Tuesday, July 17, 2007

OK, Just Stop It, Right Now ...

I've been in a funk for a couple days, a manic-depressive funk, perhaps, as I've felt rather empowered and kick-ass for parts of days and rather "I suck" for other parts of the same days. Or maybe that's just human nature.

I've started a couple posts but they didn't seem to go anywhere logical, so I left them as drafts. Maybe I'll craft them into something readable someday. Maybe not.

But hold the presses, a topic has arrived, spurred on by this. Faith Hill is a beautiful woman. I just saw her on an Oprah rerun recently. She's tall and gorgeous and sweet as pecan pie. Which you can see for yourself on this cover. Perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect body. The dress is questionable, but that's the stylist's fault.

Are you feeling kinda crappy about yourself right now? If you're a woman, you might be. (Men are too busy thinking that Tim McGraw is one lucky son of a bitch.) Well, click the hotlink. (Did you miss it? It's right here.) And scroll down until you get to the animation that toggles between the actual photo of Faith and the Photoshopped cover.

Feel better?

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and Joseph's in-laws (hey, that's pretty funny, Joseph's in-laws; I guess he really only had one in-law), what the hell is wrong with our society?! Who thought that her arm had to be turned into a toothpick? If you scroll down further, you'll find an annotated picture that points out everything that was done to her photograph.

Sunday, mom and I were returning from some shopping, talking about eating right and exercising and diets and such, and Kirstie Alley's name came up. Mom said, "I guess she isn't losing any more weight, because now the commercials are about Valerie Bertinelli."

"Well," I said. "I think she lost as much as she wanted to lose."

At which point, my mother made some comment along the lines of, "She needs to lose more."

Clearly, my mother's body has been replaced by a pod person. (Actually, I think there's a much bigger issue at play here. Over the past couple years, mom has lost weight - not that she had a lot to lose - and she looks great. She's 65. But she was talking about wanting to lose more. Maybe the more you lose, the more you want to lose. Maybe you start to lose perspective about how you appear. I went through that once, after losing weight. I literally didn't recognize myself in the mirror. Very disconcerting. Or maybe people who lose weight just become sizeist.)

Kirstie Alley looks fabulous. She's in her 50s, for God's sake. Yes, there was a time, long ago, when she could have been on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, but I think she looks gorgeous now.

I mentioned an ad in a magazine that features Sara Ramirez from Grey's Anatomy. It's very stylized, very '40s glam, tight red dress, red lips, perfect wavy hair. It's a stunning photograph. Is she a size 2? Nope. Does a large percentage of the American female population wish they looked like her? I'd put money on that.

We have got to get over the notion in this country that all women need to be built like prepubescent boys. Well, with massive breasts, of course.

Nevermind we grown-up women. Sure, we're still prone to feeling shitty about ourselves, but at least we have the emotional capacity to cope with it. What about all the young girls in our society?

L.A. Dave clucks his tongue at me when I talk about losing weight, but there's a big difference between wanting to be healthy and wanting to look like a cover model.

Because, as this example reminds us, even cover models don't look like cover models.

And speaking of covers, note the coverline on this issue about the "skinny pills." "Yes, they work! But read this first"? Yes, they work, if by "work" you mean you might crap your pants unexpectedly. Seriously, people, any diet solution that suggests that you carry an extra pair of pants with you at all times is not, in the end, a solution.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ethan said...

Yeah, "ideal" weights, let alone "ideal" anything else are tricky to determine. Mar thinks I should maintain my current weight (259), whereas I'm thinking 220 is more realistic in terms of dropping one more waist size (I don't intend to drop 2) and not having the spare tire look. I have zero interest in being a stick figure (been there, done that) but we'll see what my body/current activity level allows me to do re: weight loss/gain/maintenance.

Sorry to hear you've been feeling down. :-(

2:39 PM  
Anonymous JoLynn Braley said...

Wow, thanks for the link for the Photoshop animation Beth. This is what causes so many distortions for women, because we are comparing ourselves to these magazines that aren't even reality.

11:11 PM  

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