Monday, October 16, 2006

10/16: 2. Women are still obsessed with their weight

I listened to a few seconds of Rush Limbaugh today. He was coming back from a commercial break, and made this big production of having the music playing, then he breaks in to announce "Breaking news: College study shows women worry more about their weight than men do." Then he has the music start up again, then he breaks in again and says the same thing. It didn't quite come off because the music was supposed to start up again and it didn't (wonder if Limbaugh will have the sound guy fired over the miscue?) but nevertheless, although I thought Limbaugh's antic was Over the top, he was right about one thing. Women obsessing about their weight, while most men could care less about theirs, is not news. WHy even do a study about it?

If Limbaugh said who had conducted the study I never heard, but apparently it happened on college campuses across the US and the upshot was that women worried about their weight, men didn't. I would have been interested to know if these women were asked *why* they worried about their weight.

Women today, even the best and brightest, are obsessed with their appearance. Why? Because men are obsessed by their appearance, and women are taught from day one that they *must* look good for men. It starts probably before kindergarten, when the mommies take their little girls in to get their ears peirced. Then they have to learn how to put on makeup so they look nice. I admit I haven't paid much attention to the appearance of the young girls in my neighborhood...there's a handful who I think are 8 or 9...but it wouldn't surprise me at all if they weren't already spending an hour in the morning putting on makeup so they could look pretty at school...where of course they wear the shortest of shorts and shirts that reveal their belly buttons (even if they're tubby...which is not a pretty picture, believe me.)

And I admit it just rankles. Mothers buy into this schtick and get their girls addicted to to "Appealing to boys is the most important thing" at a young age, and all the female role models in later life who achieve great things won't matter a hill of beans. A girl can be a straight A student, intelligent, bright, funny, but if she doesn't have a boyfriend she'll feel herself worthless. He can have a beerbelly out to here, and that's okay, but she's got to be little miss skeletal.

Case in point. I read the news today on the website about this actress who had undergone plastic surgery to have her breast enlarged and to give herself a 'six-pack' stomach. This actress, Tara Reid of American Pie, tells her story to US weekly and I take the liberty of reposting it here:

She tells American publication Us Weekly, "I got my breasts done for the first time because my breasts were uneven. I was a 34B, but the right one was always bigger than the left. I weigh 110 pounds now, but I always used to fluctuate by 10 pounds, so my skin was kind of saggy. I figured, 'I'm in Hollywood, I'm getting older, I'm going to fix them.'" The 30-year-old says the operation went wrong from the very beginning saying, "First of all, I asked for big Bs, and he (the doctor) did not give me big Bs. He gave me Cs, and I didn't want them. At all. Right after the surgery, I had some bumps along the edges of my nipples, but the doctor said, 'Don't worry, it's going to be better.' But after six months it started to get worse and worse." The actress says her breast implants made her self-conscious - especially when it came to being intimate. She says, "Guys I was dating would be like, 'What's wrong with them? They look really bad. You know, you should really get them fixed.' So embarrassing. I mean, you definitely need to turn the lights off, that's for sure." Reid also underwent liposuction on her thin frame at the same time to make her muscles appear more sculpted. She says, "I got lipo because even though I was skinny, I wanted - I'm not going to lie - a six-pack. I had body contouring, but it all went wrong. My stomach became the most ripply, bulgy thing." Reid underwent reconstructive surgery last month and has endured a painful recovery, but insists her life is back on track. She adds, "I'll never be perfect again, but I've got my self confidence back."

This woman is 110 pounds. 110 pounds. A woman that slender doesn't need liposuction, period, let alone liposuction that she'll have the appearance of strong stomach muscles. Why not just do some situps, a little bit of jogging, and get it the old-fashioned way, by earning it?

Well, she'll never be perfect again (was she perfect before she had the surgery then? If so, why have it?) but at least she has her self-confidence back. Yeah. Right.

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