Friday, February 06, 2009

Ain't Nobody's Business ....

I was blog-surfing a while ago and ran across a good post by Ian at Or So I Thought. He was writing about the latest obsession with people's weight, specifically Jessica Simpson's weight, and I found my comment getting longer and longer so I brought it here. Fortunately, he was able to address it with some humor.

There have been endless reports about Jessica Simpson and I've quickly turned them off. It's ranked up there with Casey Anthony and Michael Phelps for wall-to-wall coverage.

I find the whole obsession with body size and perfection to be so immature and silly that I can barely muster even a yawn. It's like listening to a bunch of grade school kids on the playground, picking on one of the kids so they can all feel better about themselves.

It is also the product of a spoiled people and a superficial culture. When most of the world's people don't have clean drinking water or enough food, I find this focus on achieving personal "perfection" to be just a little bit self-indulgent.

As a plus-sized woman (barely - I'm a size 16/18 and mention that for a reason), I can't tell you how sick and tired I am of hearing this topic, usually peppered with charming descriptors like "heifer", "lard ass", "fat pig" or other things I won't even mention because I don't use that kind of language on this site.

It's time to grow up, folks!

We really need to be putting more effort into accepting each other as we are - and stop picking at each other because we don't meet some arbitrary standard of perfection established by some marketing weenie who wants to sell stuff. That's all it is. I've lived long enough to see these trends come and go. If suddenly some moron on Madison Avenue decided that "Rubenesque" was 'in style' because it would sell more products, we wouldn't need a stimulus package. There would be so much eating going on everywhere that the economy would recover in two months! Sheep follow trends.

We all know there are health risks with obesity (which Jessica Simpson clearly is not). We know what they are. The information is readily available. In fact, it's shoved down our throats by every pop culture icon with a talk show on a regular basis. The truth is that it is a topic to be discussed with one's doctor, not fodder for gossipy gaggles of uninformed, small-minded people who find it necessary to denigrate others so they'll feel superior. If someone wants to feel superior, maybe they should concentrate on their own character development and make themselves worthy of it.

That's my way of saying my weight.. or Jessica Simpson's... is no one else's business! For those who find it necessary to look at and criticize other people for minor flaws, I'd suggest reading a book, phoning a friend, get involved with a cause, do something for someone else. Picking at others only makes the one doing it look silly, immature and - dare I say it? - not very bright.

Grow up! There's lots of important work to be done. Get busy!

Sorry.. but that's how I see it.



flutter said...

I cannot begin to tell you the crap I hear EVERY DAY because of my weight.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

Excellent post, Chani!

I just read Ian's and commented that people piously use concern about other people's health as an excuse to criticize their weight, and while diabetes and heart disease are real issues, anorexia is pretty serious, too, and kills people.

I find the word "lardass" and its cousins quite offensive. I would also like to note that just as fashion trends come and go, our societal notion of an ideal body type does, too.

When I was a young girl, Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield were the ruling goddesses and I felt inadequate because I was a small-boned, short girl with proportionate upholstery in key places.

Then came Twiggy, who made me look quite hefty by comparison.

Today's "perfect woman" seems to be extremely skinny but miraculously endowed with huge breasts, even if they're courtesy of her plastic surgeon.

I would also like to see us evolve beyond this kind of idiocy and begin to focus on the more important issues where we can make a difference, regardless of our body mass.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Bravo, Chani. This needs to be said so much. We truly haven't advanced beyond the age that removed women's ribs to achieve the perfect wasp waste.

meno said...

All because she looks like a woman instead of a pre-teen boy.

What a fuss over nothing. Good God y'all, get a life!

Olivia said...

I don't pay any attention at all to that sort of thing---or to "fashion" either. It's sort of like sports to me; if I hear something about it I think "doesn't apply" and move on. You know, like a broadcast on people who hold money in offshore accounts (doesn't apply) or people who are trying to adopt (doesn't apply) or people who pay taxes in Illinois. There is so much information out there; I think that it is edifying to be v-e-r-y particular as to what we expose ourselves to. We can't possibly take it all in!

Peace tonight,


Anonymous said...

I agree with you. It's disturbing to see people react so gleefully when someone they don't even know puts on a few pounds.

