Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thinking of Body Image/Shapes

I've been fat as long as I've been aware and short since I was 10 when friends started growing as I stopped, so media portrayal of women hasn't bothered me as much as it has some. I always knew pretty girls were nice to look at, that "they" had to use pretty girls to sell products, and that pretty girls in the media were heavily made up. I've also known this is not a uniquely 20th/21st Century problem; I'm the kid that asked the nuns, at age 11 or so, why Jesus and Mary were always portrayed as Northern European when they came from Israel.

As photoshopping became available to the masses, I have had good giggles from time to time. My brother and his partner recently had photos taken by a professional photographer to update their work website, and he had to ask to go easy on the air brushing lest he didn't even recognize himself. My beloved brother, sans blemishes, looks about nine even in an expensive suit, so you wouldn't think to ask him to take care of your bankruptcy or defend you in court.   

I have not liked oversexualization of young girls, though, especially since my niece was born; that's said brother's little girl. Nor do I like stereotyping little girls as princesses saturated in pink. Fortunately, said niece appears to be turning into a she-jock, which is pleasing to my mother who was one herself.

Anyhoo, I came across the second volume of this series at Ben's work library last week, which has made me think of body images again. It's a mix of essays and some are bonkers-art-talk that reads like a String of Long Words That Don't Make Sense Together, but others are insightful. The overall tone of the volume is kind and inclusive. I'm not sure if you'd want to rush to buy them, (and if you do, check Amazon.co.uk's used books,) but you might want to see if our nearby library has them.

I've seen two version of Volume III; the one with "curatorship" in the title interests me more, but anyhoo.

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