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Old 9th October 2006   #1
Kaitlynn
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Join Date: July 2005
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Default In praise of the ''Freshman 15''

Here's an article that is such a refreshing change from the typically thin-supremacist mindset of the mainstream press, that it's worth a mention here.

Not only does the author point out that gaining the typical 15+ pounds that come with college is not a bad thing at all, but that this figure improvement- and a general ease about "indulgence" (she actually uses that word!)- is actually very liberating.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/06/o...gin&oref=slogin

I think every young girl experiencing college should take these words to heart, and really enjoy her youth to the fullest, rather than punishing herself for no reason at all. The bulk of the text appears below:

..................
Seize the Weight

By MARISHA PESSL

Published: October 6, 2006

I SURVIVED the freshman 15.

Technically, the extra pounds arrived the summer before my freshman year, when I went to Paris on one of those exchange programs where you’re supposed to submerge yourself in a captivating new culture...

But there they were there. The once-roomy Oxford shirt I’d worn throughout high school began to yawn rudely between buttons. Every night after dinner, I felt a strange, overpowering urge to unfasten the top button of my jeans.

When I made it home at the end of the summer, my mom studied the photos from my trip, but instead of commenting on the muffin top bulging over my belt loops, she said I’d never looked happier. Shocked, I scrutinized my beaming face, pink and puffy as a macaroon.

And then it dawned on me: A little weight gain when you’ve been downing croissants and crepes and dancing all night in discos with male models who spoke brittle English wasn’t so bad. No, that mysterious, feared affliction known as the freshman 15 was entirely misunderstood — menacing in reputation, but in reality? Marvelous.

Sadly, few have gotten the memo. This back-to-school season, there’s been an outbreak of diet books aimed at avoiding the freshman 15...

...they’re nothing but buzz kill, a chafe, strictly for the birds. Forget the most obvious problem with collegiate calorie counting, that studying Kierkegaard or Conrad after a dinner of seitan and soy chips would render even robust stomachs seasick, sometimes outright ill. And I won’t harp on the clear link between vigorous salad consumption and sulkiness.

No, it’s that step-by-step, nitpicky dieting — any kind of strangling self-denial — goes against the very essence of the university experience.

College is a time for excess, for experimentation. It is four fleeting years of free-spirited indulgence in the form of metaphysics classes, a cappella ensembles, Gaelic Women’s Poetry or Intro to Interpretive Dance. Maybe you were a geek in high school — in college, you have carte blanche to go Goth. Always thought you were a jock who could never speak a foreign language? Meet a French girl at a frat party; soon you’re specializing in Sartre.

Time — she stops for no one. A student has eight semesters to fight not for gangplank abs or the loss of a dress size, but for a life experience that defies manuals, handbooks and how-to’s. Be baffled, heart-broken, a fool, fall flat, find out you (and, amazingly, your parents) never really had a clue.

This could very well lead you to Nietzsche, pizza and the Lipinski twins at 4 a.m. A rowdy incident involving cookie dough, snow angels, five townies and Lynyrd Skynyrd is also not out of the question. Neither are doughnuts and “Lonesome Dove.”

If you gain a little gut while studying Goethe, it will be fine...After a grueling year number-crunching for a boss who knows mortgage-backed securities but has never heard of Montmartre, the spontaneous all-night study session you once held in your dorm room sophomore year (beer, Byron and buffalo wings) will seem like a far-off, childhood dream.

Don’t waste it. Use that finite period to live on your own terms, let go. Take Emily Dickinson’s words to heart: “To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”...

So trust me, you won’t have the cushioning of college forever. Until it’s all over — and you’re living with your parents, facing $20,000 in student loans — eat cake.
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Old 9th October 2006   #2
Natasha
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Default Re: In praise of the ''Freshman 15''

As a college student I must say that reading this article was a great way to start my morning. I have to take two exams today, and after I sit them I think I'm going to reward myself with a giant slice of chocolate cake!
I've also found that some of my friends' obsession with the gym leaves so little time for studying that their grades suffer. Certainly that's another aspect of enjoying your time in college: freeing yourself from the need to spend an hour a day on some exercise machine in some airless basement, when you could be having a whole array of exciting new experiences.
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Old 9th October 2006   #3
Erika
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Default Re: In praise of the ''Freshman 15''

Now THAT was a fantastic and refreshing article -- an engaging, intelligent and let's face it, iconoclastic piece of journalism on the much maligned Freshman 15!
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Old 15th October 2006   #4
HSG
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Default Re: In praise of the ''Freshman 15''

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitlynn
The once-roomy Oxford shirt I’d worn throughout high school began to yawn [seductively] between buttons. Every night after dinner, I felt a strange, overpowering urge to unfasten the top button of my jeans.

