05w24:2 Body Issues

by timothy. 1 Comment

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 24 number 2 (body issues)


The weird and wonderful dieting advice of Karl Lagerfeld | Amanda Fortini
“Four years ago, when the couturier Karl Lagerfeld dropped 92 pounds in 13 months, a public obsessed with the vicissitudes of celebrity weight took notice. […]Never one to miss a lucrative opportunity, Lagerfeld, who has designed for Chanel since 1983, codified his diet secrets in book form. Since its 2004 publication, The Karl Lagerfeld Diet has sold nearly 200,000 copies in Europe and Asia, and last month it was released in America. Not that you would know. […]Perhaps most alien, and potentially alienating, is the book’s unapologetic emphasis on appearance. Lagerfeld repeatedly states that fashion, specifically the desire to wear the superslim fashions of the aptly named Hedi Slimane (who designs for Dior Homme), motivated him. When discussing their belief in the importance of one’s exterior, Lagerfeld and Houdret, clearly a like-minded pair, don’t mince words. ‘In order to have a place in society,’ Houdret writes, ‘both men and women have to be active, good looking and above all young?and therefore slim.’ Lagerfeld, ever extenuatory, puts it more concisely: ‘A respectable appearance is sufficient to make people more interested in your soul.'”

Beauty and the Beast | Matt Feeney
“It’s a family sitcom tradition that spouses are ill-matched looks-wise, but until recently, the mismatch has usually consisted of a beautiful actress, whose glamour is partly obscured behind the clutter of everyday life, and a comparatively plain actor. Think golden-haired Meredith Baxter Birney and undistinguished Michael Gross on Family Ties or dishy Suzanne Pleshette and the comically featureless Bob Newhart in the original Bob Newhart Show. In these sitcom marriages, the husband was at least shown to compensate for his obvious lack of studliness by being what Tony Soprano would call a good earner?or at the very least a mensch. In the current sitcom lineup, by contrast, several shows pair extremely attractive women, who are often clad in plunging tops and tight jeans suitable for a Maxim photo spread, with TV husbands who are not only not studly, but downright fat, and a couple who are not only not mensches, but are ugly on the inside, too.”

The Big Picture 33 | R.M. Vaughan
“Apart from being a load of goofy (and kinda hot) frat stunt fun, Zits’s restaging of Klein’s experiments resonates with a media-saturated awareness of the male body as both an object and the focus of objectification. The collages are gorgeous representations of conflicted appetites and conflicted self-image. The contrast between the silhouettes left behind by Zits’s models (round and lumpy, like real people) and the pictures of hyper-fit, over groomed men culled from magazines – images of masculinity chosen by men who look nothing like this exaggerated ideal – is both revealing and appalling. There is no small amount of self-hatred, or at least dismorphia, evident in this division between the actual and the desired.”

Navel Gazing | Laura Kipnis
“One problem with this brand of global feminism is how closely it resembles narcissism on a global scale: Women everywhere mirror me. Instead, Ensler should have interviewed a few anthropologists since according to Kulick and Meneley’s Fat, bodily attributes like pot bellies actually have entirely different cross-cultural meanings. Fat connotes very different things in different cultures or in subcultures like fat activism, gay male chubby-chasers, and hip hop. Fat may be a worldwide phenomenon – and increasingly so – but not everyone is neurotic about it, or they’re not neurotic in the same way. Take the chapter by anthropologist Rebecca Popenoe, based on her fieldwork among desert Arabs in Niger. […] 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. […] Of course, masculinity has always been afflicted with its own bodily anxieties; it just compensates for them differently (or overcompensates). […]Only feminism-for-dummies defines body pathologies as a female franchise alone, especially since that just buttresses the illusion of masculine invulnerability all over again – traditional femininity via the back door.”

To remove or add yourself to this list, go here

emailed by Timothy on Tuesday 14 June 2005 @ 6:48 PM

One Response to 05w24:2 Body Issues

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *