Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'd KILL to Be Kate Upton's Kind of Fat

Ok. Get ready, 'cause I'm gonna take y'all to church.

This particular story has been in the media spectrum of women's health and fashion for around a month now, and I only caught wind of it today because I have been so busy at work, moving, and adopting a dog (posts to come later!!).

I will not be referencing the main website's name or link to it here simply because I have no desire to give it more traffic. If your curiosity simply must be assuaged, use your GoogleFu skills.

For those of you who are completely removed from the idea of "thinspiration" / "thinspo" forums or pro-ana and pro-mia websites, let me give you a quick rundown.

Pro-ana (pro-anorexia) and pro-mia (pro-bulimia) websites have been popping up on the internet since the early 2000's, and their main focus is to serve as a support system for women and girls who want to maintain and effectively hide their anorexia or bulimia (or any other eating / body dysmorphic disorder). These websites offer tips to hide the fact that they're not eating (i.e. "eat really slowly, so as to make everyone else you're eating with think that you're eating the same amount as them," or "move your food around on your plate a lot," or "carry around empty candy bar wrappers to make people think that you ate the candy bar in the first place"), ways to curb starvation pangs, and support for when someone is worried that they'll fall off the wagon and eat a carrot among other various topics.

There is another set of websites and forums called "thinspiration" or "thinspo" for short, and some of them are actually good. They support people who are in recovery from anorexia and bulimia, and they also promote healthy eating and happy lifestyles. Some of them, however, are pro-ana and pro-mia masquerading as thinspo, internet wolves in sheep's clothing.

This post is in regards to one such wolfish website. The author claims to be a former "editorial and print model" who now works in the fashion industry, and from what I have read of her blog I can only surmise that she absolutely hates women. Either that or herself.

90% of her posts are tearing down women who maintain healthy appearances. For example, the below picture is of a woman who this blogger referred to as "well-marbled," "vulgar," and compared her to a cow.

Kate Upton -
The new face of obesity.

Per the anonymous (because of course she is) blogger, Kate has "huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition - she looks like a squishy brick." I wish I could tell you that the article is a farce, that it's simply making fun and pointing fingers at the fashion industry's overwhelming fear of fat, but I can't. It is real, and it is that ridiculous.

She goes on to spout all of this ludicrous hatred Kate Upton's way, continuing to belittle her appearance, tearing at every single little flaw that she may or may not have. It's catty, it is a perpetuation of every single female stereotype - "She's beautiful, so let's tear her down in order to feel better about ourselves" - and it makes me sick to my stomach. I personally think she's gorgeous, and honestly, the day that Kate Upton gets body shamed is the day I apparently need to just off myself. I've told you before that I'm not the epitome of health. I am overweight (I've been exercising and eating healthier, though, and have effectively lost a good chunk of weight), and I am aware of it and make no excuses for my current weight other than my utter lack of routine and self control. I am also currently working on getting more healthy. Notice that I didn't say that I am trying to be skinnier. I'm not. I am shooting for health, first and foremost.

All of that being said, I know that I am no one to be making any statements about what is healthy or not. I have no issue with naturally slender girls. I also have no issue with women with Amazonian builds. The great thing about being human is that we are all amazingly different, and that includes our physical appearance. For example, even if I were to lose 100 lbs and dive down to an unhealthy weight, I would still be completely inappropriate for runway fashion. I am Eastern European, and as such I have a much meatier, thicker body type. I will never be a Twiggy, and that's ok. That just means that I have awesome boobs and an boo-tay that won't quit. Who cares if my hips are wider than someone else's? Who cares if I'm just a little bit of a fatty? I'm proud of my curves, and there ain't nothin' you can do about that.

Which brings me to another topic, again based off of another article written by the same person entitled "Fat Pride Burns My Hide." In this article, the writer laments the world's gravitation toward "fat pride," stating that this movement of loving bigger bodies is simply a ploy to make us feel better about our "disgusting" state, that it is our last ditch effort to make it "ok" to be vomit-worthy whales.
"This reminds me a little of those pictures where a big
killer whale is about to devour a beautiful little seal."
My main point here is that we have to stop this hate speak. We have to celebrate each other for our individual, beautiful qualities.

No, I'm not a size 0, but I have a beautiful singing voice and a lovely smile.

