Comments

  1. doublereed says

    Wow the Ingres one emphasizes how disproportionate she already is (what with the extra vertebrae and all)… She looks like the Violator from Spawn…

  2. rq says

    Wasting time? Wasting paint! Imagine how you can save by painting three sizes smaller!

  3. says

    It is interesting, though that when most people probably didn’t get enough to eat and had to work outdoors, that affluent beauty was plump and pale.
    Of course now with ceap fattening food and indoor jobs…

  4. gardengnome says

    Now that really demonstrates how unnatural this obsession with skeletal women really is.

  5. cyberax says

    Some of them do become nicer (Three Graces, for example) – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But yeah, skip this mega-boob obsession.

  6. says

    “Why did the old masters waste their time painting fatties?”

    As richardelguru notes in #3, standards of beauty were quite different back then. When only the prosperous and healthy could afford to be plump, voluptuous women were valued. It rather amuses me that people will look back at today’s art and assume that it was a time of great famine and disease.

  7. otrame says

    Ha. Yesterday my son showed me a picture of the woman who has been picked to play Wonder Woman. He said “What the hell. She is supposed to have muscles. This woman is fucking anorexic.”. She looked like the more extreme examples of those “modernized” paintings. Eww indeed.

  8. otrame says

    As for me, I look more like the Venus of Willendorf than any of those paintings. I guess that makes me a REALLY old fashioned girl.

  9. David Marjanović says

    Now that really demonstrates how unnatural this obsession with skeletal women really is.

    Actually, they’re not even skeletal. The photoshopped Venus has her hipbones completely removed, and the same holds for some, maybe all of the others.

  10. David Marjanović says

    (Not to mention the abovementioned megaboob obsession for contrast.)

  11. Andy Groves says

    As most women in the public eye are well aware, the unrealistic expectations of perfection cane be applied both ways – one cannot be too fat OR too thin:

    “Chubby Venus in embarrassing bikini malfunction”

    “Dangerously thin Venus may go back to rehab, tearful Botticelli confirms”

  12. steve oberski says

    @Gregory in Seattle

    people will look back at today’s art and assume that it was a time of great famine and disease

    They might well assume this for the very good reason that our current system of pumping out fructose based processed food is resulting in great famine and disease.

    From a CDC press release – Number of Americans with Diabetes Projected to Double or Triple by 2050

    If you think that our current health system is breaking down, this pales in comparison to the health system our children will inherit.

  13. says

    Of course, as someone in the comments to the linked article noted, the original artists no doubt took liberties with the appearance of the actual women they painted as well.

  14. says

    and yet fat shaming is of course, as bad as skinny shaming…

    although the former is far more widespread and more damaging, they both come from the same root of having the “right” to judge women’s bodies.

    To eliminate this societal ill would be a great thing, not only for women, but also for men, who also get objectified and judged; and have to hold up to certain standards, albeit not to the same extent/level/severity as women.

    Of course, this article just seems to be a funny piece about how people use photoshop now? And yeah, crazy.

  15. The Mellow Monkey says

    otrame @ 9

    Yesterday my son showed me a picture of the woman who has been picked to play Wonder Woman. He said “What the hell. She is supposed to have muscles. This woman is fucking anorexic.”. She looked like the more extreme examples of those “modernized” paintings. Eww indeed.

    While I sympathize with the desire to see a Diana with a buff body that looks appropriate for such a physically powerful character, the “eww” here really troubles me. Gal Gadot is a human being–yes, a thin one–and her body is being criticized in the same way I think you and I would both agree is wrong when it’s done to larger women.

    Can we recognize that the plump, pale, body hairless women of these old paintings were an idealization that no living woman could achieve just like the photoshopped images of today? Can we recognize that it’s bad to body shame anyone, including the thin?

    In the original paintings, proportions are skewed and skeletons are at times ignored in order to achieve a certain aesthetic, just as we do with Photoshop now. The realities of how flesh with fat under it folds and creases are just washed away in the paint, just as in modern retouched images the shadows of hipbones and clavicles are airbrushed out. The hairless bodies of very young white women are held up as the pinnacle of human beauty, just as they are today. A plumper past ideal is no more “good” than a modern thinner ideal. We’re still dealing with an ideal that real, living human beings are expected to live up to. These are beautiful paintings, but holding their aesthetic up as somehow better than the modern one is a major mistake.

    Could we remember all that? Maybe?

  16. says

    So … naked women don’t look more attractive when they appear to be adolescent boys with boob implants? … Who knew?

  17. The Mellow Monkey says

    David Wilson, I don’t understand what you mean by “not necessarily” there. Could you elucidate?

    If there was a period in western art history when the feminine aesthetic ideal included women who grew thick dark hair on their stomachs and upper lips and chests, women of color, women whose thighs and breasts and stomachs had stretch marks, women whose body fat settled on the sides of their hips in saddlebags, women with cellulite, trans women, women with visible disabilities, etc. maybe I’d see the point in considering some western art period as “better” and “more accepting.”

    Instead, we get:

    “Whoa! At this particular point in western history, idealized images of hairless white cis women who had more body fat were admired!”
    “Oh my! This is so dramatically different from now, when idealized images of hairless white cis women with less body fat are admired!”

  18. Gregory Greenwood says

    jasonmerrill @ 16 and The Mellow Monkey @ 17 make an important point. The original peices were also idealised in a fairly toxic manner in the style of that era. Also, judging women for their body morphology is always harmful and unacceptable. While ‘fat shaming’ may be more prevalent and more damaging than ‘skinny shaming’, it doesn’t make the latter somehow harmless or acceptable. It is an easy mistake to make; in a similar vein, when taking a stand against ‘slut shaming’ it is easy to ignore, give a pass to, or even endorse and engage in ‘prude shaming’.

  19. says

    By a series of unusual coincidences I found myself, last saturday night, at a play party in LA. There were maybe 50 people there, lubricated with alcohol and whatever, mostly nude except for the ones who had a fashion statement to make. Every size, shape, and color – as humans have always been – getting their groove on as humans always do when they have the opportunity and energy. Nobody really seemed to give a great big shit how anyone else looked, other than to be appreciative if they appreciated it, and I noticed one thing: nobody was sitting back waiting for some mythical “ideal” I wonder how much of what we see in art is distorted through the lens of artists’ ideals, which are to a definite degree shaped by cultural ideals, but in all cases pretty much deny the reality of what we experience. And why are we so fucking stupid about other peoples’ representations of cultural ideals or their own? I guess I am so deeply cocooned in my privilege that I don’t feel a twinge when I see a guy with mandatory 2 days of stubble and a slightly shabby tux, leaning against a $200,000 car drinking a beer (as we all do, in la-la-land) for appreciative scantily dressed models. It’s always weird how awesome reality is, yet it just isn’t good enough for people. I wonder if an evolutionary psychologist would tell me that a certain built-in dissatisfaction with even a wonderful situation is some kind of evolutionary imperative?

