Posts Tagged With: beauty

Jeepers: Corset Training

Yes. They’re back. And have been for a while.

And yes, this is what they can do:

corset

After giving birth to her second child, Jessica Alba decided to “get back in shape” by using the corset training method. Does that sounds as scary as it is? Personally, yes.

In a nutshell, ladies are training their waists with steel ribbed cages i.e. corsets, as a means of shedding pounds and achieving that perfect, womanly, hour-glass figure 8. It’s becoming very popular and more girls and women are jumping on the corset train today. I first came across it on Instagram – a former classmate of mine is a huge believer.

Curious. I thought we were done with the terror of corsets back in the 1800s. Also, wasn’t this a horrible imposition on women of that time? I mean, can you imagine how awful it would have been to have restricted movements and internal damage caused by the squishing and smooshing of your organs? Let’s not forget the worst of it: corsets caused women’s abdominal muscles to atrophy. What does that mean? Weelll let’s just say that when women took it off when they got pregnant, a lot of them died in childbirth because they had no abdominal muscles left to push out the baby.

Considering that, I personally believe that some things should stay in the past. I would much rather corsets remain in the pages of our history books under the section of unusual pursuits of beauty, with other terrors like foot-binding and lead face makeup.

Anyway, does this actually work? I guess it did for Jessica Alba.

But what does it say about our cultural obsession for thinness? What does it say about the pressure on new moms to lose their baby weight immediately so they can look hot again? And what does it say about our equating of thinness with health? Everyday we are force-fed idealized concepts of health and beauty, so much so that both women and men do terrible things to their bodies on their quest for thinness, including women whose bodies have just been through the toughest challenge of all – giving birth.

Anyway, these are concepts I want to expand on so stay tuned for more in-depth examinations. For this post, I’ll end it with the opinion that waist training, diet fads and other trends in attaining body perfection are mostly smoke and mirrors. They’re illusions and harmful ones at that. The only magic bullet out there is doing real physical work and accepting your body and finding it beautiful no matter what size it is. Re-learn what it means to be healthy and teach women and men, as well as new mothers, that strength, ability, stamina, and health are far more valuable investments than spending three months locked into a steel cage. Corsets should stay in the past. Like the word “jeepers”.

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Yassss!

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“Why the need for an “I hate other girls” proclamation? Is there some underlying desperation for male approval, some need to prove that you’re so different from all the other girls out there, when all that boils down to is that you’re one of those chicks who just wants dudes to like her? And you do it by insulting and generalizing about other women. And here’s the thing, once you do it, you start to make it OK for everyone to do it. So saying, “Girls are bitches” or, “Girls are shallow and catty” just opens up the door for guys to say those things. It’s one of the ways that society at large helps to keep women down: by turning us against one another, even subtly. And I know that girls who hate other girls are the first ones to say, “Oh, I’m not like that. I’m like a guy! I like guy things, and guys are easier to be friends with.” So you probably shouldn’t be surprised that all those women that you’re being a jerk about aren’t banging down your door to be your friend. Because by saying all of that, you’re being shallow and catty. You’re reducing women to stereotypes while somehow frantically begging everyone not to apply that stereotype to you.”
Persephone Magazine: “Self-Fulfilling Prophesies: The ‘I Hate Other Girls’ Trap”

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men — friends, coworkers, strangers — giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
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Derrp

So I went out with some friends this past weekend, and my friend and I got told that we were exotic looking when I revealed that I was of Indian origin to this dude on the street. HOW is that a compliment even? And really though, if you break it down and analyze why it’s being said then it will strike you that there’s more of my people on this planet than there are of you. So really, you’re the exotic one.

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Fail.. On So Many Levels

Oh advertisements. You conflicted thing you.

I don’t get ad’s for beauty products. You don’t really see the products on the model. You’re  instead given a highly photoshopped image of a woman with the proposed product supposedly on her.  Are we seriously supposed to look at an ad and say, “Wow, that foundation looks great, I want to try it,” when the model has not only been subjected to hours of professional hair and makeup but has also been Photoshopped to the point of no recognizable human features?

The use of Photoshop is an annoying (and undeniably rampant) practice for sure, but at this point I’m just like, “duh, nobody looks like that.” This kind of advertising is just plain boring now. Just open any fashion magazine to any page shilling a cosmetic brand or product. Does she look like a woman wearing makeup or does she look like a woman who is wearing makeup and also eight hours worth of post-production photo enhancement? What is the purpose of a photographic ad if it has virtually nothing to do with the product being advertised?

Take a look at this one:

I’m capitalizing this following sentence for emphasis – she has on FALSE EYELASHES to advertise MASCARA. It is an unacheivable look. Taken at face value, it’s a beautiful image that I don’t mind looking at, but really, don’t you think it’s an insult to our collective intelligence that brands actually pull this kind of bullshit?

Ever more disturbing: we fall for it.

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Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

The literal meaning: the perception of beauty is subjective. 
Subjective: Based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

The below comic is titled "Wrong Century" by Tomas Kucerovsky.

The look of wistfulness in her face punches straight through the heart. In a different time, her weight would have been considered traditionally attractive. 

