Starving for attention

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Posted by HSG on May 22, 2005 at 22:22:33:

In Reply to: ''Young girls are brainwashed'' posted by Melanie W. on May 22, 2005 at 17:22:51:

It genuinely is encouraging to hear Ms. Church make this kind of statement. Young girls most certainly are brainwashed by the media (and sadly, not just young girls, but older individuals as well--who really should know better).

The tragedy is that the media devotes so little attention to the (very few) young female celebrities who do not starve themselves.

It doesn't take a psychologist to realize that the media only exacerbates the eating-disorder crisis when it devotes so much attention to "shockingly" skeletal starlets, and criticizes them for their excessive behaviour.

These kind of reports simply encourage their self-destructive starvation--in a cycle that parents of rebellious teenagers will surely understand.

All that reports such as these do is lavish more attention on celebrities who were seeking publicity in the first place.

Teens and twentysomethings invariably desire attention, and celebrities always desire publicity, so when you put the two together in the form of a "teen celebrity," and such an individual gets attention for being excessively thin, then the celebrity will simply redouble her anorex-ercizing efforts, in order to attract even more publicity.

And what's worse, of course, is that all-too-many of the celebrity's young fans will emulate her life-threatening behaviour.

(Incidentally, eating-disorders organizations commit the same error when they concentrate so exclusively on anorexic imagery. If the young victims found the look of a shockingly skeletal frame off-putting, they wouldn't be starving themselves in the first place. By criticizing this aesthetic, these organizations inadvertently promote it.)

* * *

The only way to combat these problems is by advocating an alternative ideal--i.e., the timeless ideal of full-figured beauty.

We recently received several examples of "fan art" devoted to plus-size starlet Christina Schmidt, from various Degrassi sources. Here is a clever banner from an unidentified fan:

And the following image was created by a young graphic artist named Mallory Tyler Mackenzie:

(A larger version of this graphic is available at the link posted below.)

Mallory's quotation, ("You're pretty. Really pretty. Anyone who can't see that is blind") comes from the Degrassi episode in which Christina's character was revealed as a plus-size model, while we are fairly certain that the assertion on the black-and-white banner expresses the most heartfelt sentiments of the its creator.

And this is what we really need, if an aesthetic restoration is to take place: full-figured actresses and models such as Christina, who are every bit as beautiful (indeed more beautiful) than their underweight rivals; plus-size celebrities who inspire young fans to exclaim, "Damn, she's hot," and to assert that anyone who cannot see the beauty of these individuals must be blind.

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