Author Topic: As women get bigger, models get smaller  (Read 21123 times)

Offline milomorris

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #50 on: June 21, 2012, 09:03:53 am »



I also agree with the sentiment that goes with the picture, the women on the top row can't hold a candle to the women on the bottom.

I'm going to start this post with a disclaimer: the ideas presented below do not represent the poster's personal opinions, but rather his observations.  

Men need to be needed. They need to feel relevant. They need to think that they are important.

Throughout the majority of human history, heterosexuality has contained a quality of male dominance over females. This element was established based wholly on the physical differences between human males and human females. Specifically, the fact that males tend to be bigger, stronger, faster, etc. than females. In our proto-human past, in our hunter-gatherer past, and in our pre-nuclear past, men did indeed rule the world. Enemies were well-defined, and men did most of the providing, creating, inventing, and protecting. In those days, a man's strength was unquestionably greater than that of a woman. That dynamic made it desirable for a man to have "as much woman" as he could handle. An example of this was the Reubenesque beauty--a young, pampered, and well-fed woman...supported by a rich and powerful man.

In the post-modern world, with all of its technological advancements--women have achieved a much greater level of parity with men. As such, women have less of a need for men. Some might say that women don't really need men at all. Yet the primal urge men have for being needed persists. The male dominance over females has not gone away. But because women can now compete with men on a male level in our society, "as much woman" is a smaller, more frail, more dependent package than it used to be. That's "as much woman" as today's man thinks he can handle.

Chuck is right when he says that the women on the top row can't hold a candle to the women on the bottom row. But neither can their male peers hold a candle to the men who were peers of the women on the bottom row.  
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Marge_Innavera

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #51 on: June 21, 2012, 09:05:25 am »
We all find ways to brag about our response to consumer culture -- whether it's about how much we can afford, or what a great deal we got, or how we surround ourselves in luxury, or how frugal we are, or how little we care because we're above all of that. And yes, all of these perspectives are capable of bestowing priceless feelings of superiority.




Levels of irony detection, however, have fallen below the ability of even the most expensive and status-worthy equipment to cope with.

Next up: a solemn and scholarly discussion of the social significance of tube socks.

Offline Monika

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #52 on: June 21, 2012, 09:25:20 am »
And in regards to the title of this thread, models are not the only ones getting smaller, as this image I found with Google demonstrates.




These are all very successful women.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #53 on: June 21, 2012, 10:39:18 am »
Men need to be needed. They need to feel relevant. They need to think that they are important.

Agreed, though I would change "men" to "humans."

Quote
Throughout the majority of human history, heterosexuality has contained a quality of male dominance over females. This element was established based wholly on the physical differences between human males and human females. Specifically, the fact that males tend to be bigger, stronger, faster, etc. than females. In our proto-human past, in our hunter-gatherer past, and in our pre-nuclear past, men did indeed rule the world. Enemies were well-defined, and men did most of the providing, creating, inventing, and protecting. In those days, a man's strength was unquestionably greater than that of a woman. That dynamic made it desirable for a man to have "as much woman" as he could handle. An example of this was the Reubenesque beauty--a young, pampered, and well-fed woman...supported by a rich and powerful man.

I would say your history here is a little reckless. I'm not going to bother to google which gender did more of the providing "in our hunter-gatherer past," though I'd be willing to bet the tribes relied on gathered foods about as much as they did hunted ones -- hence the presence of both in the name. As for "protecting," no male would live to be old enough to hunt if females weren't doing their share of the protecting. Creating and inventing? Hard to say since pre-history is, by definition, pre-history.

And of course 16th c. Peter Paul Rubens, and those who admired his paintings, did not live in a hunter-gatherer society. But then you say "pre-nuclear"? So maybe you mean everything up until 1945. And here, as when you say "well-fed," you're onto something.

Quote
In the post-modern world, with all of its technological advancements--women have achieved a much greater level of parity with men. As such, women have less of a need for men. Some might say that women don't really need men at all. Yet the primal urge men have for being needed persists. The male dominance over females has not gone away. But because women can now compete with men on a male level in our society, "as much woman" is a smaller, more frail, more dependent package than it used to be. That's "as much woman" as today's man thinks he can handle.

