Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm So Irritated I Can't Even Think of A Proper Title

Skinny.

When did this word become a compliment? Do you know what the actual definition of it is? According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of 'skinny' is as follows:

1: resembling skin : membranous
2 a : lacking sufficient flesh : very thin : emaciated
   b : lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities, or significance 

And what do people say when someone tells them, "You look so skinny!"? 

"Thank you!"

W.T.F.

Go back and read the definition. It should be considered an insult. But society's idea of health and beauty is (I'm sorry but I need to use this word in order to express how emphatically I feel about the subject)...fucked up...and we have turned that word into a compliment. A compliment. Why? Would it be complimentary for someone to say, "You're looking so emaciated these days!" or "You really lack desirable bulk and significance!" No. Something's gotta change, people. 

I'm a little late to the party on the whole Mike Jeffries/Abercrombie & Fitch ordeal, but I do not have the self-restraint to let this topic go unaddressed nor will I be able to make it through this entire post without saying that I think he is a shithead who has obviously had all the mirrors in his home removed so I might as well just get it out of the way right now. (If you haven't seen a picture of him, just Google it.)

Surely you've heard the story by now, but if not there's a lot of talk going on about him saying that the reason his store doesn't carry anything over a size 12 is because (direct quote from him) “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong."

So, if you're bigger than a size 12 you can't be cool or popular? You can't have a great attitude and a lot of friends? You can't "belong"? Nice message, asshole. 

His mentality is the reason there is an epidemic of eating disorders and mental health issues related to body image in this country. 

I'm pissed. I'm pissed that he's sending this message to our kids and I'm pissed that I thought the clothes were cute and I bought some things for my kids at the beginning of the school year that were on clearance because like hell I'm going to pay twenty-nine bucks for a t-shirt and then they got gift cards at Christmas and now I feel like I have to go through their closets and get rid of all that shit. Thanks for the waste of time and money, Mike. Next time how 'bout you just keep your pie hole shut. Like, plead the fifth or something when asked about...well, anything. Jerk.

I have a daughter. I don't want her growing up to believe that she's only attractive if she's ultra thin. I don't want her yo-yo dieting or starving herself to achieve some idealistic image that compromises her health and destroys her self-confidence. I don't want her to be skinny. Healthy? Of course. Strong? Yes. Confident? Absolutely. I want so many things for her, but "skinny" is not one of them.

And you know what? I don't want my son to think that's what makes a girl or woman beautiful, either. Because one day he's probably going to bring a girl home that he wants to marry and I sure as hell hope he bases his decision more on character than what size jeans she wears. Because I'm gonna have to live with that decision, too. Lord help me.

I came across a quote about a year ago that is so incredibly accurate on how I feel about this subject. I only have one daughter, but this is exactly how I feel. 

"I've got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don't want them to be empty headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I'd rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny - a thousand things before 'thin'. And frankly, I'd rather they didn't give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons."
 -J.K. Rowling 

Right on, J.K. Right on. 





22 comments:

  1. There will forever be people who value weight, shape, and size over the important things. However, it is shocking that a company would look at that crazy man and think he's a good leader for their organization.

    My hope is that my daughter will be able to recognize shallow, narrow-minded dipshits like Jeffries, and laugh in their faces.

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    1. I hope for the same thing. I'm pretty sure my daughter will have the "laugh in the face" thing down, I just hope she can also let the comments people like him make roll of her back while she's laughing.

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  2. This article infuriated me! They always say, "no press is bad press." I'm really hoping this is bad press. Like "shut the effers down" press.

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  3. I don't know if this is true in all parts of the country, but growing up in the South, if someone said, "She's a healthy gal." That meant she was fat. How crazy is that?

    I say a grown man with cheek implants, veneers, and lip augmentation (just to name the obvious) doesn't "belong" in a position where he influences the attractiveness standards for anyone. That dude is a major creeper.

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    1. Yeah - I'm from the south and I've heard people say that a LOT. So back asswards.

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  4. Amen!!!! God bless you! Sharing!
    http://www.iris-hanlin.com

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  5. Ok...so long story short...I am 70 lbs lighter since high school...and it was literally painful that I could not wear A&F clothing like my friends could. And why is that?? I look back now and realize why was it such a big deal? Strong is the healthy way..LOVE this post...100% agree!

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    1. Wow, Brianne! That's amazing. Good for you! I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I had no idea this company was so shallow. I should have had a clue, but I tend to be naive like that.

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  6. I keep trying to preach that 'Strong is the new Skinny' as an effort to rid people of thinking skinny is ok....Skinny is just that...skinny. Most people who are simply skinny cannot function to their fullest capabilities because they are not strong enough to do so. Love this post.

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  7. Sometimes I've got nothing to add except lots of clapping and wooting. Preach, sister.

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  8. We are just catching up on posts but this is a good one with valid points. Doesn't anyone like healthy anymore?

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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    1. I thought so, but apparently "waifly" is more popular than I realized. *sigh*

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  9. HERE IT IS! After days of racking (wrecking?) my brain trying to remember where this post was, I have found you. Of course, I wanted to reference you back in a previous post, but at least now I know I am not crazy and this post DOES exist. I was starting to question my sanity. I googled "I'm so pissed off I can't think of a title". Same idea, but google didn't bite.
    Anyways, I am bookmarking it right. now.

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  10. I am totally with you. I don't have daughters but I hate the message that this sends/perpetuates within society as a whole - (1) that looks equals cool equals better and (2) that "cool" is something that can objectively be measured. We are all inherently beautiful and awesomely "cool."

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    1. Exactly, Christine. "Cool" is unique to each individual. And who CARES what size you wear? So. Shallow.

      Thanks for reading!

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