When I saw these images on One Jewish's Dyke's website, I knew I had to respond. Guess who the British t.v. show judges picked for having a sensational body? The 154 lb. woman on the left or the 112 lb. Peter Pan on the right? Yup, you guessed it. They chose the skinny male impersonator on the right, she who is still waiting for her body to flesh out into a womanly figure.
As far as my practiced eye could tell, the only figure flaw the woman on the left might have is her thighs. Reading the comments to this post are even more illuminating. People's responses are the same as mine. But one of the commentators must suffer from the same self-image as the woman in the illustration below.
I also venture to say that Kirstie Alley, Janet Jackson and Oprah Winfrey, with all their money and fame and talents, are unable to get a handle on their body images. One senses as we watch them balloon, lose weight, and regain the same weight over again that their systems are completely out of whack. It seems that Janet, who fought so hard to lose weight and get back in shape, is putting all the weight on again, as these recent photos attest.
When I encountered the image below my immediate response was Ewwww!
Then I realized it was Madonna looking her age or perhaps a few years older, as I have seen 50 year old women look equally as stringy.
The person who posted this picture gushed about how beautiful she looked and how fabulously toned she was. Huh? Give me Monique's round curves over Madonna's dessicated albeit very fit body any day.
We live in an age when ordinary bodies are not good enough for magazine covers or advertisements. Case in point, Katie Couric, who is short and petite and not heavy by any stretch of the imagination, was made to look downright lillipudlian.
And think about the controversy a few years back regarding the ever fabulous Kate Winslet, whose natural curves are simply amazing. I not only love this woman's acting, but also her outspokenness about her love for her body AS IT IS - fit, firm, and womanly. In the controversial GQ cover, where Kate's body was elongated, she claimed that her legs looked slimmer by 1/3. Looking closely at the photo, Kate has been stretched to the point where she looks like she is wearing size 14 shoes.
There was a brouhaha of a different sort regarding Keira Knightly, who was accused of being anorexic. I'll go on the record to say she is not, that she is naturally thin and "enjoys" a high metabolism. In fact, looking at Keira's body reminds me of when I was 22. I ate like a pig, and yet my girlfriends wondered if I had worms. My clavicles were pronounced, my rib cage showed, and I couldn't keep the weight on. It helped that I walked,took public transportation, and played tennis and hockey. But those days are long gone, and these days I struggle with my weight just like anyone.
Besides, this is what an anorexic looks like. See the difference?
Here's what someone said in response to viewing this photo of regular, slightly (if at all) overweight women:
I have been brainwashed by models I guess, but the fat girls in the white underwear are ugly and shouldn't model.
I actually think these women are lovely.
Here's another issue about body image that I find disturbing. We aren't allowed to grow old. There were some scathing comments about John Travolta's titties in this photo. The man is 53 years old! Give him a break. Besides, what's wrong with aging? What I like about John is that he doesn't pretend he's someone he's not. He no longer plays the young Lothario, and in fact, he doesn't mind making fun of his image. And as far as I can tell, he looks no different in this photo than most well fed, sedentary men his age. Would you prefer that he mutilate himself like, well, let's show the most obvious example, shall we?
The photo that began my little tirade today was this one of Sienna Miller. She is thin, she is lovely, and she felt quite comfortable wearing an outfit that made her look 3-4 sizes bigger. Good for you, girl.
But the fact that I noticed she looks big does point out our society's (and my) obsession with weight. If Janet Jackson is too heavy, and Kate's normal curves aren't good enough, and Keira Knightly is anorexic, then WHAT EXACTLY is a healthy female body supposed to look like? Oh, now I get it. We should aspire to do both at the same time. Like Angelina Jolie, who is skinny and fat in all the right places. Here's a photoshopped image of her, as if Angelina needed more perfection.
Might as well give up now and go eat a pint of Haagen Danz ice cream.