We actually empathize - to the extent that we are capable of empathy - with fashion magazines' obsessions with body obsession. [You mean now that we have experienced firsthand the sick thrill of the pageview climb we get from POSTING WHAT YOU FUCKING ATE TODAY? -Ed.] For one thing, they sell! For another thing, they provide the only sort of content in women's magazines that actually make us feel really really viscerally deeply. Like those stories about Walter Reed or the Virginia Tech massacre, only actually so much worse:
"She'd let herself go, this girlfriend. She truly had. By our six-month anniversary, she cast a perfectly oval shadow and was aware enough of her condition to choose theater seats beside the aisle. This allowed our fellow moviegoers not to have to climb onto their seats when she went to refill her jumbo Cokes and empty what was, by then, her jumbo bladder."Ugh. After the jump, more textual equivalents to clutching our love handles in our fists and eating a whole can of wintergreen Skoal because it's the only thing that will make us throw up.
Page 46: Editor Roberta Myers labels cover girl Jessica Biel "unwaiflike"
Page 227: To which Biel basically replies: "What do you mean? This is the thinnest and least muscular I've been in a long time! I'm so lean and feminine!"
Page 152: Even the ravishingly-thin Susan Cernek (left) can find things about which to unconvincingly and/or half-heartedly claim she is insecure while on a Victoria's Secret shoot. Haha! She got locked out of her cabin! Oh wait, maybe her knees aren't cute?
Page 156: The best way to feel better in a swimsuit, finds Megan Deem, is to lose weight. Also: Highlights! And something about surfing that doesn't actually require, you know, surfing. Plus: she's kept the weight off! Now she actually buys swimsuits!! The triumph!
Page 170: Elna Baker begins her story: "Let me tell you how I survived the Great Depression." The last sentence: "In a world plagued by so many inconvenient truths, who am I not to recycle?" The story is about liposuction.
Page 206: "Now that I've been clued into stretch marks, I see them everywhere, even places they don't probably exist." Same with droopy boobs. Kinda makes you want to hook up the article's writer, Walter Kirn, right? (Yeah, he's the one responsible for "jumbo bladder", too!)
Page 176: Writer Gina Kolata, the New York Times' resident fat-apologist (and, btw, 100-mile bike racer!): "I've never really had to worry [about my weight.] If I did, the book would look like special pleading."
Page 187: Writer Rachel Coombe: "Maybe I need to start thinking of those five pounds as ballast, to keep me steady in my destabilized life."
Oh Jesus Christ! And yes, that is about the sanest sentiment in the entire issue. And that is all we have to say about it. (Fuck kickers. Also: Fuck kick-boxing. By the way, we ate a Snickers bar today: 290 calories!).