Catching Up after an Unexpected Vacation

Laurie and Debbie say:

So we were all set to be blogging heroes last week when the site went down (some kind of software incompatibility). All thanks to our webmaster for sorting it all out and getting us back up.

Now we have all kinds of interesting things backed up, so instead of a single-focus post, here’s an overview of what we’ve been thinking about.

Carmen Van Kerckhove at the very fine blog Racialicious wrote last month about Tyra Banks, in a piece good enough to remind you about three weeks later.

I guess [Tyra Banks] wasn’t satisfied with her last I’m-not-fat attempt, so she decided to recreate her famous Sports Illustrated cover – pink polka-dot bikini and all. As if that wasn’t ridiculous enough, she actually had the balls to make this a Black History Month event! Because she was the first African-American swimsuit model to appear on the cover of SI, and “it enabled young women of color to realize that they CAN…DREAM…BIG!”

Be sure to check out Carmen’s parody cover at the end of the entry.

Alan Bostick pointed us to this short piece from boingboing. We have to say here that as much as we hate this kind of advertising, we’re both more than a little uncomfortable at tagging conventional beauty with signs of infectious disease. There’s an extremely cross-cultural human tendency to be discomfited by open sores; in our view, not the best way to rebel against conventional beauty. This one deserves a fuller examination at some point.

The American Psychological Association has issued a 72-page (!) task force report on the sexualization of girls. Neither of us has read it all yet, but a quick scan says we agree with some if not all of what they have to say, and it is certainly worth a closer look. Much attention is paid to the media, which means they were looking in the right places. Thanks to Kevin J. Maroney for the pointer.

It’s no secret that drugs get produced according to how much money they can make, with no attention to whether or not they save lives. In this case, however, African victims of sleeping sickness may get the treatment they need, not because of the disastrous consequences of sleeping sickness but because *drum roll* the same drug “eliminates facial hair in women.” Note that Doctors without Borders, who host the article, have been arguing for keeping this drug in production for a decade; and also that now that the drug has a first-world cosmetic use, they still have to negotiate with the drug company to get it distributed in Africa. It’s like bombers and bakesales: we live for the day when they keep making a drug that eliminates facial hair in women because they discover that it also saves lives. Thanks to KMS for this one.

And finally, we can’t resist these, and we bet you can’t either. Artist Guido Daniele gives body image (well, hand image) an entirely new look. Lani Ka’ahumanu sent us this one.

Tyra Banks, cold sores, advertising, American Psychological Association, sexualization, girls, sleeping sickness, facial hair, body image, size acceptance, beauty, Guido Daniele, Body Impolitic