I have a plan to write a long post about the responses to False Advertising a post in which Morphing into Mama says that she believes that to significantly change your appearance after you get married, for instance by cutting your hair or gaining weight, is false advertising.
Before I go any further I do have to quote Twisty:
And, lard-jesus no! MIM, who says she “works” to maintain her figure “for myself and my husband,” goes on to suggest that a person’s weight is indicative, not, as a rational person might imagine, of how much she weighs, but of her degree of “self-respect.” Overweight people, MIM asserts, are probably “depressed.” She asks, “can you imagine still maintaining the same level of physical attraction for your mate when he’s depressed?”
There has been a huge response to MiM’s post, and it’s that collective response that I want to write about. But before I can do that I have to express disbelief at the context in which she reached this particular conclusion:
Recently, in my psychopathology class, I was reminded of this conversation with Husband. My classmates and I were discussing a journal article on bulimia nervosa and speculative reasons were being tossed around as to why the majority of the women sampled were married.
“Maybe married women feel more pressure to be thin for their husbands,” one young, unmarried classmate said.
“Really? Because when I’m in a relationship, I get all comfortable and actually tend to plump up,” said another, very honest young woman to my left.
“Well, first I don’t think it’s fair to say that being married caused these women to be bulimic ““ especially since being in a relationship can make one conscious about one’s weight just as being single can. When you’re single, you want to be in good shape not just for yourself, but so that you can feel confident about how you look and feel like you can attract a partner. When you’re married ““ and especially after having kids ““ you’re conscious about your weight, which may motivate you to watch what you eat and exercise, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop an eating disorder. I am conscious of my weight, so I don’t snack, and I exercise. Personally, I think it would be unfair to Husband if I gained a bunch of weight and did nothing about it.”
She was having a conversation about why eating disorders were more commmon among married women, she thinks about her body, food and exercise, within her relationship, and her conclusion is that it wouldn’t be fair to her husband to gain weight.
I’m reminded of last year’s anti-feminist women’s rights co-ordinator at the local university. She wasn’t into ‘No Diet Day’ so she renamed it ‘Love your body day’. How do you love your body? By eating fruit and doing yoga.
I don’t want to blame her for thinking like this, there’s a lot of resources poured into to making women feel like this. It just makes me terribly, terribly, sad and angry.
Also posted at my blog