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body image

Marge Playboy girl

This is all over the news lately.  Or at least, on the Interweb.  Here is the part that made me laugh out loud:

New CEO Scott Flanders says the idea is to attract readers in their 20s to a magazine where the average reader’s age is 35…

So, let me get this straight: the 20-something male would 1) prefer to see a cartoon character naked 2) they would want to see a middle-aged cartoon character naked 3) they have otherwise NO options to see a cartoon character naked.


I googled by typing in “Manga girls” and I was inundated with tons of images I don’t want my boys to see.  Care to imagine if I had used more specific key words?

manga girl

And say what you may, Jessica Rabbit is still the sexist female character, EVA.  (Where’s Kanye West when you need him?!)

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Scene 1:

There is this new website, People of Walmart, that’s gaining the buzz.  (Heck, even The Bloggess mentioned them as “shit-I-didn’t-write-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome” for this week…)

(Note: also wrote about it on August 31, 2009, the day after this post was originally published.)

Here is one of the most excellent specimen, in all its glory:


(Do check out the guy’s YouTube site as advertised on the back of his jacket…  Did I? Of course!)

Like a guilty pleasure and inexplicable obsession, I gawk at the pictures on a daily basis ever since I was alerted to its existence, shaking my head, unable to avert my eyes away from the grotesque.  The proverbial Train Wreck, and I am one of the Rubber-neckers.

I tweeted.  Sent the link to everybody I know.  “Hilarious. You’ve got to see this!”

Scene 2:

Last week brought this to our attention:

Glamour Shocks Readers By Featuring Plus-Size Model’s Belly


Lizzie Miller by all means is a gorgeous woman. We all agreed. The reaction from female readers to Glamour’s featuring her, tummy and thighs and all, is spetacular yet not surprising.

I want to believe with all my heart that this picture is going to stop myself from agonizing over my body image, to convince myself that what I see in the mirror is good enough – I am not greedy.  I don’t ask for “gorgeous”.  I am only asking for “confident”.  But despite being a gullible person when it comes to panhadlers, I, decidedly, unconsciously, took a cynical stance towards this whole “Rah Rah Big is Beautiful” self-congratulatory outbreak of celebrations in the cyber space.

And as usual, I feel guilty because I desperately want to do the right thing.

Scene 3:

I came upon this blog post by chance:

News Flash! Average is Beautiful. Then Why Am I Having a Fat Day?

“Jane” eloquently put in words what I could not have expressed.  The witty title alone summed it up.  Here is the part that resonated with me, hitting me like a bucket of cold water and an injection of warm vodka at the same time:

So I sit here. Feeling fat. And all this media coverage saying size 12 is beautiful hasn’t made me feel much better at all.

Although many would consider my self-critique of being overweight as insincere whining, “Is she backdoor-bragging? That bitch!”  Let’s face it, I am Asian, and if I am not willowy, I am considered fat. Also, I am just better at hiding the extra pounds:

Control-top panty hose, body shapers, smoothers, I have come to accept this, are my friends.

But are they really?


We have come a long way since the Corset scene in Gone with the Wind, or have we?

*See “Hattie McDaniel: What We Don’t Know About Mammy” for a re-reading of the Mammy character if this picture unsettles you, still, after you have seen it so many times…

Scene 4:

Back to People of Walmart, and this time, we encounter “Pink Belly“…


Part of me naturally gawked and tzzked at the unsightly middle bulge, the Muffin Top of all Muffin Tops, wondering why anybody in their right mind would let it all hang out like this.

“OMG, does she really think that is attractive?”

Part of me though wanted to say, sincerely,

“I salute you.  I admire you for the courage that I do not possess.  You go girl! Be yourself! Say No to corset! And wear whatever the fuck your heart desires!”

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