  20. The Mellow Monkey says

    Gah. Apologies to David Wilford @19 for my getting your ‘nym wrong @21.

  21. Brandon says

    Zeno@18

    So … naked women don’t look more attractive when they appear to be adolescent boys with boob implants?

    Can we not do this version of crapping on people either? Women that cycle, run, or are just naturally thin but within healthy norms can certainly appear slender and lean. Referring to them as having the bodies of “adolescent boys” is just plain obnoxious.

  22. lindsay says

    Yeah, I don’t see ‘they don’t look like women, they look like boys with boob jobs’ comments are any better than fat shaming. I know a woman who naturally has a fashion-model build, very tall, slender, and long-limbed. She’s lovely, but she slouches and carries herself awkwardly because she’s been told so many times that she’s too skinny and too tall that she feels bad about her appearance. A woman looks how she looks. There is no ‘should’.

  23. otrame says

    The Mellow Monkey @17

    I am a woman in her 60s who is grossly overweight (as I implied @10). If someone says, “You are too fat. It is harmful to your health” that is not fat shaming. That is just true. The young woman in question is skin and bones. She probably doesn’t menstruate. It is remotely possible that that is her natural shape (a very few people are naturally that thin, but most of those have some kind of metabolic disorder) but I doubt it. I can say “That woman is too thin. It is not healthy” and I will not be thin shaming. If she and I could meet in the middle we would BOTH be healthier. And she would be out of a job, which is the real problem.

    I agree the eww could be interpreted as a bit of thin shaming, but it is really a reaction to them choosing a woman who is starving herself–thus implying that you must be that thin to be a “wonder woman”. THAT is far more harmful than my fatness and her thinness.

    As for that period being “more accepting” I don’t remember anyone saying it was. You are quite correct that the ideal has changed only slightly. The ideal in those days was slightly plump, very soft women with no muscles to speak of. Now the ideal is dangerously thin with no muscles to speak of. Not all that much different.

  24. says

    @17, The Mellow Monkey

    While I sympathize with the desire to see a Diana with a buff body that looks appropriate for such a physically powerful character, the “eww” here really troubles me. Gal Gadot is a human being–yes, a thin one–and her body is being criticized in the same way I think you and I would both agree is wrong when it’s done to larger women.

    In this case, though, the “eww” isn’t “eww this person is unattractive”, it’s “eww this person has a wildly inappropriate body type to play a character who has a well-established appearance which is specifically a part of that character’s persona”. It would actually work quite well to pick a black woman for that role, as long as she was tall and muscular, for example, because Wonder Woman’s shtick has nothing to do with race but a lot to do with stature.

  25. Brandon says

    There’s not a shred of evidence that Gal Gadot is “starving herself”. My girlfriend is built in a roughly similar fashion as a result of being a relatively serious runner. Her health checks out by every objective standard that’s available. Accusing people of eating disorders based on nothing more than being more slender than you’ve personally deemed acceptable is nasty bit of work.

  26. David Wilford says

    @ 21:

    I don’t understand what you mean by “not necessarily” there. Could you elucidate?

    Sure. In contrast to how other painters have depicted Bathsheba after receiving David’s letter, Rembrandt’s model isn’t classically beautiful and polished. She’s not posed gracefully, nor is she really strikingly attractive. Yet Rembrandt has painted her figure vibrantly which makes her figure the center of attention, and her expression of sadness is shown with real emotional power, and not just a pretty sigh. It’s a very intimate piece that doesn’t idealize the body even as it reveals it in naked detail. There are other aspects of this work that foreshadow modern painting also. But really, it’s a singular masterpiece by one of the great painters.

    More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathsheba

  27. says

    speculating about someone else’s health because of their body is not cool

    Yup, I learned that when I complimented a guy I used to know on his weight loss and asked him if he was working out or something, and he said, “no, pancreatic cancer”

  28. The Mellow Monkey says

    Thanks for the clarification, David Wilford @ 32. Yes, I agree.

    The Vicar @ 29

    In this case, though, the “eww” isn’t “eww this person is unattractive”, it’s “eww this person has a wildly inappropriate body type to play a character who has a well-established appearance which is specifically a part of that character’s persona”.

    That is not what the “eww” I was responding to meant, as you can see by otrame‘s further commentary. A Wonder Woman of color who was built on a larger, more powerful scale would be so fantastic I would weep with joy. Believe me, I’d very much support a WW like that. This is purely about body shaming Gal Gadot.

    otrame @ 28

    The young woman in question is skin and bones. She probably doesn’t menstruate. It is remotely possible that that is her natural shape (a very few people are naturally that thin, but most of those have some kind of metabolic disorder) but I doubt it.

    You aren’t her doctor. You have no way of knowing her health just by looking at her, just as someone has no way of knowing a fat person’s health just by looking at them. You do not know she doesn’t menstruate–and what business is it of anyone else’s if she doesn’t?–and you do not know how much she actually weighs.

    Some people are able to maintain their health at different weights. Some people have compact muscles and weigh more than they look like they do. And visually guessing how much someone weighs is incredibly inaccurate and subject to our own biases and assumptions about how a body “should” look.

    Other people’s bodies are their business, not ours. We can express concern over the danger of the media idealizing extremely thin bodies and I support that concern, but faux “health” concern for individuals is just another way of turning women’s bodies into something open for public commentary and criticism. I’m by no means equating the damage done by thin shaming to the damage done by fat shaming, but perpetuating the exact same system of body fascism and judgment does no help in dismantling the whole unhealthy mess.

  29. otrame says

    lindsay

    The picture I saw of her looked a LOT more than slim. The photo you linked is quite different. So if she is a runner or swimmer and naturally slender then I am wrong to suggest that she is ill. Perhaps the one I saw was Photoshopped to make her look even skinnier than she is.

  30. says

    Photoshopped to make her look even skinnier than she is

    There is a really horrifying thing some people do, where they photoshop people to look extremely thin. I don’t know why they do it – if they are trolling “pro ana” sites or what their agenda is. But (I am very experienced with photoshop) someone who knows the telltales can often immediately tell when an image has been overshadowed to look like there are more prominent bones, etc. It’s extremely unsettling to me.

