Grossophobia
September 10, 2017 4:13 AM   Subscribe

What it’s like to be fat in France: Gabrielle Deydier’s book about being obese has ignited her native France. posted by ellieBOA (59 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
This country has a lot of work to do when it comes to untangling ideas of superiority and self-worth from ideas about appearances. The whole superiority thing has gotten horrible this past decade - we're all human beings for goodness' sake.

It is heartening to see the devastating effects of the "sexy Frenchwoman" stereotype be more widely discussed. It's pervasive and poisonous, just as Gabrielle points out. I've witnessed people behaving shittily like that and had some of it myself. Always call it out. Here's to hoping her book takes off!
posted by fraula at 4:46 AM on September 10 [31 favorites]


This totally breaks the myth of the 'French Paradox'! You know how they say French people n vet get fat despite the butter and how the wine actually helps? Glad that one is out of the way!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:47 AM on September 10 [12 favorites]


Is it (more) OK for men to be fat in France?
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:20 AM on September 10 [6 favorites]


There's a really good French film from about 10 years ago that includes the weight of a female character as part of the issue of how she is treated by her famous father and others (not well). I recommend it: Look at Me (Comme une Image).
posted by gudrun at 6:22 AM on September 10 [9 favorites]


I saw that movie - it was excellent and the article brought it to mind, though I couldn't recall the title.
posted by bunderful at 6:25 AM on September 10


Well, that was a lot of realness for a Sunday morning.

I wish the author had translated "grossophobia", though, because there are several perfectly good English words for the phenomenon that don't presuppose that fat people are gross. The author even uses them to define grossophobia.

I know it is a French term and it probably doesn't have the same loaded connotation in French -- or maybe it does, because "grossier" means coarse and vulgar in French -- but the English meaning of the term is horrible to have to read over and over again in this context.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:37 AM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Apologies if the post title offends Jacquilynne, I live in France so didn't think of that.
posted by ellieBOA at 6:43 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I wasn't using an ad blocker, and I was presented with Halo top frozen dessert adverts through the article. Stunning.
posted by kellyblah at 6:48 AM on September 10 [9 favorites]


I definitely meant the author of the article, not the author of the post!

And actually, the more I'm thinking about this, the more it occurs to me that in French, it would be grossophobie not grossophobia. Which means the author actually half translated the word, to anglicize the phobia, but left the word gross in rather than translating that to say fat. I hope they were making some underlying point about the language in France literally equating fatness with grossness, because otherwise that choice is just, well, gross.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:53 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


In French it doesn't have the same connotation as in English, but you're right that it's a rather unfortunate translation in English that could have easily been avoided.
posted by furtive at 7:01 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


some underlying point about the language in France literally equating fatness with grossness

English is the same. All of the various meanings of the English word "gross" have sprouted from the Old French word "gros" or "grosse", simply meaning "large".

I'm pretty sure that the underlying point is quite valid: fat shaming is embedded so deep in both Anglophone and French cultures that the very word for "large" is now synonymous with disgusting in general.

For what it's worth, in my personal experience this is actually a fairly recent development. As a fat Australian child in the late 60s and early 70s I was obviously a frequent target of this word, employed specifically to mean "disgustingly fat"; I didn't start hearing it used as an expression of general disgust independent of fatness until about the mid-80s.
posted by flabdablet at 7:03 AM on September 10 [11 favorites]


Don't English speakers still say gross to mean fat? When I search for "gross proportions" I get a lot of hits where it's used to mean figuratively large or literally fat.

Plus, medieval Latin grossus means large, and English definitely has a tradition of coining new scientific terms by reaching directly back to Latin.

I guess what I'm saying is, I don't think we have to impugn the translator here.
posted by d. z. wang at 7:08 AM on September 10


Interesting, flabdablet. I grew up in Canada right around the time you describe it becoming a general term of disgust in Australia, and I've never known it as anything else. I'm aware of the etymology now, but as far as I could tell, the transition from 'large' to 'disgusting' was complete, except in specific accounting and jargony contexts -- gross weight, gross income, etc. So much so that when we learned about gross and net income in our high school life skills classes, I had trouble remembering which was which -- there was no general sense that the gross income was obviously the larger one.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:09 AM on September 10 [5 favorites]


This totally breaks the myth of the 'French Paradox'! You know how they say French people n vet get fat despite the butter and how the wine actually helps? Glad that one is out of the way!

