Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Duggar family and poisonous slippery slope of modesty

"Bodyism" is a term I believe I've coined (maybe someone else has) to refer to bias against certain body types and also subtle or overt body shaming. A "bodyist" by my definition is someone who is prejudiced against the bodies, particularly of women. Bodyists believe that women should not wear "revealing" clothing, "cover up" their curves and not "flaunt" themselves. In short, they are modesty police. And their slippery slope logic is poison. I'm using the Chiefs of the Modesty police,  Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, as examples. Unfortunately, they are only a drop in the acid bath. 

First, some thoughts on the cadre that modesty police such as the Duggar family uses. It's shame-based but also polarizing, hypocritical, misleading, user-defined, inaccurate and purposely vague. "Flaunting" and "Revealing" are used as adjectives but are in fact verb forms. They indicate intentionally drawing attention to body parts which are supposed to be covered. The wearer of "revealing" clothing is actively seeking attention by dressing to "accentuate" "flaunt" or "show off" their bodies. 

Clothing that Michelle Duggar deems "Provocative" (see also alluring, enticing, seductive) lures men. To what is left vague, but presumably sin (wanting to have s3x) But even what is and isn't sin, is inaccurate in their thinking. Wanting to do something is not wrong. Neither is liking it. Mentally doing it with someone who has not expressed desire to, is (lust) Forcing others to, is (rape).  

However the bodyists have another slippery slope to justify those. Men don't willingly lust or rape, they are tempted to (seduced) by another. They are passive and helpless and it's someone else's fault. Women "provoke" innocent men to sexual assault by wearing clothing that shows they have a body. What modesty police don't say, but think, is that women bring sexual assault on themselves. 

What is immodest attire is user-defined and hypocritical. Look at the Chiefs of the Modesty police, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. They eschew pants for women yet their daughters' skirts are ridiculously clingly. By their definition immodest. They are not averse to showing cleavage. They encourage their girls to wear long hyper-styled hair and make-up. Which is sensual by many standards. Worst of all, when Jim Bob's and Michelle's son Josh Duggar molested several children, they downplayed it as curiosity while attacking others who have normal healthy sexual relations as immoral. 

The Duggar family actually blamed Josh Duggar's sin on the liberal media and Joe Biden (???). Somehow, the "liberal media" both lured him to sin and then wrongly accused him of sinning when he was just "experimenting" (as you do) with his sisters. 

Body-shaming and body size: oh the tightrope we walk

In yesterday's post, I fear I may have given some wrong impressions. I talked about how size matters in the politics of body-shaming. I shared a story of a woman who called out other women on unprofessional attire and modesty, who just happened to be a lot smaller than this woman, though her own style could be considered inappropriate, immodest and unprofessional (tight leggings, party-colored hair, tattoos). I stated that bigger women often feel no qualms attacking smaller women on clothing style but claim fat-shaming if someone criticizes them and that it boils down to jealousy. 

Where I gave wrong impressions, perhaps, is that I made it sound like I felt personally attacked and was clapping back. Rereading, it sounds like I consider myself a smaller girl and the big girls are picking on me. I did come out pretty harsh but it wasn't in defense of my personal style but of others who may not have gotten to the "comfortable in own skin" stage that I am. I have worked at weight loss over the years and am a lot smaller than I was. 

In obesity, I remember feeling incredibly insecure around slender women. But it wasn't jealousy. It was #respect for their self-control and fitness compared to my own out-of-control eating. Also, I don't consider myself small. I have an anorexic like body image that will always see fat no matter how much I lose weight. Having said all that, I never have and never, ever would body-shame a smaller woman.  

Another possible question about the post: Was it criticizing style choices, obesity, modesty policing, thin-shaming or hypocrisy? No, no, yes, yes, yes and body-shaming in general. Also, the fact that while we all get fat-shaming is verboten, thin-shaming is much more acceptable. That's what I called out in the Facebook group. And sorry, not sorry. 

