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Old 13th December 2008   #2
Emily
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 517
Default Re: Tenth Anniversary

One way in which this site has definitely had an impact on public discourse is in its central theme, that anorexia-worship is only a modern phenomenon.

Ten years ago, there was virtually no discussion that full-figured beauty was the ideal in past centuries. At most, there were occasional passing references to Marilyn Monroe, but the usual line was that "bodies go in and out of fashion," like the weather, or like clothing styles -- which is nonsense, of course.

Throughout history, there was one ideal (full-figured).

And after the '20s, there has been the modern standard (emaciation).

So one single major shift. Not a vacillation. (Even the '50s didn't really bring back the Classical type.)

These days, whenever there are contentious discussions online about women and body image, someone will invariably bring up the point that the modern gaunt look is a deviation, and that throughout history, plus-size goddesses were idealized. This was never talked about 10 years ago. (Even MODE didn't make this point.) And I definitely believe that this site is the source from which that idea has disseminated into public consciousness.

It's a crucial point, because it reminds people that emaciation is just a trend, a fad, not an inevitability; that it is arbitrary, and can be toppled.
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