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The Space Between…

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11 responses to “The Space Between…”

  1. Gnatalby

    What this reminds me of is when the media was all a tizzy about how high school girls were quick to forgive Chris Brown and wonder what Rihanna’s culpability was because “How could girls think that?” As if girls are socialized on some other planet from boys.

    Even very thin women are socialized in the same culture as fat women. I’ve been both, and even at my thinnest I still thought I was repulsively huge. I believe this woman thinks what she says she thinks.

    The editors of Marie Claire, on the other hand, do strike me as cynical, to take a body that’s impossible for 99% of all women and say: “See, look at all the hiiiiideous flaws!” I wouldn’t mind it if this were one among many images, but to have Jennifer Hawkins as the spokesmodel for the flawed figure? No. Just… no.
    .-= Gnatalby´s last blog ..Guidos, Guidettes, and a tub o’ hair gel =-.

  2. Jayn

    Thank you for this. Our society is good at making all women feel bad about their bodies, regardless of size. And while I would never deny that thin people have it easier than larger people, it can be really difficult to talk about your own body issues when you’re on the smaller end of the scale for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Especially when you are having issues related to your low weight. In a world where women often bond through sharing their weight loss trials, there’s rarely a time when you can feel safe talking about how you really need to gain five pounds.

    (And on note 1, I’ve seen waist measurements vary to a ridiculous degree too. In the same store. WTF?)

  3. minna

    I don’t really have anything meaningful to add, just a lot of SERIOUSLY. SERIOUSLY! SERIOUSLY.

    BUT! The EU agrees with you :D ! I don’t know how likely it is to catch on but my bff is fairly convinced it will eventually, and she’s the fashion nerd.

  4. AWV

    aargh that “eat a sandwich” thread (and song) is unbearable! I can’t stop reading it, unfortunately. I like how they keep telling you (or the person I assume is you) that 14-year-olds couldn’t possibly understand all the “theory” in your comments–i.e. that “eat a sandwich” is a cruel, unhelpful thing to say. I like how if someone doesn’t agree with something/think it’s important, then it becomes “theory.”

  5. Melissa

    I have nothing to add. Awesome post.

  6. The Nerd

    Why are women’s sizes arbitrary numbers? Why can’t they be waist measurements?

    YES! Men can just run into the store, grab a 32 x 32 (or whatever) pair of pants, and be done with it. I hate shopping because I hate having to try on outfit after outfit, only to discover that it’s too big/small/whatever, before I can even get to the point where I analyze if it’s a flattering cut or comfortable fabric. Plus, I can shop for my boyfriend without him being there, but he couldn’t even begin to hope to find me anything that would fit. Now what if I were unable to shop for myself, and required someone else to do it for me? The current system simply isn’t accommodating at all.

  7. debbie

    I totally agree with you. I’m coming at it from a somewhat different position – that of someone who lost a significant amount of weight for disability related reasons. I always thought that my life would be so much better if I lost weight, that I would be more confidant, more attractive, etc. And now that I am a thinner, I realize that it’s bullshit. There are definite advantages, and some thin privilege stuff has become ever more obvious to me, but I still hate my body, and I still live in a world that encourages me to hate my body (and reinforces that I will never be thin enough, tall enough, or WASP-y enough to meet the standard of beauty). Oh, and that everyone is just THRILLED that I lost that weight, and they don’t really care how or why.

    As for clothing: waist measurements might be an improvement if they were actually standardized, but I think that would be hard to do since there is such a variety of cuts (low rise, skinny, relaxed fit, etc), fabrics, etc. I own jeans ranging from 27-30″ waists, and they all sort of fit (the waistband on the “biggest” pair is actually uncomfortably tight). I knit and I sew a little bit, and clothing sizing/fit is a really difficult thing, not only because people’s bodies come in such diverse shapes, sizes, and proportions, but because we all have different preferences and comfort levels in terms of fit. I think that one of the reasons that (some) men have an easier time buying clothes, is that men’s clothing tends to be baggier than women’s clothing, so having a precise fit isn’t as important. I’m thinking specifically of things like jeans – the difference between the fairly relaxed fit of regular men’s jeans, and women’s skinny jeans, for example.

  8. srand

    “[L]et’s remember that she is entitled to feel like crap too.”

    Egad, yes. When I first started reading Fat Acceptance sites, I was blown away by the concept that it’s okay to be fat. That I am ‘allowed’ to be fat, as silly as that phrasing is, and still be a real person.

    Then I started reading more intersectional blogs and was *utterly* blown away by the notion that it’s okay to not be perfectly abled. I am ‘allowed’ to have disabilities and still deserve to live and be part of humanity.

    And yes, it’s okay to feel like crap. I am ‘allowed’ to feel like crap. And it’s not any of your business if I do, Mr. or Ms. Relative Stranger, nor is it your right to police my feelings or criticize me for feeling like crap.

    (I was just recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and autistic spectrum disorder. I fell apart at first, but it was concepts like the above — and places like this blog — that helped me decide that these diagnoses do not make me a lesser person. So .. thank you.)

  9. Katelyn

    WOW, that feministing link was shocking (I know, I know, I shouldn’t be shocked). Each time they shock me, I swear I am just gobsmacked at their blatant disregard of everything I call and most others call feminism. Seriously.

    But, great post. I think this is something really important that woman of all sizes need to embrace and talk more openly about. Thanks for writing it!

  10. Elf-ity

    I don’t have much to add here, but I just wanted to say that the “Eat a Sandwich” thing at Fauxministing is why I abandoned the site. The blatant disregard of those who are unable to eat, naturally thin, or have a medical condition(eating disorders included) was the last straw for me. And shock me, shock me, nobody replied when I e-mailed with complaints.

  11. hsofia

    I think the Marie Claire piece is ridiculous. I had to look at this woman’s photo for at least a minute to identify the so-called flaw. I’m also very annoyed that “flaw” is used over and over. How is it a flaw to have a crease in your belly when you’re sitting down? To not have literally glowing skin? To have teeth that are not chiclet-like in their uniformity? Who/what is this mythical perfect bodied creature that all these magazines are referencing? They will never tell you. This is one reason why I stopped buying and reading those magazines. All they do is tap into people’s latent desire to desire, and it is so repetitive and unending because there is no end to desire.

    There are definitely better ways to size clothing for women (such as listing measurements), but I do believe women will always have a harder time shopping for prefab clothing than men simply because women are more genetically diverse than men. Still, listing measurements would go a long way to help people ordering clothing online, and would also remove some of the value judgment (are you a size 6? 20?). I hope sewing makes a comeback as a hobby and skill. When I was a kid, almost every grown woman I knew could sew (and we were low income women of color living in urban areas). Now I can count on one hand the number of friends my age who can sew. I never had any consciousness about what “size” I was – all I knew was that I was made up of different sizes that fluctuated over time.


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