Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Do you have a fat ass? Who cares?!


Is anyone else just straight up annoyed with the media these days?

Seriously.

I could care less about Meghan McCain and the stupid woman who took an unconscionable swipe at the size of her rear.

Rather, we should be having a conversation about the ad hominem attacks so frequent among pundits and how such comments are damaging to young women's perceptions of their own bodies.

It's a tale almost as old as time itself.

The female body has long been a site for control.

Modern print ads often show nubile female forms, partially clothed and oftentimes headless, or legless. The female torso is a *huge* form in advertising.

While the female body is sectioned into pieces in ads, it is also the site of countless surgeries to lift, tuck, pinch, suction, cut, peel, reduce, augment, and revise the natural body.

Cellulite is the abnormality in this dysfunctional view rather than the norm.

Stretch marks, too.

What does this tell girls about themselves?

*You are not good enough just as you are*.

It doesn't matter what's in your mind. It's the size of your waist that matters the most.

Or your breasts.

Or your [insert body part].

There is so much pressure to conform to an impossible ideal of weight and beauty and youth.

Show me a classroom full of 12 year girls, and I'll show you a group of young women who fear being ugly, fat, or visually unworthy of attention from the male gaze. That panoptic gaze that follows them into the lunchroom, into the headphones on which they listen to their pop-idols, and into their developing sense of self.

What about their minds? Their hearts? Their actions?

These are the things that women should be valued for.

Not how attractive they are, how young they are, or the size of their ass.

6 comments:

Seeing Eye Chick March 17, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

A lot of women just don't get it. They think that if anyone looks at them at all, even if its in a lascivious manner, that such behavior is a compliment and not an insulting act of objectification.

They don't notice the missing head, because their own head is planted firmly in their own ass.

Men don't keep women down. Women Do. Men just step over the casualties. This current bitch-slap-fight between Republican Females is just the latest and greatest example.

Until women wake up and value themselves and their freedom, this will continue to be a one sided dialogue delivered from the painfully aware, to the congenitally deaf.

Shady Lady March 17, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

I am so right there with you. I love the Dove commercial that shows that the women in the ads don't even look the way they look in the ad. It's all a huge distortion, leaving young girls and women wanting to attain something that is impossible to attain.

I love that Princess believes she is beautiful. (She is!) I love that she doesn't see anything but beauty in herself and in others. I am far from the airbrushed girls in the magazines, but she thinks I'm beautiful. I hope it stays this way always.

My naive little belief is that homeschooling will help with this. She won't be exposed to all the public school pressures.

Aliceson March 18, 2009 at 11:07 AM  

Shady Lady is right about the public school pressure. Mae just last week said she needs to go on a diet. What? She's 6 and thin!

Seeing Eye Chick March 18, 2009 at 6:38 PM  

Wow, I am not the only one. The big reason I homeschool is due to the increasingly young age at which girls are sexualized and all the conflicting messages that follow. The Fat/Thin Ugly/Beautiful issue is but one of many.
Oh yea and I have a big fat hairy ass.

Move over sasquatch, there's a new kid in town.

Ralph Loizzo March 25, 2009 at 7:55 PM  

You might like this campaign/video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hibyAJOSW8U

skyewriter March 26, 2009 at 9:51 AM  

Hi, Ralph,
I love that video.

A couple of semesters ago two of my female students did a project on the Dove ad campaign and they showed this to the class-- it was a great conversation that day and after whenever body image came up. I have a couple of readings my students do on male body image, too. Another good discussion, usually.

Thanks so much for sharing-- hope the writing is going well.

Cheers!

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