If you are struggling with obesity and feel insecure around people who are slender, let me leave you with these thoughts. It's not someone else's fault. But it's also not yours. It is your choice. You are not powerless to change what you don't like. You can lose weight if you want to and are willing to work at it. I have faith in your strength. Love, mar

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Body-shaming and modesty policing: size matters

In the past few blog posts, I've been focusing on body-shaming, modesty policing and the inherent hypocrisy therein. I explored "pick me" and "not like other girls" and how they inevitably stem from jealousy and lead to attacking others of whom they are jealous. Here's what for me was the piece de resistance "pick me" and "not like other girls" body shaming. 

A woman, we'll call "Carbolica" on a workplace Facebook group acid-blasted others for "skimpy" "slu-ty"  unprofessional attire. She went off about shorts, tank tops, skirts, cleavage, etc. The vitriolic rant seethed jealousy.  Ironically, Carbolica is the poster gal for styles that have been considered tacky and unprofessional since time immemorial. 

Carbolica is 50ish, overweight and wears paint-on tight leggings (with skulls, kitties, unicorns, etc), tattoos, piercings and hair dyed a different cartoon color every week. She's always militantly loud on her right to look and dress as she pleases. If others don't like it eff them, yada yada. She fancies herself edgy and tough. I don't judge. I consider her a friend and would never in a million years comment. Until the modesty rants began. How bizarre is it to demand acceptance of your NSFW choices then attack others for what you consider to be their NSFW? What are you, unconventional or a prude? Or do you just make up the rules as you go? And where I would normally just mind my business, I had to address her not minding hers. 

First of all, I explained that professional attire depends on workplace. And her leggings and hoodies are the two most banned attire in schools, workplaces and even airplanes. Add to that tattoos, piercings, non-traditional hair color, too tight clothing and goofy, clownish patterns. None of these are or ever were "appropriate." I do want to state that I didn't call anyone out. If she wants to look like a clown, it's not my circus. Which I realize sounds a little acidic, but I intend to. 

Normally I would take a more diplomatic approach but there comes a time when like must meet like. Sadly, it seems to be the only language body-shamers understand. And that time is when the ganging up starts. I guess I'm na├»ve because I assumed others, might question her smack-talking. No such luck. Countless others joined the acid throwing. And almost every one was in the +++size unicorn skull leggings club. 

I didn't and never would  fat-shame or shame period, though their tirade was rife with thin-shaming. From their "I'm fat, dress tacky and everyone else has to like it" stance, they belittled cute slender girls wearing shorts. And the words they felt comfortable using! "Sl-tty" "trashy" "wh-reish." Mixed with Victorian prudish "flaunting" "showing off" and "provocative" (provocative?? have you looked in the mirror? Those leggings of yours provoke a lot of comment and not the good kind). And weird that you're Sweet Polly Purebred but you talk like Sailor Sam. 

 And why? Because a woman is attractive, dresses comfortably and is slender??  Because, make no mistake, size matters in body-shaming. It would be called fat-shaming to critique someone pouring a 3x body into XL skirts, sharing prominent camel toe or letting flab bulge out everywhere. It would also be grounds for dismissal in many workplaces. 

Yet Carbolica felt it her duty to point out a smaller girl's "a$$cheeks hanging out" (direct quote). And gag-inducingly comment on genitalia (word amended from original) showing which apparently she divined across a crowded grocery store. What shows is a disturbing preoccupation with others' bodies. And a lurid imagination. Talk about pick me! 

So this body-shaming went on for many graphically vulgar comments. It's like they were trying to out-nasty each other and no blow was low enough. But it's okay cuz they were just helping women see the error of their ways. Shee-yeah right. And I'm the Dalai Lama. And the core issue was see-thru: rabid, venomous jealousy. One woman actually admitted feeling uncomfortable in her larger body seeing an attractive, smaller woman. But then undid her self-awareness by blaming smaller women for "making" her uncomfy.  

I realize I sound kinda "not like other girls" myself for saying that I'm the only one that spoke up. I thought at least the moderators would have kiboshed it. But no one did. So I had to. I didn't address anyone nor mention the obvious pick me elephant in the living room. I called out the venom. Not for myself.  I've spent too many years letting the modesty police live rent free in my head. For too long, I allowed them to micromanage my neckline, hemline, clothing fit etc. Now I wear what I want and if it offends, oy vey. I spoke up for all women who have been unfairly censured for their bodies. For all who have been shamed and bullied to the point that they hate themselves, their bodies and their lives.

