Sunday, August 30, 2009

Plus Size

I saw a story on the "Today Show" about this photo that was in Glamour magazine. There was a huge response from women who were congratulating the magazine over publishing a picture of a real woman. The model's name is Lizzie Miller and she is a size 12/14 and has a tummy. This is plus size. Don't get me started on that one. The average American woman is a size 14, but that is plus size. Aaarrrrggghhhh.

I also just read a story (I admit in People magazine) over another model who had anorexia, came to terms with it and began eating again and become a plus size model. She decided to stop starving herself and working out 8 hours a day. It described how she ate nothing but lettuce and water during the day and would get up in the night and "steal" a spoonful of peanut butter and then after realizing the fat she was taking in would try to spit it out and then go to bed hungry again!! What models have to do to stay that size is incredibly sad, demeaning and that is what our culture looks up to and puts on it's magazines and on top of that, there is airbrushing.

I just saw a few minutes of "The Devil Wears Prada" the other night. I am always drawn in when I come across it on cable. High fashion does seem so useless to me at first glance. To me, the movie tried to make sense of it, in that they spend bookoodles of money, time and energy on, just the right look for an issue. And then you end up with the cerulean blue sweater that the character Andy has on (I had to look up how to spell cerulean, because I'm not sure I was aware of that color before.) And in the end, I have to say it's all about art, people expressing there artistic talents and that ends up trickling down to what I the consumer can choose to buy. But what is sad is that they have women who are human coat hangers pouting down the runway, and are hungry. The models make a lot of money being that skinny and some fall trap to eating disorders, drugs, etc. to maintain that weight. And the crux of all of it is that THIS is what makes me feel bad about myself and my size. AND THE REAL POINT that I'm learning is that I'm letting it make me feel bad. There I got it!!!

(An ironic side note in that Meryl Streep the consumate actress who played in the movie, is a size 12/14 from what I gather from her remark in response to a reporter mentioning her 14 Oscar nominations and she retorted, "And I'm a size 14!") There was a bit in the movie about two being the new four and zero being the new two and that six was the new fourteen. That hurt, but once again, I let it hurt.

People magazine use to be my guilty pleasure but now I realize it may be doing more harm than good (and I'm getting tired of Kate Gosselin being on the cover, GO AWAY KATE!) It is just fun to look at the pictures and see what the celebs are up to. And a more redemptive reason is that I really do like their book, music, and movie reviews (can you smell rationalization!) Yet, after reading another article about once again another actress losing weight and this case it was Melissa Joan Hart, I had the thought, I need to stop reading this. Her beginning weight is my goal weight. And I need to STOP comparing myself to others, especially those whose living depends on how they look.

The most important aspect of all of this is that I want to model healthy body image, self image and eating habits to my daughters (and by that I mean, eating until I'm full and then stopping). They are going to be exposed to so much more media than I was as a young girl. I have to instill in them acceptance at any weight but the teenage years are hard. So kudos to Glamour for putting a "real woman" in the magazine, and I know it won't happen often but I will celebrate when they do. I also buy Dove products because of their campaigns showing real women. But the work to be done does not have to do with what is out there but on what is going on inside and that is what I have learned.

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