Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who's to blame?

Sometimes I just have to get off on a tangent, and today is one of those days.

Today's society has gotten so messed up it just makes me wonder what is coming next. No wonder so many women (and a few men) suffer from such a low self image. Take fashion for instance. How did we get to this place where the more skin you show the more stylish you are? It's NUTS!

Let's just take a minute to contemplate....

In the Renaissance era, women's clothing usually had an empire waist, loose fitting skirts, and many layers. A little more flesh was a sign of plenty and abundance - wealth. To a Renaissance man a woman with a full bottoms and smaller bosom was the "perfect 10".

The Victorians changed things a little, an hourglass was the desired shape, but hips were still fashionable (can you say HOOPSKIRTS and BUSTLES), even if you didn't possess hips and well-rounded behind naturally, you could add another hoop or some padding... and waistlines, well, corsets made them tiny, not starvation!

How about the 1950's? Marilyn Monroe was one hot mama, and she wore a size 16....YES, I SAID A S-I-X-T-E-E-N! (I was born in wrong era; I would have been a skinny 14!)

Then along came the Sixties....and miniskirts....which meant skinny legs were now stylish. (Thanks a lot, Twiggy!)

When did it become fashionable to eat only a cube of cheese or do the old “scarf and barf” thing?


I guess this rant came from a show I saw on E! over the weekend. I don’t even remember the name or why I didn’t change the channel, but as I watched, I couldn’t help but be saddened by what I saw. So many people have become addicted to plastic surgery and the desire to reach an unattainable goal of perfection. In Renaissance days the trend was full on bottom, smaller on top; today we desire just the opposite, full on top, small on the bottom. Did someone turn one of Jacques Ingres paintings upside down and get confused? Why do we have to strive to wear a size 2 pants and a 32DD in a bra?

Who do we blame? I think I’ll choose the fashion industry. Why? Because I can. I’m really tired of picking up an XL shirt only to find skinny arms. Hello! Did any of you designers take anatomy? Use some common sense; if you wear and XL 99% of the time you WILL NOT have skinny arms!

I have many more profound thoughts, but my fingers are tired and my brain hurts. Tune in again soon because this is my soapbox, and I’m not climbing down just yet!


Kelly said...

This week we have been discussing the effect of media on society in my Humanities class. We read an article by a woman who worked in a psychiatric hospital with women with eating disorders. Here is my response to the article:
”Amy Beck used her experiences working with patients in a as a means of support for key points. Ms. Beck first-hand experience makes a compelling argument that media and culture affect the way women see themselves. Her first assignment at the psychiatric hospital was with the eating disorders unit. Although the root cause of an eating disorder is low self-esteem, most of these women believe that if they looked like the fashion models in the media they will attain love, respect and fulfillment in life. Realistically, the women know they cannot physically look like a super model but they are willing to risk all to try. Ms. Beck uses the second half of her work at the psychiatric hospital in the general psychology unit to support another key point – men objectify women because that is the media portrays them. The men who committed many rapes and abuse on women were not mentally ill or sociopaths. These were men who viewed women as an object solely for their pleasure and use like a Playboy model or prostitute. In Ms. Beck’s conclusion media may not be the sole contributing factor in the devaluating and oppressing views of women but it is certainly a major one and I have to agree.”

Sharmin said...

Well said, Kelly. Eating disorders is on my list of topics. One of my best friends is in recovery from both anorexia and bulimia and I have tried to educate myself of the disease as much as possible. I watch her struggle and just have to praise God that I never reached that point. Yes, there are days when I have some body image issues, but I don't want to be a size 2....I'd really like to be in a 12 again, but that's a realistic goal and healthy goal. (and just one size away)

Judy said...

Well said!! You are not the only one who thinks this way. I have fought my whole life to have the barbie doll body and have yet to achieve that. In real life, people can not fit those molds and be healthy. I know how hard it was for me growing up when I did match the ideal of the day. It must be so much harder for girls and young women today.
This was a super post today, Sharmin! You used history to boldly illustrate your thoughts!

mosey said...

hehe, you well know where I stand on it all... I so agree... A REALLY good book, or listen is "the public undressing of america" by Jeff Pollard, he has both a cd and a book (slightly different from each other) and both are amazing!

And you are right, it IS all the fashion industry.