So this is a topic I often discuss in my theory papers for my own work. It’s something that is very close to me.
A back story about me, I weighed 120 pounds maximum until I was 20.
I ate what I wanted to, I only ran maybe 20 minutes a day 3 times a week if I was motivated.
I was thin.
I thought I was fat.
I was super thin.
Later that year, in my 20’s, I decided to go vegan, and because I did… my non-functioning gallbladder actually showed that it hadn’t been functioning for about 6-7 years. But because I was eating junk food, it didn’t have to work that hard.
After I had it removed, it has been an absolute BATTLE to keep weight off.
I have found that MANY women struggle with weight after this removal, and I wish I would have been made aware of this issue.
So – that is where my MFA work lies.
Being terrified of food.
I know that sounds stupid and super lame… but as a woman, who is apart of this beauty myth – the struggle is real.
But on this topic – there are many women out there that have this same fear that I do. Most of them solve it with anorexia or bulimia, and to be honest- it’s the easiest solution.. .but the scariest.
On top of that, it’s proven that the skinnier you are (because of diet restricting, don’t get this confused with just being skinny because of genes) that you have less of a sex drive, or don’t want to be touched.
Can’t hold a baby, don’t want to have sex.
That’s probably why my sex drive isn’t super “raging”, because I don’t have intentions of producing a child.
A generation ago an average model weighed 8 percent less than the average american woman… where as today she weighs 23 percent less.
So this produces in our minds- that we have to look like that. Right? We have to compete for our mate.
We have to be “pretty,” or “hott” and starving ourselves is the way to do it.
The average weight of a playboy model dropped from 11% national average, to 17% the national average of many models.
In 1985, a survey said that 90 percent of respondents believed they were over weight, with 25% of those females being on a diet, and 50% of those women finishing one, breaking or starting one.
75% of these people were 18-35 and only 25% of the respondents were medically overweight.
“THE BEAUTY MYTH behind all of these numbers are just this:
The body of a model is 23% leaner than the normal woman, the average woman wants to be as lean as the model; infertility and hormone imbalance are common among women whose fat-to-lean ratio falls below 22 percent. Hormonal imbalances promote ovarian and endometrial cancer and osteoporosis. Fat tissues store sex hormones, so low fat reserves are linked with weak estrogen and low levels of all other important sex hormones, as well as with inactive ovaries.
So if female fat is sexuality, and reproductive power, if food is honor; if dieting is semi starvation, if women have to lose 23 percent of their body weight to fit in the Iron Maiden and chronic psychological disruption, if semi starvation is physically and psychologically debilitating, and female strength, sexuality, and self respect pose the threats explored earlier against the vested interests of society; if women’s journalism is sponsored by a $33 billion industry, who’s capital is made out of the political fear of women; than we can understand why the Iron Maiden is so damn thin. The thin ideal is no beautiful, aesthetically; she is beautiful as a political solution.” (The beauty Myth)
so what does this mean?
If keeping women worried about themselves, their looks, their appearances, is a solution to keep women pre-occupied, and if they are starving themselves, then they will be more distracted, this keeps women down…
And we feed into it.
We keep ourselves down.
This perfect ideal.. unattainable, is killing our ability as a species, as a gender, to rise up.
So on the flip side, me personally, am slightly in this beauty myth, but also, am not.
I am one for health and fitness.
In fact, these last 4 weeks I have been on a bodybuilding diet.
However, it’s not for my husband, it’s not for society, I am not looking to be the prize of any one’s soul or eyes, I am doing this for my own benefit… for my own strength. To prove that women aren’t sexual objects, but strong beings.
And although it’s still a fixation of diet, and exercise, and it focused on ridding body fat, it’s not to be comparable to models, or sexual objectification.
In fact, I want men to look at me and think, “man, I wouldn’t try to mess with her,” for the fact I could snap him in two if they tried.
I guess, I am in fear of food, with the hopes of conquering that fear with muscle.
The beauty myth and starvation is one I have been familiar with, and I guess that’s why I am trying to beat it with this new idea of “masculinity,” which is becoming a large part of femininity.