Celebrity, Women

Tess Munster is NOT Promoting Obesity. Shut up.

When I first heard the news that 29-year-old Tess Munster, a plus size social media queen who started the #effyourbeautystandards campaign, landed a major modeling contract, I was psyched. At 5’5″ and 260 lbs, she’s the first legit plus size model. (yeah, Calvin Klein, hate to break it to you, but size 10 is not plus sized. You can find size 10 at any store that’s not 5.7.9.)  Munster is gorgeous, and it’s refreshing to see someone closer to my body type as a mainstream model.

 

However, there are a lot of backwards minded people that take to the comments section to express outrage that Munster is “promoting obesity.” This is so frustrating on so many levels. As a woman who has spent most of her life plus sized, let me tell you–it ain’t easy. It isn’t easy for anyone, but for some reason, if you’re above a certain size, you get shit on quite a bit, even when people are trying to sing your praises. Check out this awesome comment from Sean Stephane Marin on HuffPo Canada’s piece on Munster (yeah, smart move using Facebook to comment, by the way:)

 

“So we’ve gone from the way to skinny to the Frighteningly Beyond Voluptuous.

Sorry. I’m sure she’s a perfectly nice person. But being a model is about the superficial only, and if this passes for beauty now, I weep for this society. Someone should get this woman to a gym pronto.” 

 

That’s not even the worst, check out Brea O’Keefe’s comment:

 

So glad to hear this!

Right now, only 2 out of 3 Americans are obese. We can do better. Let’s shoot for 3 out of 3 by promoting obesity even more than we do. Let’s tell everyone, “Obesity is beautiful!”.

After all, those of us who watch our weight don’t mind at all that our health insurance premiums will go up to pay for all the medical problems (diabetes, heart disease, knee and hip replacements, etc) you’ll have. ; )

 

I’m outraged. These people are ignorant and I’m so sick of the fat=instant diabetes argument. ANYONE can get type 2 diabetes, even–gasp–thin people! She is not promoting obesity. She is representing a body type that does exist. And several outlets have pointed out that she works out with a trainer. And this is promoting obesity how…?

 

The thing that really pisses me off is people think that plus sized people don’t know that they’re plus sized, and thus, have to be reminded at every  turn. I’m on the smaller end of plus size and I still get shit–I once had a customer tell me that because of my size, I was going to get type II diabetes. I raged on him and let him know that he did not have the right to talk to me like that, my health was none of his business, all while he was babbling that he was trying to help, it’s how he got type II diabetes, he was sorry. I kept my mouth shut and didn’t tell him that he was likely going to get cancer eating the heavily processed chocolate syrup he was purchasing, so why not go to the produce department and get an apple instead?

 

I think a lot of these commenters don’t realize that they’re not on Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity council and what they say is not only hurtful, but toxic. It’s annoying and it gets internalized. It’s easy to laugh off, but there’s this little voice that pops up, there must something wrong with me if people keep talking. Why am I so big? Do men only date me out of desperation? I think the people who are shitting on Tess Munster are verbalizing their own self hatred: “how dare this larger woman be prettier than me!! That’s not what society told me!! I’m ashamed that find her sexually attractive!! I’m taking my shit out on her because she’s an easy target!!” 

 

This just needs to stop. For any size, really–I’ve had friends be whispered about for having an non-existent eating disorder simply because they were thin. I once snapped at a friend trying to help me on a bad day that, because she gets stopped on the street and complimented on her beauty that she knew nothing about the difficulties of dating. Her response: “It may be easier for me to meet [guys,] but it winds up being the same in the end–they either want nothing to do with me, or to just to sleep with me.” Nobody wins. So why can’t we take Munster’s modeling contract as a victory for women of a certain size instead of a forum for obesity and health? Doesn’t it get tiring to shit on people after a while?

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Health, Sex

BREAKING: Men have body image issues!

Nice try, Cosmopolitan.com. Perhaps author Anna Breslaw was trying to be funny, but the list of “10 Reasons Sleeping With a Husky Guy Is The Best” really isn’t. I stumbled upon it on Facebook last night, and clicked, thinking it would be nice. Instead, it was rife with awful jokes and tired stereotypes (guhuhuh, you can eat in front of him and he won’t care!) The line that stands out to me the most is “his largeness makes you feel like a gossamer porcelain ballerina!”

