Sunday, January 3, 2010

Learning to Be Insecure About Our Bodies

I will be flying off till London in 4 days! I shall update this blog with pictures and more light posts haha but until then...

Here are some excerpts from a entry about the above magazine cover:

Fashion for Every Figure: Size 0 to Size 20 — but only just this issue, then they'll go back to focusing on size zero.

Real Women Have Curves: Beyoncé at Her Best — If real women have curves, what are the women who usually model for Vogue? Fake?

NIP/TUCK: Designing a Perfect Body — Meaning there's something wrong with yours if you don't have plastic surgery?

WORK IT! Longer Legs, Leaner Lines, Sexier Silhouette — Can legs be made longer without bone surgery?

THE RIGHT SWIMSUIT FOR YOUR BODY TYPE — Instead of emphasizing fit, it's all about "right" and the implied "wrong," and your "type," meaning your body must fit into a predetermined box.

WEIGHT OBSESSION: One Woman Conquers Her Diet Demons — Sounds healthy.

"As for Beyoncé, the feature story in Vogue mentions her weight gain for Cadillac Records and describes her as "comfortably curvy," though writer Jonathan Van Meter also reminds us that she is working very hard to be a Vogue-worthy size. He writes that, on the day of their interview, Beyoncé "got up at the crack of dawn" and "ate a tiny portion of Honey Nut Cheerios, ran six miles, and then worked out with her trainer, who had her in every imaginable kind of squat to get her ready to fit into her no doubt skintight Thierry Mugler-designed tour costumes." Next? A dance rehearsal, after which she barely had time to "scarf down several bites of a salad with jalapeños and avocado ('so that it tastes like something that's bad for you')" and then dance rehearsal again. Van Meter also makes sure to point out that gaining weight to play Etta James in Cadillac Records was "fun." Beyoncé says: "I ate a lot of butter-pecan ice cream. But it's easy for me to gain weight. I'm not a naturally stick-thin girl. I'm not heavy, but I'm not skinny, either." It's almost as though she has to apologize; and Vogue has to stress that while eating may be fun and enjoyable, one should never let it distract from being totally dedicated to making sure you (literally) fit into the mold its editors prescribe."

Doesn't the fact that she has to work so hard to maintain a certain body size show something?! I'm not saying she should eat ice cream and unhealthy food all the time, but she shouldn't have to be working so hard to attain some sort of "ideal" body. There's always all this mumbo jumbo about how we should love our bodies, but it is often in conjunction with advice on how to improve them. Contradictory? I think so. We're encouraged to embrace our bodies, but not our natural bodies. Instead, we should work out, stay away from "bad" foods, and try to cover up our flaws so we meet standards of beauty. Who set these standards anyway?

I'm not saying anything new, these issues have been discussed since way before my time. However, most of the girls I know continue to complain about how they need to lose weight and hate their (fill in the body part). The few that are generally comfortable with their bodies would be considered skinny for the most part. Come middle age though when their metabolism slows down, we'll see if they're still satisified with bodies. These insecurities are applicable to all people, not just females, and it sucks because it has real consequences on people's self-esteem. I think people will read this and agree with what I'm saying, but that won't stop them from feeling insecure and disatisfied with their appearance. Or maybe I'm being overdramatic? I would rather that be the case...


  1. Hmm I remember we talked about this briefly in haffner that one time... i think i'm definitely
    one of the girls you say that complain about how they need to lose weight. even though I think skinny as a standard is certainly problematic, obesity is becoming a serious problem especially (and probably only) in the U.S. To be honest, embracing the whole "big is beautiful" thing seems unhealthy. I'm not medically informed, but I have heard on multiple occasion that thinner people are generally healthier... at the same time I see super skinny celebrities on Korean television and think that there is no way that THAT could be healthy. I don't mean to overgeneralize, but I think it really comes and goes with different trends. Look at the "S-line" body becoming so popular in Korea. And people are always going to have insecurities accordingly...

    Anyways, I don't know if this has much to do with your point... and I agree with some of the stuff in the jezebel article that magazines like Vogue are always so cleverly hypocritical. I think I just made this comment extra long because I am at home and... bored-_-.

  2. I am enjoying all these light posts that you've been posting onto your blog....... :)

    So when I read these lines, "The few that are generally comfortable with their bodies would be considered skinny for the most part. Come middle age though when their metabolism slows down, we'll see if they're still satisfied with bodies." I was like ouch, that hurt. HAHAHA.
    Ok, so even though I'm pretty sure we've already talked about this numerous amounts of times.. once again, I do agree with you, and even though people probably agree with what you wrote, I never really thought and said out loud that I agree about this topic and thought about it in depth until I talked about it with you, so I mean it still serves as a good reminder, I think.
    Anyway, maybe... I should stop taking my size for granted and eat healthier... who knows what's happening inside of my body right now.. 18 years (so by that.. I mean 20) of pretty unhealthy foods, my poor metabolism.
    Yeah.... I think I'll still be bringing the bacon to brunch tomorrow though.. it'd just be rude and inconsiderate if I didn't since I said I'd already bring it (;

  3. Having babies changes EVERYTHING!!! (For men as well)