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Sober Thread: Body Image in the Media

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, Sep 24, 2012.

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  1. Dcc001

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    Yes, I'm busting out this hoary old subject.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.styleswept.ca/2012/09/pregnant-model-walks-the-runway.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.styleswept.ca/2012/09/pregna ... unway.html</a>

    A pregnant model walked the runway in a fashion show wearing a string bikini. And no, it was not a fashion show meant to model maternity wear; it was a swimsuit show in Milan. Slightly NSFW:

    [​IMG]


    Focus: Are images like this empowering, or ultimately harmful to women? On the one hand, here's a girl that a few generations ago would have had to withdraw from public view - even while clothed! - in this condition, and now she can be up on stage with everything on display. On the other, how is the average woman supposed to compete when someone looks like that at six month's pregnancy? Where is the, you know, normalness?

    *Note - I'm not just focusing on pregnancy on display; I'm more focusing on the media's insistence on complete, unrealistic perfection.

    Alt Focus: Do men feel any of the same pressure for perfection?
     
  2. bewildered

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    Focus:
    Look at her smile! I think she's radiant and wonderful and shouldn't "put it away" because she is +1. There are a million different kinds of people in the world and while models strive for perfection in whatever their "look" is, it is nice to see models with images that are not always widely thought as sexy and beautiful. Plus sized models, pregnant models, short models...they are all great to see. Yes, she is very thin, but models typically are anyway, and she probably would have had to gain a LOT of weight to be a similar size to most typical pregnant women. To hate on her because you won't be like that when you are pregnant is pretty much the same as hating on her for being thin normally when you are not. In both situations you've got to realize that, while beautiful with great makeup and clothes, she is (almost certainly) a bit underweight. In fact, I think having more "alternative" models may even make the ultra skinny anorexic runway models passe.

    As an aside: that image Dcc posted really doesn't even get a raised eyebrow from me. Does anyone remember the performance that M.I.A gave while she was NINE months pregnant? The outfit + her insane dancing around while she looked like she was ready to pop was pretty crazy. That was a way more intense image than the above runway model.


    Unrelated to the above, but this topic brings back to my memory the site that was brought up awhile back: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.mybodygallery.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.mybodygallery.com/</a>
    I smack my forehead whenever men have discussions about a woman and give a height, which is probably accurate, and a weight that makes me laugh out loud. Usually it is something ridiculously low. Check out that gallery, it might surprise some of you.
     
  3. Parker

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    Milan is trying to do some crazy shit, I think they banned too skinny models like 3-4 years ago. They're trying to reform the fashion industry. I'm all for it. In regards to "how are average women supposed to compete when she can look like that 6 months pregnant?" The answer is "Yes." Workout, exercise. I'm super nervous for futurewife wanting to get frumpy and lazy due to pregnancy. The female body is fucking resilient, and becomes more so during pregnancy. Not pulling this out my ass but I'm sure I read women are supposed to be working out or doing some form of exercise during the first 2 trimesters, then doing some lighter, form during the last 3 months. That's also why I love the fact there are those running strollers, if I have children I damn will be buying one of those.

    Yes, men do feel the same pressure, have you checked out the workout thread? I'm doing P90X and on a reduced carb diet for girls, not for my own personal welfare. The pressure is there for men, but here is the kicker. The accent is put on women because women say things like "I want a guy that can take care of me." That equals money. Men don't say that, because men want looks, so the focus is put on looks. There are depictions of men with money in the media just as as much, and at the same time, there is hip-hop. All the music is about men having money. You're a guy in that culture, and don't have money, then its the same thing being fat at a fashion show. Is there a "powerful man" on a TV show that isn't making it rain? They always have money. Being a guy with no money is equal to being a fat chick. In both cases, the only way out is humor.
     
  4. lust4life

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    Well, just be sure to make that a condition with "futurewife" upfront, before things get too serious. And be sure to let us know how well that goes over.
     
  5. Aetius

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    Yes, just not about looks. Consider Christian Grey, and realize that he is in no way a person, he is a power object.
     
