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Emily 15th February 2006 06:29

Eating Disorders Awareness Week
I just thought I'd post that National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is from Feb 26th - March 4th, this year. One organization that's involved is, but there are others as well. I know that some plus-size models become involved in speaking engagements and such, and it's all for a good cause.

I think the effectiveness of some of the events varies, though, and there's still too much effort focussed on decrying negative images instead of advocating positive ones. But the criticism is still necessary and useful, especially if it's done well.

Here's a link to a great public-service announcement about eating disorders in the form of a web video. It was broadcast as a TV commercial in Canada, not long ago:

I think it makes a pretty devastating point...

HSG 15th February 2006 20:35

Re: Eating Disorders Awareness Week

It is very true that eating-disorders campaigns are often spectacularly misguided. By criticizing the media's thin-supremacist imagery, they simply end up promoting it even further. This kind of criticism inadvertently becomes just another type of publicity.

Worse yet, this approach is based on resentment, and therefore, it breeds resentment-based thinking in its adherents. Resentment is not only the most negative of human emotions, but also the most culturally destructive. Most of the ideologies that have crippled Western society from the 20th century onwards (Marxism, feminism, etc.) are entirely fuelled by resentment.

Having said that, the video that Emily posted is a rare example of highly-effective criticism of media imagery. It subtly underscores how alien the modern androgynous aesthetic is to the history of Western culture--which has ever been about celebrating softness, and abundance, and generous fullness in its depictions of femininity, not about valourizing destitution and privation.

A sustained and thoroughgoing attempt to undermine Western aesthetic values (and other values) underpins modern media culture--although this is seldom recognized. For the self-imposed starvation among women to end, our timeless cultural legacy (and its aesthetic of opulent beauty) must be revived, and restored; and today's resentment-based aesthetics must be supplanted.

Barbara and Jordan--womanly beauty in the current (February) Nordstrom catalogue:

- What today's media could look like . . .

Xin Yi 16th February 2006 09:23

Re: Eating Disorders Awareness Week
It's not surprising that I'm not hearing much about Eating Disorder Awareness week here. The U.S. media does promote eating disorders, after all. *sigh*

But I agree that more focus has to be put on positive images of beauty. That's why I visit this site often. It really has been healing for me to see these images and read the intelligent conversation in these forums.

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