|3rd September 2006||#1|
Join Date: August 2005
''Who Wants to Eat?'' (from SNL)
Reading the wonderful article that Emily just posted about Transylvania made me reflect on how much perspective the modern world can get on itself, by looking through the lens of Old World cultures, which are closer to the natural cycle of life.
Christina Ricci appeared on Saturday Night Live a few years ago, in a skit called "Who Wants to Eat?" It was a take-off on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, except that it was set in a fictional third-world country, and included contestants from poor nations, like Bosnia, Ethiopia, etc.
The prizes weren't million-dollar jackpots, but basic foodstuffs - a bowl of rice, a bag of wheat, etc. (things that would be phenomenal prizes, to the people in these nations). Ricci played a starving girl from Bosnia.
The skit really made its devastating piont at the end, when Ricci's character goes for the grand prize (a goat), and is confronted by a question that seems mind-boggling to her:
Rajneesh Philbin: "What is the name of the disease where people refuse to eat because of a pathological fear of gaining weight? Is it A. Bulimia, B. Dysentery, C. Cholera, or D. Anorexia?"
You can read the whole transcript to see what happened. But what the text doesn't relay is how convincingly Ricci played the part, demonstrating how incomprehensible it would be to someone not brainwashed by the modern media, that a woman would willingly starve herself. The very concept is madness.
To an individual such as this, the idea of a woman choosing to deprive herself of food, willingly enduring the pain of hunger, would be utter lunacy - which it surely is. But young women in North America don't realize this, because they've been brought up to think that self-inflicted starvation (aka "dieting") is somehow normal.
A little perspective, I'd say, from outside the bubble in which the media encases us.
|15th October 2006||#3|
Join Date: July 2005
Re: ''Who Wants to Eat?'' (from SNL)
The skit is quite clever for precisely those reasons. It also exposes the absurdity of modern notions of "health." No one in any era prior to our own--i.e., in any era prior to mass-media mind control--would ever have associated female gauntness with "health." The very idea would have been considered preposterous--and rightly so. Being thin was viewed as a sign of being sickly. Emaciation was seen as an unmistakable mark of illness, while generous curves, and a natural love of food, indicated robustness and well-being. A starving girl would have no more been considered "healthier" than a plus-size vixen than a shrivelled raisin would have been considered healthier than a ripe, swelling grape on the vine.
In nature, fullness equals health, while dessication indicates malady. Thus--as the Saturday Night Live skit indicates--in any culture that still retains an understanding of the natural order, a deliberate attempt to look thinner could only be interpreted as madness.
Our language still reflects this. A seductress with a tendency to self-indulgence is said to have a "healthy appetite" ("healthy" meaning generous, considerable, lavish--not curbed and constrained), and when a vixen is favourably described as exhibiting a "well-fed" appearance, the phrase "well fed" means amply fed, richly fed, prodigally fed--not minimally fed.
The human physiology has not changed in the past few decades. Only our perceptions have changed, distorted as they have been by relentless media brainwashing. In actuality, being curvaceous still indicates a state of robust womanly health, while a withered appearance still indicates malady.
If it were not for our cultural conditioning, we would still correctly interpret plus-size beauty as a visual testament of health. Other societies--hitherto less dominated by our media culture, and still enjoying a closer connection to nature--still rightly view health and full-figured beauty as analogous.
If images of plus-size models ever become more widely disseminated into public consciousness, this natural association will re-establish itself in our culture, as well.
By far the best image in Ashley Graham's current Torrid campaign, celebrating her healthy appearance:
(Miss Graham is currently listed as a size 16, with delightful measurements 36c-34-49, and while those may be overly optimistic (in her Nordstrom images, she doesn't look anywhere near that curvaceous, and particularly, her waist does not appear to be so attractively full), it is nevertheless encouraging to see a rare example of a working model who is above a size 14.)
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