17 February 2009

Body Fascism

It has been some time since I have posted here. I haven't forgotten nor given up on this blog (thanks for your kind words and urgings bentsocietyblog.blogspot.com) but my life seems to have moved into a different direction and my time was taken up by other things. I have indulged in all the things I decided weren't going to be a feature of my life.
But the one aspect of life in the so-called developed world is the mixed messages which people have rammed down their throats. Here is one example:
Women are encouraged to be a 'size zero', anything else encourages wagging fingers and admonishments from the style/fashion/body fascist police. Women are only considered worth knowing if you conform to a particular image - regardless of your race. Your hair should be straight, smooth and glossy plus should be as close to blonde as possible. Your nose definitely needs some work, regardless of its shape or size.
I say this as I watched a programme recently which horrified and disgusted me. 'The Swan' - you may have seen it. Two women 'compete' to see who could undergo the most radical transformation. The women are subjected to what appears to be inhumane treatment, unnecessary cosmetic surgery to ensure they emerge from 12 weeks of scrutiny, exercise, hair extensions, a mouthful of veneers and therapy. The women are churned out looking like plastic pastiches of Hollywood female stereotypes. All traces of their physical differences are removed: from large noses, belly fat, low brows and all other physical characteristics which scream 'ugly'.
But who has defined what 'ugly' is?
I want to know what happens to these women years down the line when their breast implants leak, their face lifts fall and they have problems with their new screwed-in teeth.
I can't understand body fascism - maybe due to the fact I was raised in a Caribbean home where your size wasn't an issue at all. In my family I have members who are very thin and very fat and many who can be described as in between. You weren't judged by your physical appearance but rather by your personality and this has stayed with me to this day. So it seems this is an illness imposed on society to judge someone by their weight. I recently connected with a friend who I had kept in touch with but not actually seen as we were in different parts of the world. She had lost nearly 100lbs in weight since I had last seen her. After our loud greetings and lengthy hugs she mentioned that I was the only person she knew who did not judge her and accepted her whatever her weight.
I don't care what weight she is - she's my friend and I love her just as she is.
Maybe we wouldn't have some of the problems humans have if we spent less time trying to be something or someone we are not. I enjoy being real and being myself.

Just sharing my thoughts.
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