The size debate: standards of beauty

I don't really follow Simpson's career regularly (I didn't know she was pregnant till recently), but she's definitely one of the most publically ridiculed women in the spotlight I'm aware of. I cannot believe the sh*t people are saying about her publically during her pregnancy. Absolutely beyond the pale.

Roommate got fired from the ballet for not being rail skinny. Ug.

Ms. Simpson looks robustly healthy, probably just about ideal weight for childbearing. She's not even that heavy... her face remains lovely.

It must be youngsters who just don't understand pregnancy that are being such assholes.

Seth wrote:

I don't really follow Simpson's career regularly (I didn't know she was pregnant till recently), but she's definitely one of the most publically ridiculed women in the spotlight I'm aware of. I cannot believe the sh*t people are saying about her publically during her pregnancy. Absolutely beyond the pale.

They said the same stuff when she wasn't pregnant. She's been raked through the coals her whole career. It doesn't help that she says stupid things from time to time.

boogle wrote:

Roommate got fired from the ballet for not being rail skinny. Ug.

F-ed up.

Malor wrote:

Ms. Simpson looks robustly healthy, probably just about ideal weight for childbearing. She's not even that heavy... her face remains lovely.

It must be youngsters who just don't understand pregnancy that are being such assholes.

That was pretty much what I thought, that she looked damn hot as a heavily pregnant woman.

I still think she still looks like what's going on in her head amounts to "duuuuuuuuuuuuuuh, ooh, like wow! duuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhh..." so I'm still not interested.

The writer at Jezebel she's advocating how great it was to gain 80lbs during her pregnancy, because...

I say that pregnancy should be a time of situational obesity, akin to situational alcoholism in college.

This seems to imply that alcoholism (in college or otherwise) is normal. Looks like she's stuck in situational dumb, except it just won't end.

I read it as hyperbole. "Alcoholism" was a poor word choice obviously, but it's hard to claim that excessive drinking in college isn't considered normal by a lot of people.

muttonchop wrote:

I read it as hyperbole. "Alcoholism" was a poor word choice obviously, but it's hard to claim that excessive drinking in college isn't considered normal by a lot of people.

Sure, but that doesn't mean either "normal" situation should be considered healthy.

I have no clue what healthy pregnancy weight is though, I just think that analogy was awful.

SixteenBlue wrote:
muttonchop wrote:

I read it as hyperbole. "Alcoholism" was a poor word choice obviously, but it's hard to claim that excessive drinking in college isn't considered normal by a lot of people.

Sure, but that doesn't mean either "normal" situation should be considered healthy.

I have no clue what healthy pregnancy weight is though, I just think that analogy was awful.

She never claimed that it was healthy.

Yeah, it's probably not the healthiest way to be and there are certainly some risks involved and you certainly have to deal with the fallout (I'm still struggling to lose the baby weight, six months later), but it's a cathartic experience that could arguably make you a better, happier person.

Fair enough then.

Well, there's "normal", and then there is "new normal", as in statistical normal distribution of the body weights in the population. That type of "new normal" person looks "normal" in the sense that 80% of people around him/her look more or less the same -- with just 10% looking more fit, and 10% looking even more obese. It doesn't mean that the standard associated with "normal normal" is somehow "unrealistic" and therefore wrong. It's the same thing to say that not smoking in mid-XX-century, when close to 70% population smoked, was "unrealistic".

Gestational Diabetes is the most pressing risk, but there are some other (arguably minor) ones like heartburn, constipation, etc. Generally, a 30-50 pound weight gain is considered "normal".

EDIT: perhaps "healthy" is a better term in this case.

I have a question. At what point are we ready to admit that large, small, thin or robust, we are still focussing on a woman's looks? We are not exactly quibbling over a anything other than a larger woman should be just as objectified as a thinner woman, am I wrong?

KingGorilla wrote:

I have a question. At what point are we ready to admit that large, small, thin or robust, we are still focussing on a woman's looks? We are not exactly quibbling over a anything other than a larger woman should be just as objectified as a thinner woman, am I wrong?

Finding someone attractive and admitting they're attractive isn't the same thing as objectifying. I think there's been an assumption in this thread that everything is staying in the healthy/respectful vein.

KingGorilla wrote:

I have a question. At what point are we ready to admit that large, small, thin or robust, we are still focussing on a woman's looks? We are not exactly quibbling over a anything other than a larger woman should be just as objectified as a thinner woman, am I wrong?

