By: Elizabeth Raucher
I came across this picture today on a friend’s Facebook page and was immediately challenged by it. It made me think about a status I posted on Facebook not that long ago along the same lines.
I had been watching Mad Men, which is set in Manhattan in the 1960′s. I was caught by the fact that the women in that show had curves, something you don’t see on tv today. They FLAUNTED them too! The dresses showed their curves in a real flattering way that most women don’t today. That was society’s normal.
I compared that norm to what I see on most TV shows set today. The most immediate example that came to mind at the time was Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s, set in Seattle, is a medical prime-time soap with a fairly large cast of women. All but two of these women are very, very thin. This is actually something I noticed right away when I started watching the show this past summer on Netflix. The thing I want to know is WHY is it expected that these women are going to be sticks. WHY is it society’s expected norm today? What happened to the expectation in the 1960′s that women will be have meat on their bones and not starve themselves in the name of beauty?
According to one response on that same Facebook status, the friend suggested that the change in societal norms is likely a result of the model Twiggy coming on to the scene. Twiggy was stick thin, and this friend, someone who was around at the time, was suggesting that she was the catalyst for the change in what was considered beautiful. As a result of Twiggy, models to this day, nearly 50 years later, are nearly skin and bones, to the point of being unhealthy.
Why can’t this change? Why is it that Christina Hendricks, when on Mad Men, is considered gorgeous by the men in the show, yet she must suffer through being considered “fat” or “curvy” in magazines, rather than people seeing that is what most women look like.
People are so used to these thin women on tv that it is hard to accept, especially as Americans become desensitized to hearing about the “obesity epidemic” all over health-related news, that most doctors agree it is in fact healthier to have some weight on you. We spend so much time expecting that all people are cookie-cutter models that we forget that no person is put together the same.
People come in all shapes- they can be short, tall, thin, and curvy. What’s wrong with embracing all these, rather than aiming to please a certain expectation put on you?