Seventeen magazine popularized the phrase “freshman fifteen” in 1989 and the phrase remains ubiquitous in U.S. culture today.1 Seventeen’s cover story “Fighting the Freshman 15” depicted the inevitable weight gain as an uphill, hopeless battle. The so-called “freshman fifteen” fostered a legendary nervous epidemic amongst students, especially women, entering their first year of college. How… Read more →
Tag: women and weight gain
Women Who Are Too Much: Ann Helen Petersen’s Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud
If you read feminist journalism, you’ve probably come across culture writer Anne Helen Petersen’s work at BuzzFeed. With a PhD in media studies focused on celebrity gossip, she has written longreads like “Jennifer Lawrence and the History of Cool Girls” and “That’s What Happened Between Me and Clark: Revising Old Hollywood’s Greatest Scandal.” Petersen has… Read more →
The Fat Skinny Girl
By Cheryl Lemus
Yesterday, several media sites published comments made by Christina Aguilera to her record company during the recording of her new album Lotus. Allegedly, she told them that she was fat and that they needed to get over this idea that she was a “skinny white girl.” News about her comments spread like wildfire and there was a loud cheer for Aguilera and her acceptance of her “fatness.” Apparently though, today her rep emphatically denies that Aguilera ever said she was fat. Whatever the reason is that her people are backtracking from the “fat” statement, the celebration yesterday reflects that there is more willingness to accept celebrities who do not fit the beauty ideal wrapped around females. It gives women around the world a reason to feel content with their bodies. But, as we slowly accept that beautiful women encompass all different sizes, shapes, and colors, we are at the same time creating an ideal of female fatness. Aguilera’s (now refuted) proud statement “I’m a fat girl now,” may be a reason to celebrate, except she’s not fat. Not even close. By accepting that Aguilera is “fat,” we are only creating a myth of the fat skinny girl, who still has firm and flawless proportions. Just as we decry the ideal skinny female, the ideal fat girl does not seem to get much criticism for projecting a body that very few overweight girls and women have.