Who’s Good Looking?!

September 3rd, 2008 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Right down there with the shallowest of defects is goofing on someone’s physical flaws. Coming up!

First note that I’m not unobservant about myself. I have abnormally large shoulders and chest, with bones like a bison maybe. Numerous times, particularly in high school, other guys drew those to my attention and not too kindly. One football player insisted that I was always inflating my chest and sucking in my gut to look bigger. Others asked if family members were built like that. My sports were first wrestling and then swimming. Neither, especially the latter, did anything to hide my upper body.

That acknowledged, let’s get down on Cindy McCain and body image.

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Following a Vogue photo feature this year, many have made much (particularly women) of her saying she wears a size zero jeans. That brings up it own issues:caroljohn.jpg

  1. Sizes vary from manufacturer and store. When you can find a size 8, it is much bigger in a store that sells to wealthy women. They don’t mind such pretense.
  2. Size zero means no butt to speak of. That suggests either an extreme ectomorphic somatotype or the lack of hormones to produce such secondary sexual characteristics as breasts and hips.
  3. The myth and social meme that one can’t be too thin is flat (so to write) wrong. Nancy Reagan, whom many women said they admired for her build, has long suffered from anemia. She’s thin more by chemical imbalance than choice.
  4. The destructive and anti-feminist marketing of women as lithe, even boy-like objects doesn’t help them and makes me wonder about men who would seek them.
  5. John McCain left one thin wife, a swimwear model in the 1960s, for his current one. He returned from imprisonment in Vietnam to find Carol (shown with him in good times) had been in an extreme car wreck. After numerous operations, she was chubby and four inches shorter. Forget that he was also on crutches, couldn’t raise his arms, and was a mental mess. He saw her and was shortly out of there — for another scrawny model type.

cmlong.jpgA media manipulated meme is that squeeze (but don’t crush) number two, Cindy, is gorgeous. We can set aside as reasonable disagreements of taste that some people, men and women, like to look at undeveloped and emaciated looking women. I’m not in that camp, obviously.

However, as someone with his own physical anomalies, I find myself reveling in Cindy’s startlingly obvious major defect. Her neck just screams for attention, and not of a good type.

A few giraffe-necked or swan-necked women trade on the trait as elegant and graceful. Cindy knows better. Consider her multiplicity of pretty successful distractions and cover-ups as below.
cmcovers.jpg
Not every ploy is a winner though. Beads, even huge ones, don’t necessarily hide or distract. Low-cut or open tops down to her undersized attributes and no pecs don’t either. She’s best when she turns to turtlenecks.cmlevy.jpg

Yesterday’s Daily Show even had brief fun with Cindy’s cervical tricks at the end of this clip. Jon said that in response to Hurricane Gustav, Cindy has brought “…her very own neck levies. Nothing’s getting past these bad boys!”

So, we can praise Cindy for sparing us the overt disclosure of freakish anatomy. She clearly is aware of the problem and does what she can.

It remains amusing though that the media seem so intent on portraying her as highly attractive, even beautiful. She does carry the trappings — clothes, makeup, hair color, jewelery — for the conventional checklist. On the other hand…

I’m not all politics and religion.

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One Response

  1. eeka says:

    Great post.

    I think it’s worth mentioning, though, that while there is of course a disgusting societal pressure to be thin rather than healthy, we need to also remember that there are some people whose natural healthy body weight is quite thin. Some people are quite well nourished and in great shape and have always been a size 0. Do you remember those Dove campaigns about showing “real” women as models? Their intention was good, in that they wanted to send the message that all types of bodies are beautiful, but they did it at the expense of telling naturally thin women that their bodies are not real, and a lot of body-positive organizations released statements agreeing with the general message but taking offense at the specific angle of it. I think we should absolutely spread the message that health is to be valued over thinness, but we also need to remember that some people who appear very thin are quite nourished and fit.

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