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Fri, May. 13th, 2005, 02:29 pm
Questions for all the readers

1. Body image -- tell me how you feel about it. Both your personal image, other people's views, and/or the concept itself.

2. Eugenics (the theory of stemming population growth to solve hunger, poverty, etc). Feelings on if that works, how it would, why do you personally like it, etc.

3. Obesity -- disease, genetic, or just a personal problem?

I'm working on a solo performance piece, and I'm interested in these issues. I may use your words personally in the play, and if I do, I'll be sure to ask your permission. But in general, I just find it an interesting discussion, so DISCUSS!

Sat, May. 14th, 2005 01:04 am (UTC)

1. Body image is part of self-perception. If I had had a different body, I would have had a different body image. I would have thought of myself differently (not necessarily better, just differently); others would have interacted with me differently, both based on my body and my projected self-perception...... We are who we are. I don't know if I'd trade what I have (or don't have) if it would change who I am.

I think it's possible to find yourself beautiful and sexy, though I don't know if I've met many people who do....

2. Eugenics is retarded. The whole point of sexual reproduction is to increase genetic variety. Someday it might be all the ugly, stupid people who are the most successful. Who are we to judge? But if you're just talking population reduction.... As pleasant as it would be at first, people are still people are still people... We'll be selfish fuckups no matter how many of us there are. There is no new beginning. There is no way to eliminate suffering. Forcibly sterilizing people is an insult to human rights; take that as you will. Whoever decides who breeds or not is bound to be misguided. And what if a meteor hits the earth tomorrow? Fuck it. Let's live it up while we can. We could be crawling over each other, eating the dead, more of a plague upon the earth than we already are... And still be as comic and tragic as we ever have been. Kill the many so the few may have spacious lawns... Why the hell not? I'd volunteer to have all my reproductive organs gored out.

3. Obesity: Nature and nurture both, I'm sure. Ideally, people would be able to consciously decide whether or not they give a fuck about their weight. If it's a mental illness, an obsession with overeating that's disturbing to the person, then it's sad. If it's due to circumstance (habits formed when young, poverty), then that's also troubling. If it's a personal choice, then rock out. No worse than drugs.

Sat, May. 14th, 2005 03:43 am (UTC)
mgafm: longggg

1. I hate the modern world and it's obsession with thinness. I've lost 50 friggin' pounds and still feel like the biggest cow in the universe if I put on a pound or two. I like to tell myself that I am happy at my weight, but if someone came to me tomorrow and said I could way 120 pounds forever if I sold my soul, I'd be like... Where the hell do I sign? It's not that I think I'm ugly, I'm really quite conceited. I like to look at my face in the mirror, I love my hair, I like my skin, I even like the general shape of my body, but the minute I start to critique it I see fat rolls and flab and blargh, all of which are exaggerated in my head. And I know that and I still just want to peel the flesh from my bones.


So... yeah.

And the thing is, I know that my body image has affected my behavior in a negative way. I know that if I could look at myself and see me as genuinely okay looking, I'd be more positive and I'd be more involved in things. But, like I said, 50 lbs later and it hasn't changed. You can take the fat out of the girl, but she'll always be fat in her head.

The weirdest thing is when people try to tell me I'm pretty or when my boyfriend tells me I'm sexy or looks at me. I'm always thinking "He's looking at my thighs, they're all gross or he's looking at my tummy, I must suck it in. Oh god I am so hideous, why is he lying to me?!!?"

2. I'm not saying kill all the people, I'm just thinking... make sterilization and abortions and the right to die all options that we can choose without having to pay exhorbitant amounts of money. teach safe sex. and Kill the Fundamentalists, because that's the only way any of the other stuff will happen. Population problem gone! But don't kill all of the poor people, or the stupid people, or this or that race, because if nothing else we need people to take advantage of their labor, because we don't wanna work in the fields.