Where do I begin with the wrongness of this? Firstly, if Men’s Health or Maxim made a list of “10 Reasons Sleeping With a Plus Size Gal Is The Best” and included lines like, “you get three extra pillows with a pussy!” or “you’ll feel like Joe Manganiello next to her largeness!” there would be an angry response on Cosmo about ten minutes after it came out.  Second, as I mentioned earlier, it’s tired jokes and stereotypes. If Breslaw had wanted it to be funny, she could’ve come up with better reasons that didn’t involve food or comparing figures.

Third, men do have body image issues. Think about it–the praise that Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill got after losing great amounts of weight–they went from “schlubby” to “sexy and funny!” And not gonna lie, I don’t think someone like Billy Gardell is going to be on the cover of People‘s Sexiest Bachelors issue. And I’m pretty sure most guys weren’t feeling too hot after Magic Mike came out in 2012. I think the reason a lot of people don’t see that this kind of shit has a negative effect on men too. I think the reason that there aren’t a lot of “Love your body!” type campaigns for men is because they don’t really talk about it. You have larger men in movies and in positions of power, so why complain? That doesn’t mean that men don’t have the same insecurities as women. Who enjoys being referred to as “a third pillow with a dick” simply because you don’t have six pack?

What people don’t realize is that, while it’s easy to laugh things off out loud, it’s still wrong as it gets internalized. I mean, look at Richard Simmons on Wendy a few years back detailing his struggle, he’s near tears:

There will probably be some guys who’ll read the Cosmo piece and feel like a punchline. A younger bud of mine once lamented that because he didn’t look like the “teen idols” of his department at work, he couldn’t find a girlfriend. It made me sad that he was down on himself due to the lack of a six pack. He has plenty to offer, and to be honest, just because someone is physically fit doesn’t mean that they’re perfect overall–once you get past the just hooking up stage, if you really want to date, it’s going to take more than a gorgeous smile and great arms to sustain a relationship. You need to bring intelligence, humor and patience as well. 

So, Breslaw, Cosmo, think before you write. I know you could’ve come up with a better, more positive list of reasons to sleep with a larger guy that didn’t reduce them to a punchline. You get mad when it happens to women, so why should men be treated any differently in that regard? It just sucks all around.

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Celebrity, Women

Fiona Apple’s Health is None of Our Business

On Thursday night, Fiona Apple was performing in Portland (OR) when a heckler decided that Apple’s set was the perfect time to air her thoughts on the singer’s health.

According to E! Online, it went down like this:

 

“Fiona! Get healthy! We want to see you in 10 years!” the female heckler yelled out, according to Stereogum. Apple was said to be visibly distraught and proceeded to yell back, “I am healthy! Who the f—k do you think you are? I want to get the f—k out of here. I want the house lights on so I watch you leave!” The lights reportedly did come on and the very vocal audience member threw out one more remark while exiting, saying, “I saw you 20 years ago and you were beautiful!”Apple subsequently began to cry and expressed her frustration to the crowd. She managed to collect herself enough to perform “Waltz (Better Than Fine),” but she sang it while slightly sobbing. She soon became very emotional again and, apologizing to the audience, walked off the stage, thereby bringing the show to an end.

 

 

This pisses me off for a myriad of reasons. Who does this heckler think she is? Is she a relative? Is she Apple’s doctor? Is she just trying to get attention? From any stand point, that’s just wrong. Going to a Fiona Apple show is not the same as going to say, a One Direction concert–Apple plays small venues, 1D plays arenas and stadiums, where if you scream anything, they will most likely not hear it as 20,000 other people are screaming things at the same time. Also, this was a personal attack under the guise of concern. It was not the time nor the place for this heckler to say anything to Apple.

 

Fiona Apple performing

 

 

While we have published posts that do talk about body types and health of women in the media, they were never to shame, they were written to critique the gossip blogs that were spinning these stories into national concern. This piece is written to critique the person who heckled a performer to the point of tears because she feels they don’t appear to be her definition of healthy. Yes, her appearance has changed over the years, but that’s still no reason to heckle someone when they are onstage in front of an audience. Even people commenting on the story on other blogs/social media sites share the sentiment of, “oh, that sucks, but Apple obviously has an eating disorder and/or heroin problem. She was skinny when she was in the “Criminal” video in ’97, but she had a youthful glow about her, so the heckler kind of has a point.”