While the French Paradox may or may not be the result of a real epidemiological factors, it's a genuinely observed phenomenon, rather than a myth, even if it may turn out to be the product of a problem with the data. But it's not related to weight gain to all, rather to the apparently surprisingly low incidence of coronary heart disease in France, given dietary intake of saturated fat. No-one knows with absolute certainty if wine helps with heart disease (it most probably doesn't, though), but I don't think it's ever been seriously suggested that it typically helps with weight loss.
posted by howfar at 7:15 AM on September 10 [11 favorites]


I've never known it as anything else

"Gross" as an expression of pure disgust definitely entered Australian usage as an adopted Americanism, so it makes sense to me that the shift would have happened earlier in Canada.
posted by flabdablet at 7:21 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Don't English speakers still say gross to mean fat? When I search for "gross proportions" I get a lot of hits where it's used to mean figuratively large or literally fat.

Yes, definitely, though maybe more in written language than spoken at this point. I've never heard someone be described as having "gross features," but I've read that kind of description in novels countless times and as noted previously it is embedded deeply into the language. That said, I think English has enough words already to convey the idea, and the author would have been better served to use the French word once and then use an English term thereafter.

And he said: “It’s well known that IQ is inversely proportional to body weight.”

There are a bunch of anti-fat phrases and thoughts I see all the time (including here), often based around laziness or lack of self-control. The idea that size correlates to IQ is a new one for me -- the article implies that this is part of the uniquely French approach to sizeism, but I have to wonder if this is actually a more prevalent notion, that just isn't typically expressed so directly. (As in, the rare movie roles for large actors are usually for the funny sidekick or the sad neighbor, not the genius scientist or the person who solves the crime.)
posted by Dip Flash at 7:27 AM on September 10 [12 favorites]


Garrison Keillor tells a joke about a German farmer peeing in his field. An American tourist sees him and says 'gross!' and the farmer says 'danke!'
posted by Bee'sWing at 7:27 AM on September 10 [57 favorites]


the apparently surprisingly low incidence of coronary heart disease in France, given dietary intake of saturated fat

And given that tobacco is a big part of weight control over there.

The French woman's concern with appearances was driven home for me when I received a desperate call for help from a female French friend on the other side of town. She'd gone early in the morning to put her clothes in the machines at a laundromat a few blocks from her house. She'd lost track of time and now it was 11 AM, and there were people on the street. She couldn't leave her home to pick up the laundry in public, wearing only the rags she had on. So I had to go all the way over there and bring her laundry the 100 yards to her. She said that there was no way whatsoever that she would ever be seen like that in public, and nor would her mother or grandmother before her.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:33 AM on September 10 [16 favorites]


As always, Do Not Read The Comments in that Guardian article (it's all the usual fatphobia and thinsplaining that you find anytime anyone suggests that fat people be allowed any kind of dignity or comfort in society).
posted by TwoStride at 7:45 AM on September 10 [11 favorites]


It's not just French. German also has groß or gross meaning big or large. It's probable that the French came from the German. It's also related to the English word great, with a meaning that can be both figurative and literal. OED says it comes from the Latin grossus.

Also, the English term one gross meaning a large amount (a dozen dozens) of something.

It's an unfortunate transliteration that is both how it should be translated and also laden with cultural overtones in US English that has carried into other cultures that gives grossophobia a different sense from what the translator intended.
posted by hippybear at 8:03 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


[I am interested enough in linguistics to be down for the unpacking of the translatability of the title and all that but probably at this point it'd be better to collectively let that bit rest and focus more on the rest of the content of the work instead.]
posted by cortex at 8:16 AM on September 10 [42 favorites]


I'd be interested to hear from someone who knows: To what extent is this sort of utterly-taken-for-granted fat shaming an aspect of French culture versus an aspect of Parisian culture? We outsiders sometimes hear that they can be very different.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:42 AM on September 10 [7 favorites]


Gabrielle has two degrees, a pleasant and open manner and weighs 150kg, or 23½ stone. She also has the misfortune of both being French and living in France,

Ha! The shade is not even subtle.

