To the Fainting Couch!

Currently on Yahoo’s main page:

What?! Being thin isn’t the key to happiness? Controversial! Next thing you’ll tell me it’s not the ultimate indicator of moral uprightness, either. And then the universe will explode.

Btw, the article to which the story links is pretty good.* It’s clearly meant to be written in a way that speaks not only to people who are unhealthfully overweight, but people who are unhealthfully underweight, too, or destined to arrive there if they keep striving for thinness. Look at how much better advice is when predicated on general healthfulness and body acceptance: “Now it may seem like semantics but truly there is a big difference between looking at your body and all that distresses you about it, trying to figure out how you will shrink different body parts, and looking at your body while considering what it would do if you ate well, thought about yourself kindly, and exercised moderately.” Zany.

———

* In fact, it’s better than Yahoo’s cover bit, which pretty much manages to undermine the whole point with a picture of a skinny blonde. Which is not to say that there are no skinny blondes who have need for encouragement re: healthfulness and body acceptance, but instead to say that reinforcing the most obvious beauty standard while saying “You don’t have to meet any beauty standard to be happy!” is, ya know, dumb.

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “To the Fainting Couch!

  1. Paul the Spud

    We need a mint julep graphic for these threads.

    Oh, excuse me, mint julep lite. 😉

  2. Zack

    I thought the title was actually a nice change of pace. As everybody around here is well aware, the mainstream media hardly ever dares go as far as say, “You can be happy with you are. Really, you can.” I appreciated the sentiment being on their front page. It was better than the standard, “Bathing suit season is coming–time to die!” crap.

  3. Kate217

    Ah do declayah, Ah’m gettin’ the vaypahs…

  4. Arkades

    Hooray for appropriately-sized favors!

  5. Kate Harding

    Kate217, took the words out of my mouth! And I just posted a comment thanking her for this article. Like I said in another thread today, you gotta give ’em a cookie (a Snackwell, natch) when they get it right.

  6. Actually, I think the skinny blonde looks none too happy, thereby making the point that skinny does not necessarily equal happy. Seriously, look at her. I’ve never seen a faker smile. She does not look pleased to be holding those dumbells. Maybe I’m just projecting. Ten . . . eleven . . . ugh!

  7. Photo shop assignment for someone with more time/skillz than I: raise the middle fingers on the blonde’s hands so she can tell us how she really feels about exercise.

  8. Angelos

    Yeah, Paul, better skip the simple syrup and just drink the bourbon straight.

  9. I think this is awesome.

    The drawback is that it falsely shifts the emphasis from “thin” as moral imperative to “healthy” as moral imperative when health is NOT a moral issue, either.

  10. Which is not to say this sort of article should not be encouraged or that health is a bad thing to pursue.

  11. Paen

    Have’t you heard Melissa,the gates of heaven were especialy made so that you can only get in if you are really skinny.Of course this means that Jerry Fallwell is rather pissed off right now.

  12. Kate Harding

    TR, you know I totally agree with you on the “health is not a moral imperative” point, and I don’t think it can be (or is) said enough, but I also don’t think this article was too bad from that standpoint. The focus was, “What will make you happy?” and the answer was, “Being kind to yourself and realistic about the goals you set.” Yeah, it was a rephrase of HAES, but she didn’t dwell on health too much at all — more on personal happiness. And I can get behind any article that says you don’t need to diet to be happy with yourself.

  13. Pingback: University Update - Yahoo - To the Fainting Couch!

  14. And I can get behind any article that says you don’t need to diet to be happy with yourself.

    We can absolutely agree on that, Kate. And I totally DON’T hate the article – it’s a good one.

    I am mostly reacting to this:

    So consider what your goal is, and if being happy is a part of it, then consider the possibility of becoming fitter and healthier overall.

    Which indicates to me that if your goal is being happy then you need to pursue health and fitness.

  15. Kate Harding

    Ah, TR, you’re a better reader than I am. I totally blew past that line.

  16. Thanks for this! I needed some better news after all the disgusting fatphobia going around lately.

  17. You can make fun of Yahoo’s home page news all you want. I’m sort of anachronistically hanging on to my yahoo Email, but I do hate it that every time I start IE, I’m confronted with the most ridiculous drivel passed as news. Dating news: women don’t like creepy men! Job news: direct eye contact will make a good impression! And so forth.

    Of course dieting doesn’t make anyone happy. It’s a drug.

  18. And, of course, Yahoo smothers its fat-acceptance yahoogroups with hideous diet ads. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    Love the one-pound dumbells. Or are they half-pounds?

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