May. 27th, 2010

thesilversiren: (Default)

Admission of guilt: I have a subscription to US Weekly. Ages ago, I did a magazine package deal and as magazine by magazine that I liked shut down, they apparently rolled all my remaining issues into US Weekly.

This week’s issue has Lauren Conrad and Kim Kardashian on the cover, and talks about Diets That Work. I know, it’s nearing summer, so there are diets stories a plenty. But I find these issues ridiculous and offensive.

Issue #1. The majority of the women in this issue are in their 20s and are probably size 2’s at their heaviest. Even as a woman who tends to be underweight, I find this to be offensive. The most these women are talking about losing 5-10 lbs, and except for the few who weren’t tiny to start off with, their diet tips probably won’t help anyone lose a considerable amount of weight.

Issue #2. All these women have personal trainers, and most have personal chefs. So, these magazines tout their “diet secrets” as being legit when the average woman couldn’t afford their methods.

Issue #3. Some of these women smoke, which is fairly common amongst actresses and dancers to keep weight down. So, while they might be thin, they aren’t healthy by any means.

There’s no quick route to being healthy. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig work for women (who stick with what they’ve learned) because ultimately, both programs teach how you should be eating. It takes discipline, learning about nutrition and exercise.

We sabotage ourselves constantly. Magazines like this continue to feed us lies that we need to be 5′10″ and a size 2 to be considered beautiful. That we need to make ourselves in the image of a 20 year old starlet.

We, as women (and as a society in general) need to be healthy. That means eating well (and allowing ourselves to indulge now and then), exercising regularly (but not obsessively) and learning to love ourselves. These magazines aren’t for that. Even when not touting diet secrets, they post what the stars wear and invite us to cruelly critique them. Which is brutal for two reasons. Most, if not all the celebs featured have stylists who told them to wear what they are. So you’re tearing down a celebrity who simply trusted that their stylist knew what they were talking about. More importantly, they’re encouraging us to tear down celebrities- if we’re cruel to them, it only invites us to be cruel to fellow women.

We are harsh. Rather than trying to find a way to politely tell a woman that she’s dressing inappropriately, we talk behind her back, being cattier than Mr. Blackwell. We say things about other women that would make us cry if it were said about us. Yet, we wonder why it is that women so routinely starve themselves to fit into a perfect pair of jeans or become what celebrity has deemed an acceptable size.

Women are beautiful. In any size. Beauty isn’t simply what’s on the surface, it’s what’s inside. So instead of trying the latest fad diet or workout, why don’t we try to be kinder and more accepting of other women. And try to change our lives by becoming healthy, rather than living on lemon juice and cayenne.

(Addendum: I am aware that there are many female celebrities who are actually overweight and do actually lose weight. However, very few pages are given to the women who lose weight over time and do it in a healthy manner. Why? It’s boring to read that a new mother took a little over a year to lose the baby weight. Losing weight in 4 weeks is so much more exciting)

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

thesilversiren: (Default)

Right now, the House has voted to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) by a vote of 234 to 194. A Senate panel has similarly voted 16-12. The next step to repeating DADT is for the Senate as a whole to include it as an amendment to a Defense Department funding bill and pass it.

And it’s about time. The US is big on equal rights. We have constant opinions on Muslim countries and their treatment of women as second class citizens, and yet, we treat gays and lesbians the same way.

We acknowledge that those who choose to serve our country are choosing to make a sacrifice for all that our nation stands for. We honor them, and in many cases, most Americans will go to great lengths to vilify anyone who dares say anything against the men and women in the military. Yet, for a percentage of them, these men and women are being asked to live a lie every day. They are forced to hide who they are for fear that they will be booted out of the military, and unable to ever return to the life that they had chosen because of the sexual preference they were born with.

What was the big deal? Did they worry that gays and lesbians would corrupt the straight soldiers and be so focused on having sex with them that they wouldn’t concentrate on the war? Because, honestly, they’re people. They know (quite well) that straight individuals can’t be swayed. They’re there first and foremost to serve their country. To imply that is an insult out and out.

From a statistical standpoint, the military is stretched far too thin as it is. Just based on populations, it’s a statistical inevitability that there will be homosexual individuals in the military. If they’re removed from the military- that’s even FEWER soldiers out there. Which means longer tours, more frequent tours… and for what? Because a few homophobic individuals refuse to believe that gay people are well, people. People who can put duty first. People who understand that sexual orientation is instilled at birth, and thus, you cannot switch teams. People who just want to lead the same life that a straight individual has.

Now that I got that off my chest, I’m going to enjoy the rest of the night and clean up the living room. Strike that, reverse it. I’m going to clean the living room and then enjoy the rest of the night.

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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