  31. says

    Speaking as a digital artist and painter, you’d need to be seriously bored to bother photoshopping masters instead of creating one’s own work. Everyday beauty isn’t buff, people (men and women) are generally clothed in unique curves and wrinkles, which is why nude figuratives and expressive portraiture are lovely and interesting to me. The adaptations don’t appeal to me at all.

  32. says

    nb – there’s also a lot of photoshopping celebrities’ heads onto nude bodies or other bodies. Again, I don’t understand the agenda it serves. But at this point, I am extremely cautious when I’m looking at pictures that purport to be anyone; photoshop is pretty amazing.

    Also, please let’s not blame photoshop. “Traditional” darkroom techniques also covered a lot of manipulations. One reason, for example, that photographers like Hurrel shot 8×10 was because with a larger negative it was a lot easier to use a pencil and touch out flaws in the subject’s skin. If you look closely for grain texture in some of the old (Horst P. Horst, Hurrel, etc) glamour photos and commercial photos of the 20s-50s you may be able to pick out the pencil lines. Skin textures are particularly manipulated, just as they are today. Many images were enlarged using a slightly curved easel on the enlarger platen, to do a mild “funhouse mirror” distortion and elongate the subject in the image. And, of course, there’s a huge amount you can do with careful positioning of the camera and front-end tilts on the optics of a view camera. One of my friends who does hollywood headshots today has a couple models of various skin colors and types who he shoots skin patches of, so he can cross-sample their skin textures onto other people’s photos, to help stars look like they wish they looked. Photoshop is just an improvement – a fairly dramatic one – over old ways of manipulating light.

  33. doublereed says

    Huh? Gadot looks like she’d make a great Wonder Woman. I would the main issue would be making sure she’s tall enough, but she’s 5’9″ so that’s fine. She’s totally got the look down:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2933757/mediaindex?ref_=nm_phs_md_sm

    Speaking of people looking anorexic. Check out Christian Bale in the Machinist. That’s completely without photoshop. Yikes. And Christian Bale said that he felt fine being that thin.
    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3877345280/tt0361862?ref_=ttmd_md_pv

    Christian Bale could be a genetic freak for all I know. People have different body types and such. What’s the big deal?

  34. says

    Christian Bale could be a genetic freak for all I know.

    Bale goes very far down the “method acting” continuum. For “the machinist” he was on a diet of something like 500 cal/day, under medical supervision. Apparently he wanted to go farther, to see what he could do, but they told him to stop it. He also did some pretty crazy muscle-up for “american psycho” and “batman” and lived on a concentration camp diet for “rescue dawn” I don’t know if any of that adds to the performances or makes the movies that much better or worse, but he seems to have one setting and that’s ‘over the top’

  35. unclefrogy says

    This subject even if restricted to just Photoshopping images is too big and varied for just ine post.
    The examples shown on the linked page do make the point I think was the objective of the article about the over use of photoshop to edit images. I don’t think they really took the time to do really good edits that would have been more undetectable nor to express anything more than just the obvious thinness. the original works were never meant to be accurate representations they are artistic expressions as such took liberties with reality for effect within the style and abilities of the artists
    We humans have a very complicated relationship with our bodies and its appearance.

    I also do have problems with Hollywood and the casting, movies are bad but TV is worse. The A list glamorous action movies are the most unrealistic making it hard for me to suspend my disbelief. I mean the level of reality has not often moved very far from the 2 real westerns where the hero never lost his clean white hat. It is hard to believe the actors could actually do what they look like they are doing.

    http://www.courierpress.com/photos/galleries/2012/jul/11/2012-women-olympic-athletes/30246/

    uncle frogy

  36. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    The way this began, going from PZ’s eww to the first couple of comments, I thought I would just send a giant FUCK YOU to everyone here…. so thank you, Mellow Monkey, jasonmerrill and everyone that followed for making the thread better.

  37. says

    No, sorry folks
    Why I agree that it’s totally not cool to judge women for their bodies and looks, fat-shaming and slim-shaming are NOT the same.
    Because last I looked thin people weren’t denied jobs because of their weight. On the contrary, it gave them an edge. Now, we can talk about how fucked up that is, but the real world consequences are far different from having your resume sent back unread because the picture is one of a fat woman.

  38. says

    last I looked thin people weren’t denied jobs because of their weight.

    Except for the fashion models in some countries like Israel, you mean.

  39. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Giliell,

    Did anyone say it’s the same in all aspects?

    It’s a real world consequence that I’m worrying about my weight enough, I don’t need PZ or anyone else here to say that skinny people are ewww.

  40. says

    It’s a real world consequence that I’m worrying about my weight enough, I don’t need PZ or anyone else here to say that skinny people are ewww.

    It appears you are supposed to take one for the team because you problems are not real enough. Lovely.

  41. says

    When did we lose perspective?
    I didn’t say that slim-shaming was OK, or that it didn’t have effects on people or anything or that you were “eww”.
    But usually we’re quite good at recognizing that while two things are both bad they’re not equally bad.

  42. says

    But usually we’re quite good at recognizing that while two things are both bad they’re not equally bad.

    As Beatrice said, who is arguing they are the same in all aspects? I don’t see anyone saying they have the same consequences. They do not have to have the same consequences to be equally as unacceptable.

  43. David Wilford says

    To get back to the subject of skin-and-bones and/or paint-and-powder beauty, here’a a passage from Barry Hughart’s wonderful novel Bridge of Birds (1984), which should be pretty self-explanatory as to why it’s quoted here:

    The path of pearls and jade that I had strewn over the grass sparkled prettily in the moonlight, and I felt a breathless excitement as I watched Lotus Cloud approach. Surely the most expensive woman in the world must also be the most beautiful. She uttered little cries of wonder and delight as she trotted toward me picking up the expensive baubles, and then she came close enough for me to make out her features.
    “Li Kao, you have been robbed!” I said indignantly to myself.
    She was not beautiful. She was not even pretty. She was pure peasant: short thick legs, big feet, strong arms and shoulders, large square hands, and a broad flat face. I was just about to cut my losses and get out of there when she saw me. I decided to make the best of it so I stepped forward.
    “My surname Is Li and my personal name is Kao and there is a slight flaw in my character,” I said with a polite bow.
    Lotus Cloud regarded me with interest. Her eyes were narrowed and her head was cocked a little to one side, and it occurred to me that she looked precisely like a farm girl who was deciding whether or not to buy a pet at a country fair. Then her eyes said, “Yes, I think I will take this cute little thing home with me,” and she grinned.
    I cannot describe that grin. It was unearthly. It was as though all the hope and joy and love and laughter and sheer delight in being alive that there was in the universe came together, gathered into a fist, and reached out and belted me right over the heart. The next thing I knew I was on my knees with my arms wrapped around her legs and my face pressed against her thighs, and her fingers played with my hair and she said in a soft laughing voice:
    “I shall call you Boopsie.”
    If I cannot even describe her grin, how can I describe the rest of her?
    “Key Rabbit,” I said a few days later, “I seem to have lost my mind. Your wife is not witty. She is not wise. She can barely read. She has no social graces whatsoever. She is not even pretty, and I worship the ground she walks on.”
    “That is what all her protectors say,” sighed the Key Rabbit.
    It was a mystery, and I decided that beauty was a highly overrated commodity.
    “Key Rabbit, allow me to bore you with a comparison of your wife and a beautiful woman,” I said. “In the morning a beauty must lie in bed for three or four hours gathering strength for another mighty battle with Nature. Then, after being bathed and toweled by her maids, she loosens her hair in the Cascade of Teasing Willows Style, paints her eyebrows in the Distant Mountain Range Style, anoints herself with the Nine Bends of the River Diving-water Perfume, applies rouge, mascara, and eye shadow, and covers the whole works with a good two inches of the Powder of the Nonchalant Approach. Then she dresses in a plum-blossom patterned tunic with matching skirt and stockings, adds four or five pounds of jewelry, looks in the mirror for any visible sign of humanity and is relieved to find none, checks her makeup to be sure that it has hardened into an immovable mask, sprinkles herself with the Hundred Ingredients Perfume of the Heavenly Spirits who Descended in the Rain Shower, and minces with tiny steps toward the new day. Which, like any other day, will consist of gossip and giggles.”
    I paused to catch my breath.
    “Lotus Cloud wakes up, hops happily from bed, plunges her head into a pail of ice cold water, bellows “eeeeaaaaAAAARRRRGGGGHH!”, runs a comb through her hair, looks around to see if there is anyone handy who feels like making love, hops back into bed if that is the case or into some clothes if it is not. Then she dives out the door – or window, it doesn’t matter – to see what wonders the new day will bring, and since Lotus Cloud views the world with the delighted eyes of a child everything is equally marvelous. She makes the beauties seem so pale.”
    “I know precisely what you mean. How I wish that I could afford my dear wife for myself,” sighed the Key Rabbit.
    “Nobody can afford your dear wife,” I sighed.

    Sorry I couldn’t make it shorter, but some things just can’t be done.

  44. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It appears you are supposed to take one for the team because you problems are not real enough. Lovely.

    I’d offer tea in that corner, but I don’t drink it. :(

  45. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @doublereed, #40:

    Huh? Gadot looks like she’d make a great Wonder Woman. I would the main issue would be making sure she’s tall enough, but she’s 5’9″ so that’s fine. She’s totally got the look down:

    What? With no arm muscles at all?

    She does NOT have the look down. Maybe after 8 months of weight training, but not now. There’s nothing in those photos that suggests anything other than “I know how to remain motionless in tight clothes and yet not suffocate” as a superpower.

  46. steve84 says

    Some of that doesn’t even look real so small are the proportions. Some of them look just fine in the original. Others would look good somewhere in the middle (or maybe a bit closer to the original) for me.

  47. says

    Otrame:

    I agree the eww could be interpreted as a bit of thin shaming, but it is really a reaction to them choosing a woman who is starving herself–thus implying that you must be that thin to be a “wonder woman”.

    I’m thin. I’ve been thin all my life. Right now, I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been at 120 lbs (66″ tall). I’m perfectly healthy (outside of spine issues), thank you. You have absolutely no fucking business going around saying that anyone who is thin is starving themselves. (Do you say that about thin men, by chance?)

  48. unclefrogy says

    DW
    I think that that is what the painters were after it is what differentiates Degas from Vogue or Playboy and what Hollywood often misses completely

    uncle frogy

  49. says

    Giliell:

    Because last I looked thin people weren’t denied jobs because of their weight.

    Something I’ve heard from both a physician and a couple of potential clients: “you’re very thin, that means you’re a type A personality (the potential clients added: so you’d be hard to work with). Are you anorexic?

    Just because you are unaware of a lot of shit which gets tossed at thin people doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

  50. says

    …It rather amuses me that people will look back at today’s art and assume that it was a time of great famine and disease…

    … or might, someday, just find the convention grotesque, from general unfamiliarity.

    It’s funny: I guess I mostly get a bit of a ‘wait, what?’ reaction, looking at those photoshops. Wouldn’t call it ew, it’s more just ‘…huh, that’s, umm, strange…’

    I figure it’s probably because I’m used to those paintings the way they were painted, and you throw in that contrast, for about a split second, your brain registers ‘well now, that does look kinda alien’…

    … it’s probably not quite the same reaction you’re going to get if, say, this is 2140, and conventions have changed again, somewhat dramatically, and all the tall, rail thin supermodels with the digitally or surgically enhanced chests suddenly look just really bizarre to people who aren’t used to seeing that, if someone breaks out old copies of Vogue and looks them over… But maybe it’s the best approximation you’re going to get.

    By the by, about ‘thin shaming’, not gonna say I totally get what that feels like, but it’s odd…

    I lost some 30 pounds at the end of the summer, two summers back. Yes, deliberately. It was really just getting me back into what the BMI people generally recommend for my age and height, nothing really that drastic (and no, that didn’t put me anywhere near underweight, just back solidly in the ‘not overweight’ category), or I didn’t think, because things had been creeping up, over years, with a kinda sedentary career. It was partly also a practical thing beyond that general health guideline (I had no other drastic risk factors; it wasn’t strictly a must do, so much as a might be wise); despite my age, I still like to get aerial on my snowboard, and landing with 30 pounds less for knees and hips to contend with just seemed a good investment, as I might be wanting those still to work, when I hit 50, so it’s probably either weigh less or stop doing that, and I guess I want to enough it’s worth some months of going to bed a mite hungry and hitting the cardio hard…

    I do this, and actually a _few_ people on seeing me, said: ‘Umm… Were you sick?’ or equivalent.

