Which would you choose?

(photo courtsey PostSecret)

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mary said...

Definitely freedom! Just as long as any size goes and suit is optional. And I get to choose my company or "no" company.

MelissaS said...

i don't really understand the picture -- would we rather be thin or living the horrible life of a woman forced to wear a burka, not being able to go to school, not being able to drive a car, hold a job, have a male doctor deliver your baby (and women can't be doctors!), getting thrown in prison if any skin is accidentally seen in public. eating disorders are their own horrible prison,and we struggle and nearly destroy ourselves trying to look a certain way, but there is hope. the woman in the burka has none.

Anonymous said...

Any size does not go in this society, which I think it the point of this. There are ridiculous expectations in both societies.

Additionally, though not in this picture, women in Muslim countries breastfeed in public, no problem. Women in the US get threatened, kicked out, threatened to be arrested, etc for breastfeeding their baby in the US. They are told to sit on a toilet if they need to feed their baby, so no one can see their bodies. So it is messed up.


sarah-j said...

I think that both pictures represent a lack of freedom.

The lack of freedom is obviously different but (imho)the reasons behind them are similar.

In both cultures there are strict ideas about and, I think, a lack of respect for the female body.

In Muslim societies, this is expressed in rules which repress 'dangerous' female sexuality and result in a serious lack of freedom of movement, both literally and figuratively for Muslim women.

In Western societies women's sexuality is exploited by commercial interests in a degrading way which men do not experience to nearly the same degree. Images of the female body such as the one above do not celebrate or treat women positively, they objectify them in order to make a profit in almost any way necessary. Women whose societies offer them financial and status rewards for thinking about and using their bodies in this way are also extremely unfree.

Another reason behind both kinds of unfreedom is, I believe, a lack of respect, not just for women's bodies but for women themselves.

I really just wish that we could live in a society where women were highly valued, for their minds, bodies and souls.

Rachel said...

i don't really understand the picture -- would we rather be thin or living the horrible life of a woman forced to wear a burk

To add to what Sarah-j said... women in America might enjoy freedoms denied their Middle-Eastern sisters, but they're locked in a gilded cage nonetheless. Women are tortured into thinking that their self-worth can be measured on the scale, besieged with images of beauty unattainable for most women, caged by internal pressures to live up to them nonetheless.

I read "Kabul Beauty School" recently. It's a memoir penned by an American hair stylist who went to Afghanistan and helped start beauty academies as a way to help Afghani women become financially independent. I found it rather ironic that Afghani men value fuller-figured women and embrace a greater degree of body size diversity than the Western world.

Carrie Arnold said...

I think there are more similarities in the pictures than we might like to think. They are both ways of controlling women. The unrealistic images of women are like a virtual burka, really.

If I had my choice, I'd take Western society. You might get moo-ed at, mocked, be victim of diet shills, and told to lose weight at all costs if you wear a bikini and don't look like the blond girl BUT you won't be stoned to death.

We have a long way to go, ladies.

saa said...

Just wanted to say i enjoy reading your blog and the comments. I'm also in that wierd web of recovery and reading your blog gives me important things to think about that I most likely would not have ran across otherwise. Thank you.

emmy. said...

i'd choose to have the choice.

why should it have to be one way or the other? and, as i write this, i notice sarah-j's comment: "..both pictures represent a lack of freedom."

i'd totally be the chick in the bathing suit, though. rock on ;) haha (um.. maybe not so much butt, though. i have a little public decency..)

Crimson Wife said...

Maybe it's just my own value system, but I interpreted the picture a bit differently. The woman on the left is too immodest about displaying her body while the woman on the right is too modest. Where's the happy medium between letting it all hang out and hiding every square inch?

Decadent Westerner said...

The idea that we have to choose between either is a fallacy (often issued by those who wish us to choose the latter). Implicitely restricting the other's choices is a known technique of manipulation. If you ask someone "would you like beef or lamb for dinner?", he'll be less likely ask for fish.

I choose full frontal nudity BTW :-)

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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