We never thought we'd say this, but we kind of like this Daily Mail piece: Liz Jones argues that striving to be tiny keeps women from achieving equality with men.
Of course, this wouldn't be a Daily Mail article without a few ham-fisted statements. Jones writes of hugging Gisele Bundchen, "as I crunched her tiny form in my arms, it was like hugging a broken umbrella." She then hints that Gisele may develop brittle bone disease. But you can't tell if someone's healthy by hugging them, and snarking on Gisele's body doesn't help anyone else's.
That said, Jones makes some pretty solid allegations against the beauty-industrial complex. She writes,
making us think about what we ate today and what we will eat tomorrow is a great way of ensuring women don't have the energy to succeed. We don't need 'gender pay audits' [...] to find out why on earth women are paid less than men.
The patriarchy probably isn't consciously using diet tips to keep us down, and there are many reasons for unequal pay, but it's no coincidence that women and not men are constantly pressured to fight against biology. Women's bodies are constantly described as flawed, in need of perfecting, and ever-deteriorating in a march of time that, if you believe advertisers, seems to bypass men. This focus on making our "bad" bodies "good" (and rest assured, they'll never be good enough) doesn't just distract us from more important things, it also underscores the notion that women are lesser. After all, we're the ones who need creams and shakes and cayenne pepper cleanses to make us less what we are. So while Gisele may be healthy, what she stands for — the preference for one female body type above all others, and the pressure to strive for an ever more perfect version of that type — definitely isn't.
Now I get it - stick thin means women will never have the energy to succeed [Daily Mail]