Obsession with body image - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

Blog articles about news and current events.

Moderator: PoFo Today's News Mods

Forum rules: Blogosphere Rules.
#14013988
[The] DIY attempt at culture jamming [through meme’s] is little more than another form of body policing dressed up as guerrilla feminism. Because apart from the fact that the conversational circle jerk over beauty ideals is so goddamn boring, almost every meme [about body imagine] I’ve seen revelling in women’s ‘curves’ and natural beauty is guilty of three things:

1. Gross crimes against originality;
2. A curiously moronic belief that presence of ‘curves’ is exponentially linked to an increase in size (FYI: ‘curves’ does not mean fat – not all small women look like pre-pubescent boys and not all big women have bodacious bosoms and tiny waists. Stop kidding yourselves.);
3. Betraying the very politics it claims to represent by not just elevating one kind of beauty ideal over another, but continuing to treat ideals as things that matter.

Consider the image of Marilyn Monroe that began floating around a few years ago, in which the tiny (yes: despite a generally touted ignorance that she was some kind of white whale in disguise, she was on the small side of thin) bombshell is compared to a Victoria’s Secret model with gazelle like limbs. Its caption reads: “Fuck society. This is more attractive than this.”

Gleefully, women pasted it on their social media walls and blogs, obnoxiously reiterating to the world that unlike their less sophisticated peers they had a more nuanced understanding of beauty and worth. Real Men, it was claimed, are attracted to Real Women. Women with real thighs, real breasts and real personalities – as if being naturally thin somehow renders you artificial, and depth and breadth of personality needs an equivalently rotund area in which to fit.

Is that what the battle of body image has really been reduced to? A sort of Playtex thunderdome in which the jealousies and insecurities of women who feel victimised by rigid codes of attractiveness take it out on those they assume are favoured by the dichotomy? Defending the rights of women not to be defined by their body shape by arguing that certain women aren’t real plays into an irony that even I can’t get behind.

Recently, the Weekend Australian Magazine ran a cover feature on Australian model Robyn Lawley. Because Lawley is a size 16, she’s classified as plus-size. The piece treats with great fanfare Lawley’s love of food because everyone knows that attractive, robust women who eat are somehow more evolved and better at sex than their skinnier counterparts. In the confused backlash against body fascism, models and celebrities like Lawley are held up as evidence that normal women can, nay, should be winning some of their own medals in the Beauty Olympics.

Here is the one fact you need to know about Robyn Lawley’s ‘normal’ sized body: at 188 cm, her proportionate size 16 is roughly the equivalent of a 165 cm woman’s size 10-12. Admire her for her beauty, certainly. Admire her imposing, statuesque figure and the cheekbones that could cut glass. But don’t patronize yourselves by pretending that her success is somehow a win for women whose thighs meet in the middle.

All of these examples of Real Woman™ have one thing in common. It’s not that they celebrate diversity or that they’re as stale, boring and tired as the kind of limited narrative that suggests only thin women deserve love or praise. It’s that they remind women that the most important thing a woman can be is desirable; that she needs to view herself as desirable, and have that view reinforced by a condescending message of inspiration about how her averageness is actually much more attractive than whatever beauty ideal happens to be fashionable at the time. At its heart, it is an infantilizing, juvenile obsession that still pits women against each other and distracts us from participating in a life free of the pressure that comes from worrying about the stock market value of our looks.

We need to move beyond the comparisons and the memes, the musing over what makes a woman real and what makes her worthy of our contempt. Crucially, we need to start accepting that some women are more conventionally beautiful than others, and that this is okay. We can be adults about it, and accept the diversity we claim to be craving. And maybe if we practice that hard enough, one day we really will cease to care about whether or not the size of our bottoms disqualify us from being either real or attractive, or both.
http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/our-obsession-with-plus-size-role-models-20120723-22k1c.html



This is a cut down opinion piece from an Australian newspaper. First of all a caveat, being an Australian piece in mentions an Australian model Robyn Lawley, for those interested she is
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robyn_Lawley

I think that this piece is worth posting here. It touches a very interesting topic that is open to endless debate. Also because I think it is one of the best opinion pieces I’ve ever read.

My thoughts are:
I agree about that Marilyn vs skinny model meme. I've seen it around and had exactly the same thought that this backlash against skinny women isn't fair. The whole 'real women have curves' thing is counter-productive. I do think that skinny bashing feeds into the body image crisis that is crippling the self-esteem of women. These meme’s once again show that all that is being focused on is beauty and how desirable a woman is. But...

