Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Songs of Praise

I have been musing on the issue of body shape. There is still an awful lot of fat phobia out there, not just in the media, which we have all come to expect, but in blogland too.

In general, women tend to be far harsher toward fat than their male counterparts. They not only want to eradicate it from their own bodies but from those around them too. It's that Gillian McKeith mindset again. Ban Big Bums! If you're fat you're unhealthy! (Pah, feh, and bollocks.)
If you are fat you will die! (Newsflash - we're all going to die. I'd rather die with a full belly and strong bones, so fuck off.)

Adequate body fat on women gives us our feminine curves, produces oestrogen and makes us fertile. This basic biological fact is what triggers desire in most men. Hardly surprising then, that our unskinny forms have long been an inspiration to artists from the stone age onwards. (Yeah, it wasn't just Ruebens, you know).

Then, as I bopped about doing the ironing, with my Ipod Shuffle on, I suddenly noticed how many songs also sing the praises of the fuller female form.

There are the obvious ones like Sir Mix-a-lot and his I Like Big Butts:

So Cosmo says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
'Cause your waist is small and your curves are kickin'
And I'm thinkin' bout stickin'
To the beanpole dames in the magazines:
You ain't it, Miss Thing!

Or Queen and their Fat Bottomed Girls:

Oh wont you take me home tonight?
Oh down beside your red firelight
Oh and you give it all you got

Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin world go round

Then there's Mika and Big Girl (You Are Beautiful):

You take your skinny girl
Feel like I'm gonna die
'Cause a real woman
Needs a real man here's why
You take your girl

And multiply her by four
Now a whole lot of woman
Needs a whole lot more

And Shaggy growling It Soon Be Done:

I'm gonna lay down beside my big thing
Lay down and love her till the morning,
Lay down beside my fat thing, oh my
Lay down and love her all night

There's even the lovely Kate Bush, and The Warm Room just to prove it isn't only men who sing praise to the plump:

In the warm room
You'll fall into her like a pillow.

Her thighs are soft as marshmallows.

Say hello
to the soft musk of her hollows.

Now, I could be wrong, and I am relying on you guys to point out where I am, but there just don't seem to be any songs that sing the praises of possessing hip bones you can slice bacon on and having tiny tits.

Just saying.

Venus of Willendorf,
carved 24,000–22,000BC


Ro said...

Let me first make a real effort to avoid conforming to standard male stereotypes by saying that there's more to a woman than her body and more to being sexy than meeting certain physical standards defined by society.

Size isn't everything, you know ;-)

But, hell yes, give me curves any day!

Anonymous Boxer said...

I no longer care about the scale, I care about my heart. I'd like to be around in 20 years. But being thin isn't healthy and obesity isn't either... somewhere in between is what we need to be working towards.

That said, I've NEVER heard a guy say "I'd love to hit that boney ass."

Luka said...

Ro - quite so, the mind is all important. That said, some minds are narrower than others and I prefer one as wide as my arse.

Anonymous Boxer - acceptance is the key word here. I am not thin phobic any more than I am fat phobic. Each of us has our own ideal weight for physical and mental well-being and this varies widely from person to person. My gripe is with the kind of blanket statement that says all fat people are unhealthy and that if they are told it's ok to be the way they are they will simply get fatter. Sigh. I want to see a society where it's ok to be diverse and women are kinder to each other and themselves.

Angela-la-la said...

I knew that hat was a mistake the minute the sculptor brought it out to me...

Freddy said...

I love curves, but there are limits.

There is a marked difference between being curvy (we all know that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14) and being, seriously large.

How can I put this delicately?.....

Nope, can't, so - the opposite of 'hips you can slice baon on' is rolls of fat so big that slices of bacon can get lost in them.

lalita said...

I don't think that curves have the same reaction on men as they had when the Venus of Willendorf was made. From my own experience, I have more male attention when I'm really slim. And I don't see women who have a teenage boy body type having problems to find men. Fat women, on the other hand, have a much harder time. I also heard a couple of times from guys that they are not big fans or are even repelled by big breasts. My theory is that the "metrosexual" are just scared of the feminine. Also, I guess, men are conditioned by watching slim women shown in movies and in magazines as attractive to associate this kind of body shape with sex. They are evolutionary programmed to like some curves, sure, but what if the evolution continues in the opposite direction now? Being fat doesn't mean fertile and healthy anymore.

bittersweet me said...

cause we love our love,
In different sizes

.. beautiful south (RIP)

i get depressed by the endless perfect figures in porn - i feel excluded, or, at best, marginalised and freaky, yet my jean size is below the national average. There doesn't seem to be much acceptance.

Luka said...

Angela-la-la - that made me laugh :)

Freddy - no, the opposite of "hips you can slice bacon on" is "hips you can't slice bacon on". There is a wide range of body shapes from slim to curvy that are perfectly healthy and attractive, yet everyone seems to want to deal in extremes only. Being curvy doesn't mean you are on the rocky road to morbid obesity and being slim doesn't mean you are on the slippery slope to anorexia.

Viva variety!

Luka said...

Lalita - hello! It's horses for courses. Curves have a big effect on some men, whereas others prefer something more streamlined. The pressure on women to lose their curves to be deemed attractive in todays society is not so different to the practice of binding them in corsets in previous centuries. It keeps us weak and preoccupied.

Again, it comes down to definitions of "fat". If we're talking morbidly obese, then, no, that isn't healthy. If we're talking someone in a size 18/20 then there is no reason to assume they're less healthy than their size 8/10 counterpart.

Bittersweet - oh, excellent song choice! Can't believe I forgot that one!

Oh, you shouldn't let porn depress you. None of those are real bodies, they have had silicon implants, tummy tucks, anus bleaches and even labiaplasty. IT's at times like this that you need to go look at all the many HNT contributors and remember that real bodies come with hair, freckles, lumps, bumps, and personalities.

bittersweet me said...

anus bleach???

that explains *something*

Luka said...

Bittersweet Me - yes indeed, anal bleaching is big in certain circles.

Freddy said...

I don't want to get all syntactic about this, but surely "Hips you can't slice bacon on" is the antithesis of...ahh sod it - you knew what I meant!

Luka said...

Freddy - shall we solve this with an arm wrestle?