Thursday, March 19, 2009

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me!

Are we so warped that we think
a size 8-10
is a "plus size"?
photo courtesy of Top Model

Taken from an article in The New York Times:
"In December 2006, Tyra Banks was shooting the exotic-location portion of “Top Model” in Australia when she was photographed in her one-piece bathing suit at the beach. It was an extremely unflattering shot, and the tabloids went crazy; one called Banks “America’s Next Top Waddle.” Banks was incensed. “It really made me angry,” she told me earlier. “What bothered me is that they were saying there’s something wrong with a woman’s body if she’s not super-skinny. I did not shed tears, but I called my talk show and said, ‘I want to say, loud and clear, “You can kiss my fat ass.” "
Pictured above with Tyra Banks is Whitney Thompson, first "plus size" model to win the Top Model contest. Whitney is a size 8-10!

photo courtesy of ABC

Taken from Meghan McCain's blog:
(Meghan McCain responds to Laura Ingraham’s attack on her weight: Why is this topic still a socially accepted prejudice—and why in the world would a woman raise it?)

Recently my not-size-0 body has come under fire again by the conservative pundit Laura Ingraham. On her radio show recently, she sarcastically commented that I was “too plus-sized to be a cast member on the television show The Real World” and needled me about my weight with a comment about Barbie's 50th anniversary. Instead of intellectually debating our ideological differences about the future of the Republican Party, Ingraham resorted to making fun of my age and weight, in the fashion of the mean girls in high school. I responded on Twitter by saying, “To all the curvy girls out there, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your body. I love my curves and you should love yours too.”

But now that numerous media outlets seem to have picked up on our tiff, I believe it warrants a more thoughtful response than can be contained in 140 characters. I have been teased about my weight and body figure since I was in middle school, and I decided a very long time ago to embrace what God gave me and live my life positively, attempting to set an example for other girls who may suffer from body image issues. I have nothing to hide: I am a size 8 and fluctuated up to a size 10 during the campaign. It’s ridiculous even to have this conversation because I am not overweight in the least and have a natural body weight.

But even if I were overweight, it would be ridiculous. Ingraham is more than 20 years older than I and has been a political pundit for longer, almost, than I have been alive, she responded in a form that was embarrassing to herself and to any woman listening to her radio program who was not a size 0.

In today’s society this is, unfortunately, predictable. Everyone from Jessica Simpson to Tyra Banks, Oprah Winfrey, and Hillary Clinton has fallen victim to this type of image-oriented bullying. Recent pictures of Pierce Brosnan’s wife, Keely Shaye Smith, on the beach in her bikini raised criticism about her weight and choice of bathing suit—as if the woman should be wearing a giant muumuu to swim in the ocean. After Kelly Clarkson’s recent appearance on American Idol, the first commentary I read on the Internet was about her weight gain instead of her singing.

My weight was consistently criticized throughout the campaign. Once someone even suggested I go to a plastic surgeon for liposuction. Afterward, I blogged about loving my body and suggested critics focus their insecurities about women’s bodies elsewhere. On the other side, my mother was constantly slammed for being too skinny, so the weight obsession of the media and our culture goes both ways. It also goes to both parties. Hillary Clinton has consistently received criticism for her pantsuits and figure. Whatever someone’s party, these criticisms are quite obviously both wrong and distracting from the larger issues at play.

The question remains: Why, after all this time and all the progress feminists have made, is weight still such an issue? And in Laura’s case, why in the world would a woman raise it? Today, taking shots at a woman’s weight has become one of the last frontiers in socially accepted prejudice.
I think I must agree with
Erma Bombeck...
"I've excercised with women so thin
that buzzards followed them to their cars!"


Primitiques 'n Poetry said...

Ha! Good stuff, Malisa. I wonder sometimes if I should make a public announcement that my thighs, indeed, are bigger than you expected. They are bigger than I expected, too! ~Mindy

Vodka Mom said...

Erma. She's my hero

trash talk said...

Preach on Sister Woman! It is so sad what is viewed as overweight now. Even the sizing is different than when I was a young woman. A 3 or 5 is now 0 & 1. Why, why why??? As women we beat ourselves up enough individually, we don't need others to do it for us. I say as long as you feel good, your doctor says you're healthy and you can shave your own legs, things are peachy keen!

Woman in a Window said...

Wonderful post. I like this. It's a hard question to answer though. It's not just men trying to hold us in a certain place, we women do it to each other and to ourselves. You are a sixe 8? See, to me, that's ideal. But then I'm a 10-12 wanna be size 8. That's skinny! And what does it matter anyway? We're all arfed up. I think the more we can bend pop culture the better off we'd be, but then there's always going to be someone on the losing end, because apprarently society is just that dumb.

The Renaissance Chick said...

Woman in a Window:

Me? A six 8? No! I wish I was...but why do I wish that? Because I was when I was 2o something? I should be happy just the way I am...I have accomplished so much in so many areas...but I still come back to that self image thing. That is part of my "rebirth" renaissance...finding happiness with myself.


Robin said...

I learned long ago, through my early teens on, that there will always be those who have nothing nice to say and will go out of their way to say it. Up until 10 years ago (I'm 52 since Feb.) I was a skinny person, wearing "yesterdays" size 6, and people would go out of their way to let me know how disgusted they were with me.....especially when I was pregnant. But I ate, and I ate a lot. I would down a 1 lb. bag of M&Ms with a couple glasses of milk and not gain. Back then they didn't have such sizes as 0 or 1. My children, when they were small children, couldn't zip up my wedding gown that I gave to them to play dress-up with.....It was too small in the waist. But, they too were / are skinny. Anyway, now I have a very sick thyroid and I'm losing ground in "todays" size 14. And still I get the nasty comments....but now it's because I am "fat"......according to them.

Arjaanneli said...

Hello from Finland! Itkupilli write about your blog´s outward appearance. It is really fine!
And I also read your text about size 8-10!
I dont know, if women here in Finland are different kind of made, but size 8 here means XS. That size I haven`t been since 1978, when I was 18y :)
Now I am 48 and mine size is ....hmmm... much bigger.