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Very Fit or Very Fat in Western Society?

 article about Very fat ugly people
In 1600s, Rubens beauty was plump and provocative. In the 1700s, the
wasp waist was (tucked) in. In the 1800s, Romanticism brought out the
soft curves in a womans physique. In the 1900s, the hourglass corset
with bustle was the mainstay of the female figure. In the 1920s, the
flapper was born: waif-like and bobbed-haired. In the 1940s and 50s,
the pinup was rosy-cheeked Monroes natural heavy curves. In the 60s,
the shape went back to ultra-thin, pallid Twiggified notion of good
looks. In the 1980s, women started exercising as well as dieting:
almost every woman started working out to the words Lets get physical.
At the same maybe coincidentally women of color started popping up on
magazines and in movies with proud full figures and proud full lips.

Now,
in the 2000s, two-thirds of American adults are overweight, doubled
that of the 1980s (1). However, the fitness movement is growing by
leaps and bounds as well: health club membership has doubled since 1987
and the spending of money on home exercise equipment has almost
quintripled since 1990 (2). Plastic surgery has become a booming
business as well: liposuction (tummy tucks) has increased thirty-four
percent since 1998 and breast enlargement increased twenty-six percent
in 1999 alone (3).

But is there an actual paradigm shift of
the nature of the beast? Glamour and Vogue, to name two of the top
magazines in the country, have started featuring large sized models.
Mode and Radiance cater to large sized women. And just recently, in
April 2004, Shape (a fitness magazine) did an article using one large
sized model, not trying to lose weight but trying to simply be healthy
instead. Clothes shopping for the larger populace has gotten much
easier; instead of the typical muumuus, many brands of clothes have
started expanding their size range. Clothing stores are opening up
designed especially for the plus sized woman. Books and websites are
now specifically designed for the person who has decided to give up
dieting and focus on confidence and health instead.

Yes,
this is marketing. After all, two-thirds of the country has been
neglected. It's surprising that the demographics didnt show up sooner.
But though the larger woman wants to look good, do people large or not
so large think she looks good?

See for yourself. Websites nowadays are catering to single large people: BBPeopleMeet.com, LargeFriends.com, LargeandLovely.com,
etc. Large women have their own lingerie websites. Fredricks of
Hollywood and Victorias Secret now carry extra large, and even
extra-extra large sizes. Somebody thinks shes attractive; the woman
doesnt buy this for herself alone.

In the mainstream, models,
actresses and pop-stars are now sporting more bountiful breasts and
larger derrieres through a number of ways. Think of J. Lo. Think of
Pamela Lee. Think of Drew Barrymore, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera,
Britney Spears, Catherine Zeta Jones and the list goes on. The folklore
statistics state that the average cup ten years ago was a B. Now, the
average cup is a C and most of the divas are sporting a D. Breast
enhancement is no different, not surprisingly. In the 1980s, most women
went for the conservative B. C was the next most popular choice.
Nowadays, 80 to 85 percent choose C, with the D being the next most
popular alternative (4).

Yet what about the well established
diva, Queen Latifah (who actually had her breasts reduced because they
were hurting her back)? Suffice to say that shes not a little girl yet
she draws attention for more than her singing and her acting. Anna
Nicole Smith (shes still a big girl even after she lost the weight)?
Good and wholesome Oprah? Renee Zellweger (when she was voluptuous
rather than her normal skinny self)? Missy Elliot (before she lost the
weight and started teasing other large women in the Pass That Dutch
video)?

Again, is it coincidental that plus sized women of
color are more accepted then white women, both in diva status and the
everyday woman? Maybe in a spin-off article

Of course beauty
is in the eye of the beholder but what does that mean for the ideal
itself in these decades? Are we going back, gradually, to the plump
archetype of Baroques charm? The rising of overweight people plus the
rising of the exercise industry, together with the rising of body
plastic surgery combines into a strange phenomenon: we are evolving
into a completely new prototype.

_____________________________________

(1) FDA Consumer magazine

(2) www.sportlink.com/press/2001/press999626482-31652.html.

(3) http://www.umm.edu/plassurg/stats.htm

(4) American Society of Plastic Surgeons: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/ news_room/ Women-Choose-Plastic-Surgery-Breast-Procedures-for-Themselves.cfm





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