It is such an emotional issue (something I think as man I could probably never truly understand). The skinny=beauty thing is entrenched, in your face all the time. It makes women feel inadequate and worthless, and from negative feelings like that comes resentment, which results in counter-productive ‘skinny bashing’. No one should be bashed because we should celebrate all sizes but it's unbalanced at present. Skinniness is still the archetype of attractiveness.
To me an allegory is where people feel they have to defend Christmas. Christmas is so entrenched, that it is clearly the dominant western cultural event of the calendar. It does not need defending. It is not under attack. Likewise, the skinny=beauty thing is the dominant beauty value of western culture.
The media bangs its drum about plus size, but it's hollow. Nothing has really changed. The playing field is incredibly skewed.
#14013992
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_dysmorphic_disorder

Also, many women feel pathetic because consumerism has inoculated them into believing they're stupid.

The ironic part is that reverse-sexism actually encourages this, demanding that men behave imaginatively while letting women get spoiled.
#14013993
Daktoria wrote:The ironic part is that reverse-sexism actually encourages this, demanding that men behave imaginatively while letting women get spoiled.


How is reverse sexism encouraging? In what way women getting spoiled?
#14013997
Well when you live in a society that expects men to impress women nonstop while saying women don't owe even the slightest of graces because men are expected to "man up" over everything, it turns women into babies.
#14014017
Daktoria wrote:Well when you live in a society that expects men to impress women nonstop

When does society expect men to impress women non-stop?
Are women not expected to impress men?

Daktoria wrote:while saying women don't owe even the slightest of graces because men are expected to "man up" over everything, it turns women into babies.

What graces? And in what way are women told that men will 'man up' for them over everything?
What evidence is there that women are turning into babies?
#14014019
Notorious B.i.G. wrote:When does society expect men to impress women non-stop?
Are women not expected to impress men?


No, they're not. Women think they do, so they dress up, but they really don't.

Men aren't entitled to expect anything of women these days. You so much as ask a woman for help, you're a sexist. You so much as expect a woman to stop teasing you and calling you names, you're a sexist.

It wouldn't surprise me if women could throw men in jail soon for merely uttering their names.

Oh wait, I forgot that already happens in cases of falsely accused rape. Female complaints over customer service can also devastate a man's career for life as well.

What graces?


Exactly.

And in what way are women told that men will 'man up' for them over everything?


:lol: They're not told ANYTHING!

What evidence is there that women are turning into babies?


I dunno. You tell me why women think appearances are everything when it comes to who they are.

Why do women have no inner personality anymore?
#14014027
Well, I must admit I was expecting this thread to turn into a ‘poor men’ rant eventually but not quite so soon. So congratulations, you should get a prize.

I’ve asked you to expand on your vast sweeping statements with examples, and you can’t or are unwilling to do so. I’m not even asking for evidence just some sort of example.

Again, how and/or why and/or what and/or where and/or when(?) for these:
Women think they do, so they dress up, but they really don't.

You so much as ask a woman for help, you're a sexist. You so much as expect a woman to stop teasing you and calling you names, you're a sexist.

Why do women have no inner personality anymore?


As a man, I must admit I’ve never experienced any of the things you’ve highlighted. As for no personality, and you abject distaste for women I can only assume you must be meeting the wrong women, constantly.
#14014032
How about this?

If you want to play the burden of proof game, then you can prove that women have a sense of self independent of fashion.

If you can't, then you know why women are so obsessed with body image.
#14014049
*facepalm*
You can’t even begin to back up anything your saying so you try to shift the argument.
Good job, two thumbs up for that one.

I’ll help you along the way with addressing your grand sweeping statements

Men aren't entitled to expect anything of women these days.

Not true, I expect things from the women in my family, in my workplace and from female friends.

You so much as ask a woman for help, you're a sexist.

I ask women for help all the time, in both psychical and non-psychical activities and have never ever been accused of being sexist.

You so much as expect a woman to stop teasing you and calling you names, you're a sexist.

Nope, never happened (mind you I’m not teased much and called names by many women (or men) so again I assume this is a personal example)

wouldn't surprise me if women could throw men in jail soon for merely uttering their names.

Oh that’s right, that is that new bill of legislation being introduced... oh wait, no.

