I’ve had a stomach bug for several days. I was not, apparently, (and unlike the character in The Devil Wears Prada) one stomach bug away from my ideal weight. At least if my jeans are any indication. Sigh. Or not. I’d have to have an ideal weight, in the first place, and I suspect that “less” is not, according to either the Fashion-Industrial-Self-hatred-Industrial-Complex or the Medical-Pharmaceutical-Industrial-Self-loathing-Complex, adequately specific, or sufficiently severe. I’d sigh, but no one who reads this blog would believe any expression of regret from me. I hope not, anyway.
This is not new or news, but WTF sort of universe raises any portion of the 51% of its humans to greet a stomach bug with, anywhere in their minds, some level of rejoicing for the inevitable-but-inevitably-temporary weight loss it might involve?
Because the week wasn’t fun enough, I also had a mammogram yesterday. Way more info than my male readers want, I suspect. I also suspect that if any arm of the Medical industry was trying to get them to go have their balls squished to the point of bruising between two heavy plates and irradiated yearly in the interest of keeping themselves from dying from a cancer that has absolutely dominated cancer research funding for decades without any serious improvements in outcome, there’d be a very different sort of public discourse on the subject. Starting with very noisy questions about where all that money had gone and moving quickly on to why no one has come up with a less repulsive diagnostic tool. And I don’t even know that I entirely believe in yearly mammograms (I tend to be a little skeptical of the sorts of regular diagnostic tests that involve radiation and evolve into whole heavy-income-generating specialties, not that I’m convinced the tests are worthless, either. My personal compromise is to do the mammo-thing every other year or whenever my GP growls enough.) But, really, why aren’t there simpler tests? That don’t hurt or involve strangers putting their hands on me?
It’s funny how much of Western medicine involves submission on the part of the patient to behaviors that amount to violence on the part of doctors and nurses. I don’t mean things like surgeries (especially the necessary sorts–big fan of having people fix my busted stuff, me), but the routine jabbings, drubbings, irradiations, exposures, and bloodlettings we’re taught to consent to, even ask for. Some of it makes sense, of course. In my February-is-the-month-of-confrontations-with-aging campaign, I’m having my annual melanoma-check next week. This one I’m fine with. I did a lot of baking-in-the-sun and my father died of melanoma, so my dermatologist is more than welcome to look my derma over, all over. I don’t expect to enjoy it, but I’ll certainly feel better about this or that mole having been looked at by someone who knows what to look for. Still, we’ve all been flopped about–often painfully–by x-ray techs who mistake us for sides of smelly beef, and subjected to imcompetent phlebotomists who seem to think it’s okay to take more than one stick to find a vein, or had doctors who never look us in the eye and are all-too-obviously trying to jam as many paying patients into their days as their egos and incomes require.
Sometimes it seems like the system is so broken-at-the-core–that the approach is so autonomically violent/invasive/insensitive that it’s no wonder we have come to see some bodies as Enemy and every condition as a war to be fought. So little inherent kindness in the processes, so much corporatization of the processes, and so little time and communication expended, even though study after study indicate the medical efficacy of both. No wonder pharmaceutical research systematically avoids the pursuit of critical drugs like painkillers and antibiotics because their potential profit margins aren’t high enough while pushing the hell out of drugs of questionable value like statins precisely because they can manipulate the medical profession into believing in them and make buckets (sometimes I think they put something in the water fountains at med schools that makes them all believe statins are some sort of fairy dust).
All of which is a not-atypical digression from what I wanted to post about today was this:
which is a nice bit of young-person-standing-the-heck-up-for-her-and-her-body. And which got me to thinking about how, even with the advent of actual plus-sized models (though the fact that that size range starts at…wait for it…an 8 is weird and icky–though it’s kind of nice to think that there’s a branch of modeling where more than one size is considered acceptable–I think they do go up to 22/24, so there’s quite a range), we are still defining “pretty” in rather limited ways–curves, yes, but only smooth curves with relatively flat bellies and no obvious cellulite. I suppose there are actually a few fat women out there with bodies naturally like that, but something moves me to be as skeptical of the natural-ness of most of the plus-size models’ bodies (across the range). We’ll pass over in silence the amount of “shape-wear” (I’ve always been amused by the weird honesty of the trade name “Spanks…”) involved. So fine–yet another impossible standard, even in women who are supposedly my size. Which makes Grimalkin’s self-empowerment via bikini (and a rather cute one, at that) even nicer to see.
On a side note, for those of you who do read the blog and are not familiar with the use of “cis,” wiki defines it thusly:
Cisgender and cissexual (often abbreviated to simply cis) describe related types of gender identity where an individual’s experience of their own gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth. Sociologists Kristen Schilt and Laurel Westbrook define cisgender as a label for “individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity” as a complement to transgender.
If this makes you grumpy because you don’t think we need a word for that, take a sec, maybe, to think of your grumpiness maybe coming from a position of privilege. Or just shrug and get over it. This discussion is here to stay whether you like it, or not. Like race, and feminism.