Thursday, January 06, 2005

Packing it on

There's been a fair amount of criticism in the blogosphere for Laura Kipnis's recent piece in Slate about beauty ideals. She briefly mentions
"desert Arabs in Niger . . . [whose] women strive to be as fat as possible. Girls are force-fed to achieve this ideal; stretch marks are regarded as beautiful. Yet somehow this beauty norm doesn't create the same sense of anguish that afflicts Western women striving for thinness . . . In Niger, failing to achieve the prevailing beauty standard isn't a personal failure; it just means someone has bewitched you, or you have a thin constitution."
A specific account of the anguish produced by such methods is outlined here. I would rather be an American neurotic strapped to a treadmill than have my female relatives feed me until my skin split open, but then I am rather stubborn and thus could probably look forward to broken fingers and toes under the fat-positive system.
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