Thursday, August 20, 2009

Amazing, brilliant magazine editor lets up on body-fascism for one photo, is lionized

Fair warning: every link I'm using in this post has pictures of naked ladies on it.

Via Jezebel, Glamour magazine is making waves with a photo of a naked lady with a tummy. (Maybe NSFW) It's really a lovely photo, and I've never seen anything like it in a women's/fashion mag. The editor's blog entry about all of the glowing praise she's gotten for including the photo is overly-self-congratulatory. Include one photo of a happy naked lady, and we'll forget all about the decades of body-image-assassination that your industry thrives on. She asks rhetorically:

With all the six-packs out there, do you even know what a normal belly looks like anymore—other than the one you see in the mirror?
I'd like to answer that question. I never really knew what a fat woman's body looks like until I had one, which made it a continual disappointment until I wised up. Plus-sized models are carefully arranged so as not to create the rolls of fat that everyone acts like are so unsightly. Sure I've been in locker rooms and stuff, but there's almost no media representation of what actual fat(esque) female bodies look like. The diversity of female bodies is completely steamrolled in media; Things like this really don't need to be a revelation.

Photography projects like Shape of a Mother, Adipositivity, the "normal breasts gallery" were a real shock to me in my early twenties. I really didn't know what stretch marks were. I vividly remember my horror as a teenager when I actually tried out a few yoga poses in the nude, and decided it was thoroughly unerotic.

To conclude: this all pisses me off quite a lot, like when feminists are supposed to fall all over themselves thanking men for understanding that women are people. Stopping active harm is good, but it's not exactly charity.

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