Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More on the Dove Ads Controversy

Whoda thunk it'd be a controversy to show a couple of size 10-16 women in their underwear?

Apparently, most men don't like them.

Well, luckily, men aren't buying Dove products:

Here's what some people (most of them men) think of the Dove ads: "THEY'RE DISGUSTING," reads a post on a popular online bulletin board. The author's opinion expressed entirely in uppercase, is that the Dove women are FAT COWS. The sentiment seems to be shared by the unknown parties who've scrawled graffiti on the women's pictures in New York and slapped stickers with crude slogans over the ads in the United Kingdom.

But a number of the derogatory comments haven't been anonymous at all -- they're coming from the popular media, and not just from the "morning zoo" radio shows or lad mags from which we tend to expect (and laugh off) this kind of frat-boy shtick. No, this stuff is coming from places as mainstream as the Sun-Times and Channel 2 News.

Wake up, boys. I have no interest in whether or not you think I'm beautiful.

I can kick your ass.

I want a giant picture of me with a boot up some fat media guy's ass plastered all around New York.

That'd be some controversy for you.

UPDATE: Well, twisty's got some goods:

This Dove-is-so-great crap must cease! Dove is not so great! Dove’s “real” women are, like, 22, and they’re conventionally pretty, and they’re in their fucking underwear. They are given insipid slogans, like “I felt absolutely beautiful on my wedding day!” Mouse over’em and they morph into bent-kneed playboy sexbots. They’re selling beauty crack. On the website there’s even a section where you can vote on the hotness of more “real” models, à la amihot.com. The message: Dove products will give you the only thing that patriarchy actually values in a woman: a tight ass.

IUD Update

I finally got around to getting my 3-month-post-IUD-insertion checkup at PP (Dear PP, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...).

There's some pre-menstrual discharge for about four days before my period, I still bleed for 7 days, but only two of those are freaky. The cramps aren't fun, particularly for somebody who never really had any menstrual cramps before and used to laugh and point at other women who ran for a heating pad once a month and popped Motrin like candy.

Oh, karma's a bitch.

But I don't have to worry about taking a pill. My appetite and hence, my waistline, have not gone wild. I don't have to worry about picking up or paying for pills (and I don't have to worry about a pharmacist not giving them to me).

Best of all, there's non of that agonizing depression that draped a gray guaze between the part of my brain that wanted to do things and the part of my brain that actually did them. Just getting out of bed, basic functioning, grocery shopping, was really, really tough.

And did I mention that my sex drive's back? Oh, sex drive, how I have missed you, let me count the ways...

I'm not going to recommend the IUD, because it's got its own set of problems. Since I haven't had a kid, my IUD is a tight fit, which means I mostly sleep on my right side now because when I do get a dull aching pain, it's usually on the left side (my gyno says this is pretty normal. Any pain that's manageable with Motrin is pretty normal). And when I'm on my period, it's a pinching pain, usually but not always on the left side. Not happy, but manageable.

And, of course, there's the blood issue. I've successfully managed to get up, go to work, hit the gym, and get home no problem while bleeding like a sacrificial lamb, so it's not crippling or anything, but it's not a "Yay! Fun!" sort of thing, and the first time you have those heavy days, it's pretty freaky.

So if you're not good with blood and pain, you'll need to find another option.

But if you're good with blood and pain and looking for something besides the pill, something you can put in and not worry about or pay for month-to-month, and you're looking to keep your waistline and your sex drive (after the first month. The first month is a bitch. You really don't want anyone to even touch you for, like, the first week), then it's certainly an option.

I'm told that it should further settle down over the next year, and hopefully the periods will get a little lighter and/or last fewer days. Pretty much every month that goes by, there's less pain during the period and a longer window where I don't feel anything at all, really, except an occasional fluttering.

So I'm back to functioning, but it wasn't a pleasant trip.

It's pretty much what all the literature says it is: hell for the first month, and settling in for the next two, so that after your third period, you're pretty well situated.

If you're going to do it, make it a month where you don't have a lot of shit to do.

That was a crappy month.

