How fascinating. If this study had reached the opposite conclusion, it would have been trumpeted on every nighttime newscast, and covered on the front page of every newspaper. Instead, these absolutely revolutionary findings are being studiously ignored; although, with a million
test subjects, it is clearly "legitimate" in a way that most diet-industry-funded studies are not.
And yet the results--as Kirsten notes--merely confirm what most people intuitively realize (until and unless they are brainwashed by the mass media).
Consider this: The basic principle of life on earth is that all organisms possess instincts that promote the success of their species. Therefore, women today would not possess such generous appetites, if indulging them did not make them healthier, happier, and more attractive to the opposite sex.
The body feels pain when it is being harmed, and pleasure when it is being improved. The suffering that a woman feels when she diets or exercises is an unmistakable indication that these are not beneficial activities, whereas the joy that attends her indulgence in food cravings is nature's "green light" for this activity.
And part of the reason why women who lose weight experience depression (as this study demonstrates) is likely because they instincitvely realize that they are actually diminishing their beauty and femininity.
Note the following excerpt from the article:
"We were quite surprised as there is a view that people who are overweight may be stigmatised and made to feel depressed," said Professor David Gunnell, of Bristol University, one of the authors of the study.
And why does such an absurd view exist in the first place? For one simple reason: because the thin-supremacist media promotes it.* * *
Even seemingly benign programs may actually be detrimental, then, in propagating this myth of the wretchedness of being curvaceous.
And many of the individuals who purport to be "helping" the so-called "size-acceptance" movement actually do more harm than good, when they perpetuate this misguided stereotype.
Every manipulative program in which an underweight actress, or model, or reporter, dons synthetic padding in order to appear fuller figured, and to "experience what it must be like," conveys a barely-concealed contempt for the subjects of the study. The sickening undercurrent in these programs is, "Oh, you're full-figured, you must be so miserable--but I feel your pain."
This is not empathy. This is self-serving pity posturing; and, as the Stoics taught us two millennia ago, pity and disdain are two sides of the same coin.
(Pity, like resentment, is the mortal enemy of size celebration.)
And perhaps the most pernicious result of perpetuating this colossal myth is the fact that some plus-size women actually end up believing it, and begin seeing themselves as victims, rather than vixens.
So why has this myth of the pitiable full-figured woman persisted, even though this study proves it to be false?
Psych 101 offers us a good explanation.
We trust that everyone here remembers the meaning of that basic psychological concept known as PROJECTION. If not, here is the serviceable OED definition:
Projection: 9.b. Psychoanal. The unconscious process or fact of projecting one's fears, feelings, desires, or fantasies on to other persons, things, or situations, in order to avoid recognizing them as one's own and so as to justify one's behaviour.
Ergo, since self-imposed starvation and torture regimens lead to depression and misery (as this study reveals), and since today's media is largely in the hands of women who subject themselves to such practices, then they are clearly projecting their own unhappiness and frustration onto full-figured women, whenever they depict them in the media.
This explains why the only full-figured actresses who ever are permitted to appear on screen are those who lack any semblance of beauty. The very notion of a gorgeous, plus-size goddess is incomprehensible to the starving media moguls.
Or rather, perhaps such "voluptuous vixens" are all too comprehensible (and familiar) to them. Perhaps they remind the latter-day Mary Wollstonecrafts and George Eliots who run today's media of all of the attractive, flirtatious, coquettish, well-endowed rivals who, in high school and in college, enjoyed the lion's share of attention and popularity (and boyfriends) that they themselves secretly coveted.
And the fact that these self-indulgent goddesses could eat whatever they wished, while their wispy rivals starved themselves, and could enjoy life to the fullest, while the waifs subjected themselves to exercise regimens, seemed to them the very height of injustice.
Therefore, they now spend their media careers exacting a kind of wish-fulfillment revenge upon them, by transforming these princesses into scullery-maids, by turning Shannon Maries and Lillian Russells into Camryn Manheims and Rosie O'Donnells, by projecting their own resentment and unhappiness onto them. Or by effacing their existence altogether.
Many envy-based ideologies and "isms" are based on a similar set of underlying psychological principles (i.e., the envy of the blessed by the ill-favoured). But the basic pettiness (and cruelty) of this impulse is never more clearly exposed than in this particular subject.
That is why it behooves every admirer of full-figured femininity to rush to its defence, and to break a lance--or move a pen--on its behalf, whenever opportunity permits.
Goody's junior-plus model (also seen at Dillard's); happier, healthier, and lovelier than any malnourished waif:
(Possibly Caitlin Ketron, Campbell agency, size 14.)