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View Full Version : ''The new taboo'' (article)


Hannah
17th April 2009, 16:58
I thought this was a rather interesting perspective on the insanity of modern society. The language is not size-positive, but I recognize the writer's need to use negative terms to make her point.

http://www.examiner.com/x-7898-Indianapolis-Womens-Relationship-Examiner~y2009m4d16-Fat-has-become-the-new-social-taboo

She points out that whereas in another time, a woman would have been (rightly) scandalized for acts of genuine immorality and depravity, today women (celebrities especially) are ostracized simply for being curvy.

a candid picture seems showing weight gain can do more damage to a person’s image than a sex tape. What has happened to our morals when we have become more concerned with the outward appearance than the inward character of those society idolizes? When did f** become the new social taboo, prompting a seething nightmare for a publicity relations director?
The author also makes an excellent point about how young girls are led into body-shame due to the terrible example of their mothers:

A young girl growing up in America must be incredibly and understandably confused as her mother tells her not to base her self-worth on her appearance, all the while this same mother shells out hundreds of dollars on gym memberships trying to get rid of “baby weight.” No wonder children today have such issues with eating disorders and bullying in school. We taught it to them with our lying, hypocritical behavior.
Very well said. It's true - the example that a mother sets is far more potent than any words she speaks. She may tell her daughter to have good body image, but if by her actions the mother indicates dissatisfaction with her figure, then that's what the daughter will pick up on. That will be the mother's awful legacy.

I like this point in the article too:

We have let Hollywood tell us middle-class Americans what is cool, hip, and attractive and that is so not okay.
Amen.

But I really, really appreciate her final challenge to readers:

Women, I challenge you. Step up to the plate and be yourself, your true self and be proud of it. Don’t hide behind fad diets and exercise, torturing your body and mind into something its not. It is okay to be a curvy full figured woman, a traditional woman, a throwback to old times where women waited until marriage to have sex, who ate when they were hungry. If that’s who you are, then do it. Being confident in who you are, is way sexier than punishing yourself into madness.
I like how she ties being curvy with being "traditional, a throwback to old times" - words that she uses proudly, in a positive sense. Those should be positive ideas, despite how the media attempts to make them negative. In "old times," women were comfortable eating whatever they wanted, and were proud of being curvy (and they were more moral and ladylike as well).

I hope many readers adopt this healthier outlook from the past.

Luminosa
24th April 2009, 18:26
I agree with the author of the article: Watch television, and you are bombarded with every starvation method and torture device imaginable. And now with the warmer weather coming to the East Coast of the United States, the pressure on women to starve is staggering. Even expectant mothers are chided when perceived as eating "too much." It really is very sad. I am grateful for this site because it gives curvy women a place to come and feel acceptance. It's refreshing to come here after dealing with negative images and messages thrown at us at every turn.

Robert
29th April 2009, 11:41
And as a man, it is refreshing to come here to be surrounded with true beauty and understanding. The pull of society to be thin is so strong, but this little outpost of Truth is an oasis in the desert.

Luminosa
1st May 2009, 23:29
Very well put, Robert! Cheers.

MelanieW
14th May 2009, 14:34
The article that Hannah posted is excellent, and its encouraging to find an author speaking favourably about "tradition" and associating that with an appreciation of the fuller female figure.

I was also struck by what the writer says about mothers and daughters. I thought of it when I came across a new article (http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/fashion/article6274729.ece) today. Its a mess of mixed messages overall, but it has a positive title and caption

Young women are embracing curves

Young women equate the half-starved look with their middle-aged mothers
Here is the relevant portion from the article.

Maria Janssen, Global Managing Editor for Youth, Street and Sport at WGSN, an industry trend forecaster, thinks that Mone is on to something. “We’re seeing a new mood coming through, which is more realistic and confident,” she says. “Youth today is very aware of the economic crisis and other big issues that we’re facing. Body issues aren’t seen as so important as they were.”

On British streets you’ll see no shortage of fashion-conscious girls who seem much more relaxed than my generation did about wearing teeny skirts and skimpy tops even when their bodies don’t look like those of Lady Gaga, Fearne Cotton or Alexa Chung. Equally, given that the ultra-skinny Desperate Housewives aesthetic is a trophy look among older women, along with immobile, slightly puffy faces, perhaps young women will eventually reject the half-starved ideal as something quaintly primitive that appealed to their middle-aged mothers.
I HOPE the writer is correct. I hope that todays generation of young girls will dismiss emaciation and diet-starvation and exercise-torture as something out of date and passé, something that their mothers did, and they reject.