Let's focus on those good things and start there, shall we?

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

Peace.
Stef.

P.S. Here's another gem of a quote from a new post the writer recently published in regards to the recent uproar and media attention:

"As a thin person, I was also annoyed by our double-standards around weight. 
For example, people think nothing of telling a thin woman ... 
how skinny they are and even to suggest what they should eat. 
But I've never seen the reverse happen to an overweight woman."

Apparently, the blogger has been living in a hole for the last 20 years, because she obviously has no idea what in the hell she's talking about.

9 comments:

brooke said...

Thanks for posting this. It's so nice to know there are like-minded people in the world who still have a shred of sanity.

J.R. Johansson said...

Wow, Stef...I must be living in a hole, because I had no idea this was going on. I'm honestly horrified. I'm grateful for people like you who speak the truth and embrace a healthy perspective on this. Thank you!

Lisa Shafer said...

This is a fascinating post. I wanna be as fat as Kate, too!
You might find this Pinterest board I started a while ago to be interesting. Check it out here:
http://pinterest.com/lisawriting/debunking-the-fat-myth/

I call it "Debunking The Fat Myth." It's dedicated to proving that the current idea of "fat" that the media have been shoving down our throats is not what existed even as recently as the 1970s.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thank you for this fine post. That hate speak about weight in either direction just makes us collectively unhappy with our bodies. we're different, that's the way it is. But we're not necessarily wrong.

Laura Crotty said...

I wrote my thesis this year on the subject of hunger. I was amazed to discover that skinny body ideal was first determined for women at the same time we first started to stuggle for independence, for votes, and equal rights with men. Obsession with being skinny is a form of control. When you are dieting or living on a restrictive diet, food, calorie counting and weight control take over all your thoughts, time and energy (maintaining a low calorie diet for too long can actually change your brain chemistry). It is so important to have a healthy body image! Naomi Wolf's 'The Beauty Myth' is a great read if you want to find out the history behind why society/fashion industry/diet industry/advertising companies want women to hand over our control. They need women to obsess, weigh, restrict, stay in line and spend spend spend

Laura Crotty said...

I wrote my thesis this year on the subject of hunger. I was amazed to discover that skinny body ideal was first determined for women at the same time we first started to stuggle for independence, for votes, and equal rights with men. Obsession with being skinny is a form of control. When you are dieting or living on a restrictive diet, food, calorie counting and weight control take over all your thoughts, time and energy (maintaining a low calorie diet for too long can actually change your brain chemistry). It is so important to have a healthy body image! Naomi Wolf's 'The Beauty Myth' is a great read if you want to find out the history behind why society/fashion industry/diet industry/advertising companies want women to hand over our control. They need women to obsess, weigh, restrict, stay in line and spend spend spend

Anonymous said...

I don't think being fat is something people should be proud of. Heart disease, diabetes...let's not start celebrating being overweight. Its gross and unhealthy. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

kate upton is certainly not fat. That being said, someone that is thin should not be shamed either. Thousands are thin and yet have no disorders, psychological or physical. I agree with your sentiment to appreciate all body types, size 0's being encompassed within that group. Being skinny has nothing to do with eating disorsers and everything to do with metabolic rate for many. Those bodies are equally critical to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

You make a great point about focusing on your positives.

random counterpoint fwiw, the country where I am from the BMI is a lot lower than in the US and so is the average health care costs. In the end "bigger" people will just have to pay more for being "bigger".

back on topic, I had severe depression (family crises) a few years ago and gained over 23 kilos/50 pounds over 12 months. I was on medication for depression and developed chronic knee pains.

Long story short, I lost the weight NOT as a goal, but as a SIDE-EFFECT of a doctor-recommended health regimen. I did not believe her that "weightlifting would help with depression" but it did. Hormonal issues, I guess.

The health benefits after 3 years:
Lower blood pressure, normalized blood sugar, lower resting heart rate, no depression, no knee pain, no more meds!!! People kept asking if I got a haircut or a new mattress because I looked so refreshed (they didn't even realize I lost 19 kilos and put on about 5 kilos of muscle).

So did I lose weight? Sure. However, on the list of benefits of a new lifestyle, losing weight would probably be last. I love being healthier, but I don't love myself any more or less than I did before.

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