And before I start anything, Evangeline Lilly? Are they serious? Has there really been such an extreme dearth of actually curvy women that EVANGELINE LILLY counts? Good God, y’all.
Then there are the assertions that, 1) the “curvy” ideal as it applies to Drew Barrymore, et al, and pin-ups from the ’40s and ’50s is less exacting than the super-skinny ideal, and 2) if you are a “curvier” woman, you’re less afraid of carbs (and therefore, ugh, your boyfriend’s “salami”*). Let’s take 1) first. It’s just as exacting. I haven’t done a great deal of research, but I’m sure Bettie Page, et al, received a lot of pressure to look a certain way. It was just a different way from the way Nicole Ritchie and Kate Moss and the other skinny minnies feel pressured. They aren’t being given more “leeway” to celebrate their “cushioning.” Remember when breast implants, rather than super-skinny-making diets, were the big horror in terms of what women were doing to their bodies to fit the ideal?
A lot of this reminds me of the reaction when “Baby Got Back” first came out. Everyone celebrated it as liberating for women because it turned against the skinny trend for women. But it was just as exacting. “36-24-36? Only if she’s 5’3″!” “. . . an itty-bitty waist and a round thing in your face . . .” “My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hon!” Never mind that Sir Mix-a-lot was hardly sporting an ideal body himself, he was playing arbiter of appropriate women’s body shapes. It was just a different shape. (Not that I don’t love that song. Those lyrics were called up from memory, after all.)
It is important to keep in mind that, for the most part, you don’t get to choose which ideal to try to live up to. I’m never going to achieve the super-skinny look. I could fast, I could exercise seven hours a day, it wouldn’t matter. I’ll always be more Winslet than Moss. Likewise, Kate Moss could stuff her face full of pizza daily and she won’t look like Kate Winslet. Or me. Whereas, if I did diet and get in better shape, I could start to look more like Kate Winslet.**
Which brings us to 2). Note, I’d have to diet. So does Kate Winslet. The Kate Winslets of the world typically have to be more careful of their weight, and their carb intakes, than the Kate Mosses of the world, and not just because Kate Moss has cocaine to help her. (Cocaine, by the way, will kill you, and fuck you up in all kinds of fun ways, and is terrible for you, but it is the best weight-loss drug in the world.) Some women are naturally skinny. The women who aren’t have to watch their food intake. Is all I’m saying.
I again assert that this is not a dig at those particular actresses. (Well, I don’t like Evangeline Lilly much, but it’s not her fault. I hate her character on “Lost,” but that doesn’t mean she’s bad at playing her.) It’s articles like this that make me nuts.
* I know I’m married, and much more carb-friendly than even those gargantuans like Drew Barrymore and Catherine Zeta-Jones, so I don’t count, but seriously? Details guys? Referring to your genitals as your salami? So very juvenile and unattractive.
** Another Adventures from Subbing tale. I had a class of all black males one day, and because of whatever we were talking about in the context of their history class, the discussion turned to body shape and image, and the boys asked me why white girls don’t have butts like black girls. Do they just diet them off? What is it? So we had this huge discussion about how sometimes you have the butt, and sometimes you don’t have the butt, and white or black, there’s very little you can do to affect it one way or another, unless you basically do four hours of lunges daily, and even then, the butt will disappear in about ten minutes if you stop.