Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Time constraints force me to be brief, when this post deserves otherwise. Megan contemplates a thinness pill, and rambles a strangely contradictory post. She seems to lament the loss of thinness as a marker of upper class, and also laments that people who look like her would no longer be considered to have the ideal body. I am reminded of high-school girls who tried to discourage unpopular girls from shopping at the same stores, for fear their exclusive ensembles might become a shade less exclusive.
Posted by Susan of Texas at 10:17 AM
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"The life of a welfare mother affords few pleasures beyond television, comfort food, and whatever entertainment she can get up with friends on a $0 budget."
That was my favorite part. How in the world would Megan know the first thing about the life of a welfare mother and her pleasures?
All the comments I read (I had to stop fairly quickly) partook of the secular Calvinist theory that poor people are poor because they are stupid and lazy and can't delay their gratifications, which of course are also the reasons they tend to be fatter. They deserve to be. Riches and the thinness that riches can help you maintain are signs of God's favor...I mean, signs that you are just inherently better than Them.
I also like how she says she doesn't understand the linkage between poverty and fatness, but that doesn't prevent her from coming up with her own variation on the "because they're lazy" theme. It's "harder," she notes, to keep your figure if you don't have access to "shiny facilities" and spa meals, but this implies that if the poor had any reasonable amount of gumption or morality, they'd be able to get/stay thin ANYWAY.
Once again with her, virtue is defined as the ability to resist the temptation to EAT.
P.S. A significant part of the tendency toward thinness in the upper classes is because of selection pressure in marriage and childbearing. Ever since thinness became the standard of beauty, rich men have tended to select wives on that basis. It's likely that many thin women have genes that help them stay that way, and they pass them on to their children, who then marry among Their Own Kind and produce more naturally thin children, and so on. So that even though the men aren't exclusively doing the choosing anymore, the class as a whole is populated by people who find it easier than usual to maintain their weight, and they (men and women) therefore expect the same of any marriage partner.
What I can't stand is the assumption that laziness, a sense of entitlement, and over-indulgences are somehow exclusively behaviors of the poor. I've witnessed more of that attitude in the spoiled trust fund spawn of the rich and famous than anyone I've ever known who was poor.
She's writing for the Sneetch audience.
I had to write another post about this because it reveals so much about authoritarian callousness.
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