No Fat Chicks

I like the idea of trying to dress expressively or for fun, no matter what your weight or age. There is a lot of pressure to dress 'appropriately' for one's age, and quietly accept that no one wants to talk about or know about the prejudices in society related to women and aging.

I have been reading a lot of comments online lately, and I don't see how it is possible to please very many people. Almost everyone is judgmental in ways I can't relate to.

People are very picky about the appearances of people they view photos of. While it's true if women seem to approve of a person in a moral sense they will go easier in some ways, they are still very critical of a lot of details that it seems impossible for almost anyone to get right.

Is it better to try to ignore what people say? And to avoid clicking on anything that looks 'trashy'?

Maybe. But I have been thinking about this, and while it may be better not to encourage the spread of this kind of commentary through negative reinforcement (reading it), if I do happen upon it, accidentally, or through my own choice, I am not so sure it is best to just say nothing. When it comes to various kinds of hatred and ignorance, isn't it usually better to say something if you don't agree with what has been said?

I think a lot of the comments made are not just harmless personal opinion or even calm, objective assessment, but are based on hatred and ignorance, and that when the underlying beliefs are not challenged, potentially everyone is affected by these beliefs. I don't think very many people have accurate ideas about the reality and range of healthy bodies, what natural aging is, or what factors contribute to how a person photographs at any given time.

It's a crazy situation. Images are everywhere of already beautiful women looking their best. Everyone is affected. Everyone compares their own personal photos to the images they see, whether they realize it consciously or not. Most of us have unrealistic ideas related to appearance, aging, health, weight, and what is 'normal' or 'average' in all of these areas.

Women are critical of themselves, yes, and women are critical of other women. But to say it stops there is probably wrong, or to say that young women are mainly affected by media images is also probably wrong. There are men all over the internet who make comments that suggest a sense of entitlement, who seem to think it's natural to sum up and dismiss a woman according to her physical attributes or lack thereof, and her age, as if appearance is the most significant factor in deciding the value of a woman. Women do it, too. If this is the case, then why do we persist in perpetuating the myths that it's inner beauty and individuality that count? Shouldn't we admit to the young that girls really need to do all they can to accentuate their physical attributes while they can?

People find fault with aspects of appearance that I find ridiculous, as if they can't see the whole, or as if they don't realize the same person photographed in the same outfit in different light or from a different angle might look very different. It's not just young, inexperienced people who make these judgments. What effects do people think their judgments have on young people, of any sex, and what effects do they think they have on themselves? Is anyone going to really be able to accept themselves?

-Xesce, 04/04/12















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