  6. Danger Boy

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    This thread hasn't even taken off yet and I can already see hydraulic fluid leaking from the wing.
     
  7. JWags

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    Parker is onto a decent point. Women do the same shit, just in different ways. One I always talk about, and its even more out of your control, is girls who say shit like "I only date guys taller than 6 foot". If you're 5'10, thats fine. But if you're fucking 5'5, then you have no reason to bitch when guys prefer girls who are in shape. At least their preference is something that is controllable.

    I find no problem with having high standards of potential body image in a partner if you put in significant effort. If you're going to the gym regularly and eating well, its not out of line to expect physical body "beauty". If you're a lazy bum who demands perfection in their women, then you can go fuck yourself.

    I think the airbrushing of celebrities for magazine covers is a legitimate criticism in this whole discussion, however I think its time to retire the complaints about stick thin runway models. The vast majority of people don't find that admirable or attractive, except for the gay fashion designers who require that kind of androgyny.

    I also get annoyed by that image on facebook that always pops up about "when did sexy change from this to this" and its skinny models vs Marilyn Monroe. I understand the point, but its so misguided. Physical fitness was not part of the culture at that time and as a result people just were built differently. The push that brought physical fitness to the commonplace may have caused some of the body image scrutiny, but by and large its been a good thing. Hell, maybe we should just go back to when being overweight was a sign of beauty cause it meant you were wealthy. Honey Boo Boo's hag of a mother could model for VS.

    As for me personally as a male, I've felt the pressure. Not so much to be cut like Brad Pitt in Troy (though its something to strive for) but more because I was so thin growing up. I was 5'10 and 130 lbs at the end of freshman year of college. I had multiple girls I had hooked up with or dated say they sometimes felt fat around me cause I was so thin. And I had still other girls that say they couldn't date or hookup with "someone built like you" for the same reason. Female insecurities aside, that had a big impact on me cause I didn't want to only be dating waifish little pixies. I didn't need girls to be grating cheese on my abs or look like a fitness model, but I wanted to be confident in my body and not look like I was still a teen. I work out kind of obsessively as a habit now, but its more an internal thing than anything else. I'm never gonna be 6'3 and I'm not gonna be getting plastic surgery, so in the interest of things I have control over when I'm young, I'm absolutely gonna try to better myself.
     
  8. AlmostGaunt

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    I'm not qualified (nb: unlike all those Women's Studies majors - ahahahahahahaha) to comment on whether or not the image is empowering. I can see an argument each way; motherhood is often(?) represented as the death of fashion (think Mom jeans) because, y'know, the cultural narrative suggests that once you've satisfied the goal of getting a man and pregnant, your priority is raising kids, not looking hot, so in that sense this is a welcome change. On the other hand, I can almost hear a class full of women raging at yet another presentation of motherhood being a central tenet of womenhood, so I'm leaving this one alone.

    So, on to a couple of other points of interest.
    Key word: compete. There's something mindblowingly unwholesome about the idea that any women, pregnant or otherwise, should be competing with a model on looks. You might as well ask me to compete with Dcc in designing a house; if you think the person with no tools, no training, and no innate knack for visualizing objects is going to win, I happen to have plans for a land war in Russia which I think we could win this winter. Which to my mind is the whole fucking problem; we should be asking not whether this particular image of a pregnant fashion model is harmful, but whether every image of a model is harmful.

    If you ever want to do a really depressing experiment, turn on some children's TV programming one morning. Look at the ads which feature boys. They sell sporting equipment and cars and chemistry sets. Now look at the ads which feature girls. It's bead kits, dresses, and make-up. And this is in what is supposed to be one of the most enlightened countries in the world, in 2012. The take home message: boys get status from what they can do, girls get status from how they look. I'm not saying it's inaccurate, but jesus christ what a horrifying world in which to live.

    All that said; although I think women suffer disproportionately from the emphasis placed on beauty, it's a pretty significant factor for men also. The difference in the way people treat you when you are no longer fat is astonishing. People are straight up nicer to you, your social status rises, more invites find their way to your door, etc etc etc. Society as a whole is a shallow cesspool of superficial judgment, and sometimes I think we as a species are drowning in it. Or maybe I just like Greek mythology too much.
     
