A Few Links on Bodies . . .

. . . and the tyranny of cultural standards.

Given the infinite and glorious variety of human bodies, there are few things that piss me off more than the policing we do of each others' physical presence and presentation in the world. As Courtney Martin documents in Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters this is often particularly prevalent among women, although men are by no means except from scrutiny.

The women at Pursuit of Harpyness have a thoughtful discussion of the social privilege of thinness, which I feel is required reading for all women -- particularly those of us who happen to fall within the range of "normal" body weight as it is culturally defined. Whatever our personal insecurities, we need to keep in mind the way our bodies shield us daily from outrageous acts of public shaming.

Two recent posts about the often-invisible alteration of women's bodies via photoshop, one at feministing, and one at The Stories of a Girl point out the subtle standardization of women's bodies via visual media. I love the courage of women willing to own their embodied selves in public spaces.

Fig Leaf offers some thoughts on the policing of women's body hair, and asks why we assume men will be horrified by un-shaved, un-waxed female bodies.

Finally, the latest on the legal trial against teenage girls who had the audacity (shock! horror!) to take and send pictures of themselves naked to their significant others, and were prosecuted under child pornography laws by adults creeped about by sexually-active youth.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully thought-provoking, as always.

    One of my big issues, beyond the philosophical and psychological, is related to health. The discussion and focus on slenderness detracts from the very real issues about health - diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, being fit enough to participate in life, etc.

    Male or female, we should all be taking care of our bodies. What we look like is entirely beside the point.

    Then again, maybe this is the vegetarian in me talking....