Yes, I’ve let this poor blog languish, unloved and untended, for months. Mea culpas later. For now, I’ve just got to get this off my… shoulders. I’m talking about arms control.
I clicked on Huffington Post this morning – which I do less and less these days because their designers seem to have a real grudge against Firefox users (I can prepare a PBJ in the time it takes some pages to load) – and one of the most-viewed features is “Ripped, Striated and Defined Arms: Gone Too Far?” The feature was prompted by a worldwide controversy that erupted last week when a UK paper published photos of Madonna looking unusually lean and “ripped” (and dehydrated, in my humble opinion). The slide show is crazy: most of the women (key word WOMEN) are just plain skinny; the only thing making them look “ripped” is the absence of body fat. A few others are snapped in action, so OF COURSE muscles and connective tissues are more prominently displayed than they would be at rest.
But that’s petty carping. My larger question is, Are we REALLY having this discussion again? Didn’t we pretty much beat it to death last winter after the White House released a stunningly gorgeous photograph of Michelle Obama wearing a sleeveless Michael Kors gown (the Irish Times bizarrely pronounced Michelle Obama’s arms to be “within the boundaries of acceptable female strength”)? Whether Madonna’s arms look ugly or pretty to you is your aesthetic judgment and you are entitled to it. Are we still debating, as we close out the first decade of the 21st century, how strong a woman is “allowed” to look?