Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In contrast...

Photo: Pixadaus

I can't remember exactly how old I was at the time...I think I must have been about ten years old. I was on vacation with my family. We often did a drive down the Oregon coast in the summer, making stops in places like Seaside and Manzanita along the way. I was in a gift shop one afternoon, looking at jewellery and poking through baskets of sand dollars and stones when I twirled around the rack of postcards and one, in particular, caught my eye. It was Marilyn Monroe, posing in a white bathing suit on the beach. She was radiant. It was right at this age that I was beginning to feel body conscious. Being that I was waaay taller than any of the other kids in my class, plus the fact that I already had breasts, I can remember feeling a comfort in the fact that here was this woman on the postcard who was curvy and buxom- and absolutely beautiful. I bought the card and so began my interest in the life and times of Marilyn Monroe. In fact, I still have the postcard, it's fastened to my fridge door- to remind me that I don't have to look like the skinny minnies in the Stella McCartney entry below to be attractive. To this day, I feel inspired by her.

Over the years, I have read and watched countless biographies of the woman. I've watched every single one of her films more times than I can count. I can even sing along to all of the musicals, true story. I could probably tell you anything you want to know about Marilyn Monroe.

Today, I read some of the comments as they came in on my last post and it made me feel awful because I realized that I hadn't really even noticed how skinny the models are in those photos. In fact, I've become so accustomed to seeing stick thin women wearing the clothes I dream about, that it didn't even phase me. It's a sad state of affairs, really. Had the models been on the curvy side, however, I surely would have taken note (and applauded). We just so rarely see different types of bodies represented in fashion these days.

So I'm leaving you today with a video clip (courtesy of YouTube) from one of my favourite Marilyn Monroe movies, Let's Make Love. I think she's pretty damn fetching.

12 comments:

Tania said...

OMG - by total coincidence, I mentioned Marilyn Monroe on the subject of body image in my post tonight, too!

Talk about being on the same wavelength! :)

J said...

Yeah, I wish that was what guys wanted in women still. Sigh. I think she even had cellulite!

Still, skinny girls are pretty too. It's about embracing all (healthy) body types, not about a particular one being better than others.

BTW, you're been tagged on my post http://hollow-star.net/wp/2008/06/meme-fun-tag/. <3

- J @ Hollow-Star.net

J said...

Oh, duh, and I forgot to say hooray for the Oregon coast! I got my cherry blossom tattoo in seaside and go past Manzanita all the time when we go to the coast.

Krista said...

She really was a gorgeous woman. It's becoming too standard to be a stick skinny, there are a lot of woman out there who have curves and stand out. I have body issues too and I know I can never actually be stick-skinny but I'm happy knowing that it's not necessary to feel beautiful. :)

good post, Jennifer!

Keira-Anne said...

I wonder what caused the shift...what drove it. I remember Twiggy being the first "major" skinny model, emerging in the 1960s. Why the industry followed suit after her, I have no idea. I'd rather have a few curves and some cellulite, as opposed than the seemingly breastless body of a 13-year-old boy.

Raul said...

+1 on what Keira said (even though I'm a boy). I think that the standards of beauty right now are weird. In Spain the Majas were gorgeous AND voluptuous!

Phaedra said...

I'm all about the curves and swoops on a woman's body, especially since that is what I was given. It's taken awhile to come to terms with this because I had become brainwashed that in order to look good and be loved, I had to adhere to the fashion industry standards, which for most of us, are unattainable. At least in a healthy manner.

Barbara Doduk said...

I love her too, she was sexy beyond sexy.

After I posted my comment on the previous post, I thought oh no she's going to think I'm being a bitch... but I want to explain to you I was anorexic as a young girl. I used to have stacks and stacks of vogue etc in my room. I was a clothing whore, and bought outfits that were over the top for a kid in grade 8 to wear, but I wanted to be like the "women" in those magazines. I even did a short stint as a model when I was 16... but something about it all seemed so wrong to me by that time and I quit. When I was in that terrible accident at 19, I only weighed 114 (I'm 5'8) and the doctors at the hospital made me go on a special diet because they were so concerned about my heath (aside from the broken bones). To this day I continue to fight my mental problem with self image. When I look at myself in the mirror I do not see who I really am, I am hard on myself and think I should drop a lot of weight to be good looking. However I realize I am not seeing the real me, and I have to remind myself that I am perfectly healthy.

I wish there were more role models that were healthy looking, normal, and natural.

Jennifer Stoddart said...

I'm with you there, Barbara. It definitely shouldn't be so hard to find a role model in the spotlight today who is healthy and natural looking. And for the record, I totally didn't think you were a bitch at all after your last comment. In fact, I know exactly where you're coming from. I have had to deal with many of the things that you mentioned above, including eating disorders and body dysmorphia. You were absolutely right- those women are frighteningly thin, and I can't quite believe that I didn't even notice. I thank you for your comment on that post (and for sharing your story in your comment here).

I also want to say @ J- I think that there are LOTS of guys today who would love a girl with a body like Marilyn's. As we've said, there's no one perfect body type...there is beauty in all sizes and men who are attracted to all different types of women.

The Vancouverista said...

great post!!!

Ciavarro said...

You know who keeps pushing this stick thin image of beauty on women?

Women.

You do it to yourselves ladies!

Jennifer Stoddart said...

You're so right, Ciavarro.