    I was briefly mildly put out, the first time (it’s not exactly easy to shave that weight, so, umm, thanks, yeah, what are you saying, you figure it woulda taken me a cancer or something?)… and then mostly amused. I guess it’s probably partly just cultural conventions, expectations. Forty something man loses that much, I guess that’s the first question: have you been sick? It’s not, oh, well, maybe that was a good thing. Which, yeah, I’d still say, it probably was, on balance…

    And on the flip side, it occurs to me shortly after hearing that reaction: I still probably have no clue what it’s like being a woman, seriously. I mean, right, that’s the first reaction I get, but I think I can guess why. It’s not good show, however, nor, for that matter, is it people tsking about those extra pounds all along the previous decade. People just sorta figure you’re gonna spread and soften, you’re a guy, you’re not young, the beer gut’s like a badge of maturity or something. There will be no hassle, no pressure, no expectation, no shaming, therefore. The question isn’t just ‘were you sick?’, the question is also ‘why would you even bother, that’s not what’s expected of you’…

    And then again, yeah, that occurring to me (which it did a it at the time, too), I did feel a brief bit of ‘piss off’ coming on, hearing that. I mean, like this is about what anyone else prefers, which did seem to be the implication. I mean, look, for the record, I didn’t exactly do it for you, unless your name happens to be gravity.

  51. Brandon says

    Inaji@56:

    Do you say that about thin men, by chance?

    For what it’s worth (which is probably not much), I’m a 5’8″, 131 pound man, and I get a fair bit of dopey questions about not eating enough, being too slender, etc. The not well thought out “ideals” that men see are different and type and especially different in impact than what women face, but they also exist. To be honest, it doesn’t get to me much, because I personally like how I look and I’m built this way so I can run fast, but I can see how it would be upsetting for folks that aren’t quite as comfortable and confident in themselves.

  52. says

    Inaji

    Just because you are unaware of a lot of shit which gets tossed at thin people doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

    As many others you seem to be arguing against things I never said. Did I say shit never happens to thin people? Or do you deny that people who have bodies that are deemed conventionally attractive, i.e. thin get advantages over people who are deemed “fat”, especially “fat” women?
    Hell, one of the thing that makes anorexia such dangerous shit is that people are actively praising girls for being thin right until they faint three times a day.

  53. doublereed says

    @54 Crip Dyke

    She can just gain the arm muscle, though. I’m not really sure why people think body sculpting is that hard especially when you’re being paid millions of dollars to do it. When I said she has the look, I wasn’t talking about parts of her that she can change with several months.

    And don’t be silly with the “remain motionless” stuff. It’s true that the pictures don’t show much, but she is a gymnast.

  54. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @doublereed:

    I wasn’t being silly.

    You were talking about her look and, for evidence, linked to pictures that had nothing to do with movement and everything to do with standing still. If how she moves is important to how you conceptualize the “look” which you deem essential to being WW, then those pictures entirely failed to convey it.

    I think Gadot is quite attractive. I agree with The Mellow Monkey that she should not be shamed for it and I think it is wildly inappropriate to speculate on her health based on those pictures.

    But as for your assertion that she would totally have the look if she just looked different, well, now who’s being silly?

  55. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It kinda seems to me like there’s an analogy to be drawn between “hey thin people get shit too!” and “patriarchy hurts men too!” Because, while that’s true…..

  56. David Wilford says

    unclefrogy @ 57:

    Agreed about what Hollywood’s missing most of the time. One of the reasons I liked Robert Downey Jr’s casting as Iron Man is that Downey as an actor doesn’t get subsumed to all the layers of CGI that covers him like so much virtual paint. Hollywood is more than able to make an actor “look” right, but it takes more than that to make a great character.

  57. doublereed says

    @63

    Yea but I’m always silly.

    What am I supposed to do? Find videos of her doing crazy action moves?

    (I actually looked for video of her doing crazy action moves and gymnastics but I couldn’t find any ;_; so let’s just pretend that that link actually goes to somewhere)

  58. theoreticalgrrrl says

    About body-shaming women who are more the “ideal” type, especially chest-size , it amazes me how many female friends and acquaintances I have who feel it’s totally OK to openly make comments about my body, especially in public, in front of other people. It can be really mortifying.

    Some female friends draws attention to my chest whenever we’re out at a club or party, to both guys and girls.It’s so uncomfortable. One friend always just grabs them and says to everyone in the room, ‘hey, look at her boobs, aren’t they great?!’

    And another female friend would say things like, “I don’t think large breasts are attractive, they actually make a woman look fatter.” She tells me that smaller breasts are much more aesthetically attractive. And it’s not like we were in the middle of a philosophical discussion of breast sizes, she’ll just bring it up while I’m at her house getting dressed to go out.

    It’s like they think that because you have a more “ideal” (to hetero men) body shape, you are fair game for criticism and verbal abuse from women. And you have no right to complain, either.

  59. twas brillig (stevem) says

    It is interesting, though that when most people probably didn’t get enough to eat and had to work outdoors, that affluent beauty was plump and pale.

    [tangent alert] Skintone is also an issue of worker vs aristocrat. Used to be all aristocrats were pale and were NEVER exposed to that UV source in the sky, while Workers were overexposed to be a ruddy “tan”. Today, the opposite seems to be the case. Only aristocrats have time enough to go lay in the sun to get that “healthy” tan, while workers have to spend all their time in the factory and never get out in the sun. I think ONE of the minor reasons “brown” is such a symbol of lower-class status. And the great masterpiece artworks of the female form always seem to prefer the alabaster white form for the focus. The “rebel” artists rejected this and went totally opposite using multicolors to paint the forms. blah blah blah. all images are just forms that people express their idealizations of what they consider a “perfect” form. The issue under discussion is the wide acceptance of those ideals as Beautiful.

    Body mass is poorly understood; strength is not just the mass of the muscles. A very slim muscle could still be very strong, and vice-verse. Gadot as Wonder Woman does not have to be extremely “ripped” to be the strong Wonder Woman. Her portrayal of WW should appear similar to the Cartoon prototype, but is NOT mandatory. The strength of acting is conveying the personalities of the character, not so much the physical form.
    TL;DR-not much to add here

  60. says

    It’s like “Fahrenheit 451″ or “1984”. Art and literature are warped to fit ideologies, and then the only those with fading (and inaccurate) memories remember them as they originally were.

  61. says

    Ad photoshoped classics: some of them seem not “slimed” but downright deformed, with not enough volume that even bare skeleton would take. No matter how thin you get, hips and rib cage of real people look a lot differently than those on “rescued” Batsheeba for example. At least since corsets went out of fashion.

