Stop. Promoting. This. Nonsense.

When did this... become hotter than this.

I suppose the tipping point for this post came about when I found this particular image being praised on a feminist website. Frustration mated with anger began to vibrate through my veins, fueling my fingers to pulsate without remorse for the words that have been constructed here, today, in this delightful post. I hold no apologies for what is about to tailgate this sentence…

Advocating images such as this does not empower women to a healthier state of being; physically or mentally. Placing “When Did This Become HOTTER Than This” as a message of female authority is absurd. How is this a pro-feminism tag? How is telling women that once upon a time women were “hot” something to encourage younger generations to swallow? What is HOT? When I was a child, hot meant don’t touch the stove, or you will be running around the house in a state of agony, holding your hand as it blistered from being scalded by the element. Webster’s Dictionary declares HOT as:

adj; A) having or giving of heat, capable of burning [mom’s aren’t lying when they yell to not touch the stove kids…], B) Being at a high temperature.

When did this become an appropriate word to placate onto the female structure as a positive entity to aspire too? When did this become something we encouraged girls to obtain, as a means to infuse a societal hierarchy within our peers? To be hot is to be loved? Really? So, to hell with becoming the next radical thinker, to hell with striving to be THE FIRST FEMALE US PRESIDENT IN HISTORY, to hell with wanting to advocate equal rights for females ACROSS THE WORLD; we should be sharing images like this around the internet, telling women that being rail thin is a disservice to your fellow woman. Rather, you should advocate that being curvaceous is to be hot, thus, you are not only advocating being a healthy role model for others, but that society will find you alluring, opening the doors of acceptance, rather than prejudice. Perhaps even helping you to excel in life that once, being “un-hot” didn’t allow. Because really, men drooled over those curvaceous women in the past – Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Paige, Elizabeth Taylor – were respected by men…

Horseshit. Through and through. They were sexual objects that were toted for their bodies, not their minds. They were sold as such, too. SOLD. Sorry, but am I the only one left out here who notices that this image is ironic? The skinny women are suffering the malice of a society that bullied them to remain thin as a means of success, and now are suffering the depression and mental illness that comes with trying to please a world that told them this was beautiful. Those women at the bottom, those curvaceous women, suffered the same depression, mental breakdown and chronic sexual verbal abuse from men, in a society that taught them to remain a masturbatory fantasy for young boys was their purpose. Bettie Paige was so horribly gang-raped as a young woman, then mislead as a pin-up model, only to later break-down in a mental hell of depression, that it claimed her life. People, do you not know the history of Marilyn Monroe? The poor woman was so depressed, secluded, and alone that she took her own life…

But my main objection to this imagery being tossed around as a positive “anti-anorexia” movement is as follows; anorexia is a serious disorder that is not reflected as a vain, sexual momentum by the inflicted. Those who suffer from an eating disorder are not doing as such in a means to obtain a “hot” status, or to be sexual objects, as many magazines wish us to believe. Toting imagery around that, in a sense, mocks the illness. Anorexia is not a temporary dieting plan. Starvation is serious. Period. Further, this image is telling others that it is okay to bully, to ridicule, to isolate those who are suffering from the disorder, or those who are naturally slender (and yes, you can be slender without being sick). How is this progress in the realm of advocating for women to eat healthier, to love their bodies (no matter what shape, size)?

What is important is learning to love ourselves for who we are; mind, body, soul. What is important is teaching women, teaching all of society, that concentrating on health is the end game. Health. Advocating society to maintain a “hotness” or become a sexual object is not. Absolutely not. Encourage the development of strong minds concentrating on bettering the world, rather than publishing dieting tips, or to obtain strong bodies or the latest in dieting trends. Stop. Enough. Bikini season doesn’t exist. Abs of steel are not real…

Women should be loved, praised, and adored for their incredible, natural attributes. Not encouraged to be “hot”. Not encouraged to look, or act, a certain way, or in a method, that our societies deem appropriate.

There. I am done.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/secondaura/ Laura

    I could not agree more! I’ve written a blog about this myself: http://secondaura.blogspot.com/2012/01/mrs-shes-too-big-now-shes-too-thin.html

    According to Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe “didn’t like sex or men all that much, because she was tired of men always trying to get her into bed.” She was a “sex symbol” for everyone, the world, to the detriment of her own sexuality. She ended up killing herself for Christ’s sake.

    People don’t seem to realise that people like Marilyn Monroe were objectified and used in exactly the same was as modern celebrities! The picture you posted is objectifying, marginalising and judgemental of women’s bodies. I can’t believe some feminists think this is a positive thing!

    • honeybee

      Interesting about Marilyn – I wonder if that’s true b/c I’ve seen on other forums she is held up as an example of a woman who loved sex and owned her sexuality. I was always led to believe she had a very high libido and acted on it regularly. Is this not true?

  • http://feministing.com/members/phoenix/ Sophie

    Honestly images like the above one make me sick because the simple answer is it didn’t every woman is beautiful weather they’re plus sized or slender… there’s also the fact that images like that trivialise issues such as eating disorders, low self esteem etc etc. Having struggled with both those issues myself in the past I know how demoralising it is to constantly be bombarded with images like that and to have every single form of media screaming out that to be succsesful I need to be a size 8 with a “killer rack and legs to die for”
    and I’m sorry (except really I’m not) but if you claim to be a feminist and honestly belive that images like that are a good thing then you really need to take a good hard look at yourself because correct me if I’m wrong but I belive that feminism is about obtaining equality between the sexes and no I don’t mean claiming that womyn are superior to men I mean claiming that we are equal to them, that we are just as capable of doing the things they do and men are just as capable of doing the things we do (with some exceptions)
    back to the issue in hand I’m a curvy UK sized 14-16 and I’m proud of my body, I haven’t always been and there are days when I’ll look in the mirror and thnk I look hideous but mostly I like my body. All through my teenage years and indeed still now I’ve had to listen to my parents, the people wo are supposed to support you no matter what your body is like, telling me that I could do with losing some weight or various other snide little comments and hearing stuff like that eats away at your confidence and self esteem. I still haven’t told them just how much it affected me and to be honest I doubt I will but lets just say I have several unresolved issues with self mutilation.
    Anyway what I’m trying to say in a very roundabout sort of way is that I agree with the OP wholeheartedly