Women Aren't Adults, They're Minors: But Don't Worry! The Government Knows What's Best

Even if it were true that birth control leads to promiscuity, what business is that of the state of Wisconsin? College students are adults.

Nope. You can go fight and die and kill other people for your country, but go off and have sex and or get raped and you're screwed! Literally! No b/c for you, slut!

Welcome to Iran.

On Being Strong

So, I've been getting back to the gym now, after four or five months off. I was never an athletic person, and I always thought of myself as the resident Fat Girl at school (this wasn't so true once I hit high school, but my self-image was already set by then), so when I go to the gym, I'm still pretty self conscious. I try not to look at the women around me and compare myself, but shit like that happens. I mean, when everybody's (OK, when all of the *women*) are skinnier and hence more "socially acceptable" than you are, you tend to get a little ancy.

I do about forty minutes of cardio, and I don't kill myself doing it. There are Super Women who run full tilt for an hour on the treadmill or beat themselves up on the elliptical machine like it's a torture device, but I like to pace myself. I don't want to fall off the elliptical when I'm done.

So if you were to see me and one of these thin racer-women side-by-side on the elliptical, I'd look like I was behind, not as tough, not as healthy, not as strong. I mean, after all, look at her go!

That is, until you get us both to the weights.

It's something I noticed at the martial arts school as well when we'd do free weight and punching bag rounds. I took dumbbells in equal or greater weight to the ones the women who'd been there for years took. I thought it was interesting.

Then I started here on these weight machines, and you can use the pin to select what weight you want, so you can track what the person ahead of you was lifting, and I started to clock what everybody else was lifting. There were women who left the pin at 5 or 15 pounds for the upper body exercises. The heaviest weight I saw a woman clock in was 35 lbs.

I was doing a minimum of 45, and that was when I was doing the lift-over-your-head stuff. For the rest, it was 55-65. And for the legs? 90 lbs minimum, up to 115/120. the only other woman I saw do over 100 lbs for the leg weights was bigger than me set everything on a really high weight and only did 5-10 reps, one set.

And I'm thinking, what the hell is up with the lifting weights thing?

I don't think women in general can only lift 15-35 lbs. I just don't buy it. So what gives? Is it just a matter of doing it for years without increasing the weight? Why?

I know there are a lot of women who fear "bulking up" like a guy. The thing is, unless you've got a big dose of above-average testoserone, you likely won't do this unless you're expressly training for it and taking supplements. Instead, you'll likely condense. Muscles get denser, not bigger, if you don't have a ton of testoserone. That's what happened to me after six months or so of martial arts classes. My biceps got to a certain size, and then just stared getting denser and harder.

So, lifting more than 15 lbs isn't going to turn you into Arnold Swartzenegger.

What gives? Are women afraid of being strong? Or are the weights really not the priority, since we're all *really* just at the gym to get *thin*? And is there really such a push to be thin that we'll give up being strong to get it?

Because let me tell you, being strong is really fucking useful when your roommate and her SO are out of town and you have to move your entire household (including the goddamn fucking air conditioner) up two flights of stairs. It's also really useful when you're getting harrassed on the train or on the street. It gives you a confidence you didn't have before, and in fact, you'll likely get harrassed *less* because of that newfound confidence (yes, I've been harrassed far, far, less since I took up the MA classes and learned the boxer's walk).

So why keep lifting 15 pounds? Cause you think you can't lift any more? Cause you're thinking, "What's the point?"

At work, I sit in a cubicle immediately behind the receptionist. It took her almost a year to realize that she didn't need to call one of the guys from the back to haul around boxes for her. The sad part was when she brought me over to haul a box that weighed less than 20 lbs.

Fucking Phone

Our phone's still out. And I collapsed yesterday after grocery shopping and putting the last bed together, so the liquor cabinet contents are still downstairs.

Sad. Lord knows I need the liquor upstairs...

Also, I tried to go grocery shopping yesterday, and realized I'd overspent myself for yet another month, and my bank card gave me a "not authorized" message. I'm not sure how this happened. I was doing grandly this month.

Shit, what am I saying? This is me. If I actually had money in the bank on payday, I'd be somebody else entirely.