Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fresh Fit Vol. 1

So as far as blogging goes, I'm pretty much the worst ever, but my New Year's goal is to update more often! I'm actually really excited for this semester, because I'm enrolled in Self Defense for Women and Third Wave Feminisms, which, after only one day, is already set to be kick-ass and full of grrrl power. 

As a Radio/TV Production major, I'm also in a ton of media classes, which I can't wait for. Ad-busting and media watching are two huge passions of mine, and I can't wait to learn more about the inner workings of it all. Speaking of which  - has anyone seen the new Subway ad? It was posted on feminist, and it's completely infuriating. 

I get it. It's supposed to be funny. Making fun of those "other" fast food places. But seriously? Associating fat with a lack of self esteem, the inability to keep a boyfriend, and the need for therapy!? Are you KIDDING me? It's so frustrating that (at least here in the US), we equate thin as healthy and fat as unhealthy. I understand the importance of eating healthy. Believe me, when your dad has had colon cancer 4 times, you begin to learn the importance of healthy eating to improve your insides. However, we should be encouraged to eat healthy in order to prevent heart disease, help with digestion, and keep our immune systems working properly, among many, many other things which do NOT include fitting into a size 0 dress! 

I'm just curious as to why is society so hell-bent on encouraging women to shrink. Because, call it crazy, but when women are being told on TV, in magazines, and now in their fast food ads that fat=bad, weight can easily become an obsession. And when women are obsessing over weight, what are they not thinking about? How absolutely brilliant they are. How much life experience and expression they have to offer the world. How much humor and love they are filled with. How much oppression they have the strength to fight against. How they are so much more than how society values them on the basis of outward appearances. 

Thus, women are not only shrinking physically, but mentally as well. We are encouraged to quiet our voices, be silent, worry about our weight, and about what we eat merely so we can keep our boyfriends (which is completely heterosexist in itself).  While we absolutely need to eat healthy in order to keep ourselves strong, we do not need to eat/not eat in order to fit some patriarchial-imposed stereotype. 

Feminist also posted a link to a page to Subway's website where you can share your opinions on their new ad - I hope you all take just a few minutes to let them know what you think about their newest ad (hopefully that having fat doesn't mean you are a completely unlovable, ghastly person!)

This post doesn't begin to touch on the issues surrounding fatophobia or the fat acceptance movement, because, to be honest, it's something I personally don't know a lot about myself. I really encourage everyone to research it though, and realize that all bodies are beautiful. When we eat to nurture and care for ourselves, rather than to fit into some impossible beauty stereotype, we will be a much happier bunch :) 

ps  - look for Part 2 soon!


Like Joe Morgan but More Biased said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Like Joe Morgan but More Biased said...

I don't think we should have "fat" acceptance. You should work on eating better and exercising so that you are not "fat." Healthy is one thing, fat is another. If you're fat, it's going to put weight on your heart and you're endangering your life which can hurt your family's lives. I'd prefer "healthy" acceptance.

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Kayleigh said...

I agree with the idea of accepting people, but “constructive criticism” (for lack of a better term) regarding health issues is necessary. Obesity is about more than preference, culture or taste, it is a threat to a person’s physical well being. I think it should not be "Fat" Acceptance. It should be acceptance, regardless of size (body acceptance?). Being a petite person, I am under constant criticism...I am asked if I am anorexic or I am made to feel uncomfortable by comments such as, "I bet you eat like a bird." or "You need some meat on your bones." From overweight women, I am hassled about how I must never worry about my body or struggle to find clothing. Ha! What a joke. It is difficult to find extreme sizes, be they small or large. It is so unbelievable how often size 0 is perceived as sickly, unhealthy, etc. It is possible to be a natural size 0 (me!), though it may be rare. With titles like, “Real Women Have Curves,” even the media is condescending. I’m just saying it goes both ways…if you can’t already tell from this novella, it’s a touchy subject for me.

Allison said...

Yes it is a troubling ad, I agree. And I do agree that so many women and girls in particular are so controlled by food that in the end they define women in fewer and fewer ways.

I agree with the last two posts that obesity is a major health problem. But an obese person knows what she looks like. She can make her own decisions; she is the only one who can make her own decisions. Often, obesity is an eating disorder, and requires many drastic changes, some of which the individual is not ready to make. No one else can make that decision for an obese person.

Unfortunately it's a decision that so many people do not respect. When I was a teenager, I lost 30 pounds. All the while the media told me to lose weight, and my friends told me to learn to love my body. When I lost weight, I wasn't listening to either; I was listening to what I personally wanted. The truth is nobody has the right to tell you what you should want, what you should feel.

People who look down on fat people, or rather, people fatter than them, disgust me. It's pathetic. Because when a person looks at a fat person like that, it's because he sees his own weakness. We think of fat people as out of control. Really everyone is out of control in some way. We are the compulsive email checkers, facebook lurkers, compulsive cleaners, people who talk on the phone for too long, workaholics of America. Sometimes fatness is more problematic than the things above; and sometimes it isn't.

For some people, being fat (however you define it) is just who they are. We are so quick to offer critizism or better yet "constructive critizism." We do not hesitate to put down fat people under a veil of "I'd prefer 'healthy' acceptance." These are comments that so often only anger fat people--justly! How about we just try acceptance, period.

Stacy said...

Hey Jaime it's Stacy! I was just curious to read your blog... and I found this commercial that has really hit home to me. You may have already seen it since you're taking all these women's studies classes, but we watched this in my class and I couldn't believe how true it was for the medias effect on girls as we grow.


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