  9. Gravy

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    Spoilering this because it is really just a personal attack for the fuckery above. I apologize if this is out of line. I just couldn't let this sit in the open with tacit approval.

    First off, you need to do a self check before you post. Ask yourself the following question: are any of these words in Ballsack's preferred lexicon? If you answered yes, there is a strong chance you are about to say something obnoxiously douchey.

    Second, she is your fucking wife and just pumped out a god damn kid. A few pounds or even generous helping of laziness should be the fucking furthest thing from your mind. "Super nervous?" Fuck, man. Be nervous that your kid is healthy and that your wife is healthy. Worrying about how quick she can be back at your fighting weight so that you can more easily recreate the fantasies with her of whatever porn star you are currently rubbing it out to should be the last thing on your mind.

    Right now, the thing at the front of your mind should be this: CONTRACEPTION. Do not procreate until you get your priorities in an order that doesn't make you sound like your wife is a shiny object that you were handed by god to put on your nightstand for you to use as you please.
     
  10. AlmostGaunt

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    Fixed that for you.
     

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  11. Parker

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    DCC edit - you're not a mod. If you don't like a thread topic, don't post in it. Stop being a fucking asshole.
     
  12. bewildered

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    I forgot, not only is Parker's dick huge, but he's smarter than all of us too.
     
  13. JoeCanada

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  14. Pinkcup

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    Fixed.
     
  15. downndirty

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    For me, I despise the stigma associated with body image because it destroys the confidence of an otherwise normal, healthy person. Confidence is more attractive, to me, than any body type, musculature, or build. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a woman who looks fucking normal: boobs, ass, thighs and hips, that is afraid to swim in public, or only wants to have sex with the lights out, or feels genuinely guilty about her choices in food.

    The media is an industry that serves other industries. It uses body image to sell more shit. If you naturally resemble Wolverine or Adriana Lima, you are universally loathed. For us normal people, it makes our efforts look pointless and to the media, there's nothing to sell you. The thing is, I don't think this level of natural beauty exists, or if it does, it's very transient. I say that after having a conversation with a friend about getting plastic surgery on her...kneecaps. The idea is that if you think you are physically perfect, good for you, but there is a magazine article somewhere that says some part of your physical appearance is weird and unseemly and will prevent you from finding happiness and true love unless you buy this shit.
     
  16. AlmostGaunt

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  17. CharlesJohnson

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    The real issue here is, that isn't even the best shot of her.

    [​IMG]
    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.7msport.com/news/upload_img/20120923/38_2012092311413526.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.7msport.com/news/upload_img/ ... 413526.jpg</a>

    [​IMG]

    Those pregnant cans are just awesome. Which is the real focus. To me.
     
  18. Stealth

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    I'm bemused at how in Australia, "plus size" models are basically attractive, tall women with healthy (normal) curves.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.bellamodels.com.au/models" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.bellamodels.com.au/models</a>

    Do a search via Dress size and see for yourself.
     
  19. PIMPTRESS

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    What is normal anymore?

    This image is only empowering or harmful to women who are insecure enough to care. I think it's awesome she has the confidence, I have no problem wearing a bikini despite stretch marks and scars. I don't look like her, but I'm okay with that. I'm okay with me. I have a difficult time understanding people who fixate on their "flaws." Work with what you have, in a healthy manner. Some days, I think I need a boob lift. Then I go to the gym and appreciate what I have and forget about it. I don't have time to obsess over something that isn't that important to my life, I don't rest my happiness on fitting into any mold the media presents as attractive.

    It seems to me that being overly concerned with your appearance demonstrates your immaturity as an actual person. It's weak. Competing with other women based on looks is silly and shallow. It downgrades your real qualities.
     
  20. shimmered

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    There's a great article that was an interview with MM about her nutrition and exercise choices. She lifted weights and ate a high protein diet.
    Now - her weights were very light, but she did it.
     
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