Paige, at ‘Mastering the Art of Life’ recently wrote a post called ‘My Life as a Number’. She talks frankly about women’s obsession with their weight and dress size, and how those two numbers, if they don’t fall within the criteria dictated by society, can overshadow all the other characteristics that truly describe a person. Paige ends her piece with a quote by J.K. Rowling from the J.K. Rowling Official Site.
“Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”
“I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls.”
The Media Awareness Network describes what is at stake for women in a post called Beauty and Body Image in the Media. The quest for an image that is unattainable for all but a few can have devastating effects. This post ends by saying:
Women learn to compare themselves to other women, and to compete with them for male attention. This focus on beauty and desirability “effectively destroys any awareness and action that might help to change that climate.”
On a recent vacation, I watched as a skinny 8 year old girl in a bikini bathing suit interacted with a group of pre-teen little boys by saying to them, “How do you like my new bathing suit?” She proceeded to model it, but she was quickly abandoned by the boys who had no interest in her bathing suit, or her, apparently.
In reality, she just wanted to join in the game they were playing, and once she resumed normal child broadcasting, she was welcomed into the fray. But somehow, somewhere, she has already started to be programmed by the Beauty Industry, and I find that very unfortunate.