Tag Archives: body image

Is Fat Passé?

feeling fat

feeling fatLONDON – At the risk of lobbing a hand grenade into the collective female unconscious, let me throw out some food for thought: I think that, slowly, the whole idea of being “fat” is becoming passé.

It’s not that I believe that body image has ceased to be one of the central parameters for how women – and especially, girls – define themselves. Nor – if musician Pink’s recent “fat shaming” episode is any bellwether — do I think that others will continue to pressure women, and particularly celebrities, to stay thin.

It’s just that culturally, I see a few signs that the the tides are slowly turning on this one and that one day in the foreseeable future, much like smoking and not using sunscreen in days gone by, our cultural obsession with being thin will wane and “fat” and “chubby” and “plus-size” will cease to have the negative cultural resonance it holds today.

“Rubenesque” will be the new black.

Read the rest of this post over at The Broad Side


Image: Feeling Fat by Caitlin Regan via Flickr

Amy Winehouse, Like Princess Diana, Was Bulimic

I’ve always had a soft spot for Amy Winehouse. The British, bee-hived chanteuse was the polar opposite of the proverbial girl-next-door: outré…erratic…Jewish.

In a country where the Duchess of Cambridge – aka Kate Middleton – currently personifies a sort of Ivory Soap poster girl for all that we hold dear, Winehouse embodied this nation’s darker side: wayward, unpolished, self-destructive.

And yet, there was a certain tenderness to Amy Winehouse – a vulnerability – skating just beneath the bravado that drew you to her. You could hear it in the lyrics of her signature album “Back to Black,” which launched her career in 2006 and subsequently won her a record 5 Grammy awards for a female British pop star:

I cheated myself,

Like I knew I would

I told you I was trouble,

Yeah, you know that I’m no good.

Read the rest of this post at The Broad Side...


Image: Amy Winehouse – Sign by eduhalls via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

What Swedish Mannequins Reveal About Body Image

Sometimes, all you need is an Internet hoax to generate a “teachable moment.”

I refer here to the photo of two “plus-sized” mannequins — allegedly from an H&M store in Sweden, but actually lifted from a photo of a different Swedish department chain in 2010 — that went viral earlier this week when a blogger at Women’s Right’s News posted them on Facebook to an overwhelming response. Last I checked, the page had 57,000 likes and17,000 shares.

H&M has subsequently denied using these fuller-bodied, scantily clad mannequins at any of their stores, in Sweden or anywhere else. But that doesn’t really matter. Because, authentic or not, the visual representation of “zoftig” models in the fashion industry — even fake ones — has clearly struck a chord.

Let’s face it. Part of the mannequins’ viral appeal was no doubt the illusion that they came from Sweden, that Nordic bastion of pushing-the-envelope cultural fare that brought us the likes of Ikea and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” We all secretly want to take our lifestyle cues from Sweden. (Okay, maybe that’s just me.)

But the excitement and interest generated by the mannequins run much deeper than that. “Call it a hunch, but I think we could have quite a discussion here,” wrote the popular syndicated columnist Connie Schultz on her Facebook page, where I first viewed the image. Which is clearly what Women’s Right’s News was after in posting the photos: “Store mannequins in Sweden. They look like real women. The US should invest in some of these,” read the caption.

Read the rest of this post at The Washington Post’s She The People blog


Image: By Becka.nu at  http://www.becka.nu/2010/10/23/tummen-upp-for-ahlens-skyltdocka/