Jessica, though, made her money by creating an image. There was never any depth to her. And now that the image is tarnished, she's got nothin'.

Woman in a Window said...

"If suddenly some moron on Madison Avenue decided that "Rubenesque" was 'in style' because it would sell more products."


Although it's heralded, it's not repeated. Too bad. Almost healthy there, for a second anyway.

Today, size 12, like it hardly matters.

I remember sitting in a grade 10 English class and we were looking at the Renaissance and a cute boy whispered "kindly" in my ear that if we were back then then I'd be hot. Huh. And I chuckled...

Anonymous said...

It would be great to ignore the weight issue, but I live in Thailand.

Not only are local women tiny, but the population does not take other nationalities into account.

Jen said...

I couldn't agree more.

Janet said...

I missed the whole Jessica-Simpson-is-fat thing. Huh. I don't know how any of those celebrities can bear to live under the media microscope. It's horrid.

dmmgmfm said...

There is no pleasing some people. As long as a person is comfortable in their own skin, who gives a damn. Though I agree with Thomas about Jessica Simpson, I don't agree with people slamming her because of her weight.

Good post, Chani, as usual.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, I could barely care less than I do about celebrity anything.

But the body image issue gets to me. We are indeed obsessed. I have to echo Heat's dismay about the thin but big plastic breasts shape as the new idea. As for non-plasticiszed women, it seems like a no-win situaiton. there's a pretty big range of healthily normal. I don't think soemone who isn't thin should be called names and I also resent people mocking thin women and suggesting they aren't "real" women beucase they aren't curvy enough. We're all "real women" and I wish we'd just move on to something else.

Leann said...

Oh Chani ~ Well said. I too am a plus size woman and the comments, oh the comments. Especially trying to date. My God, you'd think I had two heads or something. It's a very good thing I am fine with my body size or I'd be one miserable woman...ALL THE TIME!!

LittlePea said...

!!!!yes! She looks just fine. The whole thing is so silly. I wonder if men(and other women actually) obsess so much about other men's weights? Aren't we in a finacial meltdown with hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost every month? Or should we continue to be complete idiots who obsess over how each other's bodies look.....just wondering.

:O) Just as someone who recently starved herself for a medical procedure, I can't imagine what it would be like if I ever really tried to attain what society tells us is the "perfect weight." Oh plus I'd have to dish out the 8000 for boob job. After that I'd have to figure out how to get my legs lengthened. The hair extensions, peroxide and botax I could probably afford....or I could just give Hugh Hefner the finger.

Amy Y said...

I agree ~ it's no one's business what any of us weigh and we should absolutely look for and love the inner beauty in each other.

I think Jessica looks very healthy, far from obese and I hope she's proud of her inner and outer beauty!

Angela said...

Oh, A effin men.

Ian Lidster said...

Hear-hear. Excellent points, Chani, and the torpor inducing elements of discussing weight or body image are so profound that I, like you, want to nod out when the subject arise.

So, why do people do it, other than exercising the lack of weight between their ears? Well, as the saying goes: "All is vanity, nothing is fair."

Peter Clothier said...

You're right, Chani. But I confess that I have been consciously trying to lose a little of the flab I have acquired, not for aesthetic reasons, but simply because I haven't been FEELING good, carrying around that extra. I like Laurie's comment, above: a person needs to be comfortable in their own skin. I wasn't. I feel better now, being that little bit less encumbered. However anyone else feels, though, I say bless 'em. It's not my business.

Ian Lidster said...

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Brandi Reynolds said...

I've never really been a fan of jessica's (or really, of anyone in that group of 'starlets') but I feel sorry for her.

the glare of that harsh judgemental light on her figure-which is just freaking fine-is really disheartening, as a woman.

and I tell you this-if I ever had dreams of fame, stuff like this sure in hell makes me change my mind. I can't imagine how horrible it feels to live under that scrutiny.

Mariposa said...

I say, our health is our personal business. Just as each of us has our own struggles. I also say enough about complaining and ranting on sizes...and all. I myself struggles to hard to gain weight or at least maintain...becI am so thin I risk being blown by the wind...LOL

Seriously...if gaining weight is a health is anorexia. We just have to stop sizing people up...I am also tired of it! Bec I can't find my size...and it is not my choice...either.