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Old 2nd May 2011   #1
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Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default ''Women need to realize they are beautiful''

Everyone here probably remembers the case of Ashley Kauffman, the pretty, full-figured, 19-year-old girl who attended a taping of American Idol and was moved from the front row to the back, just because she was curvy rather than emaciated.

It was a glaring example of thin-supremacist curve-o-phobia, and the following article from a college newspaper uses it as a springboard for an interesting discussion of anti-plus discrimination in general.

Here are some of the highlights:

Respect any size: Expectations for women are unreasonable

At a live American Idol taping April 7, a 19-year-old studio audience member was barred from a front-row seat at the show. She claims she was asked to move because of her weight.

When American Idol discriminates against one fan, they are discriminating against all their fans who aren’t up to par on society’s standard of “skinny.”

The media puts far too much pressure on women of all ages to be a certain size. It can be seen everywhere from CosmoGirl Magazine to television shows where actresses are, on average, a size 2. Women feel if they want to add up to these women, they have to bust their butts exercising, cut calories to an unhealthy level and they might even go so far as to get plastic surgery.

The Women’s Center Director Jess Caldwell-O’Keefe agrees the media has an effect on the way women view themselves.

“The media portrays images of women that are unrealistic, both through the modeling world — which only hires women with a body type that occurs naturally in less than 2 percent of women — and through photoshopping images — literally shaving inches off bodies to make celebrities appear impossibly thin,” O’Keefe said. “Women’s lives are saturated with these images and the most common result is an unhealthy body image which sometimes leads to anorexia and bulimia in the most extreme cases.”

Women shouldn’t have to resort to eating disorders because of the way media portrays women or because someone called them f**...

The next passage is especially important:

Who decided what “f**” even means? Who decided it’s not attractive to be a size 14? Women should be a natural size they are comfortable with and strive for whatever keeps them healthy. They shouldn’t let society tell them what to weigh — it is no one’s business but their own. Women need to realize they are beautiful, even if it’s not according to the standards of the media...

No one should be told they can’t have the same rights as everyone else because of their weight...Size shouldn’t affect someone’s chances of getting a certain job, making certain friends or where they can sit when they attend a taping of their favorite show. Women need to realize there is beauty in having curves.

As for Ashley herself, she appeared on Good Morning America at the time that American Idol's offensive practice was exposed, a couple of weeks ago. Her remarks are worth noting.

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What I also find interesting is that although Ashley is garbed in "safe" black for this interview, at 3:29 the camera specifically zooms in on her very fashionable shoes (which Ashley herself wanted to highlight). To me, this epitomizes the situation of young, full-figured girls today: the figure-disguising black attire indicating some vestigial body issues, but shoes worthy of the chicest fashionista indicating budding self-assurance. Plus-size girls are pulled between lingering body disparagement (fuelled by a media that rampantly discriminates against them) and a dawning awareness of how stylish and gorgeous they actually are.

For now, a girl like Ashley confines her adventurousness to her shoes, but hopefully in the future she, and girls like her, will extend that boldness to their wardrobe choices and will proudly show off their full figured in bright hues or bold whites, and will tell any thin-supremacist American Idol usher that the days when people would put up with his narrow-minded curve-o-phobia are over.

Last edited by HSG : 29th April 2012 at 10:27. Reason: Video URL updated
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