Glamour magazine featured this photo of 20-year-old model Lizzi Miller in their latest issue. Of course it's drawing flack, because she's "normal." Normal = her BMI is within the neighborhood of the average women's BMI (which I think is around 26).

Who is more obsessed with skinny women? Straight men? Other [straight] women? The media? The fashion world? I'm a married woman, so my knowledge of what men like is swayed by his opinion. My proportions are very similar to Lizzi's (I'm 5'6.5" and weight 155). My husband loves my body. He gets sad when I mention wanting to lose any weight. So I'm inclined to believe that any flack over this "real" woman isn't coming from men who are attracted to women. Of course, what my husband likes is unique to him. But when you think about what traditionally makes a woman's body womanly, it would make sense if you are attracted to women, that you would prefer curves.

But why are we so obsessed with women's bodies? In a way that is only recently beginning to be directed to men's bodies as well?

Everyone loves to point out that Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 or 14 or 16 (depends on who you talk to). And if you're like me, and obsessed with the TV show Mad Men, then you might also love the curvaceous redhead Joan, who in one episode, when they were classifying the women in the office as a "Marilyn" or a "Jackie", they stated that Joan was a Marilyn ... "but really, Marilyn's more a Joan."

As women's role in western society has changed, has our view of her body changed with it? As Naomi Wolf claims in The Beauty Myth, this idealized concept of unattainable female beauty is society's way of maintaining control over women, even as their roles change and women gain control in other ways.

But my husband likes to argue that this unattainable image of "beauty" - thinness - isn't perpetuated by men, or society, but by women. Does he have a point? It reminds me of Mean Girls, or, tearing each other down because of our own insecurity. We see a pretty woman, a successful woman, a happy woman, etc ... but is calling her fat the ultimate insult, a way to tear her down? I've read statistics that most women would rather be thin than smart (or was is successful? or able to achieve world peace?) - basically the point being that even if a woman had it all, if she wasn't thin, she had nothing.

So, despite all the advances women have made, are we still threatened by successful women who are not stick thin? Because they have gone against the requirements we seemed to have set out for women - you must be thin to be successful, otherwise, get to the gym and stop eating until you are thin, and then you can be a recognized member of our society? Harsh, but sometimes, that's the feeling I get from the mass media.

But whatever, if I lose a pound I think my husband will cry. He likes the junk in my trunk. And if my own personal habits and discipline are any indication, I won't be a stick anytime soon. Which is fine. I have a nice rack.

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