Thursday, October 28, 2010

In The Flesh

I'm outraged this morning, Reader. Anyone who knows me, knows that this happens fairly regularly. And also if you know me, I will force you to share in my outrage. Thus, share with me now!

A friend of mine directed me to two articles today. One is by Maura Kelly for Marie Claire, the other on author Jennifer Lancaster's blog.

If you want to share in my outrage, you must read both. Luckily Maura's is relatively short and Jennifer's is very funny.


Okay, done? Good! So, really rude, right? I thought Jennifer did a great job of arguing against Maura's article while keeping things classy. Maura's stupid thoughts and--watch me be way less classy and politic than Jennifer Lancaster--pathetic attempts to justify them by blaming it all on her ongoing struggle with anorexia, are not only mean and pointless, but poorly written!

Maura starts out with an interesting premise: Do people feel uncomfortable watching overweight people be intimate on TV?

Instead of following through with this, she makes hurtful comments about how she doesn't like watching fat people do ANYTHING because having to admit that they even exist in the world is GROSS BEYOND ALL IMAGINING. Great, Maura. Did you actually get paid to write this?

It's too bad, because I've often thought about this particular topic. I first questioned it the year I watched both Charlie's Angels (the movie) and Bridget Jones's Diary. Both feature scenes with a main character in her underwear.

In the opening scene of Charlie's Angels, Cameron Diaz dances around in very little clothing:

And it's cute and funny and doesn't feel at all voyeuristic, at least not to me.

At the end of Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget runs outside in her underwear. I couldn't embed this, but here's the link. This time, I remember feeling embarrassed while I watched (at least until she kisses Colin Firth). Granted, the scenarios are different. But for me is was more because of the way her body looked.

I know Renee Zellweger is NOT overweight here, though much was made of her gaining weight for the role. And I've decided that for me at least, the difference is that Renee looks like a real person in her underwear while I've never met anyone whose body looks like Cameron's.Yes, I do realize that people with Cameron's body type do exist in the world, but they're rare. And the thing is, she's so slim that none of her bits are in danger of popping out of her undies because, well, her bits are pretty itty bitty. With Renee, however, the camera pans over her and it's a very real possibility that we might see more cheek or cleavage than we should, so it's sexy (and in this particular scene, uncomfortable).

Flesh is real and sexy and sensual. I'm always amazed at how little clothing the Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models can wear without looking naked to me. They're like robots or aliens. It's just not the same thing.

Does anyone else want to weight in (pun intended) on any of this?


  1. oi. thanks for the two links. off to tweet this.

  2. Thanks! I haven't been able to coax myself onto twitter for months now. Bad Me.

  3. dude. it's WAY overrated. don't get into it now if you haven't already.