Twisting ourselves into another’s distorted view of what we should be

3 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: What do an anchor in Wisconsin and a young woman who looks like a kewpie doll have in common? They are responding to a twisted worldview. Sarah B. Weir wrote the Shine article, Real-life Anime Girl: Anastasiya Shpagina’s Bizarre Make-up Tutorial, which got moi thinking.

It takes Shpagina about an hour to achieve her doe-eyed look—don’t worry, the video is only six minutes long. Photographs on her Facebook fan page show a dangerously waifish young woman with deep crimson hair. She says she would like to one day have surgery to reshape her eyes and nip in her waist even more drastically. Shpagina is reported to weigh only about 90 pounds. Her VK page is posted with images that inspire her such as dragonflies, flowers, butterflies, tiny deer, and other woodland creatures, but her true muse is Valerie Lukyanova, the 21-year-old who sparked controversy in the spring by using plastic surgery and photo retouching to become a real-life Barbie.

Now contrast Ms. Shpagina’s story with Emily Bazelon’s Slate report, Check Out Jennifer Livingston’s Awesome Retort to Fat Shaming:

Go Jennifer Livingston! That’s the verdict since the Wisconsin news anchor went on air to stand up for herself against a fat-shaming email from a viewer. Here’s the mean message:

Subject: Community Responsibility

Hi Jennifer,

It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years.

Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.

And here’s Livington’s heartfelt response. She delivers it with exactly the right amount of outrage and sensitivity. A video is part of the article, so one can view Ms. Livingston’s comments in their entirety.

Bazelon excerpts the following remarks:

My favorite parts: “The truth is I am overwieght. You can call me fat. Even obsese on a doctor’s chart. Do you think I don’t know that? You’re not a friend of mine. You’re not part of my family. … You know nothing about me that you don’t see on the outside. I am much more than a number on a scale.” Building to: “This behavior is learned. It is passed down. If you’re at home and you’re talking about the fat news lady, guess what, your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat.”

Livingston ends by reminding adults to teach by example, and exhorting children who feel lost—because of weight or color or sexual preference or acne—”Do not let your self worth be defined by bullies.” She points out that it’s Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and she has crafted an excellent message for the occasion.

The culture seems to be sexualizing children at an ever younger age and it becomes more difficult for parents and guardians to allow children to just remain, well children, for a bit longer. Still, parents and guardians must do their part to make sure children are in safe and secure environments. A pole dancing fourth grader is simply unacceptable.

A recent example of the culture sexualizing women involves starlet, Dakota Fanning. Sean Poulter is reporting in the Daily Mail article, Dakota Fanning’s ‘Lolita’ perfume ad for Marc Jacobs is banned for ‘sexualising children’

A perfume advertisement featuring teen actress Dakota Fanning has been banned on the basis it appeared to ‘sexualise a child’.

The actress is 17, but she looked younger in the magazine ad for ‘Oh Lola!’, where she was sitting on the floor with the perfume bottle between her thighs.

Moi loves fashion and adores seeing adult looks on adults. Many 20 and 30 somethings prefer what I would charitably call the “slut chiclook. This look is questionable fashion taste, in my opinion, but at least the look involves questionable taste on the part of adults as to how they present themselves to the public.

The Girl Scouts of America has some great suggestions for dealing with a reality television world. Here are suggestions from Girls Scouts Research about how parents can talk to their children about reality television Unfortunately, this sexualization of the culture has lead to a blurring of the lines between reality show life and real life and many are unable to distinguish between the two.

Dr. Wilda has been just saying for quite a while.


  1. Popwatch’s Miley Cyrus Pole Dance Video

  2. Baby Center Blog Comments About Miley Cyrus Pole Dance

  3. The Sexualization of Children

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