When I made it home at the end of the summer, my mom studied the photos from my trip, but instead of commenting on the muffin top bulging over my belt loops, she said I’d never looked happier.

The New York Times has published several stories that have won praise on this forum, and even recently ran an editorial in favour of the Madrid ban on underweight models. But this piece is quite exceptional. Not only is it a shining example of size celebration, but it even deserves to be termed pro-indulgence. The writer breathtakingly links an enjoyment of Nietzsche, Goethe, Byron, and Joseph Conrad (marvellous choices all) with a guilt-free love of food. What an admirable way to encourage young women to reject modernist values (philosophical, literary, and aesthetic), and to immerse themselves in the sensibilities of richer, healthier cultures.

If there was ever an example of the kind of articles that plus-size magazines should be running--the kind of stories that Mode would be publishing, if it were still in print--this is it.

It is a sheer delight to read the author's observations about the visible testaments to her increasingly curvaceous figure, from the closer, more alluring fit of her clothing, to the flushed pinkness of her complexion. She acknowledges that these visual cues prompted her mother to affirm that she had "never looked happier," but what the writer may have only intuitively realized was that these physical details also made her more irresistible to those "male models who spoke brittle English," with whom she danced the night away in Parisian discotheques.

Curve-o-phobic fashion proscriptionists may try to claim otherwise, but here is one of the world's best-kept secrets: the visible signs of an increasingly softer, fuller figure--what a Daily Telegraph writer (referring to Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell's look in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) recently termed an "ample overspill of flesh"--are actually seductive physical features. Moreover, the obvious satisfaction that this writer felt in allowing herself to eat whatever she wished undoubtedly gave her an agreeable disposition, making her even more attractive.

This suggests another reason why the "Freshman 15+" phenomenon occurs. An old saw maintains that some women go to college to obtain their M.r.s. degrees (i.e., to select worthy spouses). Once they find themselves on campus, they quickly realize that the number of suitors whom they attract increases exponentially as they develop more womanly figures.

The underlying theme of the article--tempus fugit--is just as significant after college as during. Life is so short, so fleeting, that it is a waste, a tragedy, to spend what little time we have been given on this earth in a state of perpetual starvation, or punishing oneself in a gym prison, and to pass away from this terrestrial sphere riddled with regret about years wasted in self-denial.

Life is short, so make the most of it. Deny yourself nothing; and--in every sense--live life to the fullest.

Radiant Kelsey Olson, modelling for Torrid:

- Source of the above image


Last edited by HSG : 15th October 2006 at 12:51.
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Old 17th October 2006   #5
MelanieW
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Default Re: In praise of the ''Freshman 15''

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSG
Curve-o-phobic fashion proscriptionists may try to claim otherwise, but here is one of the world's best-kept secrets: the visible signs of an increasingly softer, fuller figure--what a Daily Telegraph writer (referring to Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell's look in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) recently termed an "ample overspill of flesh"--are actually seductive physical features.

The sad thing is that before the 1970s and the so-called "womens movement", Hollywood used to recognize this.

I found a beautiful video clip of Anita Ekberg (as a brunette!) from a bad Jerry Lewis comedy from 1966, called Way Way Out. Note that Anita is playing a seductress role, but that she has a very curvy midriff, for a movie star, and even has an "ample overspill of flesh" around the edges of her swimsuit costume, from the back view.

I will try to "embed" the video here. Click the arrow to play:



Considering how emaciated and androgynous actresses look today, its amazing that as recently as four decades ago, an actress with such a visibly soft figure could be cast as the irresistible temptress. And no one thought that her curvy tummy or her escaping flesh were "flaws". Quite the opposite. They were rightly considered aspects of her womanly beauty.

Last edited by HSG : 21st January 2007 at 05:02. Reason: Embedded video URL corrected
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