Via the facebook page for the Center for Values and Social Policy at the University of Colorado, a story from the Wall Street Journal:
French lawmakers have voted in favor of a measure that would ban excessively thin fashion models from the runway and potentially fine their employers in a move that prompted resistance in the modeling industry.
The country’s National Assembly on Friday approved an amendment that would forbid anyone under a certain level of body mass index, or BMI, from working as a runway model . . .
“The law is to protect models who are getting so thin that they’re in danger,” Mr. Véran said in an interview. “It’s also to protect adolescents. This image of so-called ideal beauty augments the risk of eating disorders.”
Doctors say a healthy BMI, which takes into account the weight and height of a person, is between 18.5 and 24.5. Mr. Véran didn’t suggest an appropriate BMI level for models, saying France’s workplace health authority should determine the number.
France’s move, which follows similar measures put in place in Italy and Spain, could ultimately force top haute couture brands to change the preferred profile of ultrathin models as a showcase for their latest clothes.
What do readers think? I haven’t thought much about this — but I do wonder if there would be a better measure than BMI to target the driving concern behind the proposed law.
This post on Tumblr from a few weeks ago shows the range of face shapes that men and boys receive in Pixar movies, and the relative lack of range that women and girls receive.
Why does this matter?
Seeing someone on screen who is not conventionally attractive–in any of the various ways one can fail to be conventionally attractive–but still receive love and be portrayed as worthy of that love is a very powerful thing.
Rarely ever seeing women in TV and films who are not conventionally attractive, let alone seeing them receive love and being portrayed as worthy of that love, can have a profound impact on us (as a culture) and what many of us think it takes to be worthy of love.
It is unlikely that it has completely defined our self-worth, but for many of us, myself included, it is a kind of voice or pressure that we need to shut down, again and again and again, every time we are reminded of our absence from the circle of people who are shown as loved and worthy of love.
This is why the shape of faces matters.
Green shapes on the left are men’s faces. Red shapes on the right are women’s.
Should You Comment on This Post? A Rough Guide, in Addition to the Blog’s General Policies:
- This issue has a deep psychological and emotional resonance for me, as well as for many other people. If commenters want to discuss the account I’m giving, or the premises I’m invoking, etc., I’m happy to engage and discuss, even if a comment challenges aspects of this account. However, this is only if commenters can show good faith and be supportive of people’s struggles to maintain a robust sense self-worth, given the various cultural norms that exist regarding our bodies. If any comment engages in a manner I deem to be unsupportive or even just oblivious–regardless of the commenter’s intention–I am not going to publish it. If you want to comment but do not know or care how to do so without exacerbating the vulnerability and shame many people feel in relation to this issue, please keep your comment to yourself. This post is not for you.
- If a comment raises a challenge or asks for evidence without also contributing something substantial to the discussion, I may or may not post it, and I may not not respond to it if I do post it. We have the internet at our fingertips, so unless a commenter demonstrates that they are a valuable conversation partner (or I already know that they are), I have little inclination to google things for them or spell out my entire justification behind these ideas. The claims here are not novel; people have probably written on them elsewhere.
- Lastly, if I suspect a comment is an attempt to troll, I will not publish it. If you would like to avoid your comment going unpublished despite you having no intention to be a troll or cause troll-like harms, please take the time to ensure your comment cannot be taken that way. If you do not have the time or inclination to do that, please refrain from commenting.
Via Bustle, a spoken word performance:
“The trio of teenage girls start the poem ominously: ‘The greatest lessons you will ever teach us, you won’t even remember.’ From there, they jump into fairly controversial, dark topics like rape, race, gun control, socioeconomics, and censorship. Emotions rage so hard in the three-and-a-half-minute piece, occasionally you can spot a small vocal crack in the performance, but that just lends more validation to the truth they kept spouting. ‘Somewhere in America,’ ushers in the hard-to-hear stuff, ‘Women are killed for rejecting dates, but God forbid I bring my girlfriend to prom.’ Another: ‘The preppy kids go thrifting because they think it sounds fun. But we go ‘cause that’s all we’ve got money for.’ “
“Every drop of G.Spirits has been poured over the breasts of a Top Model and is then directly bottled into a specific and personalized glass bottle. “.
As reader N notes, “Clearly, a lot of thought went into the project: for vodka, the poured-over object is a white blonde; [for whiskey] “we decided to go with a darker and warmer type of woman, because it perfectly mirrors the soul of our single-malt”, and “we chose Amina as our model-type because she really has the Mediterranean temperament, just like our rum”
Their very first FAQ is the “official statement to misogyny reproach”:
In the past, we have received various responses in regards to our product and the possible association with discrimination against women. By no means do we support any negative derogatory of women nor any statements supporting the devalue of women and their roles. We disagree with that and would like to clarify. We respect women and love their eroticism through their beauty which is our main drive for our business. We also repudiate from any kind of discrimination regarding gender, background or sexual orientation. On the contrary, we invite all to experience our passion with us. Perhaps we represent a more open-minded and liberal philosophy of sexuality than most other conservative groups. But we stand by this view and endorse what we believe in. We hope you will too.
I’ll leave the feminist critique as an exercise for the reader. I will, however, note that there’s no way I’d pay 139 pounds for a whisky described only as “a unique, 12year old single malt whisky from Scotland (cask strength)”.
This video is a nice commentary on beauty expectations for women in the entertainment industry. From Jezebel:
Here’s a striking video from Hungarian singer Boggie, in which her moving image is being retouched and “corrected” throughout the entire video. Directed by Nándor Lőrincz and Bálint Nagy, the three-minute video shows Boggie’s transformating from a lovely woman in dim lighting to a lovely, flawlessly made-up woman who has, judging by her glowing surroundings, been abducted by aliens and forced to sing for them.
In. The. Machine. YOU CAN’T BE BEAUTIFUL UNLESS YOU PUT YOUR HEAD IN THE MACHINE.
(Thanks, Mr Jender!)
Photographer Howard Schatz showcases the amazing diversity – and beauty – of the female athlete in a series of photos. The Huffington Post has more info.
… then how dare you win Wimbledon! Another face-palm moment from the intarwebz. What is wrong with people?
Go check out this HuffPo article on photographer Jade Beall’s project documenting the beautiful, un-photo-shopped bodies of mothers (there’s a slideshow at the end with some photographs from her series–it’s stunning).
“We are facing an epidemic of women who feel unworthy of being called beautiful,” Beall told HuffPost, describing a world in which “nearly all of us struggle to feel beautiful in our own skin.” And the expectations faced by women who have given birth are particularly harsh. “Shaming mothers for not ‘bouncing back’ after childbirth can cause feelings of failure when being a mother is challenging enough and when a big number of us have already lived a life of feeling un-beautiful prior to giving birth,” she says.
It’s also worth watching her video on the Kickstarter page for the project.