Cleavage shaming by modesty police illustrates breast quagmire

 Sometimes, on this blog about how I lost 100 pounds, I diverge into subjects that may seem unrelated to weight loss. That's because there are so very many issues affecting weight loss and gain, obesity, body size, body image, self esteem etc. Many involve societal messages about bodies in general. Yesterday, we discussed how the modesty body shaming mantra is thinly veiled "pick me" (insulting others to in hopes of gaining desperately needed attention). 

Body shaming curvy women also smacks of "not like other girls" mentality--a self-identified polarizing notion that some women have that they are superior because they are not stereotypically feminine. The "pick me" and "not like other girls" are frequently self-appointed modesty police. Because by their definitions, curvy women have somehow made themselves this way, purposely "show off" their assets and should be body-shamed into covering up.  In short large breasts, big hips and hourglass figures make them uncomfortable and insecure. Instead of dealing with their own insecurities, they blame and shame others. 

I feel sorry for the pick me folks. It must be awful to be so attention and approval needy that you push others down to feel taller. And honestly, to some extent, most all of us (raising hand) like attention. The difference is the lengths we will or won't go to get it. There's just so much wrong with hurting others to feel important, especially when it comes to body-shaming women's breasts. 

First, on the cleavage note. How often have I heard people decry women for "sporting cleavage" (as if it's some kind of game??) On Reddit AITA a "not  like other girls" woman called out another co-worker for flaunting herself. (Her words). It says a lot more about her than the poor cleavage shower. This attitude and behavior is so ridiculous it's embarrassing. And I didn't think cleavage needed explanation but it gets attacked so often that apparently it does. 

Cleavage forms when the breasts are pressed together and wearing a bra increases this. And depending on size, cleavage can begin almost at the neck. So to cover it up would require a turtleneck. But then the modesty police find fault because that just accentuates the curves. And it's hot and sweaty and uncomfortable and miserable. 

 Another solution would be to skip the bra. This is actually healthier for breasts. Bras constrict blood flow and arguably can lead to breast cancer. There's the misnomer that going braless causes sagging. But bras make breast tissue lazy and not wearing one improves muscle tone. 

But oh wait, that causes two (three, lol) more problems for the modesty patrol too. Going braless makes for more jiggling and sometimes the dreaded nipples are a little more pronounced. Sigh, what's a girl to do? 

It's so hypocritical, especially in this era of tolerance. You can be any configuration of gender or genderless. You can dress as tacky and goofy as you want. You can add or remove genitalia and breasts. But don't you dare wear anything that shows you have breasts. Or heaven forfend, nipples.

Maybe, we should all just, oh I don't know, live and let live? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Cleavage-shaming modesty police are "Pick me" and "not like other girls"

 I've become a Reddit AITA fan and recently a poster asked if she was "TA" for calling out her co-worker's cleavage. The OP (original poster) asked if the co-worker "purposely exposed herself." OP indicated that other male co-workers were uncomfortable with the cleavage on display and asked her to talk to the offender (as you do?) So Ms. Modesty Police Woman confronted the "unprofessional attire" and basically body-shaming the cleavage sharer (as you do). 

Probably not surprisingly, the AITA consensus was overwhelmingly YTA. (you're the arschloch). The OP said that she herself veered toward tomboy and was good buddies with all the male workers, ergo her appointment to modesty patrol. Many commenters suggested that she was a "pick me" and an "I'm not like other girls" gal. (I've learned a lot of new urban terms since reading Reddit AITA :D) 

A "pick me" is a person who will do anything for attention or approval including putting others down. "I'm not like other girls" is a trope the internet has created to identify women who eschew "girl things" and embrace "non-feminine" things. All these terms are in quotes because they are stereotypical and very user-defined.

They polarize themselves as rebelliously different because they drive trucks or use tools or read (!?) and "other girls" as cartoonishly feminine because they wear makeup. The irony (and ridiculousness) lies in the conformity of the "not like other girls" "non-conformity. They literally almost have a dress code and the things they believe makes them different are so transparently alike. Also the things they believe set them apart, like reading or dressing like a "tomboy" are things most all women do. Their definitions are oddly outmoded. Even OP's term tomboy went out like 50 years ago. And dressing tomboy can also be very provocative itself (tight jeans, tight T-shirt, etc). So, color me confused.

