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Old 16th April 2012   #1
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Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Student Bodies

One of the most interesting threads on last year's forum linked to various size-positive pieces that were published in a variety of student-oriented publications.

As it is always encouraging to see students taking up the mantra of size celebration, I thought I'd commence a new thread on a similar theme.

The Yale Daily News published a section this weekend titled "The Body of the Issue," in which a number of students penned pieces relating to body image.

Some were predictable leftist screeds, but others were quite heartfelt. I was particularly taken with this confessional:


// by Anonymous

I was curvy in high school — and I liked it. I treasured the looks my friends exchanged when I was the first to announce I had outgrown my training bras. I cherished my nickname, bouncing off lockers whenever I bent down to grab a book or to tie my sneaker: “baDONK!” I even enjoyed the rosy color my face turned when my grandfather announced during Thanksgiving that I was “voluptuous.” I was comfortable with the way my hips swayed when I walked, with the way shirts fit me. Cosmo told me that “curvy” should be paired with a picture of a chubby woman, and I’d just turn the page.

I am still curvy. My body hasn’t changed much in the last few years — but that word has. I’m at Yale, and the girls are stick-thin. “Curvy” is no longer what women wish to look like; it is suddenly associated with words I hadn’t thought about before. I look at my thighs in the mirror. I want jutting collarbones. I watch the salads my friends eat — I control my portions. But I know that I’ll never look that way. My efforts are in vain. My body will never be flat on both sides.

I miss the way I used to look at that word, but now all I can think about is how that word looks.

Consider the implications of the writer's comments. Prior to going to college, she had a positive body image. Her family and friends surrounded her in a pro-curvy environment.

Then, upon entering the new milieu of university, her self-image started to become warped by the anti-plus, curve-o-phobic, characteristically "modern" way of thinking of her new peers.

It has often been said that the modern university has become little more than an activist factory, a place where, far from cultivating a variety of opinions, students are indoctrinated with the politically fashionable beliefs of today's ideologue professors. The above writer's comments indicate how such thinking also seeps into students' minds through their contact with peers. It happens with body image, as it surely happens with beliefs of all kinds.

As a wonderful counter to the previous paragraph, consider the following item from the same piece:



Anyone who knows me also knows how much I love my ass. It comes as no surprise that the first playlist on my iPod is called “Booty Tunes,” or that my favorite song is Soulja Boy’s “Donk.” Ask my friends to imitate my dancing and you will definitely see some booty bumping. This allows me the privilege of proudly displaying a small sticker on my door that reads “Booty Bump Ahead.”

My appreciation for my assets has stemmed from my culture. As the daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a half Mexican father, I’ve basically been indoctrinated to appreciate Latina curves, especially my butt. When I was young, my family would always comment on the size of my behind in a positive light. As I flourished into a woman, my female cousins would often give me a slap on the butt, telling me how jealous they were. My butt became the symbol of my pride and identity, something I can never and will never part with.

Until I came to Yale, I did not really realize that loving my ass was some type of novelty. In high school, it wasn’t uncommon for my friends and me to compliment each other saying, “damn girl, your ass look good in those jeans” or “you should definitely get that dress — it makes your ass look good.” Loving my booty was never a question but a given. And that’s the way it should be.

So Yalies, next time you’re at Toad’s, I hope you’ll embrace your ass. Shake that booty.

This writer seems to be experiencing the same pressure that the previous author, "Anonymous," endured. However, in the case of the latter contributor, the vibrancy of her traditional culture is giving her a psychological foundation of defense, a way of traditional thinking that counters the modern, rootless ideology that afflicts her at Yale.

Two lessons can be drawn from this.

1. In order not to be poisoned by the tradition-hating, alien thinking that pervades the modern university, students need to have a solid grounding in an alternative belief system/value system/aesthetic vision, so that their innate ideals are not overwritten by the aggressive ideologies with which they will come into contact. This applies to body image in particular, and to values in general, aesthetic and otherwise.

2. Students from other cultures can draw on their own ethnic heritage to satisfy the above requirement. It is so necessary, therefore, for students of Northern European descent to also reconnect with their own cultural traditions, their own European heritage, so that they realize that their backgrounds also cherish values (aesthetic and otherwise) that run counter to modernist programming. Students from some cultures can hold on to "Latina curves" as a preferable alternative to modernist androgyny, but students from Germanic backgrounds can venerate "Rubens curves" in just the same way.

Rootless modernism is the real enemy, as well as the ideologies of guilt that have burgeoned with it. Cultural traditions and ethnic heritage are the answer, and students should embrace such timeless values as a bulwark against any alien indoctrination that they face in higher learning.
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