Monday, January 17, 2011

You're Skinny Fat. Yes, You.

Two things:

1. My coverage of current celebrities here at The Cabinet is minimal, to say the least.

2. I rule my facebook page with an iron fist. If your comment makes me either the tiniest bit annoyed or pissed off, and I don't feel like arguing or discussing or explaining: I will delete it. To be fair, I delete my own comments all the time. If you do this, say, twice in one week, you will have your commenting privileges taken away.

Last night I was half watching the Golden Globes, mostly for the outfits as I haven't seen any of the movies (expensive! no time! fear of bedbugs in movie theaters!), so I only really have an opinion on Mad Men and 30 Rock.

I read what people were saying on facebook and twitter and the interwebs and, as per my usual reaction, most of it made me want to vomit. Women come in five flavors: voluptuous (but only if they're not white), fat, anorexic, pregnant (with a baby bump as an "accessory") and asexual (includes lesbian and old and children under the age of eight). So, I wrote the following status update:
Also, I know there has to be a sweet spot for actresses between anorexic and fat, but according to what I'm reading, I'm beginning to doubt it.
Lots of people missed the fact that I wrote "reading" and not "seeing", so I spent all night deleting comments bemoaning how "anorexic" various actresses are. Because, I suppose, in the circles I run in, it's frowned upon to say someone is too fat, but it's perfectly okay to say one is too skinny. Or that some actresses used to be "normal" and now they are not. Fie! Fie!

Unsurprisingly, much of the chatter revolved around Angelina Jolie. Of course, whether you like her dress and think it's gorgeous or if she stole it out of Crystal Carrington's closet or if you're over sequins or if you're just sick of her in general is pure personal taste (and some of it was very funny, especially the worry surrounding the reappearance of shoulder-pads). But, the constant referral to her as "anorexic" or "skeletor" was disturbing.

It's such a fine line. These women work in an industry where their appearance matters and is a part of their work. I'm a fan of movie stars being gorgeous, and I think that fashion magazine in Germany that uses non-professionals as models is ridiculous and looks terrible (or "real" women, as they are referred to. I suppose as opposed to the imaginary ones so commonly hired. My god, do I loathe that phrase!). So I know what shaky ground I'm on. But there seems to be a factor of unwinnability about this. One group of people thinks you're too fat. This is bad. You lose weight. Another group of people thinks you're too thin. It's just completely preposterous.

There's all this raving about unrealistic body expectations, which is completely true. It's terrible. And there's the problem of obesity in this country. Also bad. But, who is where they are supposed to be? There's a constant conflating of skinniness and health that is simply made up. Women think of themselves (and are referred to) as overweight, when they are just larger than the current fashion dictates. This has nothing to do with health and everything to do with aesthetics. Look, if you want to be thinner, fine. But I really hate the world pretending it has anything to do with health. I'm not saying being 200 pounds overweight is healthy, let's get that argument out of the way. But most times, weighing 20 pounds more than you would like is no big deal in terms of "health".

This is a complete rant. I don't understand when it became a part of polite conversation to talk about women's weight and body size incessantly. And to their faces! It's ludicrous and weird. The world is an inherently unfair place. Some are thinner, some are larger. Some people work out and are athletic and super fit. Some people eat cake all the time and don't exercide much and are thin anyway (raises hand). I'm not that healthy. When I was in my twenties my eating habits were abysmal. I had no eating habits. I had no idea how to feed myself, and I wound up hardly eating at all. I was completely unhealthy. But I looked great, apparently. I was rewarded more or less constantly. So, please, don't give me any more guff about "health". It's all aesthetics. Some people like looking at curvy women. Others like looking at skinny ones. That's pretty much it. Some women lose weight to get more work. They could be doing so by exercising more, or cutting out sugar (I stopped eating cookies at one point and immediately dropped significant weight). Who knows? But none of it is empirical. Oh: and you cannot tell if a person is anorexic by looking at her.

I thought Miss Jolie looked freaking gorgeous. I thought a little more of the dresses Adrian made for Joan Crawford in the later 30s and 40s, which were the inspiration for the glam 80s Dynasty moment everyone was referencing last night. And found it fascinating that so many women wore green. And I think Olivia Wilde looked stupid. And I think brown sequins are ugly. And Tilda Swinton, that crazy Scottish aristocrat, can do no wrong; she just makes everyone else look a little tacky and like they're trying way too hard. And, Tina Fay (Bless her!), cannot dress herself, but clearly doesn't give a shit. And Elizabeth Moss looked stunning. And I'm worried about Megan Fox as she seemed really off, but I should just shut up as I don't know her. And how weird was it seeing David Straithairn like a week after I saw him in person? And, I don't watch Glee, but that boy's acceptance speech was just lovely.

I'm just full of opinions today!

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