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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: the skinny on “plus-size” models

It’s a little documentary that too few people saw, and more should. From my review of Curve:

Gentlemen: Imagine being told that the type of body you were dealt in the shuffle of the genetic cards is unfashionable. Imagine opening a magazine to learn that washboard abs are so last year, and that this season, you’d better have broad shoulders if you’ve any hope of being stylish. Pretty absurd, huh? Yet this is the kind of thing women face all our lives. We can ignore the unrealistic ideal of the female body our pop culture presents to us, laugh at its ridiculous inattainability, dismiss it as ludicrous. But for many of us — no matter how self-confident we are, no matter how sexy we feel, no matter how attractive someone else tells us we are — there’s always a niggling little voice in the backs of our heads telling us we just don’t measure up if we’re more than a size 2.

review of Curve, posted 11.20.02

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  • Robert

    we just don’t measure up if we’re more than a size 2

    Intentionally paradoxical phrasing?

    As a card-carrying hetero male, I find there’s a range of female shapes that I like and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Sleek, hard-body athletic is one kind that’s appealing, but not the only one. For the record, emaciation is as unappealing to me as obesity.

    My mind boggles when I see stunningly pretty teen girls with perfect, alabaster complexions fixating on the mirror of their compact, smearing makeup all over features that need no help.

    I wonder if part of the problem isn’t inherent within females themselves. Some kind of hardwired desire to catch the attention of males that makes them so susceptible to the messages from the mass-media, foisted by some “they” who are the self-appointed congnoscenti of what’s “in”. If someone as self-aware and intellectually focused as yourself hears these “niggling voices” in your head, what chance does the average female have to ward off these messages?

    Isn’t the whole ultra-thin thing a relatively recent model? In an earlier time – 1700’s for instance, wasn’t a more zaftig look more in vogue?

    I make the observation that Britney Spears, long held up as a model of female attractiveness in the media, is being declared all but mentally ill – why? Because she cut off her hair. While I’m no fan and don’t imagine she’ll be voted Mother Of The Year any time soon, and I prefer women to have hair, seems an interesting statement that trimming off those few ounces of protein strands elicits such a strong reaction. How *dare* she alter her appearance. Maybe there has been, but I haven’t seen any commentary that maybe she just felt like it, or even was just messing with everyone because she knew it would cause a collective gasp – seems showbiz types do like being the center of attention – and it has no deeper implications regarding her mental health.

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