    Ad bodyshaming: I have no experience with how it feels to be fat shamed. But I never cosnciously fat shame anyone, and I try to work on thinks I might say/do without willing to, that would constitute fat shaming. However I am pretty fed up with everyone telling me on sight, that I should eat more. I was thin even before I got Morbus Basedowi and I am inherently unable to gain fat or muscle (as confirmed via failed trials at body sculpting – I gaineds some strenght, but not a kilo of weigth). I indeed look “eew” if those better slimmed pictures are “eew” to you, and it does not feel particularly pleasant to be permanently told that.

    But that is one of the reasons why I do not “fat shame”. I can emphatise with people who have similar problems to mine, only on the opposite side of body weight spectrum. I do not know if fat shaming and slim shaming are the same in scale, but I fell confident in saying that while one might be worse than the other, they are both shit.

  62. says

    Charly:

    I do not know if fat shaming and slim shaming are the same in scale, but I fell confident in saying that while one might be worse than the other, they are both shit.

    Word.

  63. The Mellow Monkey says

    Giliell @ 46

    Why I agree that it’s totally not cool to judge women for their bodies and looks, fat-shaming and slim-shaming are NOT the same.
    Because last I looked thin people weren’t denied jobs because of their weight. On the contrary, it gave them an edge. Now, we can talk about how fucked up that is, but the real world consequences are far different from having your resume sent back unread because the picture is one of a fat woman.

    They are absolutely not equivalent, as I already said earlier in the thread. That doesn’t mean that thin-shaming is okay (and you’ve stated you agree with that), but thin women as a category have privileges over fat women as a category. That’s a fact.

    However, there are undercurrents of something else going on in the language commonly used to thin-shame. “Real women have curves” and “she looks like a boy with fake breasts” and “she probably doesn’t menstruate” are all expressing a certain essentialist thought process that does indeed lead to some women being subject to bigotry and violence.

    There are women who are accused of not being “real” and genuinely suffer for it. There are women accused of being “boys” with fake breasts and suffer for it. There are women who lack internal female reproductive anatomy and suffer for it.

    There is a remarkably transmisogynistic undercurrent in a lot of thin-shaming and I feel that greatly increases the splash damage, even if it’s directed at a thin cis woman. It’s similar to calling a man a p*ssy as an insult. Is that going to harm him greatly? Probably not, but it’s perpetuating a lot of really harmful stuff. I’m not just trying to protect that specific man from harm when I protest the insult.

  64. steffp says

    I find the artistic concept of an ideal body problematic enough – historically it developed as an supernatural attribute of the depicted (more or less local) god or goddess. Which is why we have pretty diverse examples over the ages and regions. And of course (in their time) some deity like bow-toting Diana would be of a different body type than, say, matron Juno.
    In real reality, outside of castings or other camera-dominated situations, I still see females (and men) of all kinds of body types, forms, and ages. Very, very few of the females are of the supermodel build, and most are not of the long-haired, preferably blonde, mid-twenties, full-breasted yet childless, stereotype. Yet so many of them are breathtakingly attractive…
    What’s boring about that popular cliché is that (in western popular culture at least) there seems to be only a small shape, age, racial window in which bodies are seen as beautiful. What a sorry way to live…
    Now, in both art, as D.Wilford has wonderfully demonstrated (Rembrandt’s Bathsheba), and in real-life attraction (Bridge of Birds), those questions of the “supernatural” ideal of beauty are answered in a much more intrinsic way.
    All I can do is point to the fact that neither Marilyn Monroe nor Lana Turner would stand through a B-Movie casting these days. Their erotic presence would go unnoticed…

  65. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    No one said that thin women have it as bad as fat women. No one said it’s the same.

    But the body shaming? It should be unacceptable in both cases. In all cases. Giliell, you must have read the comments that came before Mellow Monkey’s.
    All the ewws and disgust? That needed to be called out.

    So your “yes, but” was really uncalled for.

  66. Frenzie says

    @Gilliel

    Hell, one of the thing that makes anorexia such dangerous shit is that people are actively praising girls for being thin right until they faint three times a day.

    And as someone who’s naturally that thin, you can fuck right off presuming shit about people.

    @73, The Mellow Monkey
    Word.

  67. madscientist says

    Those figures remind me of images of the starved and dying prisoners of the nazi concentration camps. With society believing that emaciation is a Good Thing it’s no wonder we hear so much about the mythical “obesity epidemic”.

  68. Olav says

    Theoreticalgrrrl #68:

    About body-shaming women who are more the “ideal” type, especially chest-size , it amazes me how many female friends and acquaintances I have who feel it’s totally OK to openly make comments about my body, especially in public, in front of other people. It can be really mortifying.

    Some female friends draws attention to my chest whenever we’re out at a club or party, to both guys and girls.It’s so uncomfortable. One friend always just grabs them and says to everyone in the room, ‘hey, look at her boobs, aren’t they great?!’

    And another female friend would say things like, “I don’t think large breasts are attractive, they actually make a woman look fatter.” She tells me that smaller breasts are much more aesthetically attractive. And it’s not like we were in the middle of a philosophical discussion of breast sizes, she’ll just bring it up while I’m at her house getting dressed to go out.

    It’s like they think that because you have a more “ideal” (to hetero men) body shape, you are fair game for criticism and verbal abuse from women. And you have no right to complain, either.

    But you do have a right to complain. You also have a right not to be degraded by any “friends” and acquaintances, whether they are male or female. And you probably know this but perhaps you feel you just have to endure it for some reason. You don’t.

    If they can’t be educated and don’t honestly apologise and stop this behaviour after you tell them that you don’t like it, it may well be time to find some other friends and acquaintances.

  69. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Hell, one of the thing that makes anorexia such dangerous shit is that people are actively praising girls for being thin right until they faint three times a day.

    And as someone who’s naturally that thin, you can fuck right off presuming shit about people.

    The fuck? Calling people out for “ewws” and “looks like a boy with breasts” is one thing, but observing that the majority, if not the overwhelming majority, of women cannot achieve the level of thinness which is currently promoted as The Ideal For Every Woman without serious and often life-threatening medical complications is not “shaming” the handful of women who can, or naturally are that thin without effort

  70. Forelle says

    I understood the OP’s “ewww” not as disgust towards thinness in itself, but as acknowledgement that the photoshopped figures are deformed, as Charly (71) says (not “some”, but all of them are, for me).

    theoreticalgrrrl (68), your story sounds frightening. Of course you have the right to complain and stop these people. Wow.

    And what Azkyroth said at 65.

  71. says

    As someone married to a slender (and gorgeous) woman, I certainly have nothing against thinness in itself. What warrants an “eww” in those images is that they take women painted as they are, with a historical reputation for beauty, and distorts their bodies to fit a mass-market, commercial version of attractiveness.

