Herd About It?
by Ana Agrarian
Isn’t it interesting that the same media that brings us hours of images of processed food, full of excess salt, high fructose corn syrup, additives we can’t even pronounce and calories galore w/zero nutritional value (despite the hype on the package), also brings us this kind of fictionalized, photo-shopped ideal of womanly beauty. The industry pushes food with hormones that cause early puberty and disruption of normal female reproductive cycles, asks us to become so thin as to not be able to bear children anyway. The industry that sings the praises of other corporate interests that cause mother’s milk to be tainted with chemicals harmful to their infants, uses this as an example of womanliness.
Certainly a woman is more than her ability to bear or nurse children, but she is also more than an object to be pulled, through ridiculous imagery, into a battle against biological norms.
If this is beauty, then concentration camps are beauty spas. I would hope this woman had not agreed to have her image used in this way.
The fashion industry and the media that promote it need to be taken to task for portraying people in abusive set ups as sexy. A simple glance through the Sunday Times style section should bring more than enough examples.
It’s all about money people. If they can sell us products to keep us fat and unhealthy, we will always need to buy products to try and reach the goal of their image of beauty. They’ve gone to such extremes that they now have to grossly photo-shop skinny models into shape because it is impossible to get there naturally.
I guess just photo- shopping their clothes onto pictures of women from Darfur would be just too obvious.
Ain’t it the truth, Ana. Just a week or so ago, a news broadcast had some story showing the usual human coat-hangers modeling the latest fashions, followed by commercials for McDonald’s new double-cheeseburger dollar menu, some fruit juice drink stuffed with High Fructose Corn Syrup, a cereal covered with some kind of sweet goop, and Marie Osmond bubbling gleefully that she lost 50 pounds on Nutra System or whatever it was. When the news returned, the anchor, a woman, and her guest, a doctor who treats diabetics, tsk-tsked their way through a story on the growing obesity epidemic in America. Gee, I wonder how that could happen?
But there are encouraging signs on the horizon. Glamour magazine recently ran this photo of a ‘plus-size’ model that showed a healthy, sexy woman with a normal human abdomen, unlike the tree branches with boobs they usually feature:
Glamour was deluged with so many approving comments from readers, thousands of them, that they have now committed to featuring more normal women in their magazine, like these:
I hope this trend catches on, as the women who resemble the doctored photo in the Ralph Lauren ad repulse me.
This topic annoys the hell out of me. Watch the media; ads and such. View TV and paper thin actresses… mostly because cameras add weight visually but also that’s what talent makers want… and it’s easy to see that society encourages binge and purge. Over weight is directly connected to under weight as we try to live according to what we’re told is the norm and according to what we should have. And Ana is right: not just additives but, when they can peas or corn, why do they have to put sugar in there? Can’t be necessary, when they sell low sodium they drop the sugar and it stores fine, tastes better. Corn syrup is in damn near everything. (Thanks, Dad! How ironic for a man with diabetes to be hawking corn syrup for a living.) If our corn crops go to hell in any given year even gasoline prices will suffer. How can we logically rely so much on one crop? We can, but we shouldn’t.
Why doeth it pisseth me off? Because out Docs and society turns around: ignoring all this, and say, “It’s all your own fault. It’s easy! Just follow this bland, boring, annoying diet for the rest of your life and you too can have the ‘perfect’ body.”
Of course not everyone has “exactly the same body,” inside and out. But they don’t want to hear that. We are all just little robots: all made exactly the same with no differences in processing food, ability/inability to gain/lose weight… no genetic factor here at all! Get me started on all that and I might as well write a column rather than comment. (Actually I did a few years ago on this topic.)
Note that these normal women are “plus sized” models. I have been looking at reduce sugar foods because I find so many of them over sweetened, 99% of then contain artificial sweeteners. I don’t want just less sugar or no HFCS I want food that tastes like food w/o tons of sweetness – oh -and hold the salt too please.
It is a travesty that normal women are rated as ‘plus size’ by the fashion industry. (Personally, I prefer the full Rubenesque body type, but you won’t see any women like that in Glamour mag any time soon.)
Years ago a doctor was on TV, a specialist in weight and obesity, and said Americans should realize that the rail-thin ‘supermodel’ body-type is a mutation impossible for a normal woman to achieve without malnutrition — in other words, they are freaks of nature.
A friend of mine, a woman, was abnormally thin and emaciated-looking — she drank thick milkshakes, beer, ate cheesburgers, french fries, and high-calorie foods all trying to gain weight, but she couldn’t. She even took some kind of dietary supplement to put on pounds, but nothing worked. It is possible to be too thin — she was miserable being 5’10” and weighing about 100 lbs. soaking wet.
I pretty much lost my sweet tooth when I was in my 20s. I still have dark chocolate now and then, but can’t stand sweet drinks like soda pop or most desserts. The last time I had a Coke I couldn’t finish it — just too damn cloyingly sweet. These days I prefer bitter or salty food and drink.
Unfortunately I like my salt, and my blood pressure has always been fine. Perhaps too low from time to time. I understand it does help with retention. I can’t stand soda now with sugar/corn sweetener, plus it makes me fall asleep. (Hypoglycemia does tend to pop up from time to time with me.) they put this stuff in everything. Watch your cans of corn, peas, anything processed or prepared, most cereals…
Occasional sugar at best and no liquids. On tour last year I bought some Orange Dry soda and wound off going off the road into the median. Couldn’t figure why until I noticed this Polar beverage had been misplaced amongst the diet. I spent some time talking to Cumberland Farms folks; they were mixing their sucralose with packets of the same color: Nutrasweet. Bad enough. But some of the packet of the same color were cane sugar. Those packets disappeared fast after I first mentioned them. Talk about a chance to be sued for mega-bucks.
This is the thing docs and the general public doesn’t get. I absolutely admit that excessive weight has strong “open your mouth and swallow the wrong kinds of food” too much components. But genetics and differing body types: internal, have as much to do with it; sometimes more depending upon the person. If you look at pictures of my family I’m actually a bit thinner than most; not all by any means. But the only thin ones are of one specific family and, from having seen the spouse and that family, there’s an obvious genetic component to their ability to keep weight off with greater ease. (I also think it has something to do with who gets passed down more of the Grandma Martha Carman genetics to a certain extent.)
In reality this “it’s only your inability to control yourself” meme’ is simply an excuse for a lot of people (including that family I mentioned) to hate and feel superior to others. And for the medical community it’s an easy, simplistic answer one can dismiss patients with that amounts to unscientific quackery. They violate their oath to “do no harm” every time they go for it rather than do the deeper, necessary, analysis.
Have you read the news? The Ralph Lauren model whose figure was photoshopped for that ad, Filippa Hamilton, was just fired for being too fat by Lauren. Here’s what the tub o’guts model looks like:
And here’s the story:
Size 4 model: I was fired for being too fat
Former Ralph Lauren model Filippa Hamilton is 5′ 10″ and 120 pounds
— NBC Today Show, Oct. 14, 2009.
It’s time the precious Ralph Lauren had a little cold reality tossed in his tanned face. How about a nationwide boycott?
Seems that last picture didn’t turn out. Here’s another one of the obese Filippa Hamilton: