Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Internet beauty standards

The posters on XOXOHTH, the "most prestigious law school admissions discussion board in the world," have (puzzlingly) decided to bash Jill at Feministe as fat and ugly. A few disjointed observations:

- At least some of the posters on the board are actual admitted and current students at elite law schools. I posted on XOXOHTH and its predecessor board as an admit and (very occasionally) as an HLS student. So did several other HLSers and YLSers of my acquaintance. It's actually a very useful resource during periods where time-sensitive announcements are being made, like law firm recruiting, admissions, and law review decisions.

- The board participants commonly praise as attractive women who are useful members of the community and run down outsiders/political opponents as unattractive with almost no correlation to actual appearances.

- Internet people are insane about women and weight. While guest posting at Crescat, I observed that classical works of art in museums contain many healthy alternatives to the currently popular, exaggeratedly skinny depictions of women and that children might benefit from greater exposure to these more realistic images. As a result, the man I was seeing received multiple emails asking him why he would date "a fattie," since only overweight women could possibly object to anorexia as a fashion ideal or urge appreciation for a wider range of body types. This by readers of a website with a relatively intelligent fanbase. That XOXOHTH is less enlightened is no surprise.

Hugo has more on the concept of the embodied blogger.
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