  72. yazikus says

    I am really sensitive to people’s comments about my weight. I would prefer if people rather than commenting on what they perceive as a change in weight for me they could just stick to saying that it was nice to see me, not that I look so great because of this change. I’ve tried to apply that to myself when greeting people as well, so instead of going “Oh my gosh, you just look great!” I might say “Oh my gosh, it is so great to see you!”. I know that might seem silly and small, but after my own experiences (and I’m not alone, someone commented upthread about complimenting a gentleman on his weight loss only to find out it was caused by caner). I suppose if someone invites you to comment on their physique then fine, but if not, I try to steer clear and focus on the other reasons I am pleased to see them.

  73. says

    As richardelguru notes in #3, standards of beauty were quite different back then.

    So was their definition of “cleanliness”, in some of those time periods. The problem isn’t that some people tend to like certain attributes (there is a baseline, but people diverge all over the place otherwise), but the obsession with one single variation. A variation that is not clearly “in” the baseline, or should be, or would be, or, for that matter, wouldn’t be, without the recursive nature of its propagation.

  74. says

    As someone married to a slender (and gorgeous) woman, I certainly have nothing against thinness in itself. What warrants an “eww” in those images is that they take women painted as they are, with a historical reputation for beauty, and distorts their bodies to fit a mass-market, commercial version of attractiveness.

    Actually, and interesting point that should be made is that this is, itself, a bit of an assumption. We do know that the common “choice” of the time was a certain type of woman. What we can’t say at all, since we hardly have photos of them, just paintings, is whether or not they where picked “for” that specific body type in all cases, of if, in some cases, the artists might have selected women who could present the poses needed, or exhibited other desired attributes, and they did the painters equivalents of “Photoshopping” those parts of them that didn’t quit fit the correct mold of that time. Given human nature… It wouldn’t surprise me at all, and some painters **absolutely** did this, when the painting was commissioned by, say, a noble, who might not have wanted an “honest” version of either himself, his wife, or his kids. Can we honestly say that any other patron wouldn’t have demanded similar “adjustments”?

  75. theoreticalgrrrl says

    @Forelle and Olav

    They do it in a way that’s light-hearted, and it’s always women that do it. If a guy did it I would definitely say something, but it feels a little strange to tell off a woman friend commenting or jokingly touching my chest. I guess I try to be a ‘good sport’ about it.

    It’s funny, I saw some comments on a photo of an actress recently and there were “someone give her a cheeseburger!” comments and “she looks fat/bloated” comments in the same thread. You’re either too thin or too fat, you can even be both at the same time. People seem to always look for flaws in women. You’re always too this or too that.

  76. unclefrogy says

    ideals of beauty now there is subject
    beautiful models and beautiful actresses and “B’ movies
    the “girl next door” the woman in the car going by

    I have to remember that fashion models main job is to sell the clothes not herself.
    she is just an image not a personality the clothes or what ever product she is modelling is the important part it is rare when the model becomes important and rarer for the model to transition to acting.
    that necessity of not standing out too much but still be beautiful must influence who what works for a model slim and wan is less distracting the voluptuous and vivacious.

    The actresses job is the sell the character the costume helps but there has got to be a live force inside it to make it work.
    as a society or is it just human we look for acceptance from our fellows we try to fit into the ideals that we are exposed to in modern times those images we take from the business of fashion or the world of entertainment both ends of the spectrum so to speak each exaggerated for their own reasons. we are left to struggle to attain the unattainable ideal of these two extremes.
    We would be better off if we leaned more to those classical ideals of beauty as expressed in some of the art represented in the linked article.
    The Goya pictured there is a confrontation with a real human beauty with imperfections and a courageous personality that is alive.
    unfortunately food addictions are a real thing and are dangerous on both ends I would not condemn or criticize anyone who suffers from them
    uncle frogy

  77. Frenzie says

    @79, Azkyroth
    Refer to all of The Mellow Monkey’s posts for the more eloquent versions of that. But also, “the thin” are not exactly “conventionally attractive”. No, they’re skinny and skeletal and lack muscle.* If you’re skinny you constantly get annoying idiots saying you should eat more, or asking if you’re eating enough, who if they do happen to eat at the same table subsequently are amazed that you ate like three times as much as them. They’re trying to get you to eat icky fatty or sugary stuff all the time by saying things like “you’re skinny; you can take it”.

    I apologize to Giliell for typoing the ‘nym. But being skinny does not mean you’re starving yourself. Being skinny does not mean you’re a weakling. Above all, the cast of a stupid program like Jersey Shore is probably a far more accurate portrayal of beauty standards than some Paris catwalk. Just take a look at the retiring** primary Dutch sex symbol*** of the past couple of decades, Tatjana Šimić.

    People come in all shapes and sizes. Deal with it.

    * Leading to people saying things like, “how could you possibly have beat me at activity X involving strength or endurance?”
    ** A few days ago she was on the news because she said that with her 50th birthday, she wants to retire as sex symbol.
    *** What a word. x.x

  78. says

    Frenzie

    I apologize to Giliell for typoing the ‘nym. But being skinny does not mean you’re starving yourself. Being skinny does not mean you’re a weakling.

    Oh thank goodness, and I was thinking that anorexia was actually a problem and that people, especially young women were dying of it. All just naturally skinny and long distance runners. Really, not problem here at all.
    You know, you’re three kinds of idiot for assuming that you’re the only one in this conversation who ever was skinny. It’s not like other people might have experience with being skinny even though they might not currently be.

    beatrice
    I read them and they were uncalled for. And I also noticed how the thread then turned into “let’s talk a lot about another amazing skinny woman and how it is totally not problematic how she’s going to play a character who was actually several sizes larger and a totally different body type.”

  79. Frenzie says

    Well, good thing I didn’t actually assume that then, but that I was responding to your callous defense of comments like #9.

  80. Frenzie says

    Which you are still doing right here in #88. Is this person appropriate for the role? I haven’t got a fucking clue because I know jack shit about Wonder Woman or the referenced actress. But that’s no reason to call her “eww”, whoever she is. So yeah, fuck off regardless of your current or previous weight.

  81. says

    Frenzie

    Well, good thing I didn’t actually assume that then, but that I was responding to your callous defense of comments like #9.

    You must be hallucinating. Should I quote you all the times where I’ve explicitely stated that shaming skinny people is not OK? Or can I just flat out call you a lying shitweasel?
    Maybe you could quote where I said that “calling skinny people “eww” is totally OK”?
    Can you? No? Thought so….

