Sunday, February 2, 2014

"Regular", "Un-Photoshopped" Women

So who keeps sponsoring articles like this one? ("'Regular Women' In Lingerie Remind Us What Imperfect, Un-Photoshopped Bodies Look Like") McDonalds? KFC? Pizza Hut? Because who else benefits from trying to convince everyone that it's 'normal', 'natural' and 'beautiful' to have bodies damaged by a lifetime of junk food and neglect?

Is modern junk food really, ultimately, less 'fake' and 'unnatural' than Photoshopped images?

Obesity is responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year in the US [1]. By comparison, anorexia is responsible for an estimated 145 deaths per year in the US [2]. It's grossly irresponsible of organizations like Huffington Post to glorify obesity to our children - it's no stretch to suggest they are probably killing people with their promotion of an ideological viewpoint that seems to be based on a misguided idea that 'body image issues' pose a greater public health risk than obesity, combined with some sort of feminist / relativist doctrine that 'beauty standards' are cultural, or something.

Of course it can be unhealthy to obsess about body image. But there's a fine line between "learning to accept yourself", and "learning to accept giving yourself type 2 diabetes".

What's next from HuffPo, "These Photos Of Smoker's Teeth Remind Us What Un-Photoshopped Teeth Look Like"? "These Photos Of Smashed Cars Remind Us What Regular, Un-Photoshopped Cars Look Like"?

She may be "Photoshopped" ... but I suspect she also probably happens to get regular moderate exercise, and probably works hard to try limit her intake of refined carbohydrates, processed foods and transfat-soaked takeout

Even if we could arbitrarily redefine society's "standard of beauty", wouldn't it make more sense to try redefine it to something healthy? I mean, if the "average woman" had smoker's teeth, would we have to redefine the "standard of beauty" to be "smoker's teeth"? Would we have a "real teeth have smoke stains" "movement"? 100 years ago, the obesity rate was under 10% ... today's rate is the historical aberration; it in some sense is as unnatural as Photoshop.

To be fair, the obesity problem is complex, multi-causal, and not entirely understood. I'm not callously suggesting it's easy for everyone to stay slim; quite the contrary. But if you adopt this nonsensical irrationalism, then you are indeed sunk. I think if you don't worry about 'image' too much, but at least try to work at being somewhat healthier, then you're halfway there.


[1] http://www.cdc.gov/PDF/Frequently_Asked_Questions_About_Calculating_Obesity-Related_risk.pdf
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11513012
* Note: Thin women are also real.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with you. I often wonder how the USA hasn't sunk into the Atlanto-Pacific with all that weight on it! ;-)

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