Great article. I lived in France for some time. Whenever an American comments about how "naturally" thin French women are, I say "many of them smoke like chimneys" and that makes people reconsider a little. The "French woman" myth is so toxic.
posted by Emily's Fist at 8:52 AM on September 10 [11 favorites]


I've spent a bunch of time in Paris and some other parts of France. I'm a guy, 5'11" and 180lbs, so not really heavy. Even so, many of the chairs and table setups in restaurants and cafés were so tiny that I had a semi-difficult time getting in and out of them. And of course, Euro bathrooms are often tiny. I think it's difficult in general being a large or very overweight person in France, in addition to whatever attitudes people might have about you.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:02 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


I'd be interested to hear from someone who knows: To what extent is this sort of utterly-taken-for-granted fat shaming an aspect of French culture versus an aspect of Parisian culture? We outsiders sometimes hear that they can be very different.

It's French. There are only minor caveats; the north and Brittany are a bit more laid-back and accepting, and a bit more restrained in comments about it, but the shaming is still definitely there.

I've worked with offices in Brittany for years; lived and worked in Nice for 15; have ex-family-not-quite-in-law in the Alps; friends in Alsace (where I've also visited quite a bit); lived and studied in Lyon; visited and have friends in the center; have friends in and around Bordeaux. Granted the southwest is the one part of France I haven't extensively visited yet.
posted by fraula at 9:09 AM on September 10 [13 favorites]


The idea that size correlates to IQ is a new one for me -- the article implies that this is part of the uniquely French approach to sizeism, but I have to wonder if this is actually a more prevalent notion

Hi, fat person here. Yeah. First off, we're obviously fat solely because we have no idea how to use food, and if we weren't stupid we wouldn't be fat. Studies show that people reviewing resumes with photos attached will assess the same resume as less qualified if the photo is of a fat person (there are levels, obviously, and it is gendered). Students will have their academic abilities both over- and under-estimated based on their physical presentation (including, of course, skin color and again gender), so that thin/attractive/white/high-wealth-marker kids will not have learning disabilities appropriately diagnosed.

Fat people are considered less capable across the board, everywhere in the western world. It's just not as acceptable, in American culture anyway, to straight out call people stupid. We euphemize this stuff extensively.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:48 AM on September 10 [45 favorites]


It's perhaps interesting that Fat-Shaming doesn't seem to be that effective, as a kind social intervention, at reducing the actual obesity rates. France is of course below the typical "obese western countries" US, UK, Australia, but greater than neighbouring Italy, Germany etc. see: Wikipedia on Obesity-Overweightness

It does make you wonder whether other (non-shame based) social interventions in Germany against overweightness are taken, and why they are more effective.
posted by mary8nne at 10:45 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


The fact that fat shaming does not work should not be a surprise to anyone and yet it is.
posted by jeather at 10:49 AM on September 10 [41 favorites]


Hey, Fraula ! I can tell you about the southwest : we're much better than the others !
posted by nicolin at 11:02 AM on September 10 [3 favorites]


France is of course below the typical "obese western countries" US, UK, Australia, but greater than neighbouring Italy

That surprises me, based on just how people around me looked when visiting both countries. It seems like Italy has more overweight people, or possibly that the average person is heavier than the average in France, which is possible.

My Italian cousin though has an obese friend who cannot find any clothes that fit him there. When she comes to the States she buys him an entire suitcase of clothing in his size. Just that kind of difficulty in getting the necessities of life has got to be tough.
posted by threeturtles at 11:23 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


god, threeturtles, that must be such a shitty feeling, I'm sorry for them.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:02 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


I am a Fatty McFat-Fat American man and I have lived in Belgium on two occasions and also in Northern Ireland. I know that in both Belgium and the Netherlands I had a relatively high proportion of "concerned" people asking me about my weight. (I wanted to respond: "Wait, I'm fat?! NO WAI") On the train near Liège, I overheard some people "joking" that I could use my belly as a shelf. On the tram in Antwerp, a little kid (2 years old?) pointed at me and said "dikke meneer!" ("fat man!"). There are a few "big and tall" shops in Belgium but man they are expensive AF.

In Belfast there were 3 big and tall men's stores (one of which closed after I left) that were reasonably priced. Also, I didn't get stared at. Are (white) Anglophones more fatterer than other peoples? Is it our diets/relative lack of walkability compared to some other countries?

