Thursday, January 25, 2007

Do I look average in this?

So today I am going to take a brief departure from the usual stuff about writing to address something that I just felt needed to be addressed. Typically I don't want to rant on this blog, but this is something that got to me last night and I kind of felt I needed to get it off my chest.

I was watching an entertainment news show as I sometimes do, when I don't think they'll induce an epileptic fit or anything (those flashing images and hosts yelling at me . . . why do they yell at me, why?). And they were commenting on a new magazine interview with the model Tyra Banks. These entertainment shows seem to do this a lot. Have a segment which is basically them telling you what they read in a magazine somewhere else. I find it distinctly odd.


Tyra was rebutting comments that evidently have been made about her that she is now fat. She says this is absurd. Here is a picture of her. It is absurd.

The entertainment programme was in agreement. At least on the surface. But this is what gets my goat. Tyra was commenting on how she liked her new larger size. As if she was somehow this hefty zaftig lady all of a sudden. As opposed to being, I dunno, average.

I know that Hollywood promotes the super skinny image and I hate it. But what I hate even more are the people out there who comment on how bad that image is and then point out and praise "average" sized women and how wonderful they are. Average sized women like Scarlett Johansson, or Anne Hathaway. Who are no bigger than a size 4. These "average" sized women, they say, are proud of their curves, they like being larger. And THIS I think does almost a greater disservice than the worship of the skinnies. Because the programmes are redefining average. Suddenly average is no longer the providence of sizes 8 or 10 (and let's not forget that the actual average in the states is around 12/14). Average is now 4.

Not only are they redefining what an average size is, but they always put the words "average" and "larger" or "curvaceous" (which ought to be a good thing, but any woman can tell you if someone calls her curvaceous she just thinks they think she's fat, even if they don't) in the same sentence. "Tonight we'll show you some curvaceous actresses who are pleased with their larger size." Thus "average" is becoming synonymous with "large".

And I just wish the media outlets who purport to care so much and be disgusted by the current trends in Hollywood could take a moment and see what they are actually doing. I mean to me it seems so obvious. (I won't even go into the whole problem of how everyone wants to see larger women on screen, but how there is still no place for the size 8, it's either 2 or 12 - oh I guess I did go into it).

So yes, just something for ya'll to think about and to notice.


Next I want to announce a wonderful exciting new presence on the web: my lovely friend Lesley Livingston whom I have mentioned a few times on this blog, has begun one of her own so please do check it out over at:

And lastly I wanted to apologise for the super hard quote yesterday. "Everyone has heart. Except some people," is one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite movies "All About Eve" starring Bette Davis. Let's try a nicer one today:

"Who's scruffy looking?"

Hint: it's Sci-Fi


Anonymous said...

Argh, I hear ya! Here in the states there's an asenine commercial for a diet program that features a model saying "I used to be a size 10, but thanks to (diet program), I'm a size 4" -- as though size 10 were "huge." Bullfeathers, say I!

And if size 4 is "average", then I guess the idea is that size 0 is "trim", so what's "skinny?" Are we going to move to negative sizes? Gah, it's getting bleeping ridiculous!

Great blog! :)

Anissa said...

Amen, sister! It's freaking absurd. I read a quote once by Kate Winslet (who they claim is curvy and eschews the super skinny trend of Hollywood). In it she said something to the effect of, "I like how I am, curves and all. I've just resigned myself to the fact that I'll never wear skinny jeans." Like she's huge or something. She's tiny. It's such a warped perspective. Drives me crazy.

Lisa Clark said...

I saw that programme too and obviously sizes are different here in the UK but still, Miss Tara is by no stretch of any imagination 'big' - it's crazy-mad! I loved how the presenter had a slightly smug grin on her face, safe in the knowledge someone had a bigger waist than her. Geez. Love me some Ryan though, is that bad?

Lesley Livingston said...

Hey, Baby! Shout out to you for the bloggy-mention.

I'm not even gonna get into the whole size thing 'cause you said it all and thinking about it too hard makes me want to lob ice-cream bombs at passing starlets and e-hosts.

But I WILL say this - he may be scruffy-lookin', and he might even be a nerf-herder, but I'll take Han Solo - and good blaster - at my side any day! *grin*

Therese Fowler said...

Lesley beat me to the punch--I say Han Solo, too. I LOVE Harrison Ford, sigh.

Your post made me think about my recent reaction to the movie THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. It attempts to criticize the obsession with thinness but gives us a heroine who's barely a size 6.

I think Tyra Banks looks fabulous as she is.

Maprilynne said...

I think it is a real commentary on just how hard Tyra had to work to stay "inshape enough" to be a lingerie model. She was a lingerie model for years and now that she has retired the first thing she does is put on 10-20 pounds.

I.E. get healthy.

I'm really glad she is feeling good now. I bet it was so hard to keep all that weight off while she was modeling.

Now, some people really do stay thin just because it is natural. (I read somewhere that Cameron Diaz eats like there's no tomorrow) and they have issues too because people are always telling them they are anorexic, etc. I actually have a friend who worked really hard for about three months to put on ten pounds so that her chances of getting pregnant were more likely. The girl's goal was to weigh 100 pounds and she really, really worked hard to get there. (And then got pregnant like she wanted. Yea for her!)

I worked at a girls home before I moved and they had a poster entitled "What is normal" and it showed all sorts of differen girls of all different weights and heights who fit into the "healthy" range. And boy, they really did all look different. I thought it was a fabulous poster because skinny or obese, we all have issues with weight.


adrienne said...

It is so comforting to know that people do see the strangeness of all this!

Maprilynne - I totally agree. We need to simply support healthy living and healthy expectations. Then people on both ends of the spectrum wouldn't feel so bad about themselves.

Anonymous said...

I'm 13 and i'm 6 1/2 feet tall and weigh 128. My mom say thet i shoudnt compare myself to ther women who are famous because they aern't normal. I ama size 4 and think i'm fat but i mean i was online and saw you guys blog and thought maybe comparing myself to celebrities was such a good idea. I think its absurd that if ur not a size 2 or 4 ur fat and i think the only reason i think i'm fat is because i compare my sely to classmates who have no hips or butts and also because i compare myself to famous people. Because on tv and in ads its all about if u r not a size 2 ur not sexy or pretty and i disagree. but as i get older i think i may grow into my body and be the same as everyone else i hope!!! I think as long as you excercise and eat right in my book ur healthy. So i have been working on eating better and i have already been doing soccer and cross country so maybe i am really not fat but compared to the "standard" of being a size 2 in the world or a double 0 in school it may seem so.