Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Women, what are we doing to ourselves?

It was with a heavy heart I read this article earlier this morning and it made me wonder, what is it that makes us despise ourselves so?

"Half of all women - including some girls as young as 17 - would consider plastic surgery, a survey has revealed.
And nearly a third of women who are a size 12 believe they are overweight or fat, according to the poll of nearly 25,000 people
The survey results come after it was revealed yesterday that a controversial plastic surgery group is offering interest-free loans to patients.
The offer by the Transform Medical Group means women can have a face lift or breast enlargement and not pay interest for 12 months.

The latest research, carried out for BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, quizzed people of all ages, but 85 per cent of respondents were aged between 18 and 35.

Half the women taking part said there was 'lots they would change' about themselves while more than one in 10 said they 'hated' their body.

This was in contrast to 49 per cent of men who said they were 'okay' with how they looked. One in 10 men claimed they were 'very happy' with their appearance - and less than a quarter said they would opt for cosmetic surgery.

Almost half of the female participants admitted they had skipped a meal in attempt to lose weight, while eight per cent had at some stage made themselves sick after eating.

Of the girls aged between 12 and 16 who took part, 53 per cent believed their body image prevented them from getting a boyfriend or stopped them from relaxing in a relationship.

Of those women who said they would consider plastic surgery, 36 per cent were thinking about having a breast enlargement while 32 per cent said they would opt for liposuction.

The survey also asked people whether they were on a diet. More than one in five women said they were - compared to less than one in 10 men.

Weight Watchers proved to be the most popular, with almost 20 per cent of dieters following it, while only one per cent were following the Atkins diet.

Dr Dee Dawson, who runs the Rhodes Farm eating disorders clinic in North London, said the results revealed how unhappy women were with their bodies 'They feel that they are overweight even though they are really not, and they are feeling despondent about it.

They think they should look like those models but they are people who are starving themselves and are not healthy.

Quite clearly, plastic surgery or skipping meals is not the way forward. People need to realise they should not be trying to look like these girls."

Well of bloody course women are unhappy with their bodies.
We are constantly being subjected to image after image of airbrushed prefection no matter which way we turn. Every magazine contains reams of photos depicting size two models who have no visable flaws and who are quite frankly are digitally altered.
Hollywood women are for the most part skin and bone- I'm not including Jennifer Hudson Jessica Biel or America Ferrera- in this, but Jesus, Nicole, Paris, Christina- Ciara? These are the women our teenagers are trying to emulate, and when a teenager starts out thinking she's flawed you can be damn that she's not going to change her mind the moment she hits young adulthood.
There needs to be some balance. On the one hand obesity is rising and our diets are growing poorer and poorer, saturated in fats and high in sugar and sodium, cash rich time poor, we're breeding probems that we may not be able to solve.
But god dammit, on the other hand what's wrong with looking like a female, what's wrong with having breasts? Hips? Buttocks? Who says size two is beautiful? Why do we care so much? Who are we dieting, starving, sucking, altering ourselves for?
So you have stretch marks after your baby? So what? Why can't you wear them with pride, you gave birth didn't you? So your breasts are a bit smaller than your friends, are they soft? What makes two hard balls sexy? Vagina lips untidy? Well guess waht, you can get them nipped and evened out now too, why? Because porn stars have neat labial lips and waxed bleached ass-holes, and they're the height of feminine guile are they not? No? Are you sure? They so pink and clean looking?
I'm fed up with the pursuit of fictional perfection. I think people should be healthy and happy. I think people should embrace their uniqueness- who the bloody hell wants to look like they came off the assembly line?
I'm not perfect and chances are neither are you. I'm nobody's clone and neither are you. To plunder 'The Life of Brian' we are all individuals! Yes, we are all individuals!
That is all.

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Blogger Kim Ayres said...

One of the problems is that what's held up as perfection is not even attainable with plastic surgery - virtualy all magazine images are computer enhanced these days.

I don't know whether you ever saw this video on YouTube, but it seemed apt for what you're writing about

12:31 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I've seen it Kim. It's astounding is it not?
Even though I know things like this exist, it doesn't stop me or anyone else having those days when you just feel wretched and below standard. And it's all based on a fallacy. But I can shake a day like that off, I'm confident enough to do so, It's when you think of teenagers and how vulnerable they are, that's where the 'perfection' at all costs seems to do the most damage.

1:34 p.m.  
Anonymous beezer said...

Right on sister!
On a more serious note, the saddest bit of news I heard recently, was that a neighbour of mine is in hospital because of anorexia, she is ELEVEN years of age. This body perfect obsession is so destructive. When my little baby girl arrives in 3 months, I will be banning myself from all mention of diets and I will not be buying any of those bullshit magazines about celebs....untill she is at least 18!!!!

2:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Good woman, allow your body time to recover naturally. It will stand to you in the long run. All this bullshit of trying to snap bodies back into pre-pregnancy before their time is a load of old hooey.

2:21 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I've read articles about men who watch so much porn they can no longer perform with women in real life.

Men's magazines are as much to blame and the tabloids are merciless if a celebrity puts on as much as a pound.

You're right, at our age we can deal with it but teenagers, even some under-10s now - 9 year old children are now thinking the way teenagers thought when I was younger - are paying attention to what mummy has to do to keep looking nice for daddy.

In some ways t would be nice to go back to being a little less open around the opposite sex. I've been out with male friends before and listened to them describe the perfect boob size, "I wouldn't get out of bed for less than a 36DD", the perfect butt and how such and such girl in their past gave lousy head. And I've sat there and described my "perfect" man too to a bunch of men (although my idea of a perfect man doesn't have too much to do with six packs, etc). Because of women talking like that, more men are now starting to want to "fix" themselves than ever before.

Where's the respect? Why would we do this to each other? Where's the bloody mystery between the sexes gone? Why is loudly and crudely the only way to talk about sex to the opposite sex? It's much harder to lose yourself in a moment if you know exactly what kind of partner your partner likes and are measuing up all the ways you fall short of that.

I think as much as magazines and media have their effect, the way we superimpose all that on our casual conversations amongst ourselves takes too much of the mystery of sex away, 'cos after all, sex is a mental activity as much as it is physical.

Anal bleaching? Yikes!

5:07 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

If it ain't peachy it ain't cute. You know, as cheeky as I can be I don't like coarse talk at all. I don't like hearing about cocks and giving/getting head or anything else. You're right Sam, it destroys the mystery and the romance and pares everything right back down to base biology. No siree. Me no likey.

5:39 p.m.  
Blogger Fi said...

Hey FMC. I completely agree with what you've said here and what's more with what your well informed commentators also say! I'm on the way to hitting 30 and have only very very recently come to the conclusion that I don't need to be a size 10 to have self worth. Terrible that it took so long. But it's liberating now that I've got here!

5:11 p.m.  
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