After all, since dieting and exercising make women look haggard and old, while softness and fullness keep them young, it makes sense that girls would associate those types of body-torture with middle age and old age.

Its just a shame that the writer of the article didnt cite better, prettier representatives for curvy girls (like Chloe Agnew, Christina Schmidt, or the top plussize models - who all need better publicity, so they will come to mind for stories like this).

Luminosa
16th May 2009, 00:08
Not all of us middle-aged women ascribe to body-torture and yo-yo dieting! I am a middle-aged woman, and I can say that once you reach a certain age, you are more sure of what you want, more confident, and less willing to mindlessly follow the dictates imposed by others. I've reached the stage where I'm accepting the beauty and sensuality of my full, curvy figure and I am embracing it. While it is true that many middle-aged celebrities choose to starve and punish their bodies to fit into an unnatural ideal, there are plenty of beautiful, curvy middle-aged women out there.

HSG
26th December 2009, 21:19
I like how she ties being curvy with being "traditional, a throwback to old times" - words that she uses proudly, in a positive sense. Those should be positive ideas, despite how the media attempts to make them negative. In "old times," women were comfortable eating whatever they wanted, and were proud of being curvy (and they were more moral and ladylike as well).
Hear, hear. The writer's embrace of traditional values is proud and defiant--for in this day and age, to be willfully traditional is the only truly rebellious position left to take, the only one that is genuinely unique and original and distinctive. Simply to be more "shockingly" modern is actually the most conventional and typical stance that anyone could adopt. But to defy the modern world and embrace the healthier, more beautiful values of the past--<i>that</I> is the mark of an independent spirit.

It's appalling to see how the modern media tries to give words like "traditional" a negative spin, when in fact, they are wholly positive. And when the media refers to a woman as a "throwback to old times," it employs this phrase as an accusation, condemning that person for not marching in lock-step with the feminist agenda.

But think about the lifestyles that are associated with those words.

Who is actually "liberated": the modern woman who spends her life incarcerated in a gym prison, and sentences herself to slow death by starvation? Or the traditional woman who is free to eat whatever she wants, and as much as she wants, and knows that she is gorgeous just the way she is?

Who has the "power"--the contemporary woman who is chained to an office during the day, then punishes herself with agonizing workouts at night? Or the feminine woman who can dress herself to the nines, look as glamorous as she likes, and enjoy a social life in which she makes every man her worshipful admirer?

Who is actually "emancipated"--the feminist icon who is confined to a cubicle, and leads a loveless existence in which relationships are sacrificed to the demands of the rat race? Or the "throwback to old times," who is free to make a home for herself and her loved ones, who is pampered and spoiled by her adoring husband, who watches her children grow up, and who enjoys creative pursuits as well?

Who is living the "good life"--the modern woman who deprives her body of the nutrition that it craves, and who fights her natural inclinations every day? Or the "throwback to old times" who gets to relax and enjoy the pleasures of life (most especially good food)?

In every sense, it is the "traditional" woman, the "throwback," who is actually free, and liberated, and emancipated--free to eat, free to relax, free to be beautiful.

The modern woman, on the other hand, is the one who is in shackles, who lives her life in a cubicle-cell or a gym-prison, who sentences herself to the meagre rations of a convict, and who is constrained from exploring her own femininity.

Let us hope that plus-size models of today can show women what that "traditional" kind of beauty looks like, and demonstrate that to be a "throwback to old times" is, in fact, to be a throwback to <i>better</I> times--times of greater freedom, and beauty, and love.

Lillian Russell, personifying the well-fed ideal of Western history. Notice the fullness in her face, and the plumpness around her neck and shoulder area (with her collarbone sensually buried in soft flesh). Yet with the flowers in her hair, and the crown of a princess on her head, there can be no mistake that this was the epitome of beauty of her time--as it is in any time that is in tune with essential human desires.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lillian/lil92.jpg"></center><p>- <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/Lillian4.htm" target="_blank">Lillian Russell galleries</a>

Christine
27th December 2009, 11:58
Such a beautiful picture!

I have never understood how the Victorian ideal of the pure, beloved "Angel in the house" was supposedly "enslaving"? Rather, it seems very liberating!