||[Sep. 5th, 2009|02:31 pm]
So what do I think about this?
Well, Glamour ran a pic of this model back in March: http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2009/03/women-tell-their-body-confidence-secrets
They didn't get "hundreds of letters" then about it. So I don't think it's so much about the model's size (she is 5'11", 180 lbs, obviously beautiful features, size 12 - which is "plus size" ;P).
I think it's about her visible flaw - i.e., the belly.
That pose she's in is not natural. She's sort of twisted and hunched, and her stomach pooches out. It would do that at almost any size short of rail thin, I think, on any woman in that pose.
But it would normally be Photoshopped out (or not shown at all). I think that is the crux of it. We are totally unused to seeing real images of real women. Now I don't mean real women as in "real women have curves". Real women are all sizes. But I mean real women as in women that aren't touched up digitally, aren't slimmed, trimmed, dewrinkled, smoothed.
Most women have a belly, even slender women. We carry some fat there, and for most women it would take a LOT of work to flatten that down to Photoshop-flat standards physically. I see plenty of size 2 and 4 girls that have a belly simply because of the cut of their jeans (very low rise). And if you're ever having kids, forget it. You can lose the weight but most women are going to have a bit of loose skin in the belly from the stretching. The skin is softer and wrinklier from expanding out and then shrinking back.
So this is reality, but we're so divorced from reality now that there are comments on that pic saying "she's obviously overweight and unfit and unhealthy". WTF? Oh, because she has a visible flaw - a belly that's not flat - I don't even think she has, looking at the pic that ran in March, a real pooch at all (by which I mean a belly that is not flattish when you're standing) I think it's the angle of the pic - yet, there are people disgusted by it and think immediately that she is overweight and unhealthy.
They are comparing her to fake images. All we see are fake images. Our sense of real sizes are getting desperately out of whack. Women are writing by the hundreds because they're finally seeing something that reflects their reality - the belly that most of us have, but we never see real bodies to compare this to.
Making this furor be about "larger sizes" sort of misses the point, I think. Yes we should see women of all sizes, but it's not JUST we hardly see anything over, say, a size 6 now - it's that we never see all the natural, normal flaws inherent to human bodies at any size, I mean I shouldn't even call them flaws, but: the bit of back fat pinch where the bra strap is, the pinch that creates a sort of lump over the hips where the elastic of your underwear is, cellulite... body hair, uneven skin...
That's what I think.