There was an interesting article in the New York Times the other day, regarding an e-mail that’s going around. It announces Beautiful Woman Month. I got it from a friend. The NYT article takes some shots at the veracity of some of the claims made in the e-mail but also talks about the importance of size acceptance.
I was struck by the increase numbers in average weight. Apparently the numbers have jumped (their word) from 144 in the late seventies to 152 in the nineties. Eight pounds. I don’t know about the rest of my Blogsisters but I gain and lose eight pounds every month. It doesn’t seem like much of a jump.
The article does say some very cool things about a shift toward fitness and not thinness. If you have read my blog and read me rant about fat issues you might guess that it does not go far enough for me.
The article has a sales pitch for Curves. Now. I want to say that I’ve not been in a Curves. But I did hear a story about a fat woman who went in one to say that she wanted to join and get exercise but wasn’t interested in losing weight. They wouldn’t let her join. It may be a lone story.
The article quotes Dr. Kelly D. Brownell
“If there's a change so far, it may be that women have gone from being horribly dissatisfied with their own bodies to being somewhat less horribly dissatisfied. It's very hard to find a woman who really likes her body. Even if she likes the shape, she will not like her toes, her knees, her elbows or her ankles. There's always something wrong."
He also goes on to say that body dissatisfaction stems from two assumptions — that a body can be shaped at will, so that the only thing that lies between any woman and perfection is effort and that an imperfect body reflects an imperfect person.
The article includes the usual litany of fat phobia. I guess it’s OK to accept your size but not if you’re fat.
The mighty Deb Burgard, who keeps the Body Positive Site, has the last word.
"I don't see how we're going to stop eating disorders until we stop reading character into the size of people's bodies. It's stereotyping. We've made progress against other stereotypes, and we can make progress against this one, too.”