In women and beauty news: tyra banks thinks the media's promotion of unrealistic physical ideals are bad for women and tim gunn says no fat chicks, or two people who should try not talking for once.
1. turning the other cheek
I think the most hilarious tv moment last week was Tyra Banks' outburst when she was screaming and crying about how she's being called fat. This is Schadenfreude at its best. She's hit the age when it is getting harder and harder to keep the weight off. Welcome to the world of real women, Tyra. And cry me a fuckin' river. She's made millions being the image for an industry that promotes an unrealistic body ideal. Now that she's having trouble living up to it she's realized it is an outrage.
(image added 02/08)
Well before you tell the media to kiss your ass, I think it is time for you to turn the other cheek, Tyra. She should be kissing the fat asses of all the women who have grown up having her as their beauty ideal.
It is great if she wants to start working on women's body image issues (and will that be part of America's Next Top Model as well?) but first she needs to acknowlege that her success has depended entirely upon the very thing she is now claiming is unfair.
By the way, the best place to see Tyra in all of her insane glory is on fourfour. (Oh Rich. You rule.)
(image added 02/08)
2. more with the zaftig
NPR asked Tim Gunn to comment on the increasingly thin models on the runway and the problems with anorexia. Here are his remarks, in italics:
I don't want to sit and watch a runway show and wince and recoil because that model on the runway looks like she should be in the hospital bed. It's really unsettling and worse yet it's a distraction from the clothes. You really want to see the clothes, you don't want to see the elbow and knee joints.Yes that is worse. The most annoying thing about looking at a woman who is suffering from a disease that may kill her is that it distracts from the clothes.
Still clothes do look more elegant on lithe figures than those with bulging bellies or double-wide backsides.I am struck by his description of "bulging bellies and double wide backsides". It suggests that anything that isn't lithe -- is grotesque: women's curves are bulges spreading out across their bodies. You get this hint of a kind of revulsion towards women's flesh.
This reminded me of the"zaftig" debacle during last season's Project Runway which also suggested problems with with women's body size and standards of beauty. These types of offhanded comments about larger size contribute to a culture that is quite damaging to many girls and women. In a way they are the worst because they are so subtle, we hardly notice them.
Now I'm sure that TG didn't didn't intend to offend anyone and that he didn't consciously realize what he was saying. Nonetheless, and here is my first point: he's very good at giving advice, the question is, can he refrain from giving it? Because maybe this is one area where he may just want to not comment.
Moreover can he take advice? Because contrary to popular opinion, there are a few subjects where others may have more sensitive, informed and nuanced views than he does. I'd suggest that this is one of them.
In fact, there has actually been a lot of energy -- not just emotional and political but intellectual, statistical and theoretical -- that has been devoted to the subject of women's body image, including a considerable history of thought on its connection to fashion. Just an fyi.
More on body image: the best woman's body is a man's
(the third text section was moved to its own 02/08 -- this was was not the part that was commented upon -- in fact it was something of a tangent which was why it made sense to move it -- also I added images and expanded the idea)