Leatherballs XIII: Ban beauty

I can’t imagine anyone arguing with this:

Her hips are probably the most hypnotic on television, and now Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan Harris (nee Holloway), and is reportedly a size 14, has had her body officially endorsed by the British government.

“Christina Hendricks is absolutely fabulous,” says Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, who held up Hendricks’ outline as an ideal shape for women.

Highlighting the “overexposure” of skinny models and the impact they have on body image among young people, Ms Featherstone went on: “We need more of these role models. There is such a sensation when there is a curvy role model. It shouldn’t be so unusual.”

That’s from an article in BBC News magazine, by Tom Geoghegan, and like I said, I can’t imagine anybody who’s seen the toothsome Ms. Hendricks making any argument. So okay, sure, Featherstone’s conclusion about Hendricks’ curves being “absolutely fabulous” and an “ideal shape” is pretty much inarguable. Ditto her complaint about the lamentable wafer-thin junkie-chic trend, hopefully passing forever into history even as I type this.

But…”Equalities Minister?” How the hell does any country sink so far into the nanny-state morass as to actually have an “Equalities Minister” in the first place? And more importantly, how does such an enervated and dumbed-down society claw its way back up into the light again? More from the article:

Unlike actresses America Ferrara (who plays Ugly Betty) and Britain’s Kate Winslet, Ms Hendricks has kept her full figure, adds McNamara, who last week reviewed Mad Men Series 4.

That figure is reportedly in possession of dimensions around 36-32-36 – although some reports suggest 38-32-38 – and her breasts variously described as a C or D cup.

Oh, those majestic fun bags are your D-sized orbs all right. Doubles, at least. She probably left the C cups in the dust for good at about seventeen. Yet more:
That kind of body requires a lot of exercise and healthy eating to maintain, says Deanne Jade, a psychologist at the National Centre for Eating Disorders.

“Usually in the real world, the bigger breast goes along with a bigger tummy, wider waist or protruding abdomen.

“So it’s unusual to have someone with these curves. Therefore to get a figure like that, you would have to work hard or be naturally well-endowed.”

While she agrees with the minister that role models need to be a fuller and more realistic shape, Ms Jade says women with eating disorders will always seek out images of the thinnest women to confirm their own distorted view of how they look.

That’s true, they will — and no amount of government scolding or propping up of other “ideals” is going to matter in the least. It’s an exercise in futility, trying to alter human nature via edict. It fails every time, and it’s going to fail this time, too. In a related piece, a cute chick who refers to herself as “The Hill” — to judge from her aggrieved tone, one that ain’t being climbed by nearly as many Sir Edmund Hillarys as she might like—describes the horror of those unreachable, unreasonable standards of beauty:

“In the autumn the minister will convene the first of a series of roundtable discussions with members of the fashion industry, including magazine editors, models and advertisers, to discuss how to boost body confidence among the young,” the Sunday Times reported yesterday.

One might think that one of the first steps to boost such confidence might be to abolish school weigh-ins and make puppy fat a normal rite of passage rather than the subject of a health warning via the National Child Measurement Programme. (Can any woman think of anything more likely to have produced a fear of being on the chunky side than turning up to school one morning and being plonked on a set of scales? If that’s not going to make you skip your Dairylea dunker as a lass and develop a lifelong fear of bread, one wonders if a picture of Kate Winslet’s thighs is going to do it.)

It’s time to get the point, Lynne. The Hill ain’t ever going to look like Joanie. Giving the British woman Joanie as a role model is never going to make her feel good…

Rather than replacing the old impossible images with new impossible images (as the creative director of Harper’s Bazaar pointed out, the fashion industry exists to create the fantasy you’ll never live up to) an equalities minister should throw out all notions of obsessing about feminine beauty and concentrate on helping young girls think about the size of their achievements rather than the flatness of their navels, and the scale of their ambitions rather than—in Joanie’s case—the rather spectacular power of their bosoms.

While there’s nothing really wrong with The Hill’s overall point — there’s nothing really wrong with The Hill herself, and her fretting over the remote likelihood of ever sharing a body type with Christina Hendricks is misguided, to judge by the rather fetching picture accompanying the article — who the hell cares what an “Equalities Minister” should or should not do? There ought not be any such thing as an “Equalities Minister” in the first place. Ditto the National Child Measurement Programme. It’s an abomination, an offense against the very idea of a free society. It’s a sad commentary on how far removed our British cousins are from anything resembling the dignity and individual freedom that we here in the States…uhh…uhhhh….ummmm….

Oh hell.

Body Mass Index Measurement in Schools

Childhood Obesity

Measuring the body mass index (BMI) of students in schools is an approach to address obesity that is attracting much attention across the nation from researchers, school officials, legislators, and the media.1-7 In 2005, the Institute of Medicine called upon the federal government to develop guidance for BMI measurement programs in schools.8 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced “Body Mass Index Measurement in Schools” to describe the purpose of school-based BMI surveillance and screening programs, examine current practices, and review research on BMI measurement programs. The article summarizes the recommendations of experts, identifies concerns surrounding programs, and outlines needs for future research.

That’s from—wait for it—our own government’s Centers for Disease Control website, proving once and for all that bad ideas have no shelf-life, no expiration date, and are restrained by no geographical boundaries, since this particular one seems to have traveled all the way across the Atlantic before coming home to roost here.

But hey, here’s a revolutionary idea: how about we just own up to a few basic facts at long last? Beauty is what it is—an ideal, something to admire and aspire to—precisely because everybody doesn’t have it. in fact, most of us don’t; if it wasn’t rare, it wouldn’t actually be “beauty”—it would be “ordinary” or “common” or “plain” or perhaps even “butt-ugly.” I suppose that’s in reality why politically-correct nanny-state ninnies have such a hard time dealing with it: first, they always have to cobble together a position paper and a bureaucracy to maintain control over every aspect of life, including ones that are actually outside of mortal jurisdiction; and second, it sort of upends their “all must be equal in a grey drone world” agenda.

Human physical beauty is a peacock-feathered rebuke to the idea that we’re ever going to be anything like equal, no matter how hard some control freaks try to reshape reality. And if you haven’t figured out by now what all this has to do with bikes, bikers, and bikerdom, well, you don’t know bikers very well. From another UK newsrag:

Feminists are calling for an ad featuring topless women clutching glasses of ale to be banned.

The beers match the hair colours of a curvy blonde, redhead and brunette, reports CEN.

Now feminist leaders are demanding that advertising authorities should ban the ads due to sexism.

One unnamed campaigner said: “There is no genuine connection between beer and naked women.”
Like merry hell there ain’t. They’re two great tastes that taste great together. Go to a beer-soaked biker or car-club gathering, then a teetotaling church social, and see how many dames at each function are letting ‘em breathe, with encouragement being bawled out at fearsome decibel levels by drink-sodden gearheads, rakes, and rapscallions. Compare, contrast, then get back to me and tell me there’s no connection.

And for God’s sake, lighten up, Francine. You “feminist leaders” aren’t making yourselves look any better with this obvious bitter envy, you know.

Now if you folks will excuse me, it’s looking like beer:thirty around here, and I know a couple places I can go to get some where they don’t sniff at raggedy old biker-types like somebody just held a small turd up under their nostrils, and you can enjoy your libation of choice in an atmosphere packed wall-to-wall with Christina Hendricks-level boobage, all of which is out enjoying God’s Own free air like everybody else. Yep, writing this stuff sure is mighty thirsty work.

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