Men's preferences don't solely dictate fashion. Especially not straight men's preferences. If they did, fashionable clothes would look A LOT different.

But actually, this body trend has much more to do with economics, class and snobbery.

Throughout most of human history -- a period, as Milo points out, that dates from our proto-human past through Rubens' 16th century to the nuclear age -- it was hard to get enough food to be fleshy. Hunter-gatherer societies were often at risk of starvation, among many other threats. The most successful hunters AND GATHERERS (i.e., the highest-status members of the society) would of course be least likely to be thin. Jumping ahead to Rubens' time, same thing. The nobility could afford plenty of food and leisure and get chubby pretty easily. Look at Henry VIII. But the average peasant? Not so much; work was physical, food was scarcer, and if a crop failed one year those peasants would get awfully skinny. Jump ahead to everything up until mid-20th century America. Before the New Deal, if you were out of money and food you were just about out of luck. You would rely on charity, maybe, and scrape by. Read Erskine Caldwell's "Tobacco Road" for a harrowing account of what life was like for the rural poor in the '20s and '30s: It includes scenes of hungrily devouring scavenged radishes, trying to sell gathered branches as firewood, etc.

Now to post-WWII America. Suddenly, thanks to the New Deal, even most poor people can usually get food. And thanks to a bunch of other trends in post-war society, food is abundant -- especially cheap and fattening food, like junk food and fast food. Obesity increases, along with diabetes, heart disease and all that other stuff. Suddenly, for the first time in all of human history, people are more likely to die of too much food than too little.

But who is best able to avoid the health hazards of excess food and obesity? Once again, it's the rich. They have both more money and leisure time -- they can afford the gym memberships, the private trainers, the neighborhoods with running and biking trails, the fresh vegetables, the cooked-from-scratch meals. The poor often can't move about freely in their neighborhoods and have a harder time accessing healthy foods. And compared to the poor of the past, they are far more likely to work in sedentary jobs.

Fashion is usually, one way or the other, a reference to wealth, not sex. Excluding the odd self-consciously rebellious period ("grunge," hippies, which both involved conscious protest against status-quo excess), the look that is fashionable is what the rich can afford to look like. That's certainly the case today.

I know I've talked about suntanning trends before, but they operate on the same principle.

Quote
Chuck is right when he says that the women on the top row can't hold a candle to the women on the bottom row. But neither can their male peers hold a candle to the men who were peers of the women on the bottom row.  

I think they're all fine. I don't judge women (or men) on their thinness any more than their fatness. Kiera and Kristen appear to be naturally thin people (and hooray  to Kristen for not falling victim to the tanning trend, or maybe she's just careful to maintain a Bella-like pallor). Nicole, as anyone who spends any time in grocery store checkout lines or dentist's offices knows, used to be heavier. But who can blame her for wanting to meet her culture's standards for attractiveness? Most of America does -- though most subcultures in America aren't quite as fat-hating as Hollywood celebrity subculture. Put on a few pounds and you can expect to have your cellulite displayed on the cover of US magazine. As for Heidi, well, she does have those boobs. And so could any of the others here if they wanted to obtain them the same way she did.



Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #54 on: June 21, 2012, 11:46:19 am »
Levels of irony detection, however, have fallen below the ability of even the most expensive and status-worthy equipment to cope with.

Next up: a solemn and scholarly discussion of the social significance of tube socks.

Why not?  I've seen more worthless posts about more worthless crap posted on the internet.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #55 on: June 21, 2012, 11:50:52 am »
Levels of irony detection, however, have fallen below the ability of even the most expensive and status-worthy equipment to cope with.

Irony and the appreciation thereof are acquired skills, and they do seem to be in short supply these days.  :-\
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline milomorris

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2012, 01:22:56 pm »
I'm not going to bother to google which gender did more of the providing "in our hunter-gatherer past," though I'd be willing to bet the tribes relied on gathered foods about as much as they did hunted ones -- hence the presence of both in the name.