"The world is not full of Attractive People and Unattractive People. It’s full of people who are attractive to some and not to others. I hear from trolls all the time who complain that they don’t want to be “forced” to find nasty, ugly fat women attractive – which utterly baffles me, since the last thing I want to do is encourage fat-hating dicks to date fat women. You don’t find fat people attractive? Fabulous. Don’t date them. I will find a way to pick myself up and move on without your love. But to assume your lack of sexual interest in fat chicks must be universal – or that the mere existence of self-confident fat people having healthy relationships somehow “forces” you to find fat attractive – is the height of fucking narcissism."
— Kate Harding
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“As long as we live in a culture that tells women that being admired and desired for the way we look is merely the normal condition of womanhood, something fundamental to our sex, it will be considered acceptable to evaluate women for their decorative value. As long as it’s considered acceptable to pass public judgment on women’s bodies, often negatively — to snark on and condemn and make fun of things that are truly beyond an individual’s control — in public, then it’s open season on all of our bodies. As long as women are in competition with one another to have the ‘best’ body, we all lose. As long as there persists a single, narrow beauty ideal we are all instructed to live up to, none of us will live up to it. This game is rigged. There will always be some critic who can tell us where we are found lacking.”
— Jenna Sauers

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Take That Back

“You’re so exotic!”

I have had people say that to me and let me tell you something, it is not a compliment. Calling people exotic is a colonialist backhanded way of saying someone is attractive to you but you refuse to place them on a human level. So they can’t just be ‘beautiful’ – they’re a beautiful non-white because they defy traditional white beauty. I used to think it was a compliment until I realized that comments like that are always coming from loaded preconceptions that usually involve me being second-rated to whites.

So people, take note: Indians and other “exotics” are just normal people. And if you’re giving us a compliment, please don’t use food words to describe our skin color. That’s just wrong.

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The Photoshop Effect

Do we want to see models, actors, actresses and whoever else that gets to be displayed on the covers of magazines and advertisements on TV in all their imperfect glory? Is banning the retouching/photoshopping of pictures too harsh or do you think it’s enough for the picture to state that the image has been digitally enhanced?

Up until recently, I was one of the many that believed that those photos of celebrities on the red carpet reflected how they actually looked. This, however, is not the case. Every image released by 99% of all celebrities are in fact re-touched.

Personally, I think it would do the whole world some good if pictures weren’t digitally enhanced. During some of my long, lazy summer days, I spent a great deal of time on Youtube, watching videos that gave instructions on how to hide a blemish on your face to giving yourself a larger bust with a few simple tricks on photoshop.

It was very entertaining to watch but very disturbing at the same time. There’s so much need and requirement for that unattainable perfection. After watching these videos, I progressed to seeing how far people went to achieve this level of perfection on www.awfulplasticsurgery.com If you’re very bored/interested in plastic surgery disasters, I suggest clicking this link.

Warning labels that disclaim “Warning: this image has been retouched to lower your self esteem” probably aren’t the answer, but it’s clear that some action must be taken to raise awareness. Selling unattainable beauty is not mentally good for you period.

Anyway, here’s an interesting video I found on this topic. Give it a lookie and I guarantee you’ll feel better equipped to deal with how you feel about yourself after seeing something potentially self-esteem lowering:

Part 1:
www.youtube.com/watch

Part 2:
www.youtube.com/watch

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Impossibly Beautiful

Dear Straight Guys:

Next time you have an urge to throw up your hands and say, "All women are crazy!" because your partner is fretting needlessly (in your estimation) about the way she looks, I would like you to remember this actual headline from the Telegraph "Now fashion mags make models look ‘fatter’":  www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/3364825/Now-fashion-mags-make-models-%27fatter%27.html

For Straight Guys:

If you suspect your female partner is mad, well, she might be – only it’s not something intrinsic to women, I can assure you. It’s the constantly moving goalposts of Impossible Beauty, and people, that shit is some serious crazy circus display, unless and until you learn to ignore it – which is not easy mind you.

First things first. Let’s take a look at a sample image that illustrates what we’re dealing with here:

Click to enlarge.



Okay girls, so this is what you need to shoot for: Hollowed-out cheeks (but not too hollow!), thin limbs (but not too thin!), hip bones showing (but not too much!), a flat stomach (but not too flat!)… oh and levelled looking boobs (although there is the fact that it’s common to have them uneven but no no, we can’t have that can we?) … so are we clear yet?

The Telegraph article says that this new trend is "a response to critics who blame images of so-called ‘size zero’ models for the rise in eating disorders in young girls," but I think Ann gets it right here (feministing.com/archives/009050.html):

“At its core, I don’t believe this type of Photoshopping is about deflecting criticism that models and celebrities are dangerously thin. I think this is about perpetuating an even more unrealistic beauty standard than unattainable thinness (something I never thought possible): the message is that you should be super, super skinny, borderline skeletal, but without any of the things that come with the territory, like jutting hipbones or small boobs or a small butt. So even the skinniest celebrities STILL require Photoshopping to meet this standard. You can be less than a size zero and still lose this game. And that’s pretty frightening.”

Indeedy it is.

And if that doesn’t illustrate it’s a game none of us should even bother playing, I don’t know what will.

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