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Old 12th October 2006   #1
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 633
Default ''Keep your disorders away''

I think the row over the Madrid ban of emaciated models has now spilled over into a general popular uprising against the media's tyranny of thinness. Frankly, it's about time. I think the discussions of the ban, and the lame excuses peddled by the fashion industry for their fetish for thinness (lame especially in the face of model deaths, and the rampant spread of anorexia), have finally helped people realize that they needn't put up with having their culture dictated to them.

People are realizing that they have a stake in the culture, that they can't escape it- nor can they shield their daughters from it.

I found an article today (with a great title) that expresses the anger than many of us have felt about this topic for years. But it's not merely a list of complaints, it's also a call to action.

The writer calls for an end to the hegemony of underweight celebrities, and more importantly, the popularization and promotion of actresses and models who do look curvy.

Relevant text below:

All you celebrity skeletons, keep your disorders away from our children

Susan Reinhardt

October 12, 2006 12:15 am

Enough is enough. I can no longer engage in my current passion of reading trash-zines in the grocery store line.

Used to be scanning was a pleasure...These days, we can't read or stare at covers without gasping in utter bone yard horror.

What's out there now is so sickening I turn my eyes from the stands and make SURE my third-grader doesn't see it.

"EAT! EAT! EAT!" I want to scream at the tabs featuring cadavers in Versace, their undernourished bodies giving them that watermelon-head look.

I felt my blood pressure rise upon seeing the frightening likes of Victoria Beckman, Nicole Richie, Keira Knightley, Kate Bosworth, and "Anna-rexic" Kournikova, the once healthy tennis star. The Olsen twins were bad enough, and now every starlet is DEAD set on becoming a living, breathing double-zero who can exist on air, compliments and Starbucks - hold the milk products and anything not called triple espresso...

Hollywood women, always cutthroat competitive, have for some inane reason decided to outdo each other by seeing who can stay alive while eating three bean sprouts, two bites of tofu, 64 cigarettes and two leaves of lettuce per day.

The result is the most staggering set of images since the textbook we had in nursing school featuring photographs of real people suffering anorexia nervosa, a dangerous and very deadly eating disorder in which victims think they're f** and quit eating.

I was hoping beauties such as Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, along with other curvy queens like J. Lo and Kate Winslet, had tipped Hollywood's scales in favor of healthy bodies.

This lasted a few years. Then thin was in again, along with the constant media images of actresses barely alive on the red carpets during their movie premiers.

What's the deal? Does one need to be 5-foot-8-inches and weigh 80 pounds to slink around at these premiers? Get some popcorn, Lindsay Lohan. Eat a Butterfinger, Keira.

Why, their spines stick up like something dug up from the bone collection at the Smithsonian.

It's a sick competition and I wonder how many of these once cute girls realize they actually resemble Gollum from "Lord of the Rings"...?

This, people, is cause for alarm and evidence of what the entertainment industry is doing to our babies.

Let's boycott the bones and vote in gals who know their way around a Duncan Hines factory.
Kaitlynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th October 2006   #2
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Join Date: July 2006
Posts: 4
Default Re: ''Keep your disorders away''

Originally Posted by Kaitlynn
This, people, is cause for alarm and evidence of what the entertainment industry is doing to our babies.

Let's boycott the bones and vote in gals who know their way around a Duncan Hines factory.

What a great article, and I completely agree, especially with this last part. Let's not let the next generation of women--and not only that, the next generation of mothers, who will pass on their own views on body image and weight to their daughters--grow up feeling unworthy or unattractive because they weigh more than some misguided weight chart or fashion magazine thinks they should. Let's not put our daughters on ridiculous diets, or burden our daughters, our sisters, or even ourselves, with an artificial standard of appearance, rather than celebrating an ideal of timeless beauty.
ERagsdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2006   #3
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: ''Keep your disorders away''

One of the pitiful excuses that the mass media uses to deflect blame for their role in promoting eating disorders is that it is the responsibility of parents to protect children from their messages (which is akin to having a construction company say, "We just make asbestos-filled schools; it's the fault of parents for letting their children attend them"). But kudos to this author for acting on this responsibility. Since the anti-plus media is a threat to her daughter, and to daughters everywhere, this parent rightly recognizes that it is her responsibility not merely to keep her daughter from viewing its toxic imagery (which is impossible, in the long term), but to compel the media to stop producing such harmful imagery in the first place.

It should be obvious to everyone by now that without external pressure, (indeed, external regulation,) the media will never change, so such pressure must be brought to bear on it.

The author makes a point about celebrity magazines that the publishers of these rags would do well to consider--i.e., that their endless stories about Gollum-like skeletal celebrities are intensely off-putting, and that the sales of these publications would increase if they featured fuller-figured actresses instead.

However, the grim truth is that these publications don't care if they offend the general public, nor do they care if they ruin the body-image of generations of young women. News-stand sales are not their main concern. They simply publish the stories and images that will attract advertising revenue from the multi-billion-dollar starvation industry.

Indeed, it is fair to refer to most celebrity-gossip magazines, and to most magazines in general, as custom publications for weight-loss profiteers. In other words, they are diet magalogs. Ruining women's body image is not merely incidental to these publications. It is their prime objective.

Originally Posted by Kaitlynn
"EAT! EAT! EAT!" I want to scream at the tabs featuring cadavers in Versace, their undernourished bodies giving them that watermelon-head look. . . .

Get some popcorn, Lindsay Lohan. Eat a Butterfinger, Keira. . . .

Let's boycott the bones and vote in gals who know their way around a Duncan Hines factory.

Nevertheless, it is always encouraging to see reporters calling for the popularization of fuller-figured actresses. This writer deserves particular credit for avoiding the mixed message of claiming that only "certain kinds" of foods are acceptable. Rather, she unambiguously indicates that, in order to become more beautiful, and to avoid the "bone-yard horror" look of Hollywood's current crop of "cadavers," actresses should indulge in naughty delicacies such as Butterfinger bars and Duncan Hines treats, because doing so will give them a healthier and a more beautiful appearance.

This is an admirable revaluation of media values. And frankly, it would be agreeable to see, say, Duncan Hines promotions in magazines celebrating curvier stars, to match the advertising revenue that the starvation industry bestows upon anorexia-pushing publications. These dessert ads would even operate on the same premise: just as diet ads promote the lie that food-deprivation increases attractiveness, dessert ads could promote the truth that indulging in sinful delicacies improves and augments feminine beauty. (After all, in a healthier time, advertising was the norm.)

We look forward to the positive and healthy media that this author envisions.

Christina Schmidt (Wilhelmina/Brand), in one of the most gorgeous images that any plus-size model has ever created:

(Photography by Fadil Berisha.)

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