Humans need protein and fat in order to survive. Both can be found in vegetables, but without farming there is no reliable vegetable source for these needs. Besides, farming takes time. Killing a large animal can provide protein and fat for many days, and for many people at once rather quickly. The problem with large animals is that they are stronger, faster, and more dangerous than humans. That means that the strongest, fastest, most dangerous humans needed to form cooperative groups in order to kill large animals on a regular basis.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline milomorris

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #57 on: June 21, 2012, 02:07:28 pm »
But who is best able to avoid the health hazards of excess food and obesity? Once again, it's the rich. They have both more money and leisure time -- they can afford the gym memberships, the private trainers, the neighborhoods with running and biking trails, the fresh vegetables, the cooked-from-scratch meals. The poor often can't move about freely in their neighborhoods and have a harder time accessing healthy foods. And compared to the poor of the past, they are far more likely to work in sedentary jobs.

I would like to point out that my great grandparents, grandparents, and parents were all poor folks. In their day, it was easy to find fresh meats and vegetables in their neighborhoods at low cost. Cooking a meal from scratch was far less expensive than purchasing prepared meals, or prepared ingredients. A 10lb bag of chicken wings from the local butcher used to cost way less back in the day than a 2lb bag of Stouffer's Honey Barbecue Wings in the frozen food section costs today.

With this in mind, a few years ago, I started to shop the way my grandmother taught me. Meat from the butcher. Fish from the seafood store. Vegetables from the farmers' market. Bread from the bakery. Toilet paper, toothpaste, flour, and sugar from the grocery store. What I discovered is that such habits are not at all easy to follow in urban areas. Corporate grocery stores have long ago put local food merchants out of business in most American cities. Some cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC have markets where people bring the fresh goods in from both the land and the sea on a daily or weekly basis. 

Now that David and I are living out in the country, its easy to shop at each local provider in turn because they are all located within a 10-mile radius, and we have 2 cars. But what if we were still living in downtown Philadelphia, and had to rely on public transportation? Yes, it would be more difficult to get at fresh food. We would have to plan our weekend activities to make sure we could get to the farmers' markets before they close. We would have to think about what we purchase, how much we purchase, what is in season, what we can carry, etc. But it would indeed be possible for us to eat fresh and healthy if we still lived in Philadelphia. So can the rest of Philadelphia's residents whether they be rich or poor.

When I was a child, nobody I knew went to a gym. We didn't know what a personal trainer was. We didn't have any running or biking trails in da 'hood. Yet somehow, we managed to get out and stay active. Truth be told: I didn't start putting on weight until I got a nice, cushy job at Verizon. When I started in 1994 (it was Bell Atlantic then) I was 29 years old, and weighed 185lbs. When I left in 2003, I weighed 240lbs. I made more than enough money to stay fit via all the modern methods, but I didn't put in the effort. I was healthier when I made $26,000/year than I was when I made $68,000/year.

As far as I'm concerned, economics have absolutely nothing to do with staying healthy for most Americans. I think it s a matter of making the right choices, and being willing to get out there and do what you can do at your income level.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #58 on: June 21, 2012, 05:16:37 pm »
Humans need protein and fat in order to survive. Both can be found in vegetables, but without farming there is no reliable vegetable source for these needs. Besides, farming takes time. Killing a large animal can provide protein and fat for many days, and for many people at once rather quickly. The problem with large animals is that they are stronger, faster, and more dangerous than humans. That means that the strongest, fastest, most dangerous humans needed to form cooperative groups in order to kill large animals on a regular basis.

The amount of protein, let alone fat, in most vegetables is minimal (with the exception of the protein in legumes and the fat in avocados). Vegetables are good for you, obviously, but are not sufficient for a healthy diet. Animal flesh contains lots of protein and fat, and the ability of one's body to turn those calories into stored fat is one factor in Darwin's "fittest" definition -- fat was, throughout most of history, a survival mechanism.

As for large animals, yes, they would provide a fat and protein windfall. But our prehistoric ancestors ate a lot more rabbit and squirrel and maybe even smaller rodents than they did mastadon or saber-tooth tiger.

Farming, of course, came many many millinnea later. Hunter-gather societies, by definition, did little to no farming. They hunted and gathered.

In any case, I don't know what this has to do with the point I was making.



