Scorpio Risen

Another rant with an uninspired title

Posted on: 7 June, 2007

Now, it’s not as if I am personally “fat” or anything like that. I am curvaceous, and I do have a bit of meat on me, and sure, yeh, I have gained a bit of weight, especially recently. My parents have been pressuring me for months about losing weight, which really, really, really, REALLY pisses me off. I mean, I have high self esteem for once.

But, what really hacks me off, is when people criticise people who are actually fat. Especially when those people are in the media. I’ve already mentioned a couple times at least that I love Beth Ditto. So, yesterday, I was in Danny’s Bar with my cousin, a girl she knew (+ two of her friends), and a couple other people who I knew etc. We were occasionally watching the music videos on the TV near us, when the video for Listen Up by The Gossip came on. So, of course, I was all like “Woo! I love the Gossip!” and one of the girls I knew said that she didn’t mind them, she thought it was good that Beth Ditto was in the public eye, but wasn’t keen on her voice. Another of the girls chipped in saying she didn’t like her basically because she was fat. 

Of course, I said that I thought Beth Ditto was sexy. Which appeared to shock people, and I think at least one person said something along the lines of “Fuck off – she’s fat!”. I guess a lot of why I think that is because I don’t believe sexiness to be an aesthetic, more an attitude, whereas most people appear to buy into the idea that sexiness is an aesthetic. This idea, of course, is hugely promoted by the media, which also tells us exactly what this aesthetic should look like.

 Well fuck the media.

Really, fuck ’em.

My cousin and I once had a text argument in which she said that Beth Ditto was a “disgrace” and “ate all the pies” (“Good voice” though). She also said that obesity was more of an issue than anorexia.

Yes, obesity is a social issue, but it’s not because of people like Beth Ditto being in the public eye. No one sees her and then tries to gain as much weight as possible. Anorexia, bulemia, however, are in many cases arguably linked towards the media’s obsession with a certain ideal being “sexy”. The majority of women in the media, in adverts, on TV and in movies, are slim. It is seen as the norm. It homogenises women. Women like Beth Ditto are scarcely seen in the media, and when they are present, there is always a huge fuss  made of their weight. True, in some cases, a woman’s skinniness is also criticised, for example with Mischa Barton and Victoria Beckham, however, these women are also often seen as glamourous and fashionable.

The thing is, with the media, the large amount of women who are skinny/slim present suggests that this is the norm. These women are not only skinny/slim, but are cellulite free, have no stretch marks, and are blemish free, except for when celebrity magazines such as the odeous “Heat” or tabloid newspapers take huge glee in circling areas of cellulite, as if to shame these women for actually being fucking natural. What is that about?! And what kind of message does it send out to women?! Oh, I guess it’s OK — we’re all in the same cellulite boat! Well, really, it seems to send out the message that these natural blemishes are…unnatural, wrong, something to be embarrassed about. How fucked up is that?!

Urgh. I just really hate to hear about people bitching about “fat” people in such a way. And they can say really the most stupid, and hurtful, things. It’s shallow, for one thing. I think in a lot of cases, it just leads to a vicious circle. Like one of the girls said in Mean Girls (y’know that bit where they all have to apologise to one another): “…I don’t hate you ‘cos you’re fat; you’re fat ‘cos I hate you”. Or something to that effect.

If people have a problem with being over-weight, that is not the right of anyone else to criticise or judge them for. People tend to assume so many things about over-weight people, or obesity, but then again the same is true about the assumptions made about under-weight people.

I’m a tad bit tired at the moment, I may need to edit this later 🙂

Here’s a great video, by the way:

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7 Responses to "Another rant with an uninspired title"

Have you seen this?

I know. I’m overweight myself and I think a lot of people judge me in a certain way. But you’re right – being confident like Beth is, feeling good about yourself and being proud of your achievements and body don’t really have much to do with whether you’re “skinny” or “fat”. Beth is sexy because she isn’t afraid to be herself and to rock out with the best of them.

A lot of the time, overweight and fat people feel bad about their bodies because they have always been told “fat is wrong. fat is bad. any fat anywhere is really unsexy”. There’s a chronic hate of any ounce of weight on a woman’s body. Cellulite is a natural thing, and who decided it was unnatural? Who decided that fat means ugly?

If a woman like Beth Ditto is seen rocking out, enjoying herself, being happy and OMG! isn’t skinny and thin and is over 10 stone – the media and the public immediately focus on her size because we have a massive problem when it comes to being critical of women’s bodies.

I mostly feel confident about myself but sometimes I feel insecure when there are moments of ‘what do other people think about me’? It’s horrible – we women are constantly fed the message that we have to be critical of ourselves and think about what our bodies look like from other people’s perspective.

Amy: I’ve been to the UK a few times, though it has been several years since my last trip (that’s where you are, correct?) and what I noticed right off was…well, to me anyway, the women there seemed, over all, far more natural looking and NOT as skinny obsessed as American women are. I mean, I was fairly certain American women really did, as a general rule, have a lock down on being obsessed with the skinny…hell, I had all my English buddies trying to feed me! Is it that the UK has changed that much in the last decade, or were my impressions wrong?

Hmmm…well, just remarking on my own personal experiences.
Maybe it’s just my age group particularly?

” She also said that obesity was more of an issue than anorexia.”
Because women come in two sizes: obese or anorexic. I hate it when obesity related health problems are used to shut down discussions about eating disorders or unrealistic beauty standards. I am not medically obese, but I’m sure that I would be the “fat girl” if I were an actress! In the US , some of our “fat girl” actresses are a US size 4-6 (which is I think a 6-8 in the UK).

Liz: I think it was in Naomi Wolf’s “The Beauty Myth” where she claimed that cellulite was not even invented until the 1970s, before then it was seen as normal on women of a certain age.

Ooo I bought Naomi Wolf’s “The Beauty Myth” today actually 🙂
It’s next on my to-read list, after finishing Overloaded (Imelda Whelehan) that is. Good stuff.

Yep it was Naomi Wolf but I also found a reference to Vogue deciding to say that cellulite was ‘unnatural’ in the 1970’s in ‘Backlash’ by Susan Faludi. I mean, as far as I know, most women have cellulite at some point – which points to it being a natural thing. It’s another of those marketing ploys to try and sell certain products and get women to be more critical about their bodies.

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