When NPR comes on, as it does every morning in our house (because Ian is one of those people who I previously thought were mythical beings who actually listen to NPR by choice, and I don’t understand because it is so boring with its little musical interludes and sound effects, who are you people) I just hear “bloob bloob bloob” coming out of the radio. But the recent bloob was Debra Dickerson defending her Salon article about obesity, so I figured I would link to it in case you were interested to hear what kind of sound effects and little musical toodles they will include in this discussion. Or, you know, in case it’s interesting.
The Salon article was, in essence, Debra Dickerson asserting that black men should stop enjoying larger women, and that curvy black women should stop being okay with their larger bodies. She does it nice and condescendingly, too, telling black people that they are ignorant and should “grow up,” among other things.
To the degree that this black fat preference is simply a determination to pooh-pooh anything “white,” blacks need to grow up. If it’s simply ignorance, well, now we know and when you know better you’re supposed to do better. Sorry, brothers, but just as I learned to reject “hard bodies” that are the result of steroids, y’all need to reject “lard bodies” that are, at least in part, the result of slow suicide to please you.
Responses at the time included elyzabeth’s:
Dickerson goes on to point out that “pre-kids” she was a “hardcore gym rat” who harassed co-workers “over the contents of their lunch sacks.” Why do we keep letting people with obvious body issues themselves appear in media to tell everyone what kinds of bodies should and should not be allowed in the media?
And Kate Harding’s:
Campos also adds that black girls, not surprisingly, have lower rates of eating disorders than white girls. But instead of asking what we can learn from them about body image and non-disordered eating, we’re asking how we can get them to obsess about food and weight more like white girls.
Ont he other hand, a guy named Cobb jumps in to say that the real problem isn’t weight, but sexuality:
If there’s anything about cultural messages that are dangerous to women, it’s that sluttery is OK. Feminists have muddied the waters with regard to femininity. That we even have discussions of ‘gender roles’ at this late date is evidence of an overreaching agenda. I mean after all how many PhDs for how many decades does it take to figure out how women ought to behave? Something’s broke here and it’s easy to see. That is that we have elevated looks over character, and what we expect from good looking women is bad character. If superfreak girls are alright with you, then you’re part of the problem.
In addition to thinking that “sluttery” is a problem, he seems to think we shouldn’t even be talking about “gender roles” because women should know how they “ought to behave,” which, what the hell? I would direct Cobb, first of all, to Sarah Bunting’s essay on the word slut. Actually, he might take it literally, so nevermind. You all should read it though.
Wait, what were we talking about? I think this blog post just totally got away from me. Where’s Ira Glass when you need him? Well, I’m sure you guys can take it from here. Toodle toodle toodle toodle plink.
Posted by mo pie