  82. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Giliell,
    Point.
    That talk annoyed me to, I just didn’t ha enough energy in the evening for.more rants. Might take time for one this evening.

  83. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    @79, Azkyroth
    Refer to all of The Mellow Monkey’s posts for the more eloquent versions of that

    I did read them. My argument stands.

    Yeah, I must be hallucinating that Dear Muslima in #46.

    You’re moving the goalposts.

  84. Frenzie says

    You’re moving the goalposts.

    At what point precisely? Because, for the record, the “goalposts” in #91 are bullshit. I’m not “moving” those; I straightforwardly reject them.

  85. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Frenzie

    I apologize to Giliell for typoing the ‘nym. But being skinny does not mean you’re starving yourself. Being skinny does not mean you’re a weakling.

    Who here has said anything like that? Frenzie, I’m having trouble with your reading comprehension here.

    The conversation went:

    Hell, one of the thing that makes anorexia such dangerous shit is that people are actively praising girls for being thin right until they faint three times a day.

    And you replied with

    And as someone who’s naturally that thin, you can fuck right off presuming shit about people.

    ?

    That’s some serious reading comprehension issues there. Your reaction to what you quoted Giliell saying seems pretty inappropriate.

    No one should be shamed for the shape of their bodies. No one at all. That doesn’t mean that anorexia is not a dangerous disease that claims too many lives yearly, and it is true that teens are encouraged to become anorexic or bulimic in some cases (see ballet dancers, models).

    We’re not talking about people who just happen to look that way. We’re talking about people who develop a serious mental illness which can literally KILL them to achieve a nearly impossible standard.

    Do you deny this happens?

  86. throwaway says

    There’s also the fact that the praise isn’t properly sourced to an action but rather a value on a state of visual appearance. There’s no way to know that the woman who appears obese is that way due to overeating or if she is bulking for strength training, and thus her actions go unrecognized and she goes through life daily being insulted or mocked. It’s the other side of the coin for thin people in that they are lauded over for either just eating what they’ve always ate and continued activities they’ve always done, or if they’re physically restraining themselves from eating or otherwise drastically impoverishing their caloric intake. This is what is wrong with such visual-based compliments: it removes the person as an actor in cases where the action is positive yet the image achieved is, per social standards, negative; and assigns the person action when negative action is how they’ve achieved their, again per social standards, positive image.

  87. Frenzie says

    @97, Gen
    @Giliell

    That’s some serious reading comprehension issues there. Your reaction to what you quoted Giliell saying seems pretty inappropriate.

    You’re completely right. It was the last straw but by itself a rather bad example to quote from. Worse, I now notice that in a brain fart I mentally attributed part of Otrame’s #28 to Giliell.

    The conversation went:

    […]

    We’re not talking about people who just happen to look that way. We’re talking about people who develop a serious mental illness which can literally KILL them to achieve a nearly impossible standard.

    Do you deny this happens?

    Of course not. But the conversation as I read it went like this:

    Eww, skinnies.
    Yeah, eww.
    Don’t say eww. One aesthetic isn’t better than another.
    This woman is starving herself.
    Don’t assume she’s starving herself.
    Dear Muslima, how dare you pay any attention to eww and assumptions of starving when there are anorexics out there…

    Note that I don’t think my egregious error vindicates Giliell per se, but that changes when viewing #46 as a reaction to remarks like “She’s totally got the look down.”

    I acted like an ass. Sorry.

  88. says

    Note that I don’t think my egregious error vindicates Giliell per se, but that changes when viewing #46 as a reaction to remarks like “She’s totally got the look down.”

    I acted like an ass. Sorry.

    Wow, what a brainfart of notpology.
    You’re unable to correctly attribute comments, you’re unable to understand comments but you still must pay me as the guilty party. What an asshole.

  89. Frenzie says

    Without taking #88’s message to Beatrice into account, #46 is an unwelcome interjection. If you don’t want to listen to this asshole, please take a look at the posts by The Mellow Monkey and Beatrice.

  90. Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally says

    Victar, clear up @ 29

    It would actually work quite well to pick a black woman for that role, as long as she was tall and muscular, for example, because Wonder Woman’s shtick has nothing to do with race but a lot to do with stature.

    That is why Gina Torres is, forever and always, my dream casting choice for Wonder Woman.

  91. says

    #46 is an unwelcome interjection

    In a thread about the unrealistic expectations on women to be super-skinny? Yeah, I was derailing by being on-topic.

    please take a look at the posts by The Mellow Monkey and Beatrice.

    What makes you think I don’t agree with them? Seems like we’re actually pretty OK. Oh, wait, maybe it’s because they didn’t spew bullshit and lies…

  92. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    88, Giliell

    You know, you’re three kinds of idiot for assuming that you’re the only one in this conversation who ever was skinny. It’s not like other people might have experience with being skinny even though they might not currently be.

    Word.

    With regards to height, I’m on the 90th percentile (for my age, biological sex and race).

    With regards to weight, for much of my life I was seriously thin (around the 15th percentile; BMI 18). And yet I thought that my weight was average. Because everywhere I went, I got messages of approval for my (lack of) size.

    Then, in my mid-thirties, I was diagnosed with gluten enteropathy and went on a strict, life-long gluten-free diet. My weight went up, to what I now know is the 25th percentile, within a couple of years and stayed there for over fifteen years. I felt overweight, but didn’t mind because I was the healthiest (undiagnosed disorders not withstanding) I’d ever been.

    A combination of serious health issues and medication side effects over the last few years (every time I (and my medical team) get on top of one problem, and I look forward to starting some serious exercise, I get a new problem that lays me flat until the next diagnosis, the latest being asthma) meant that my weight has ballooned; I currently have no idea how much I weigh; I haven’t weighed myself since before Christmas, when I hit the 50th percentile, and I have continued to put on weight. I do know that my chest/waist/hip measurements are bigger.

    The weird thing is that although I now see myself as ‘fat’, my measurements are now only slightly above average for my height – and much, much closer to average than they were when I was thin. But I had to buy larger size clothes today; because for the first time in my life since reaching my adult height at 14, I have clothes I can no longer fit into. Also for the first time in my life I bought UK size 16 (US 14). For over forty years I have been in a UK size 12/14.

    The reason my current size upsets me has nothing to do with worrying about the “excess weight => poor health” formula – because I know that, in my case, the arrow goes the other way (as it probably does for a large number of people, regardless of the popular view) – and everything to do with the shaming, which we all internalise, that goes on when anyone puts on weight. We are supposed to celebrate moving into smaller clothes – and there are heavy implications that we should mourn when we buy larger.