Thursday, July 14, 2005
Strange Fruit
I have spent the last 36 hours in deep thought. Deep, painful, ugly thought. Good stuff...

First off, last night Justin and I went to see a movie at OutFest called Strange Fruit. The title is based on Billie Holliday's song of the same name which is about lynchings in the south. It is a beautiful and haunting song and if you have never heard it, you must. Immediately. It is a part of this country's heritage - ugly and sad and important.

One of Metro Limousine's drivers, Kyle Schickner, wrote and directed Strange Fruit. Essentially it is a story of a gay black man who leaves Louisiana and goes to NYC but when his high school friend is lynched he returns to Louisiana to solve the crime. It is a scary and thought provoking film with great acting and a really thoughtful plot. I am incredibly proud of Kyle's work and I highly recommend checking it out. It'll be out on DVD sometime this year.

Second, every Tuesday night for the last 13 weeks I have been going to an eating disorders support group. This group is where a bunch of really great anorexics, bulimics and compulsive eaters get together learn how to deal and discuss our issues - magazine racks chock full of issues! An entire subscription! Newsstands full of freakin' issues!

This week we discussed body image. Needless to say in a room of women with various EDs, our collective body image sucks ass.

Now I can usually speak volumes about my body image. I can tell Bob and Leigh (aforementioned therapists) all of the things I feel about my body, I can journal for pages on end about each body part. This week however, during group, it was like my brain completely shut down and I could not access any of these thoughts I have about my body. In fact, I could barely access my brain at all. This is not a common occurrence for me. In fact, I can't remember it ever happening before. I can usually chat on and on for hours! I have something to say about everything! It was as if I thought that if I actually accessed it, I would go a little nuts (.....MUST be in control!) and there was no freakin' way I was going to tell all at that moment. Nice, protective brain function....

Obviously this is a big giant issue for me. Like Martha Stewart before the unfortunate jail sentence or a fall fashion issue of Vanity Fair with Angelina on the cover - that big...

BTW, have you seen the new Dove Firming Cream ads? Other than the fact that they are for firming cream, (which makes sense because only big girls "need" firming cream, right?) they are using real women in their ads with hips and thighs. Now they probably won't use these women for their soap ads because god forbid anyone think they are going to look like that after using Dove soap and go running for the Ivory hills. Anyway, it's just kinda nice to see women on billboards who look like they've eaten this week.

Speaking of eating - tonight is Stitch n' Bitch at the Farmer's Market in WeHo where fresh and strange fruit abounds.


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Anonymous Brantlea said...

I LOVE the new Dove ads, even if they are selling firming cream. I think it’s a fantastic campaign that is going to encourage discussion and examination of people’s (women and mens’) thoughts on beauty and size. What is really disturbing (but not really surprising) to me is that so many people I’ve talked to about this say these are fat women. These are not fat women at all! I would be surprised if any of them wore anything more than a size 14 or even 16. The average clothing size for women in this country is a 14… I am a 14! This is really sad because that means even though we’re the average size, we’re still considered on the edge of plus size! Ok, so some of you will say the average size is a 14 because Americans are fat, I’ll bet the average 20 years ago wasn’t smaller than a size 10 and there are women in the Dove ad who are smaller than that. Yet we still think these are fat women.

As I was reading your blog an African-American co-worker of mine, Cheryl, stopped by and we chatted about these ads, eating-disorders, and body image. Cheryl’s a great lady, very positive and comfortable with herself (why not, she is fabulous!) and we talked about how tied to the culture it is and how African American women (and Latinas) don’t have the same rate of eating disorders and have a much higher rate of acceptance of their own bodies. She gave me a new perspective on this, I had always thought it was learned from family and community, but she pointed out that it had a lot to do with the fact that as an African-American girl growing up; African-American women weren’t marketed to the way white women were. The media was primarily showing images of white women and men, she remembers the first time an African-American model was on the cover of Vogue and how much that meant to her. For her, because she didn’t relate to the white women she saw in ads she didn’t aspire to that aesthetic, and never saw that as a goal she had to attain. Perhaps I’m naive for not having looked at it like this before but I appreciated it nonetheless.

As rational as I sound here, you’d think that I would not have issues. If one of those plastic surgery makeover shows showed up at my door I’d be all over it; getting my tummy-tucked, my thighs sculpted, and my chin fat sucked out. That’s powerful stuff, even though I know it’s all wrong I can’t help but still aspire to it.

So, for some more enlightening facts on body size and body image check out this link:

Anonymous Skylar said...

Oh my gosh, I love the new Dove ads too! Wow, it's great to see natural, real looking women, whose bodies AND faces are real looking. They are so beautiful, but not in the conventional "GLAMOUR" or "VOGUE" way. Love it!

Blogger Christie said...

I hope to catch the movie...I see that it's playing at another GLBT festival that I might go to [a short that I'm in will be playing! Yipee!]. Thanks for the heads up! Tell Kyle congrats on the film and I look forward to seeing it.

I love the new ads also...and the comments the two other ladies have left. Really, Marilyn Monroe was a size 12...and you see her in pictures, she had some DANGEROUS CURVES!!! I'm trying to be at peace with my body...I mean I"m looking at somone else, wishing I could look like her, all the while, someone is wishing they could be my size, and on down the line. I just need to be content with what I've been given.

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