 20th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
isabelladangelo
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
I just have to say: rotflol.

That is all....for now.
fabricdragon
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
funny i was about to post a rant on the whole fat thing on my Thorninthefoot blog... can i claim great minds think alike?

Kass_rants had a good comment that "off the rack" clothing is sized MOSTLY for the current idea of attractive. whereas custom tailored garments are sized for the individual. and it makes a big difference in how you look if you are NOT the current fashionable type....

i think the whole "worship of people who look like they are starving" has gone too far... most of those tv and movie women are nice looking when they start their career, and then they lose more weight.. and more weight. and you see the pictures on the magazine and tabloids and you go. "what happened, was she sick?" because half the actresses out there look like they just got out of ICU.

there ARE people who are naturally very thin overall, AND have breasts. but they are not "normal" or usual, most of us would need to have breast implants because an average grown woman who is as thin as that does not have big round wonderful curvey cleavage.....
but thats what you see as an ideal...
starved emaciated bodies that still have enough fat reserves to fill out a low cut top? i dont think so.
tudorlady
Dec. 19th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I needed that. Even though my fondest wish is that on a spectrum between Helena Bonham-Carter and Camryn Mannheim, most people would tend to put me in with Helena Bonham Carter. Who could stand to put on a few pounds, but that's not the issue.

Somehow, I seem to have managed to score the couple of days between Christmas and New Years' off as well, I'm going to make a concerted effort to sew and do Useful Things.

Edited at 2007-12-19 09:52 pm (UTC)
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