Shameless Self Promotion and Other Joys

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This coming weekend, the 25th, is my early music ensemble's concert. Donne di Mezzi will perform at 7:30 at the ProArts Gallery in Oakland (550 Second Street, Oakland). Click here for tickets and info!
I'm getting really excited. Especially after the gig I sang last night, when my only thoughts were "God this is miserable" and "when is it over." No, Donne di Mezzi will rock. We're discovering cool things about the music each time we run through it, as well as neat interpretive stuff. I'm also pretty psyched that the venue (an art gallery not known for staid, classical kinds of presentations) means that we can eschew all concert etiquette! Well, probably not all, but it gives us a certain freedom that we wouldn't necessarily have otherwise. We're thinking of giving an oral description of the pieces, rather than writing academic sounding program notes, for instance, or reading the translation to the audience before singing....

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On the "strange things that happen on earth" category, France is considering legislation that would make it illegal to glamorize incredibly thin women. I think this is targeted at the fashion industry, in the wake of the death of a model due to anorexia-related illness. It's also related, I think, to Spain's desire not to let ridiculously skinny models take part in fashion shows.

Here's the thing. France seems to be populated entirely by skinny women! Seriously, I don't know how they do it, but the reason that you hear Europeans going on about how fat Americans are is that Europeans are significantly thinner than we. Celeste and I have both had the misfortune of trying to buy pants in France, only to find that France doesn't make trousers that fit our American asses. The sick thing is that we're both firmly within the definition of "slim."

Anyway, back to the point. I applaud the bill's author for trying to take on the industry that makes women feel inadequate. I don't know how they'll enforce it, though.

It will be illegal to "provoke a person to seek excessive weight loss by encouraging prolonged nutritional deprivation that would have the effect of exposing them to risk of death or directly compromise health."

How are they going to differentiate between that and a magazine that claims to "just depict people who are naturally very thin." Wouldn't that be the immediate response if you get hauled into court? Apparently, though, they're also targeting "pro-anorexia" websites. Again, I applaud the effort, but it's going to be even harder to prosecute people with blogs or websites.....Sigh....
Standards of beauty are weird things....My theory is that what's considered most glamorous or beautiful is what is least attainable. In the 17-19th Centuries, when the majority of people were working in fields and were pretty fucking starving, the Western European goal was to be round and curvy (only possible if you're well fed and not doing back-breaking labor all day every day) with super pale skin (only possible if you're not outside doing back-breaking labor all day every day). Now that we're mostly pretty sedentary, driving to work, working in offices or otherwise less physically than agriculture allows, the goal is to be tanned (not possible if you work inside every day) and super thin (only possible if you have the means to work out like a motherfucker for hours a day, or have the mental energy to constantly deprive yourself of nourishment....Which seems like it would preclude using your brain in any other way).

holy crap that was a run-on sentence......

But yeah, society conditions us to want what we can't have. That's something that legislation will have a hard time fixing....

Oh, by the way, here's the article:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080415/ap_on_re_eu/france_anorexia

6 comments:

Maggie Jochild said...

Just in time for Ginny, Myra and family to visit Paris -- I'm using your perception in the novel! Thanks.

kat said...

cool!

kat said...

yeah, Margie will have a hard time shopping for trousers.....if she sticks to tops or skirts she'll be ok (or even lingerie! there are some incredible lingerie stores....as you can imagine)

Maggie Jochild said...

Oh, then, I'm sure she and Frances will go shopping for flimsy nightwear...

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how they're going to enforce the bill. Some journalist also pointed out that most pro-anorexia websites are based in the US and therefore will escape from French legislation.
I stumbled once on one of those communities and I was shocked, because all the girls I know who suffered from anorexia were hiding it rather than boasting about it out in the open...

I was really mad though because some male politicians overtly criticized the bill and I just think they absolutely have no idea what we're talking about here... go spend some time with your daughters, you might learn a thing or two!

By the way you're slim too...! American women on average are also taller than French women I think... so that may be why you had trouble finding trousers that fitted. :)

Catherine

kat said...

Cath,
nope, length wasn't an issue.....it was ass size....haha!
But yeah, good point on the US based websites. I don't know what to make of the bill. Good effort, I guess, despite being totally impossible to enforce.

 
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