"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Okay, let's talk about this and be done with it!

I've received a lot of flak, mostly off-line, about photos I've posted on this blog. I was wrong in one case, but not in others, which will require a lot of explaining and reveal some uncomfortably personal details.

I volunteer at a center that treats eating disorders. I take it very seriously. Word got back there that I was advocating unhealthy body images on this blog... and that led to a most uncomfortable conversation (and how was your day at work? discuss your sexual preferences with your boss?)

I posted a photo of a woman with an incredibly tiny waist [here]. People come in all shapes and sizes and, with 7000000000 people, some are going to be very unusual. This woman claims that she's always naturally had such a waist, was embarassed by it, but it got her attention in the modeling world, so she's come to accept it. I hope that's true. For the record, the point at which I thought the various women pictured became unattractive was the point at which they appeared to go from naturally small-waisted to manufactured.

That was also the point of another post I had that's been problematic. There had been discussion of whether a certain female marathoner was too thin and my view is that it's none of my business; if she can win a marathon, she's obviously healthy. I then went on to post photos of women who went out of their way to look unusual (one was photoshopped), which I meant as commentary: accept who you are and don't try to fit some other ideal. It was here.

There's one I need to apologize for. I was complaining about an ex-girlfriend and I didn't want to say which one, so I posted photos of two women I dated and of three other women, one of which was of a teenage girl with enormous breasts. That photo came from a medical journal discussion about the risks of breast reduction surgery in girls who may not have stopped growing. I should not have exploited a medical condition in an attempt at bad -taste humor and for that I apologize. [I'm not adding the link.]

That leaves the recent post where I created an imaginary running team [here]. People read things into it which weren't there. What I did was post photos of women with pretty faces who had red hair. I started by using fashion models, knowing there'd be some attractive women. I quickly had a list of about 15; when I looked through them to find who I found attractive, I was down to 4. Here's two I didn't choose:

Lily. Oddly doll-like.

Ilva. A bit angular.
I then added two more, which I thought were interesting photos. That was the problem. One of them was an extremely thin woman and, as she was the first one people saw, people assumed I was choosing the women because they were thin.

Here it gets embarassing. There are "breast men" and "leg men." For me, faces are all-important. I stand by my choices - those are some exquisitely beautiful faces.
I could get used to looking at this.
One of the things that continuously bother me are people who judge others as "too thin" or "too fat;" that is the most common sign of an eating disorder, in my opinion. People might be fat or thin, but you are in no position to decide what's right from looking at a picture.

Here's my famous example. I just happen by coincidence to have always been the same size as a celebrity. Here's the two of us, same height and weight, at lowest body mass index of 17.9:
During sub-34:00 10K.

And again, both at highest BMI of 22.9:

BMI is not a good indicator of health or fitness.


pensive pumpkin said...

Long comment. Sorry.

I didn't take any of it that way, and I've spent my entire life teetering on the edge of one eating disorder or another. The Disordered Eaters should be the name of my rock band.

Honestly, you just like redheads. *shrug* Nothing wrong with that. I used to dye my hair red every few years, but then I became second wife to a guy whose first wife was a redhead. That was the end of that. LOL

In my humble opinion, and as I have rather recently learned, life is more about what your body can DO than how it can LOOK.

And you are totally right about one other thing: BMI sucks. I am healthier at a heavier BMI and more capable of running than I was when severely controlling my dietary intake and getting tired much more easily. I don't talk about what I ate simply because I would cruise the internet looking for good ideas on how to starve myself. Don't want to encourage that. But a healthy respect for oneself is good.

And I would not want to talk about my sexual preferences with my boss. Eww.

Flakless comment here. Rock on.

sea legs girl said...

Ok- no offense taken here, of course. I post pictures of super skinny women all the time. There is no shame in thinking skinny is attractive either. But you are also right in saying BMI is not a good indicator of health.

It can't be a coincidence, though, that you ran a sub 34 min 10 at your lowest BMI!! Can it? Whether or not it is healthy, it does tend to help with running times.

P.S. My BMI as of this morning was 17.3. As for whether or not I'm getting faster, I'm not sure. Healthier? Definitely not.

trailgrrl said...

In the end we all end up food for the worms so who gives a flying patootie...you can't please everyone..I have learned that in my so far slightly crazy 42 years on this planet...you apologized and that was really nice of you...you did not have to..it is your blog you write what you want..people don't have to read the damn thing....people never say sorry anymore and mean it...they always make excuses in their apologies and that makes their apologies worthless in my book...I take offense to nothing pretty much so I did not even bat an eyelash (or a nose hair) at your posts....and redheads are very pretty : )

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Nice boobs in the second pic.

Hers aren't bad either.

Hahahahahahaha! it's funny because it's pictorially judgmental!