Urg, internet. I'm all annoyed now, and it's not even about the subject of today's rant. It's making me want to start a tangent rant about stupid people and pet ownership. And empty threats and complaints without the intent of correction. But, I should probably leave all that to the side since it's all just happening right now in my real life. This is the price of suddenly being surrounded by young adults who think they know what they're doing.
Anyway, I've been weirdly focused on food lately, and at work today I heard a radio commercial that just filled me with horror and irritation, and then I decided to write a blog post about it.
There I was, filling up egg pans before the morning rush, half listening to the classic rock station, and then this commercial came on for a weight loss center. They advertised for both "natural and chemical" weight loss methods, as well as single day visits and lifestyle/nutrition counselors to help you half-ass your way into being skinny.
At first glance, there wasn't really anything wrong with the ad, but it still infuriated me, because I hate--hate with a fiery, righteous passion-- this idea of losing weight for the sake of being skinnier. There's this disgusting focus on that, and it's everywhere. If a celebrity isn't skeletal or impossibly toned, people will comment on their figure, and it's this idiotic expectation that everyone in the entire world should look that way. There's no regard for health, body type, psychology, motivation, method, or diversity. It's all about results. Really, a singular, poisonous result.
Here's the ugly truth, boys and girls: people have different body types. They're shaped differently. Not everyone can be slim, shapely, and muscular. In fact, almost no one is all three of those because of their intrinsic contradictions in a body, and the way that we are about being thin and about eating, no one is really likely to be.
The thing is, that's not an ugly truth. Those aren't ugly bodies. Healthy bodies are not ugly. I say that as an artist with an ongoing love affair with the human shape. I love drawing the figure, but I don't love only drawing hourglass shaped women (as much as I love my sexy pin-up girls), and I don't only love drawing Superman. When I took figure drawing, my favorite models were the ones that were interesting to look at and fun to talk to, and that usually means not having a conventionally beautiful or symmetrical face.
But that's not exactly where I originally meant to go. This whole obsession with an end without regard to anything else, like whether it's healthy, or longterm, or even beneficial is one of the things that's been on my mind a lot. It shows up in Western culture a lot, but especially education, medicine, and this.
I watched Forks Over Knives the other day, along with a whole mess of Ted Talks about food and health and whatnot, and it really made me start thinking about the way that we relate to our food,
("How can anyone have a relationship to food?" Shrinking Women)
and more and more I notice how profoundly sickening it is the majority of the time. People eat the worst crap all of the time, and then complain about health problems caused directly by their laziness and gluttony.
How can you be shocked that you're overweight or diabetic when you eat garbage all the time?
Most of the stuff I was watching contended that the majority of health problems we have in Western culture are totally preventable and even the existing, chronic ailments can be mitigated by controlling what we put in our body.
But doing that requires putting in effort. We don't want to be healthier or feel better. We want to wear a bikini and eat a gallon of icecream. Why do things that benefit your body and mental health when you can just throw money and pills at it, or become a slave to self-denial?
I think this will need to explode into a few different posts. There's too much that I'm trying to say right now, and it's getting very muddled and confusing, so I'll stop now and try to sort my thoughts a little. I think it can break down into two or three separate topics. They're just all very tangled together.