 Women identified as "pick me" and "not like other girls" tend to be very self-involved and also lacking in self-awareness. They don't understand how silly they sound. Which brings us back to the modesty police issue (and believe me, we'll get more into cleavage and body-shaming later). The fact that the Pick Me OP had no problem body-shaming someone and actually feels right doing it, is bad enough. Don't even get me started on her inability to see that breasts aren't something you can hide let alone should. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds by feeding cravings

Greetings on this lovely fall afternoon! A few days ago, I blogged about how I lost 100 pounds by feeding cravings. Yes, you read that correctly. If you follow this weight loss blog, you know that I like to write quirky, aphoristic titles. But it's not just to grab eyes. Fighting obesity is about breaking stereotypes and rethinking conventional wisdom to see if it really is wise. 

So, how I lost 100 pounds giving in to cravings: that just doesn't make sense, does it? That's how obesity started, was by indulging in said cravings, right? Yes and no. Cravings as those seeking gastric bypass on "My 600-lb Life" refer to, yes. Eating insane amounts of sugar, salty snacks, fried, processed and fast foods is a one way ticket to morbidly overweight. 

However, the cravings I'm referring to aren't for addictive high calorie, low nutritional value foods. Gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" confuse junk cravings with what their bodies really want: healthy food. I lost 100 pounds by yielding to those deep longings and also by really listening to what my body is requesting. 

The culprits that confuse us are sugar, salt and empty carbs.  All of these are highly addictive. So like heroin, they make us think we want and need them. Their voices scream pretty loudly. So loud that folks such as those on "My 600-lb Life" oblige them to the point of obesity. Only by listening past their noise can we hear the still small voice of our inner wisdom--call it the Holy Spirit, common sense or Al-Anon's higher power. 

Al-Anon has a lot to teach about weight loss. Intermittent fasting or calorie restricting, such as with the 1200 calorie diet I follow, are tools to achieve sobriety from food addiction. But it's about more than just calorie restricting. It's about what to eat. Listening to the body's plea for vegetables in many colors, whole grain fiber, protein and good carbs will lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. 

But having said all that, weight loss isn't just boring calorie restricting and salads. Cliffhanger alert: part of how I lost 100 pounds was by eating sugar and junk food. More later so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds and keep it off: do you want the good or bad news first?

 Hiya, friends! As you know, if you follow this blog that I lost 100 pounds 8 years ago (has it been that long??) When I first began to lose weight, I was warned that getting it off was the easy part but that keeping it off was harder. A few people even scoffed that I'd gain it back. Well, thank you, Queen Obvious and Miss Taken. First, it's clearly easier to begin than maintain a new habit and second, I did maintain my weight loss. And here's how: do you want the good or bad  news first? 

Okay, so I'll go with bad news. It's difficult to keep 100 pounds off. I gained some back. But the good news is it's not as hard as I thought. And indulging occasionally didn't plunge me back into obesity. I did gain some weight back after shoulder surgery and then lost some when I was sick with Covid 19. And then I lost some again and gained a bit, you get the picture. But more good news, I know what to do when I need to lose weight. Calorie restricting with a 1200 calorie diet has been the integral part of how I lost 100 pounds and kept it off. 

There were some Miss Nomers who said that calorie restricting doesn't lose weight. Apparently, it didn't work for them. However, the 1200 calorie diet worked for me. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" uses it. So calorie restricting didn't work for you, or you didn't work at it? Because it's a mathematical and physical fact that less in means less on. 

Do I always follow it? Truthfully, no. But I do use portion control almost without thinking. It's become second nature to eat less. And eating less has had this cool effect of controlling hunger. I don't need as much to fill me up. In obesity, I could eat two and sometimes three plates of food. Now one is plenty. Calorie restricting helped me lose weight and redefine eating. Now I eat when I'm hungry. If I'm not, I don't. Gone is the mindless snacking urge. Food isn't a friend or a solace. It's fuel. But I do still give in to cravings and I'll discuss in another post how that's a good thing for weight loss and overall health.