Thursday, January 08, 2009

And now for the good news...

"Having a Big ol' Womanly Ass May Be Good for Your Health, Study Finds"*
(*possibly not the actual wording of the article title)

Rejoice, fellow fat-bottomed girls!

I was bemoaning that little bit of extra Christmas podge in the mirror only last night, but this morning I came across this cheering article which throws hip and buttock fat into a new, far more flattering light. It also served as a blindingly brilliant reminder of why Freddie Mercury totally rocked.

I have been waiting patiently for the chance to have a good old rant about how the media has become increasingly obsessed with youth n' beauty - to a disturbing extreme - in my lifetime. Watching programmes and films from the seventies, the first thing you notice is how frickin' normal everybody looks. Seen through the spectacles of noughties perfectionism, everybody looks strangely frumpy and poorly dressed, with bad skin - until you remember that actually, that's how most people look in the real world. Off-screen life ain't pretty, at least not without a major effort (for the vast majority of us). Before digital manipulation and botox became the norm - in Hollywood at least - adults actually looked like adults; not like the most beautiful kids at your high school.

When did we reach that point where media saturation reached critical mass and became the standard by which we judge reality? Was it the rampant one-upmanship of the eighties? The self-obsessed nineties? Or could it be the current digital era of Myspace profiles, celebrity stalking, and Photoshop?

I feel like we all need a media-detox to get a grip back on reality. Imagine a nation-wide week where there was no TV, no magazines, no posters, no ads, no internet, no images anywhere - just other people, in all their messy, crumpled, ageing, lumpy, wonderful, diverse glory.

I have been watching old episodes of Two Fat Ladies recently, an old-school English cooking programme which feels like it is from a time before women on television had to be eternally youthful goddesses - but which actually aired in the late nineties.

There is hope after all!

Here were two women who were overweight, middle-to-late aged - Jennifer was in her sixties when the show was filmed - and from incredibly posh backgrounds. They were also eccentric, comical, rebellious, defiantly un-PC and a joy to watch. Each episode featured the two of them zooming around Great Britain in their motorbike and side-car, pitching up at various picturesque locations and cooking lovely old-fashioned meals for the benefit of various groups including a Boy Scout troop in Northumberland; a Welsh Men's Choir in Llandudno; and a lacrosse team in Cornwall.

A toast to those two glorious ladies who didn't give a fig what anyone thought of them, and to all those who would rather read a good book than go on a diet; and a big fat butt slap to vacuous celebrity worship. I'm off to tuck into some seriously rich Borough Market brownie. All in the name of butt-reinforcement.

* * * *

Please note, I hope this little rant doesn't preclude me from appreciating the beauty of certain blokes on occassion - it's just that I feel judging people by their outward appearance shouldn't become our default position, and should instead have a clearly defined place within a much more diverse context. There's swooning at the latest Hollywood star; and then there's firing a 37 year old TV presenter for being too old.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Here here! (or is it "hear hear"?)

I like to believe that fat-bottomed girls make the rockin' world go round. Makes me feel better! Even when I was slimmer (like, size 10, sometimes 8) I remember my but and, uh, chest, were still quite full. So I guess I'm just stuck with a big butt! Hm, maybe I should find me a Sir Mixalot...

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