Anyway, I appreciated this article.
posted by dhens at 12:44 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


Also, relevant cartoon.
posted by dhens at 12:48 PM on September 10 [8 favorites]


The ageism in the article is problematic, too. The first thing The Guardian wants me to know about Gabrielle Deydier is her age. It's apparently even more important than her name, for fuck's sake. "Don't forget, everyone: She's 37 AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS."
posted by emelenjr at 12:50 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Also, relevant cartoon.
Holy Mary, that's dark.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:02 PM on September 10 [10 favorites]


The first thing The Guardian wants me to know about Gabrielle Deydier is her age. It's apparently even more important than her name, for fuck's sake.

Yes, it is, extremely. Her name is relevant mainly to people who need to remember it for when they go buy her book. Her age is relevant to the anecdote it introduces, in which a 37 year old is applying for a teaching assistant job. not a position as a solo or supervisory teacher, like the man she's about to be insulted by, not an upper-level adminstrative position.

The article lays out exactly why a woman who was neither an academic underachiever nor a bad worker was in this position at the age of 37. I am her age and it is a big fucking deal that this is happening to her now and not "just" when she was 22 or 25. Many people in many places enjoy pushing around women young enough to be thought of as girls; considerably fewer are willing to do it to grown women in what is normally the most powerful time of our lives. so yeah, I do know what it means that this happened to her at 37, and so does she and so does the Guardian.
posted by queenofbithynia at 1:03 PM on September 10 [56 favorites]


After reading queenofbithynia's comment, I have a better understanding of why Gabrielle Deydier's age is important, so thank you QOB for the education there. The reason behind my original comment was that it struck me that Deydier was being persecuted in France because of her weight, and then Stefanie Marsh of The Guardian came along and said "Stop noticing her weight and pay attention to her age instead." I'll go out on a limb and predict Marsh didn't introduce herself to Deydier by leading with her age. If "lead with the age" is in the Guardian's style guide, then I see that as a problem.
posted by emelenjr at 1:55 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


WTactualF was with the doctor who gave Gabrielle "hormones" for her weight? Was this an actual licensed MD or Dr. Sketchy McQuack? Who gives a teenage girl "hormones" that make her skin break out and hair fall out?

I really really want to slap the snot out of that doctor right now.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:11 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


Yeah I briefly lived in Europe and I am both Big and Tall and just plain couldn't buy clothes over there. It even extends to things not normally considered "big and tall" like shoe sizes. I needed replacement sneakers once and the only things in a men's size 13 (towards the higher end of the scale certainly but not hard to find Stateside) were a single pair of hiking boots and a single pair of highlighter-yellow Nikes. That was it. In the entire store. (I got the Nike clownshoes).
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:25 PM on September 10


Relatedly, this is one of my pet peeves when people are smug about how they minimalist their way around international travel with just a teeny carryon, or whatever. I always have to bring extra clothes with me not because I'm a clotheshorse, but because I cannot guarantee I'll find clothes in my size in any random store in case there's some sort of need to replace clothes while abroad.
posted by TwoStride at 6:40 PM on September 10 [21 favorites]


There's an additional part of that travel equation, as well. My clothes are just bigger than those of someone who wears a size 8. A carry-on fits approximately one complete change of my clothes. Maybe two if I specifically choose items from my wardrobe that are made with thin fabric.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:51 PM on September 10 [11 favorites]


In Belfast there were 3 big and tall men's stores (one of which closed after I left) that were reasonably priced. Also, I didn't get stared at. Are (white) Anglophones more fatterer than other peoples? Is it our diets/relative lack of walkability compared to some other countries?


When I lived in Britain, I felt like I fit in more as a moderately overweight person than where I've lived in North America. I always assumed it was genetics: I joked to my husband that my Anglo-roots could be seen in how so many more people looked like me (round and dumpy, with a small, shapeless nose). It's not about transportation - Even in the small town I lived in, everything was very walkable. (Maybe it is the food: I have never eaten more chips (delicious, delicious deep fried potatoes) in my life - but I was also eating in usual circumstances in that I ate often at a student bar.)