Well when you live in a society that expects men to impress women nonstop

I don’t live in a society that expects this. I’m encouraged to impress a women when I first meet if I want to her to like me, date me, have sex with me. But I’m encouraged to impress both women and men who I want to be friends with as I need to express to them that I’m a likeable, likeminded individual worth their time (and vice versa). So this impress argument hold absolutely no legs what so ever.

reverse-sexism

What reverse-sexism. I’ve never been overlook for university entry, mark, jobs, promotions because I’m male. So what reverse sexism is there?

men are expected to "man up" over everything,

I’m never expected to “man up” to anything. Never by women nor society. The only people who encourage me to man up are my male friends, and usually when we’re drunk. And I don’t see any examples in society where men are encouraged to man up.

If you want to play the burden of proof game,

Once again, your blatant attempts to shift the argument just show that your statements (beliefs even) on women are found wanting.
#14014081
I somewhat agree with Dak, but I would have left it at this

babies


The accusation about "boyish" looks in thin women is nicely countered by noting that large women look like giant babies.

but Dak or anyone looking for fairness in sexuality... it's just sad really. What we need is a paradigm that doesn't place sexuality at the pinnacle of our values and motives... There are quite a few to choose from in traditions around the world - most people discard the idea off hand, but working from the idea that sexuality is karmic and sinful is functional and explains the problem better than the idea that everyone deserves to be loved unconditionally + sexually.
#14014176
The problem is the OP thinks his personal experience counts in general. If something didn't happen to him, then it doesn't exist in society.

He disallows other people from having their own personal experiences, so he's shifted the burden of proof onto the negative. What, does he expect people to walk around with video cameras and microphones popped out of their eyes and ears from the day they're born?

He also refuses to actually explain his argument of how women have independent sense of self. Without this, there's no reason to believe women would have more than body image to identify with.
#14014220
Daktoria wrote:The problem is the OP thinks his personal experience counts in general. If something didn't happen to him, then it doesn't exist in society.He disallows other people from having their own personal experiences, so he's shifted the burden of proof onto the negative.

Sigh. No not this. I asked you to provide context to your sweeping allegations about women and you could not. All you could do was try to shift the direction of the argument away from my querying of your statements.

Daktoria wrote:He also refuses to actually explain his argument of how women have independent sense of self. Without this, there's no reason to believe women would have more than body image to identify with.

I do refuse to acknowledge your question as you are trying to shift the direction away from backing up your misogynist sweeping statements. You either cannot back up your claims, or you refuse to because you know they are indefensible. I also refuse to acknowledge your shift because it legitimise your tactic of shifting the argument away from where you do not want to be. It also legitimises your illegitimate claims made against women. When you've actually addressed how what you've said is anyway shape or form reasonably accurate then when can move on.

I feel sorry for you Dak. I'm guessing you're a very sad a lonely person if this is your attitude towards and how you feel about women.
#14014223
Notorious B.i.G. wrote:Sigh. No not this. I asked you to provide context to your sweeping allegations about women and you could not. All you could do was try to shift the direction of the argument away from my querying of your statements.

I do refuse to acknowledge your question as you are trying to shift the direction away from backing up your misogynist sweeping statements. You either cannot back up your claims, or you refuse to because you know they are indefensible. I also refuse to acknowledge your shift because it legitimise your tactic of shifting the argument away from where you do not want to be. It also legitimises your illegitimate claims made against women. When you've actually addressed how what you've said is anyway shape or form reasonably accurate then when can move on.

I feel sorry for you Dak. I'm guessing you're a very sad a lonely person if this is your attitude towards and how you feel about women.


...except I never made a sweeping allegation about women. I talked about how women are socialized.

The bottomline is you haven't shown that femininity has sense of self. Without sense of self, appearance is all that's left.
#14014376
I'm guessing you're a very sad a lonely person if this is your attitude towards and how you feel about women.
As vaguely compassionate as this may appear its just the culmination of several posts full of personal reference to Dak - it's inappropriate and it's off point. That said, this is a pretty common attitude, it's very easy to assume the common pose, but it isn't actually compassionate (it is rivalrous) and it isn't correct in my experience (as in it's an obvious fabrication that only resembles the real world because people currently maintain the image of its verity publicly and especially fictionally). What I mean is that kind of condescension is really quite disgusting, love is as powerful a destructive force as mankind has access to - it's the nuclear option in personal affairs and it can leave you alone with no purpose or it can decide what you'll do every day for the rest of your life, what it doesn't seem to be able to do is take the challenge out of living.
Victoria’s 2nd wave

Victoria recorded its largest daily increase of […]

Where's the thread that you can describe your poli[…]

@wat0n 1. Do Denmark, Switzerland, and other […]

We are approaching a point where it will be pretty[…]