In the case of a conversation about how sh*tty it is for Jessica Simpson to cop so much flak for putting on some baby pounds, we are absolutely focusing on how she looks. That's the topic of that conversation.

KingGorilla wrote:

I have a question. At what point are we ready to admit that large, small, thin or robust, we are still focussing on a woman's looks? We are not exactly quibbling over a anything other than a larger woman should be just as objectified as a thinner woman, am I wrong?

In the case of a conversation about how sh*tty it is for Jessica Simpson to cop so much flak for putting on some baby pounds, we are absolutely focusing on how she looks. That's the topic of that conversation.

Jonman wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

I have a question. At what point are we ready to admit that large, small, thin or robust, we are still focussing on a woman's looks? We are not exactly quibbling over a anything other than a larger woman should be just as objectified as a thinner woman, am I wrong?

In the case of a conversation about how sh*tty it is for Jessica Simpson to cop so much flak for putting on some baby pounds, we are absolutely focusing on how she looks. That's the topic of that conversation.

I'd say that within this thread we're focusing less on how she looks, and more on how other people are treating her for how she looks. The important issue isn't whether she should be considered beautiful, but whether other people should openly mock and criticize her for not meeting their standards.

Jessica Simpson is reported to already have a multi-million dollar contract with weight watchers to lose the baby weight and be a spokesperson. Got to get fat before you get paid for getting thin. And she's going to make big bucks out of the idea that being fat is bad.

When I look at pregnant women, my first instinct is to judge their weight according to how it'll affect my ability to do an epidural tap. Next concern is how badly their neck fat will obstruct their breathing during GA. Anything beyond that is bonus.

Yes, I am a terrible, shallow person.

LarryC wrote:

When I look at pregnant women, my first instinct is to judge their weight according to how it'll affect my ability to do an epidural tap. Next concern is how badly their neck fat will obstruct their breathing during GA. Anything beyond that is bonus.

Yes, I am a terrible, shallow person.

From my Nurse Aenesthitist mother "I don't know when people start getting obese, but I care when I have to use an intern to hold their head while I use the laryngoscope"

My wife the NP said she was very happy to get out of general practice because rolling obese patients so they wouldn't get bedsores absolutely destroyed her back.

"They see me rollin'"...

Re Jessica Simpson: the public understandably focuses on her weight is due to her prior status as a poptart and sex symbol and whatnot. She made money in business where looks are everything. It's reasonable that her looks are kind of being scrutinized.

(Not that I care. I didn't know she was pregnant until reading this thread.)

This is relevant to our interests.

Ashley Judd, super-fan of the Totes Best College Sports Team Ever, puts the smack down. Hard.

Is it even possible to change what one finds attractive? I thought that was hardwired in the brain? If it is alterable, how do we do that? If it isn't why do we try to push people into a category that few seem to find attractive?

rosenhane wrote:

Is it even possible to change what one finds attractive? I thought that was hardwired in the brain? If it is alterable, how do we do that? If it isn't why do we try to push people into a category that few seem to find attractive?

Given that attractiveness is almost wholly cultural, I would disagree with the hardwired part. Example: Mauritania, where girls are force fed until they vomit because large women are the pinnacle of beauty there.

As Judd points out in her extremely insightful article, part of the issue is that we are still - as enlightened as we claim to be - assigning an objective definition ("hot" or "not") to a woman we don't know. Moving the goalposts to include heavy girls doesn't change that. (Yes, this realization is new to me. Sorry for being late to the party). She also points out that this happens to men, but it's fair to point out the difference is font size 4 and 400, in terms of how loud the message is.

rosenhane wrote:

Is it even possible to change what one finds attractive? I thought that was hardwired in the brain? If it is alterable, how do we do that? If it isn't why do we try to push people into a category that few seem to find attractive?

Dunno about you, but what I've found attractive has changed all by itself as I've aged and changed.

Furthermore, I think that the idea of what you find attractive being 'hardwired' is oversimplification to the point of uselessness. Attraction ain't that simple. What determines whether you're attracted to a given person is such a giant multivariable mess that we can barely understand why we're attracted to what we are ourselves, let alone for everyone else.

As an example, have you ever met someone who you really weren't attracted to upon first meeting, but the more you got to know them, the more attracted to them you became? I sure have. I married her.

The more people who think Ashley Judd is fat or ugly ups my chances of getting her, right? RIGHT!?

KingGorilla wrote:

The more people who think Ashley Judd is fat or ugly ups my chances of getting her, right? RIGHT!?

Not if I get her first!

Seriously though, bravo to the good write-up on her part.