What I also noticed is that fat seemed to be more accepted, at least for the moderately plump/overweight. British actresses were heavier than I'd ever seen on American television - in that they were a size 10, or 12, or even 16!
posted by jb at 9:08 PM on September 10 [7 favorites]


[A couple deleted. Let's please not go off on a complete tangent derail on how much anyone can or cannot pack into their carryon.]
posted by taz at 11:35 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


I do have to admit that when I feel uncomfortable about my own weight I love to watch British movies or television to renormalize my self esteem.. Hip hop videos work well too in making you value your curves.
posted by evelvenin at 1:15 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


To speak to the fat shaming component of French culture -- I lived in France for one year (Poitou-Charentes) as an undergraduate student, and was around 20-30 pounds overweight (a US size 12-14). I remember going for a physical exam and having to strip down for the female French doctor, who stared at my body with a frown on her face, read the weight that came up on the scale, and asked me what I ate, how much I exercised, etc, with a disapproving look on her face. She acted not just disappointed, but devastated by the number that came up, and told me with some urgency that I needed to lose weight--and now. I also recall being insulted by random French men in bars, being called fat, or encouraged to "go to McDo," etc. Clothes shopping was extremely difficult, particularly jeans. I felt more aware of my body, and more shame about my figure, in that year than I ever have living in the US or UK.
posted by nonmerci at 3:33 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Yeah, there's definitely a dark side to this notion that we should all be more like French women. I read this and was instantly reminded of this report on the nation's attitudes to breastfeeding.

She said that there was no way whatsoever that she would ever be seen like that in public, and nor would her mother or grandmother before her.

This is by no means a French phenomenon and neither is it a bad thing to take care of one's personal appearance. Everyone has some basic standard of dress they'll meet before leaving the house. They may be ludicrously high for some, but they are cringingly low for others.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 4:13 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


nonmerci, I have hurt my back recently, and every doctor, physio etc that I've seen has started the conversation with, well obviously you need to lose weight (I am a US size 12).
posted by ellieBOA at 4:29 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


This is by no means a French phenomenon and neither is it a bad thing to take care of one's personal appearance. Everyone has some basic standard of dress they'll meet before leaving the house.

If someone's standards of dress mean they'll drag a friend half way across town so they won't have to be seen running an errand in clothes that are respectable enough to wear on the street at all (remember, she wore them to the laundromat earlier, so it wasn't a question of indecency) then their standards of dress or their standards for what is an acceptable favour to demand of a friend are out of whack. Probably both.

I'll add to this that the idea that some people have a cringingly low standard of dress for leaving the house is something that is far more commonly directed at people who are fat than people who are thin. Not wearing a bra, wearing leggings instead of pants, etc -- all of that is something you can get away with if you're a size 2, but if you're a size 20, it becomes a reason for scorn. Add to that, clothing for fat people is both more expensive and much, much harder to find in good used condition, so a great many more fat people have a lot less choice about the state of their clothing than thinner people. A relatively size-neutral seeming statement like some people should take more care of their appearance before leaving the house is not actually size-neutral when you actually look at whose life choices (or lack of choices) induce that cringing.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:02 AM on September 11 [33 favorites]


EllieBOA, I find that interesting, because the French women I have recently seen stateside (there are many French tourists and ex-pats in Pasadena for some reason) seem to be underweight to me-- like, with no muscle mass and frequently with poor skin. Is that considered healthy in France? Plus all the constant smoking would be terrible for one's health.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 5:15 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


My apologies. I should have been more sensitive in my phrasing. I was thinking more in terms of the different standards set between men and women than in size differential. And I know any number of women of all shapes and sizes who won't leave the house without full makeup. I just wanted to point out that presentation neurosis isn't an insecurity reserved for skinny French women.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 5:17 AM on September 11


(I am a US size 12)

And to emphasize how fucked up using random numbers and weights as a guide can be, size 12 is my ideal size. If I drop below a 10 I start looking scary undernourished and sick. That probably means I've also dropped below 140 lbs, which also "sounds" heavy. But even though size 12 is just right for me, stores and designers have determined that anything on the larger end of the size and over is unacceptable and I should lose a few more pounds to wear their clothing.

