Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Female Body

I was checking out the Jezebel and Gawker blogs that I think were linked in a previous post and I also checked out Photoshop Disasters, which was mentioned in one of my other classes. After being hit with a wave of different articles involving the female figure and Photoshop, I quickly remembered why I dislike watching celebrity news or reading certain magazines.

Everyone knows about the deal with women, body image, and the media's portrayal of the female body, but for me, it goes beyond the "skinny" debate. The way it appears to me, no type of figure is ever good enough for us. If people see a curvier model, it's going to immediately be followed by some kind of joke about the buffet table. On the other hand, a super skinny model is quickly attacked as being anorexic or having the body of a boy. When asked what people think the female body should look like, people tend to respond with something like "a medium build is perfect" or, my personal favorite, "a healthy build."

However, I came across two different blog posts that make the whole fight for the "healthy" image seem more like one giant mess of hypocrisy. Both posts feature photos of very thin models with one difference - one has (naturally) bigger breasts. (I had to edit a bit because I wasn't sure if I could post the photo as it was)

No surprise, the first picture was responded to with post after post about how "slammin'" the woman's body is. And hey, I'm not going to lie, her figure is ideal. The second photo, however, received post after post about how she needed a cheeseburger and the like. Now, maybe I'm crazy or something, but seriously, their body sizes are exactly the same sans the chest area. What's the second model to do? She could eat more and get bigger, but then people would say she needed to lose weight again. If she were to get breast implants, she would immediately be frowned upon.

Of course the opposite occurs as well. When a magazine does feature a curvier woman, the model is both applauded and criticized. If that woman decides she wants to lose weight, the same people who praised her turn around and start acting concerned for her health. "She's too skinny!" "When she had curves, she was much better looking."

And god forbid anyone does any Photoshopping. Let the flaws show and the model gets criticized, disguise the flaws and the model...still gets criticized.

It's too easy to blame the media. I think women (especially women!) and men alike demand far too much of women's (and men's) bodies in so many different ways. Whatever happened to, uh, genetic differences? And when are we ever going to stop with the "healthy," "normal" body standard. It's like going into a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop, complaining about every flavor of ice cream, and then demanding that they start serving "normal" ice cream. It seems like everyone is compelled to comment on a woman's figure, but it's rare to see anything regarding her achievements or her character. That is, unless, it's to say something about her morality, which is opening a whole 'nuther can of worms.

1 comment:

ford said...

I like your writing