5.16.2014

"Before" and "After"


After discussing Mo'Nique's situation, I'm not surprised to run into this.  Providence, not coincidence.
Taryn Brumfitt, an Australian photographer and founder of the Body Image Movement, is out to change the disproportionately negative way that people — particularly women — view their own bodies.

Her mission started in 2012, when Brumfitt's ongoing displeasure reached the point that she was considering plastic surgery — a breast lift and a tummy tuck, to be precise. Brumfitt changed her mind when she had an epiphany: How could she teach her daughter to love her own body if she couldn't do the same?

Instead, Brumfitt entered herself into a body building competition. "It was crazy," she notes in a video poster to the Kickstarter page for her new documentary, Embrace. "I did have the perfect body, or near enough. And you know what? Nothing changed. Nothing changed about how I felt about my body."


So she did something radical. She lost the intensely-toned physique she had so carefully created. Turning mainstream perception of female body confidence on its head, Brumfitt posted a "before and after" photo to Facebook last year, in which the "before" was Brumfitt looking tanned and toned during the body-building competition, and the "after" was a confident, smiling photo of her body after going through childbirth. It was the complete opposite of typical before and after photos, like the ones posted by the now-infamous "Fit Mom" from Facebook. (Source)
My "excuse" is that I don't want to.  How you like them apples?
Oh, there is so much I don't even know where to begin.

First, check out those comments.  Right on cue, the menfolk come out wondering when she's heading back to gym.  So for one...there's that.

Two, the article asks:
As Brumfitt told the Huffington Post, "Women are always being told to change or be different ... I mean really, women are such amazing and dynamic creatures can we please change the conversation from this bullsh*t to something with a little more substance?"
No, honey. We can't change to the convo to something with more substance. And why? Because women are "amazing and dynamic creatures". How else will we be kept in check if our entire existence isn't boiled down to our age and looks?

Meanwhile...elsewhere:
A funny thing happens when female celebrities hit the red carpet: The world tends to forget that they are actual human beings, with feelings and everything.

Such a fate befell comedian Sarah Millican at last year's BAFTA Awards, when the Internet viciously attacked her red carpet look for being "disastrous" and "nana"-like. At first, the cruel commentary stung. But rather than stew in silence, Millican has decided to call out her haters in a brilliant essay for Radio Times that pinpoints the absurdity of a woman, yet again, being attacked for her appearance at an event meant to celebrate her completely unrelated accomplishments.

... her experience reveals once again how distressingly common it is to judge women first and foremost on their appearance. Cate Blanchett similarly called out the red carpet camera for scanning her up and down at this year's SAG Awards, asking, "Do you do that to the guys?" And Gabourey Sidibe had to deal with some very nasty tweets about her Golden Globes dress in January, to which she posted the epic reply:


(Translation: "I'm rich, bitch!")
You don't have to be a celebrity to go through this type of bullshit; if you're a woman and breathing, you've been there.  You get a degree or publish book or start a great career or win an award for being exemplary at something and all anyone wants to know is why you're single and/or not thin enough.

My sister recently had a dating experience which got me thinking again about how women are magically expected to be good at a lot of things - the first and foremost being the maintenance of their looks - while men expect to get by being good at one thing.  If he has an athletic body, he feels he doesn't need to know or be able to do anything else.  If he's wealthy, well...what else is needed?  And if he's smart and educated, at least you have the privilege of attracting his attention...regardless of whether or not that attention and intelligence is actually to put to any use.

Meanwhile, when it's a "she" in question...she is expected to be thin (except her ass and boobs) with perfect "everything", know how to cook, clean, have a good job, raise kids, never fart or burp or feel/look tired, never be in a bad mood, and not talk too much...or at all.

*sigh*

Ladies, are any of you single?  I'm single.  I also live in Houston.  We could be a power couple.

11 comments:

  1. I'm single and really trying to be above all this bullshit. A guy is not worth my time if he cannot be at the minimum a decent human being who does not expect me to be his shadow, humor his verbal abuse or expect me to do menial labor for him just b/c I'm female. So many guys have lousy sex game as well. It's not worth my time unless they pay me for my time.

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    1. OMG, I was going to reply with the exact same points! They say they want excellence, but you must remain in their shadow or it damages their ego.
      Most of the women I are with sub par men. Seriously, we are far more multiskilled and talented and able to love as well as being dedicated to our careers, friends and families.
      Most men are not worth it.
      I always ask what they are bringing to the table!!???

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  2. Some people just don't live in the real world.

    I'm slowly beginning to get away from such stupidity. When I tell you that I want a man to see the real me, I really mean it.

    I watched a talk show in where a guest's husband became disfigured in the face after dealing with a debilitating illness. Some people asked the most vile question such as "Why" or "How do you stay with him?" and she responded "I knew what he looked like from the get go and that I love him".

