Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Fat Warp Essays Introduction

Picture of Angelina Jolie taken from this site.
Our culture's "appropriate" appearance images have been with us since the invention of reflection: painting, the mirror, the camera, the moving image. The current accepted "look" evolved from "Hollywood" beauty and glamor which molded the body image to its current distortions of thinness and fitness. We have allowed images in the media to oppress us. Corporations have kept us unsettled in guilt so we need their products and they make money. Our attempt to look "thin and young and beautiful" has been a national sickness for decades. Our obsession with the perfect face and body has actually fostered rebellious obesity, sexism and elitist, classist arrogance amongst men and women. Such images have proven dire, exacerbating anorexia, bulimia, and monstrous body and face distortions from excessive surgeries and use of cosmetic fillers to (dare we say it), gender-bending confusions. Indeed, what is wrong is within. The masks of our appearance hide the psychological and emotional ills that fester inside. Despite our attempts to mold our bodies and faces to the fascist "master race beauty" sex ethos to feel "better," we still hurt and are never satisfied. We have become toxic. We have moved farther from our own true selves and have corrupted our interactions with others.  How can we free ourselves from cultural appearance images and create our own style that moves beyond all this and allows us to see an individual's soul or know our own? Is it possible?

See these related articles:
 Body Image Fears: Girls as Young as Seven Go On a Diet
I'm Very Insecure About My Looks After Receiving Abuse on Social Media
Thinspiration Blog...one example...there are many
Experts: Weight Loss Surgery; Not an Easy Way Out

Photo taken from this site
In the interest of mining for truth from the fictions that surround us, I've decided to write a series of essays which are in no apparent order, just designed in the moment, for the moment. The series of posts entitled "The Fat Warp Essays" demonstrate skewed cultural notions about health, obesity, wellness and sexuality. Some posts reflect the damaging attitudes internalized from the fascist cultural appearance concepts. Other discuss how individuals try to escape the pain and fear of not "fitting in" through rebellion or self-hating acceptance. The essays gradually highlight how the damage of these cultural images impacts the young and old, males and females. The essays get behind the sick overarching need to be excessively thin, forever young, fit, surgically perfect. The posts also peer under the rebellion against "perfection:" fat folks have unconsciously moved into obesity out of rebellion. Others rebel with an "I don't care," slob look (an example for guys is to be unshaven and redolent... "disgusting chic"). Such rebellion indicates anger, frustration and annoyance at the false, the condemnatory and the superficial obsession with appearance. Such rebellion cries out "LOOK AT ME, I'M DIFFERENT." The rebellion is also a cry that "enough is enough."

The rebellious select a path to cope that is as self-damaging as those who internalize appearance images in self-hating, skinny acceptance. Since when is loving oneself and one's heritage demonstrated by cutting, poking, prodding or starving every part of one's body to "look good" by another's standards? It is no wonder that those who have had excessive surgeries and fillers look weird and malformed. The fat and the skinny-fit of our culture are in misery about being fat, fit or skinny. They are continually obsessing about it. This is their story. Is it yours?

Anorexia Blogs Nearly Killed Me
Thinspiration on Instagram: Pro-Anorexia Community Persists
Obesity Society website
Obesity in the US Adult Rates, 2014
Plastic Surgery procedures in 2013

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