Tag Archives: Twilight

Linking Around

Debbie says:

We got out of the habit of posting lists of links, and we want to get back into it–there is so much interesting stuff out there that we don’t have time to write about. Here’s a bunch from the last few weeks.

Well, it got people’s attention: Femen, a Ukranian feminist organization, expresses its opposition to sex tourism by staging a topless protest in Kiev on Friday prior to the draw for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament.

It’s a small step: The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology tells its members to prepare to start treating transgender patients. “This is a huge win in the area of health care access, a major issue for trans folks. … We are starting to see some important wins, and they all have that same feeling, like how is it possible this is even an issue? These are the kinds of obstacles we face every day.”

Annalee Newitz looks at body image in the Twilight series: “Twilight: Breaking Dawn … is basically a surreal, humiliating music video about teenage body panic. Every fleeting moment of self-hatred you’ve ever had about yourself is chronicled in excruciating detail here — and I think that’s why so many of us love to watch. It’s also why we hate ourselves afterward.”

Plus-size models and what that means: “Plus-size models… must utilize their bodies as capital and embark on a variety of body projects. If their measurements are not in perfect proportion, some stick padding onto their hips, “chicken cutlets” onto their breasts, and squeeze themselves into a pair of Spanx. If a model loses weight, clients tell her to do whatever it takes to gain the weight back, even if that means binging on fat-laden foods that can wreak havoc on any individual’s body. Failure to do so would mean the end of her career.”

(A small antidote to that horrible story: “I’m not posting this picture in solicitation of compliments, or insults, though I’m sure I’ll get both. … I’m posting it just to put one more picture out there in the world of a fat woman with a pixie cut. Other women might look at it and think, “Hell yes,” or they might look at it at think, “Hell no,” but the point is, they’ll have something to look at

Who causes autism? Women, of course. Echidne is fabulously nasty about this piece of junk science. She also notes, quite correctly, that this is not the first time mothers have been blamed for autism.

Sorry, I can’t help you: Siri, the the iPhone 4S voice-recognition based assistant, won’t help you find an abortion clinic? She’s fine on sources for Viagra, however.

Twilight: My Hands Are Me

Debbie says:

Most people (or at least most U.S. readers) can probably recognize the cover of Twilight, the first book in Stephenie Meyer’s runaway success vampire series.

cover of Twilight: two arms and hands from the elbows down, holding a bright red apple. Photo on a black background

I have to say I never gave the cover a second thought, until I saw this article. It turns out that Kimbra Hickey was the hand model for the book, and she’s feeling underappreciated.

Hickey now stops anyone she sees reading the book to inform them of her contribution.

“I see people reading it on the subway, and I say, ‘Those are my hands! I’m a hand model!’ ” she explained. “I’m sure they think I’m crazy — a crazy lady on the subway.”

a picture of Kimbra Hickey holding an apple in the same position as the book cover, with an inset of the book cover to compare

I took a little while (and some conversation with Laurie) to sort out how I feel about this. On the one hand (as it were!), if she stopped me on the subway I might have a little of that “crazy lady” reaction. Everybody wants to be famous for 15 minutes, right? On the other hand, she was chosen out of a wide variety of hand models and those are her hands. As Laurie said, no one would think she was crazy if her face was on the cover and she wanted recognition.

We are our bodies. Because most of us come from Western/Greek/Christian traditions that work tirelessly to separate the mind/personality/self from the body, that can be hard to grasp and remember. Speaking for myself, I feel both possessive and protective of my body. I like feeling proud of it. I sometimes feel like it’s my “fault” when my body doesn’t work the way I or other people expect it to. And if my hands were part of the unpredictable, imponderable combination of factors that made a book into a best-seller, I would feel proud and proprietary. I would want people to know.

It’s so alien to think of giving real credit to hand (or foot or torso or butt) models — sometimes they get a line mentioning their name somewhere, but that’s the maximum I’ve ever seen. But when I stop to think for a second, there’s absolutely no reason that they couldn’t have put a little inset picture of Hickey’s face somewhere on the jacket flap or the back cover, just to acknowledge that they selected those hands, and the hands are attached to a real person. It’s just another small way that we disembody people (usually women).

She’s not crazy at all. She’s just asking for an acknowledgment of the truth–she is her hands and her hands are her. So if her hands are famous, why shouldn’t she get some of the limelight?

Thanks to Alan Bostick for the pointer.