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Fat Is In; Thin Is Out

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Old 03-24-2010, 10:21 AM   #16
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Whether it's thickness in africa or thinness in the us it's all about the same thing, reinforcing that a woman's worth is based on their body.

I'm not pointing to anyone specifically in this thread, but I've heard those fat positives cultures brought up in a feminist perspective and that is just ridiculous. I don't see any difference between telling someone they need to skip meals or force feed themselves to look attractive.
I definitely agree with this...and I hope it came across that I wasn't trying to condone other cultures equally oppressive constructs of feminine beauty. I would argue though that this debate isn't just about a woman's worth being based on their body but also a man's worth. I think men are being put under an increasingly large amount of pressure to conform to an "idealized" image. For some reason it's just not talked about as much (or maybe it is and I don't know because I'm not a guy). I know my boyfriend feels a lot of pressure to be muscular yet slim. And he takes pride in his tall height (6'4") and mostly hairless chest because that is what is glamorized in this culture.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:37 PM   #17
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SickCycleCarousel, I've just been looking at your blog, and I really enjoy it! You have lots of good ideas.

America's current view of beauty is so sad. It feels like no matter how much weight we lose, we'll never be "beautiful." I'll never be a 0 or 2, that's for sure. I think my skeleton is an 8! lol
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:19 PM   #18
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SickCycleCarousel, I've just been looking at your blog, and I really enjoy it! You have lots of good ideas.

America's current view of beauty is so sad. It feels like no matter how much weight we lose, we'll never be "beautiful." I'll never be a 0 or 2, that's for sure. I think my skeleton is an 8! lol
Thanks! I started the blog because I wanted an outlet to talk about my eating disorder issues, but it has morphed into a general commentary on health, wellness, and American culture. Hope to posting again soon so check back!

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Old 04-02-2010, 08:42 PM   #19
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i think its true what they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder personaly though I prefer thin although I see everyone beautiful in their own way, What I'm tryng to say is that I think being comfortable within yourself is the most beautiful thing in the world
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:13 AM   #20
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I do not feel the media sets standards for what body type is in or out in any culture; various factors contribute to those norms and the media reflects that.

As to which body type I prefer for myself, I prefer a sane weight and good fitness level.

I don't care what others choose.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guinea pig View Post
Whether it's thickness in africa or thinness in the us it's all about the same thing, reinforcing that a woman's worth is based on their body.

I'm not pointing to anyone specifically in this thread, but I've heard those fat positives cultures brought up in a feminist perspective and that is just ridiculous. I don't see any difference between telling someone they need to skip meals or force feed themselves to look attractive.

Of course there is always the bizarre double standard with fat that it's ok to be fat in certain places.Even back when "fuller" figures were more in style they strictly meant fuller in the bust, butt, and hips. Lord help you if you ahd small boobs and a paunchy stomach.
I'm with you on this. My parents are from East Africa where girls are mostly slim and gorgeous. Fat is not only acceptable, it is desirable. However, it is certain kind of FAT that is lusted after; big boobs, Huge Butt, wider hips and small waist. I fail to see how that is positive in anyway.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:33 PM   #22
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I don't know if this is true or false, and to me it seems slightly homophobic, but just throwing it out here as it's relevant to the discussion, but I remember reading a discussion of western ideals of beauty for women, specifically to do with weight, in which the fashion industry was blamed for setting these false ideals. The article claimed that male fashion designers - mostly gay - were striving to employ defeminised women to show off their clothes. I can't remember if the article said it was to do with them wanting the models to be more masculine in shape, or just less feminine, nor can I remember where I read it!

But if you think about it, the fashion industry has had a lot more impact on the way we perceive weight in the last 60-70 years than it has throughout human history. And it's the fashion industry that drives this idea about thinness equalling beauty. That's obvious, I know. But there are a few figures in the fashion industry in the west who have really shaped the idea of what the ultimate female form should be like. If you think about it, a lot of our obsession with thinness could in fact stem from just a few influential individuals. But then again, there must be something innate in us that allows us to accept this ideal, surely.

I definitely agree about the idea that it's linked to health and wealth.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:26 PM   #23
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I don't know if this is true or false, and to me it seems slightly homophobic, but just throwing it out here as it's relevant to the discussion, but I remember reading a discussion of western ideals of beauty for women, specifically to do with weight, in which the fashion industry was blamed for setting these false ideals. The article claimed that male fashion designers - mostly gay - were striving to employ defeminised women to show off their clothes. I can't remember if the article said it was to do with them wanting the models to be more masculine in shape, or just less feminine, nor can I remember where I read it!
I don't know. It always seems to me the gay community embraces a very feminine body, or at least not a super skinny one. Certainly drag queens do . I think the skinny thing is just a phenomenon of fashion, vastly compounded by instant worldwide media.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:29 AM   #24
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I don't know any drag queens personally, but my one "don't miss" TV show is "RuPaul's Drag Race," and based on that, I would say the gay community portrays a big range of body types. Both episodes have had plus-size drag queens competing. Some of the drag queens "pad" to get a more womanly figure. (My favorite for the season, JuJuBee, would be one of them.) One drag queen interviewed said pointedly that she does not pad because that is not the "style" in LA, where the body ideal among drag queens is much thinner -- that girl claimed that padding is more common in the South & Midwest, where the "pageant girl" is the ideal. So I'm going guessing that the drag queen ideal -- and probably the larger gay ideal -- is influenced by cultural standards of a particular time & place just as much as the heterosexual community's beauty ideal is.

I think it's impossible to identify a single cause for the beauty standard. I don't think it's the media. I don't think it's the fashion industry. We are talking about a veritable stew of influences where all the various ingredients contribute to & also reflect the standard. It's the result of a vary large cultural conversation & it is always changing. We know that from fashion history & art. Scientists are even working on whether it's inherent & biological. The NY Times had an interesting article about congenitally blind men rating the beauty of mannequins based on running their hands over them. Such men would not have been exposed to any media or fashion industry influences, it was reasoned.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:09 PM   #25
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What never fails to amaze me is how a lot of people just don't understand--or refuse to understand--that what is "thin" for some is not for others.

Case in point: I remember reading a forum post awhile back--not on here, obviously; unfortunately I can't remember where I saw it--where a guy was marveling because he saw his buddy's girlfriend's jeans hanging up to dry in the bathroom. The label was a size 10. "I don't get it," he marveled. "She's not fat. I thought size 10 was fat?!"

I only wish it were obvious to more people that it's impossible for some people to get down to 100 lbs. or the idealized "size 0." (What the is that, anyway? ZERO? Don't people realize that zero equals NOTHING?) My "ideal" weight range is between 108 and 135, and I'm 5'4". The difference between 100 lbs. and 108 lbs. would look pretty substantial on me--and I think I'd look pretty sickly at 108 lbs., to tell you the truth.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:58 AM   #26
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hi all *waves*
my point of view on the matter is that we all know it: what is in or out changes from country to country, from tradition to tradition, also in one place OVER TIME; these are fashion trends. We will always find beautiful what is rarer, harder to get, and precious. Nevertheless, I think neither thin nor obese are the right choice. I sometimes think about charts I once saw at the vet's office: they were outlines of an underweight, normal and overweight cat/dog. I think the same goes for humans: the right and best thing is in the middle. And I think, if you follow FITness, as in the ability to move around, jump, play sport, endure physical activity etc, and you eat because of hunger alone - not gluttony, then you will naturally shift towards the "normal" body.
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