I'm in the process of reading The Crazy Years by Spider Robinson, which is a collection of his essays, mostly written for the Globe and Mail.
Much like his hero/mentor/inspiration, Robert Heinlein, Spider can be a genius and a dick, sometimes in the same work. He also wears his predilections on his laptop. He clearly thinks Rubens' models are a bit on the thin side and that something more like a Botero would be his ideal.
The piece that this quote comes from is actually QUITE dickish, in that it's a defense of consumerism and a rant against people who think that MAYBE it might be nice if our society wasn't so determined to use up and despoil everything in its wake. The quote itself is somewhat problematic, because of the focus on "childbearing" as a necessary quality in a mate.
HOWEVER, with all that taken into consideration...it still hit a lot of home for me, as I continue to struggle and contort with the body image/exercise/diet conundrum that is pretty much the defining issue of my life, bequeathed to me by my father, who died struggling with the same obsession.
“There’s nothing intrinsically sexually undesirable about a normally fleshy person of either sex: if there were, the human race could hardly exist. An afternoon in any museum should demonstrate the proposition even to the logically-challenged. This generation of this society has chosen to find anorexia attractive and a normal body repulsive. But why? Why would any male pick a feminine ideal with hips unlikely to survive childbirth, underdeveloped breasts and insufficient body fat to survive even the most transitory hard times? Why would a woman yearn for a mate whose status is so low that he needs to be in as good shape as a common laborer or warrior. Why would anybody seek sensual pleasure with someone who evidently has either no appetites or inhuman restraint?”
AND YET....the bicycle, the gym, the running, any time I get up and do exercise, no matter how much I tell myself it's good for my general health and that I'm saving the environment by riding the bike, it's NOT. It's about making my body comport to the image deemed as acceptable and beautiful by this society.
Yes,I know. Very First World problem, isn't it? Sorry for being in this mood, but reading that quote on BART this AM (on the way to the gym because the back-rack just came off my bicycle) it
really hit me.
Then I had to have a gender politics rant because my co-worker called Katy Perry a ho because she's going out with Robert Pattinson, but that's a whole other post, which I may or may not do later.