Offline serious crayons

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Re: As women get bigger, models get smaller
« Reply #59 on: June 21, 2012, 05:38:12 pm »
I would like to point out that my great grandparents, grandparents, and parents were all poor folks. In their day, it was easy to find fresh meats and vegetables in their neighborhoods at low cost. Cooking a meal from scratch was far less expensive than purchasing prepared meals, or prepared ingredients. A 10lb bag of chicken wings from the local butcher used to cost way less back in the day than a 2lb bag of Stouffer's Honey Barbecue Wings in the frozen food section costs today.

With this in mind, a few years ago, I started to shop the way my grandmother taught me. Meat from the butcher. Fish from the seafood store. Vegetables from the farmers' market. Bread from the bakery. Toilet paper, toothpaste, flour, and sugar from the grocery store. What I discovered is that such habits are not at all easy to follow in urban areas. Corporate grocery stores have long ago put local food merchants out of business in most American cities. Some cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC have markets where people bring the fresh goods in from both the land and the sea on a daily or weekly basis. 

Now that David and I are living out in the country, its easy to shop at each local provider in turn because they are all located within a 10-mile radius, and we have 2 cars. But what if we were still living in downtown Philadelphia, and had to rely on public transportation? Yes, it would be more difficult to get at fresh food. We would have to plan our weekend activities to make sure we could get to the farmers' markets before they close. We would have to think about what we purchase, how much we purchase, what is in season, what we can carry, etc. But it would indeed be possible for us to eat fresh and healthy if we still lived in Philadelphia. So can the rest of Philadelphia's residents whether they be rich or poor.

When I was a child, nobody I knew went to a gym. We didn't know what a personal trainer was. We didn't have any running or biking trails in da 'hood. Yet somehow, we managed to get out and stay active. Truth be told: I didn't start putting on weight until I got a nice, cushy job at Verizon. When I started in 1994 (it was Bell Atlantic then) I was 29 years old, and weighed 185lbs. When I left in 2003, I weighed 240lbs. I made more than enough money to stay fit via all the modern methods, but I didn't put in the effort. I was healthier when I made $26,000/year than I was when I made $68,000/year.

As far as I'm concerned, economics have absolutely nothing to do with staying healthy for most Americans. I think it s a matter of making the right choices, and being willing to get out there and do what you can do at your income level.

Yes, these are among the factors I was referring to when I mentioned "a bunch of other trends in postwar society." Those trends affect not just our eating habits but the content of our foods, the size of our portions, our levels of activity, etc. It's very complex.

I lived in Manhattan for a year, no car. Shopping and carrying home the groceries was a hassle, but I was only shopping for two. I live in a city now, and have a car. With two teenage boys, I'm at the grocery store twice a week, filling my trunk with food -- way more than I could carry on a subway or bus. I'm not sure what I would do if I had to rely on public transportation to feed a whole family. Especially after a long day at work, the McDonald's near the bus stop would start to look pretty appealing.

In your great-grandparents', grandparents' and maybe even parents' day, da 'hood was much more filled with middle-class merchants. After the 1960s, many of those folks started moving into middle-class neighborhoods from which they'd previously been barred. Which left a hole in the supply of neighborhood butchers, greengrocers, fish mongers, etc.

Also, you realize that the difference between poor people's nutrition and rich people's nutrition has to do partly with culture and education, right? As someone who has read and written about food all my life, I can tell you how to make inexpensive meals out of legumes and cheaper vegetables and cheaper cuts of meat. But how many poor people sit around reading Cooking Light? And Jennifer Hudson, a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers, has said that growing up poor (before she got famous and lost weight), she never "knew" she was heavy because nobody would have ever considered her such. Yes, of course, a resourceful and determined and knowledgable ghetto-dweller can certainly find ways to cook healthy and exercise; sociologically speaking, that's just less likely to happen.

I'm not saying you can't get healthy if you're poor, or that you automatically do get healthy if you're rich. Rich and poor are subject to some of the same cultural influences, as well as human nature.

What I'm saying is that economic level makes a difference in the likelihood of your being overweight, and that has been a cultural transformation over the past 50 years or so. If you don't think so, I'm sorry, but you're just incorrect.