I imagine that growing up in Paris must be similar to growing up,in LA, with unhealthy and unrealistic body image norms. I was once in a LDR with someone from Lancaster, PA, and I realized I felt more comfortable in my skin when I was there.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:30 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


I've lived in France for under a year aged 18 and 25, and am glad I have been here for nearly 5 years at the age of 33 so I care less what people think.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:01 PM on September 11


Ugggggggh.

Kmart Will Now Refer to 'Plus-Size' as 'Fabulously Sized' (Kelly Faircloth*, Jezebel)

Ugggggggh, I am not 'fabulously sized' and I am not a 'real woman.' If I'm anything I'm 'Half-Polish, Strong Like Ox With Ann Veal's Low Center Of Gravity.' Or maybe 'Real, but tbh not that fabulous.' But mostly I'm just a person who wants to find the clothes I want in the size I need.

Also, 'fabulous' implies over-the-top, as if larger women want everything with sequins. This is bad
*Eponysterical!
posted by Room 641-A at 6:33 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Kmart Will Now Refer to 'Plus-Size' as 'Fabulously Sized'

Oh for fuck's sake. What is it with clothing sizes? Especially with women's sizes?

Size 2, Size 10, Size 12, Size 16, Plus Size, Fabulous Size, blah blah di fucking endless blah. What is the point of having invented numbers if we don't actually use them to measure something?

Label my shirts and pants with chest, waist and neck measurements in standard SI units or fuck off.
posted by flabdablet at 6:45 AM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Label my shirts and pants with chest, waist and neck measurements

Not to mention inseam. I'm looking at you, Old Navy.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:11 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Will Now Refer to 'Plus-Size' as 'Fabulously Sized'

Another insanely irritating thing about this is the implicit assumption that body size has anything whatsoever to do with fabulousness or lack of it.
posted by flabdablet at 8:17 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


As always, Do Not Read The Comments in that Guardian article (it's all the usual fatphobia and thinsplaining that you find anytime anyone suggests that fat people be allowed any kind of dignity or comfort in society).

Maybe it’s because I’m viewing the comments sorted by "most recommended" but among the top comments I see there are quite a few that are supportive of the book author and critical of the same attitudes she denounces. Then again there are 744 comments so far and they’re not strictly moderated - only the most egregious insulting or trolling comments are deleted - so it’s inevitable there would be all sorts of responses in there and all sorts of digressions and side discussions, but it’s not fair to say they’re all of the kind you describe, it’s not true. I think it’s worth browsing through the comments because among all the varying levels of intelligence and respect in the discussion there will always be some good contributions, same as on any website with comments...
posted by bitteschoen at 3:31 PM on September 12


I think it’s worth browsing through the comments because among all the varying levels of intelligence and respect in the discussion there will always be some good contributions, same as on any website with comments...

Well, it's a good thing I don't possess the magical power to prevent anyone from reading anything on teh internets! I can just provide fair warning. (FWIW, the "all" is part of "all the usual" and not meant to describe all 700+ comments). And I suspect that many other readers, like myself, prefer to invite the pain of coming across the not-quite-egregious-to-get-deleted comments while hunting for the supportive ones. I'm glad you can dispassionately read through the comments on articles like that; I don't have the energy, and dealing with the far more civilized Metafilter is taxing enough on most days. Everyone's MMV.
posted by TwoStride at 3:58 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Oh don’t get me wrong I understand what you mean and really there is no need to assume I’d be that dispassionate on this topic, on the contrary, the whole issue of body image as a woman and people feeling entitled to comment on your appearance or weight is something that strikes a lot of personal chords for me too, that’s why I was interested in reading this article and the comments about it, both here and there. Of course no one has (or should even have!) the energy to go through 700+ of them. I just browsed quickly and was glad to read both here and there about experiences I can relate to and that are difficult to talk about with others in person because most people may not understand. I come from a culture that’s not too dissimilar from France in this and it can be so frustrating to deal with the standards of appearances especially for women, it’s one of the reasons that makes me feel more comfortable in other countries with a more relaxed attitude. Of course, everyone’s MMV. To me it’s great to see more discussion of these issues out there, in any form, be it more or less moderated and civilized and passive-aggressive, and I appreciate the amount of work that moderators do on websites that thankfully still allow comments at all.
posted by bitteschoen at 7:24 AM on September 13


« Older Ride of a Valkyrie   |   Weighing Justice With a Jury of Her 'Peers' Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.