3. A little of each. It's a serious psychological problem for a lot of people, and while some might argue that that makes it a personal problem, it's also a deep societal issue that needs to be examined with a lot less disgust and a lot more reason that it seems to have been. Maybe instead of focusing on how to make these people skinny, we should figure out why they are all overweight in the first place. I mean, our culture is such a Super Sized, Quantity over Quality, Bigger is Better kind of place that of course we want to eat more. And no one wants to exercise. So even people who don't have eating disorders get big. And then there are the people (like me) who eat because it makes them feel better, both emotionally and physically. Because of various things I've gone through, food is a comfort for me. I like my carbs. Woot. But I also have thyroid condition which makes me metabolize slowly and suffer from low blood sugar levels. So what happens, when I eat not only is it a psychological comfort my body also goes hooray we feel so much better now. It's totally dumb. Which is why being anorexic for like a month was so cool. Because my body got so confused. *sigh* I also think that there's a big question of parental involvement and responsibility. Because my parents were major dicks about my weight but they never bothered to see if there was something more to it than me not eating perfectly. *shakes head* It's healthier to be slightly overweight. But to be honest, fatness disgusts me. Like makes me want to vomit disgusts me. You usually have to be pretty fat to cause that reaction in me. People who are slightly heavy, like I was, I generally don't even think of as overweight. I think that people can be attractive and somewhat heavy. It's just that I think thinness is attractiver... because i like anime and because there's something about taut skin with no developed muscle or major fat deposits beneath that is really pretty.

So kiss my big fat ass that I hate with all my heart. I guess.

Sat, May. 14th, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC)

I may have an uncommon perspective on this, being a male medical student who used to be really skinny and is gaining weight, but here goes ...

1. Yeah, again, all part of culture. Back in the day, more robust women were considered attractive. Heck, even in the '50s, attractive didn't mean super-thin. Look at Marilyn Monroe.
My personal body image is kinda weird. Being a guy, it doesn't matter as much to me as it seems to matter to women, but I do still care about it. I used to be super-skinny, and I was pretty self-conscious about it (less so when Ashley told me she found it attractive). This past year, I've gained 15 pounds or so, but unfortunately, it's almost all in my gut. That feels even worse, since I can point to a part of my body and say, "Yuck." Need to work on that, but it takes effort, and ... meh.
And Ashley, you are very attractive. I'd never lie to you about that. I also consider Nicol attractive, and I say that knowing full well there may be consequences.

2. I'm in favor of getting rid of all the stupid people, but then we wouldn't have very many people left, and it might be harder for me to entertain myself.

3. All of the above and more. There are diseases associated with eating, and also with body image (eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, etc.). There are also genes that make people keep on weight better, have slower metabolisms, and the like. But these genes didn't magically become super-powerful in the past decade, so they clearly aren't the only problem.
Also a personal problem, though more a cultural problem -- Americans are fat, and places that adopt American culture are getting fat, too. Ashley wrote, "Maybe instead of focusing on how to make these people skinny, we should figure out why they are all overweight in the first place." Not gonna happen in America. In addition to being 'bigger is better,' we're very much 'treatment, not prevention.' We spend way more on healthcare than other industrialized nations do, yet our health is only as good, if not worse, than theirs. They focus on preventing problems -- they don't have terrible diets, they exercise, etc. In America, it's more "eat as much crap as you want and never exercise, and then surgery will fix you." You can't even get some of those surgeries in other countries, because there, it's your own damn fault if you weigh 500 pounds. Here, you weigh 500 pounds because you embody the American way.

In summary, we suck.
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Sat, May. 14th, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)

I do have it pretty damn easy in that, outwardly, my body fits the trend. Given the proper clothing, it fits the trend. It's given me all different sorts of neuroses because up close, I think my body is... malformed. So every time I dress to be attractive, I feel like I'm lying to people. 'You may think I'm sexy, but you would be so horrified if you only knew...' Not run-screaming horrified, but no-longer-wanting-to-fuck-me grossed out. So I don't try to appear sexy because I feel unsexy and don't want to cope with the tension betwixt. But as far as everyday living goes... I can do 'pretty' very easily. Utterly unremarkable. My body suits my lifestyle in that respect (but which came first, the chicken or the...?).

I also have skinny bitch guilt. I have a super high metabolism. I get HUNGRY. So there I am stuffing my face and not gaining any weight while my friends angst over diets. Not my fault, I know, but... Sorry, guys. :-/

It also bugs me that while I know that your body shape is not in style, Nicol, you know and I know that you are highly attractive. Last time I saw you, you had a perfect (though compact) hourglass figure! And what bothers me most is that, in your profession, you would be more likely to be successful if you could just stretch yourself seven inches: smooth out the bust and waist and hips. But your body wasn't built that way and it is beautiful as-is, and it's a crying shame that social consciousness has to be so goddamn retarded. Take England. That horrible trend of the tight shirts and hip-huggers. It looked absolutely DISGUSTING, but people were Brainwashing Themselves into finding it attractive!!!!!!!
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