 

 

What point? To call out someone’s appearance and then decide that they may or may not have a serious addiction/disorder? To make a singer/songwriter cry in the middle of her set? To shame her for being what they feel is too thin? To point out that her appearance has changed over the years?  It’s bullshit. It’s so rude, and unnecessary. Apple’s health is none of our concern as she has not chosen to disclose any details in regard to the matter. Was she endangering herself at the concert? Was she endangering her audience? No? Then this heckler is just being mean to get some attention (which sadly, she has succeeded in doing.) And also, I would like to point out that just because someone “looks” like they may have an eating disorder or drug addiction doesn’t always mean that they do.

 

So what’s your take? Was the heckler right to call out Apple, or is this just more shaming?

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Celebrity, Women

Rex Reed Calls Melissa McCarthy “Tractor Sized”–How Mature.

I don’t understand why body type has to come into play during film reviews. Unless it is an essential part to the role an actor is playing, there is no need to make comments. Someone forgot to tell New York Observer film critic Rex Reed that it’s not necessary.

In his review of the Melissa McCarthy/Jason Bateman action comedy Identity Thief, Reed not only trashes the film, but McCarthy’s appearance as well. He calls her “cacophonous, tractor-sized” and a “female hippo.” He also goes on to say:

“Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success […] Poor Jason Bateman. How did an actor so charming, talented, attractive and versatile get stuck in so much dreck?”

Rex’s criticisms are very mean spirited. It’s one thing not to like McCarthy’s performance, but why is it necessary to throw in comments about her body size, especially when she’s been so candid about her struggles with weight loss and accepting her curves. In the November 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping, McCarthy said:

“I don’t really know why I’m not thinner than I am. I don’t really drink soda, I don’t have a sweet tooth, and we eat healthfully at home […] Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size 6 and I never had to give it a single thought, but I am weirdly healthy, so I don’t beat myself up about it — it wouldn’t help, and I don’t want to pass that on to my girls.”

As a woman who has spent most of their life plus-sized, I can tell you, seeing these criticisms is hurtful. Sure, it’s easy to laugh it off and call Reed an asshole, but these messages get internalized, that once again, plus-sized people are being told they’re disgusting and should be locked away, never to be seen. It’s sick. Clearly, Reed is not going to be responsible for the end of McCarthy’s career (which doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all,) but as a professional, he should keep his criticisms about the film itself, not the appearance of the actresses–Bateman got away with being “attractive.”

I’m sick of the sexism and fat shaming in Hollywood, aren’t you, LivLunatics? Ugh. Are you sick of criticisms like Reed’s? Have you seen Identity Thief? Did McCarthy’s figure ruin the film?

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Celebrity, Women

Too Chunky to Cheer? Asks CBS Houston

CBS Houston is concerned that a Oklahoma City Thunder cheerleader was “too chunky” to do her job. In the article by Claire Crawford posted earlier this week, she ponders,

“The Rockets looked terrible in Game 1, but some say they weren’t the only bad-looking people on the court–we’re not trying to be ugly. We are just discussing what men like in women, specifically NBA cheerleaders.” It gets better–“This pretty blonde has been criticized by some folks in OKC for having ‘pudginess’ around her waistline. But if she’s comfortable wearing that tiny outfit and dancing for NBA fans, then good for her.”

Oh boy. Where do I begin? First of all, there was no need for this to be an article. It must be a really, really slow news week out west. Second, while the whole piece is rather gross, the last line is unbelievably snotty and juvenile. Also not necessary. Third, I’m shocked that woman would write this. How would Crawford like it if someone published an article asking if she was “too chunky to write?” Fourth, I think it’s rather said that pornography and the popular media have warped our ideas as to what a cheerleader should look like.

I remember watching some VH-1 special years ago where Toni Basil was talking about the video for her hit “Mickey,” which featured real college cheerleaders. She said people were shocked to see that these girls were solid, not the popular image of thin and big breasted with pigtails that Hollywood and the porn industry had been throwing around for years. (Crawford had in her post “Either way, I wish she had a little more up on top, if you know what I mean…” but it has since been removed) It makes perfect sense when you think about it–they’re dancing, they’re supporting the weight of several other people, so yeah, most cheerleaders need to be solid, they’re not all going to be lithe.

