My notable favorites from the gallery is Oksana Masters, the paralympic rower, and golfer Suzann Pettersen.
I will admit that I had to do a double- triple-take on Masters’ photo because of an “abnormal” look. But after looking at her photo for some time and looking at her body, even though she’s missing her legs, it’s still a structure that exerts strength, and represents life. It just doesn’t follow our normative imagery of what the body itself “looks” like.
What I like about Pettersen’s image is how much more related I find her body in comparison to mine. She’s not “cut” like Abby Wambach or Ronda Rousey, but she still represents the body in its perfect form. Not every sinew of your body has to be seen for it to be considered “top performing”. She still works to maintain her body, and golfing requires a different structural shape in exerting strength and power.
The Body Issue is a beautiful gallery of the body as a structure. As I noted in my Olympics post, even though these athletes make it their livelihood to have these bodies, I find that they are representative of the body—any body— in its best, perfect form. It suggests that that’s what the body should look like, and can look like for every person if we worked collectively to create a healthier society. And yes, this means giving up the shit foods like soda (or taxing the crap out of it to limit its consumption), and prepackaged quick time meals, and going back to an agriculture that is more diverse and environmentally sustainable. None of this corn-soy-wheat subsidy shit. We also need a more sustainable livestock practice that doesn’t threaten the well-being of the animals or the well-being of those consuming them. No more crowded cow pens and pig pens and chicken pens.
It’s also time to rethink the way we approach food and social settings. We need to bring back the social food setting where we gather with our friends to cook wholesome meals, and enjoy the company of others in someone’s yard, at the beach, at a campsite, someplace that doesn’t involve an eating establishment like Buffalo Wild Wings and their ever-bombarding TV screens, where people gather in a faux-social setting under the guise of “socializing”, where the real reason for the outing is the football game displayed on the plasma screen.
On a related note, for those not familiar with Jean Kilbourne’s work, I highly suggest you take a moment to check it out, especially her videos “Killing Us Softly” and “Killing Us Softly Still”. She has studied the use of women’s bodies to sell objects, sex, and ideas for over two decades. Very profound.
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I'm an intern in Bethesda, Md.
When I'm not working, I'm writing, photographing, reading or enjoying some other equally leisurely activity.
All my opinions are my own, and do not reflect anyone else's views or endorsements. Guests posts are views of the guests, and are not a reflection of my own views.
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