    From there, I thought I would want for a man to see my true self: No make-up (Other than lipstick.I don't wear none), casual neat fitting clothes and mostly, seeing my beauty through small or big. Let's be honest here: A substanceless man (and woman)first criteria for a future spouse is that they should look physically attractive, where a person with one notice them from their spirit.

    I've never been fancy and I've never been small .Though there were times where I wanted to be smaller, I didn't necessarily wanted to be skinny.. for one,my frame wouldn't look right being skinny and I pretty much grew comfortable being" the big legged woman". Other than my paternal grandmother, nobody talked about my weight and never had a problem finding guys because of it.

    It takes a lot of unfortunate time impressing an impressionable society than impressing people from the real world and when it's all done and said, you learn that it's all done in vain. You see some guys falling head over hills over some gorgeous woman in the past and years later, she's more fuller and he becomes irritated by it. Its guys like that I would want discern from my life. If they can't accept your past and present, they never loved you from the start.

    Lastly, it always have to be about what the woman should look like. I mean, I prefer guys that isn't too big/small(Dont prefer men looking like the Hulk)from 5'11to 6'5 and it would be nice if he looked OK .In the natural we have these physical preferences but I'm more mature and think about what is more important in life. That is the problem with this world. Its about shallow people instead of substance.

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  3. Let's be real. "Thin is in" is the current foot-binding/neck-lengthening. Every generation or so, a new aesthetic craze emerges and disproportionately affects women. "Healthy" and "beautiful" have become grossly inaccurate synonyms for "skinny", and no...we ain't got time for this.

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  4. "Healthy" and "beautiful" have become grossly inaccurate synonyms for "skinny", and no...we ain't got time for this."

    The white man has persisted in pushing anorexic images since my childhood, praying that the propaganda takes hold. The more he pushes the skinny-equals-beautiful narrative the bigger white women get. I’ve been to countless outdoor art shows and the only skinny white women I can recall seeing were the teen daughters of the patrons in attendance. When I was 9-10 years of age it was my habit to check art books from the library. My beauty ideal was formed in part from gazing at paintings by Giorgione, Titian, Rubens… Goya and other works that depicted a plumper more amorous body type. Even some of the peasant women Van Gogh rendered (subsisting on nothing but potatoes) were at least a size 12-14. Personally, give me an amorous, ample- thick… womanly, corpulent, Normal-Looking woman any day. And by ‘Normal’ I mean a dress size that has come to be defined as Average in this country: A Size Fourteen. As I have stressed before, if my wife decided to lose weight for reasons other than her health, she stands to lose tens-of-twenties of dollars as laid out in Section 3, Paragraph C: Subsection-D (of the Ohio revised code), line #34: Addendum 2-B of our prenup. We’re talking a pretty hefty sum when adjusted for inflation.

    Nonetheless, Healthy and Beautiful have never been equivalent to skinny in my definition of beauty, for ‘Beauty’ is subjective. Hence, no race of people (particularly the Caucasian race) has the right to define what beauty means for the rest of us. Reminds me of a conversation we had in 2011 when Ankhesen Mié said: “So what's it say when women are being discouraged to look like women and, more importantly, encouraged to look like prepubescent boys? And America wonder's why it has such a huge pedophile problem....

    What was true then remains true today. Forced coercion/conformity to an idealistic paradigm has done more harm to the body image of women (and by extension women of color) since the coming of Twiggy. Speaking as one black man hopelessly inured to the black female body type (in all of her many shades and shapes) I shall not be moved.

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  5. Need to amend this snippet:
    Personally, give me an amorous, ample- thick… womanly, corpulent, Normal-Looking woman any day. And by ‘Normal’ I mean a dress size that has come to be defined as Average in this country: A Size Fourteen.”

    A Size Fourteen (and up).

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  6. Reminds of a story making the rounds on tumblr. This lady was only asked for certain pictures after she lost weight to hide her flabs of skin around her belly. She didn't care personally b/c she loved her body, skin and all. And she lost the weight b/c she wanted to do it for herself and tried to let others know that not all weight loss looks like a glamor photo.

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    Replies
    1. This lady: http://www.eonline.com/news/541498/shape-magazine-will-publish-this-woman-s-weight-loss-bikini-photos-that-were-previously-rejected

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    2. You mean this lady? http://www.eonline.com/news/541498/shape-magazine-will-publish-this-woman-s-weight-loss-bikini-photos-that-were-previously-rejected

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    3. Yup that's her. Thanks for finding the article.

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    4. I remember that story. Society pressures people to lose weight yet has no concept of what a large weight loss looks like. That woman is and should be proud of her healthy weight loss and not be guilt tripped into plastic surgery or hiding herself because she doesn't fit some unrealistic standard.

      Delete

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