Our regular contributor and visiting fellow Cathy Seipp has a fabulous take on the “Fat Pride” movement on the IWF home page. Her hook is Mo’nique, the seal-size “Parkers” star who’s about to inaugurate “Mo’nique’s Fat Chance,” a beauty show for supersize-me women like herself on Oprah’s Oxygen Network.
“It may be true that, as Mo’nique points out, an active fat woman is healthier than a sedentary thin one. But unfortunately, most people in this country aren’t active at all. Mo’nique and the Oxygen team like to say that ‘this show is about empowerment.’ (Oxygen programming is always about empowerment, which assumes women are naturally weak, but that’s another story.) But wouldn’t it be more empowering — even though (in fact, because) it’s very hard — to face facts and then do something about it?
“This is not the age we live in, though. A few weeks ago I came across an old World War I poster that announced, ‘Deny Yourself Something: Eat less of the food fighters need.’ Deny yourself something. What a curious and forgotten concept. The poster might as well have been 1000 years old instead of less than 100, so bizarre was its message to modern eyes….
“Fat pride activists never want to hear about any of that, though. Last year they even began protesting when Medicare announced it would begin paying for obesity treatments, which you might think even those opposed to nanny-state meddling might consider a good idea. Why not pay a little more in prevention now, if that would cut huge bills for obesity-related problems later?”
There’s even more on this topic (along with a photo of Mo’nique) at Cathy’s own highly entertaining L.A.-based blog, Cathy’s World–which happens to be one of the few personal-diary blogs on the planet that’s worth reading because it’s not a solipsistic snooze (“And then I bought a pair of those really cute shoes even though I’m already way over my credit limit–but I just had to buy them, and my boyfriend says…”).
I’m proud to say that Cathy also links to my post yesterday about Meghan Daum’s thumb-sucking feminista take (as I saw it) on those Dove “Real Beauty” ads featuring bra-and-panties-clad women who aren’t quite as chunky as Mo’nique but seem to be getting there. (See “Meghan Daum?s Beauty Myth,” Aug. 3.) Cathy actually likes Meghan’s piece–which goes to show that we conservative women, unlike our liberal sisters, don’t demand ideological conformity on every issue. And just for balance, Cathy links to this post by “Advice Goddess” Amy Alkon, who feels the same way I do about having to look at chubby amateurs in their underwear instead of glamorous professional models:
“‘It is our belief that beauty comes in different shapes, sizes and ages,” said Philippe Harousseau, Dove’s marketing director on the ‘Campaign for Real Beauty.’ ‘Our mission is to make more women feel beautiful every day by broadening the definition of beauty.”
“Oh, please. It is your belief that you’ll keep your job a whole lot longer if you move product — or, for starters, get a bunch of free PR by putting a bunch of overweight women in your ads. And guess what: If you thought Satan would move soap, he’d be in your ads, too, with his draggy a– hanging out of his skivvies for all the world to see. You know, if I want to see a herd of young women who are out of shape, all I have to do is fly home to America and open my eyes. If I’m buying a magazine or staring at your dumb billboard, I’d like to be rewarded with a look at the extraordinarly beautiful ones, ‘kay?”