Now I know I’ve said this over and over again–body snarking doesn’t accomplish anything. By the looks of things, it seems that perhaps Crawford has a personal issue with Kelsey (the “fat” cheerleader in question) or maybe is throwing her own body issues out on her. Like I’ve said before, it’s easy. Physical appearance is the first thing we see, so why not call it out. “ooh, you don’t look the way cheerleaders are expected to, so I’m going to call you out on it. How dare you get success by dancing around in hot pants and a halter top and smiling while I’ve had to do something else to achieve my success, like talk shit in order to get page hits.”  Crawford tried to defend herself on her Twitter account (which has been deleted) by saying that she wasn’t trying to be mean, she was just doing her job by reporting the story. What story? Again, there was absolutely no need for this article. It must be a really slow news day in Texas, or else Crawford really, really has it in for the “chunky” cheerleader–there was even a poll on the post that asked readers for their opinion on her body. A poll that asked readers for their opinion on her body.

I can’t be the only one sick of this foolishness, LivLunatics. Why must we judge so harshly, especially when it comes to women? I know I’ve asked this before, but I’m really curious. Do you have any insight?

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Celebrity, Women

BREAKING: Lena Dunham’s Body Type is Not Unique!

Oh, for Pete’s sake, we’ve already told you that Lena Dunham isn’t fat.  It’s common knowledge at this point that she’s always in some state of undress on Girls, which airs on HBO, where it’s practically a requirement for shows to have a fair amount of nudity. So why, why, why, is there repeated body snarking when it comes to this woman?

It seems the reason people are offended by her body this week is because of the most recent episode of Girls, where Dunham’s character Hannah finds herself spending the weekend with a sexy, older doctor played by Patrick Wilson where they have sex and play a game of topless ping pong. I thought the comments were bad when it was announced that Wilson would be guest starring on the show, but since the episode has aired, people have gotten totally vicious. My personal favorites of the comments are both from the comments section from Gawker’s episode recap. bobthelob had this to say:

“The most indicative episode yet of Lena Dunham’s disconnect with reality: that a handsome 42 year-old doctor would look at her twice, without vomiting. Her nakedness is over-the-top and gross, and now bordering on fetishism.”

Isn’t that just so charming? Now, while ParahSalin’s comment isn’t quite as nasty, it still managed to piss me off a great deal:

“I’m happy for Lena Dunham that she’s comfortable with her body, but I’m not comfortable with her body at all. Is she contractually bound to show me her body in every single episode?”

Oh wait…I see what the problem is now, bob and Parah aren’t necessarily upset that Dunham is running around naked on TV; they’re upset because Hollywood has taught us that women are supposed to look a particular way; and Dunham does not fit the mold. Dunham actually looks like most women I encounter on the street, the same women you probably encounter on your streets as well.

As I’ve said before, it shouldn’t be so shocking to see Dunham nude on TV–her body type is fairly common. You have probably seen women like her nude in real life, but since they aren’t on national television, perhaps it hasn’t registered with you that there’s something “weird” about it. Perhaps people are also throwing their insecurities onto not just Dunham, but people like Melissa McCarthy and Adele as well. We’ve been taught that women above a certain size aren’t meant to be acknowledged–so how dare Adele be a great singer that has the nerve to perform on live television, how dare Melissa McCarthy be a bankable movie/TV star, how dare Lena Dunham be in her twenties and accomplish more in her career now than most people have in their entire working lives!

Notice I also called out their talents–it isn’t just insecurities about body size that get thrown on these women, it’s insecurities about other things as well. It’s just easier to talk shit about appearance as that’s what people see first, especially as our society has such a rigid standard of what women are “supposed to” look like. I hope this is the last time I have to say this, but body snarking doesn’t accomplish anything. If you’re frustrated about your career, don’t talk shit, aspire to do the same or better than they do! You’ll feel more accomplished and better in the long run. Body snarking only makes you feel better for a few seconds.

tumblr_lq266ueCPW1qehk1qo1_400But while we’re on the subject, let me point out that for years, we’ve had to endure television shows where thin, conventionally gorgeous women are paired up with men who are considered slobs because they’re overweight and nothing negative has really been said about it. I know what you’re thinking–it’s mostly cartoons on Fox that do this.  It’s live television as well–Mark Addy and Jami Gertz were a couple on Still Standing for six seasons, we had nine years of Kevin James and Leah Remini on The King of Queens, and lest we forget where this whole thing started–Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows on The Honeymooners back in the fifties (although I’m sure if the show were on today, Meadows’ body type would be under fire the same way Dunham’s is) So why can’t we have pairings where someone like Dunham gets paired with someone “hot” like Wilson? It’s–gasp–common for women over a certain dress size to find a romantic partner, not just men!

I’m tired, LivLunatics. I’m tired of hearing the shit talk about Lena Dunham’s body, are you? Her body is not unique. When will Hollywood learn?

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