Bimbos galore!

I saw in the Quebec French-speaking press that a new simulation game is attracting huge numbers of teenage girls. Apparently the site lets you evolve your avatar by getting breast implants, choosing the right chin and various other body-image-related atrocities. Click here and here to find out more. The Quebec site had 839,000 hits alone during the month of May, which is huge for a population of 7 million total.

What gets me, though, is the failure, once again, of the general public and the media to recognise that miss bimbo is not just purveying bad body image – it is symptomatic of institutional sexism.

When will people start to realise that we are cogs in the machine and we need to force an overhaul?

12 thoughts on “Bimbos galore!

  1. i think i’m fairly knowledgeable of how society (and industry especially) thrives off of exploiting our insecurities and how the intense focus on female beauty leaves women at a disadvantage. and yes, the inherent unfairness of it all angers me.

    but, at the same time, i’m a consumer of cosmetic products and would personally find it really hard to chuck all the “rules” of how women are supposed to look: the make-up, the heels, et cetera. it’s been ingrained in me. so it’s hard for me to lambaste a game that allows you to make your virtual boobs bigger, when i’m spending a good chunk of my actual wages on bronzing lotions, anti-wrinkle creams, and foundation to cover up my face.

    it sucks knowing you’re a cog…

  2. During 2007, it has been ranked that Botox and liposuction are the most popular surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures done for the entire year. The released statistics state that 456,828 liposuctions and over 2.7 million Botox procedures were done. We should have a lot of beautiful people walking about right now . That is more than I would have ever thought. Imagine all the people you would never think that have gotten some kind of plastic surgery done.
    As far as I’m concerned: what ever happened to natural beauty?

  3. I believe there is a big difference between taking pride in your appearance and believing that you cannot be happy unless you have bigger boobs, look 25 when you’re 45, and weigh 133lbs for 5’8″.

    sylvie, when I talk about being a cog, I’m not talking about the cosmetic industry “exploiting” our insecurities, but “creating” them.

  4. Do you see a difference between exploiting insecurities and creating them? Because I keep thinking about how oppression functions best when everybody buys into it.

  5. Are you insinuating that taking care of your appearance is “selling out”? ;-P

    Would planting flowers in my front garden, mowing my lawn and cleaning my windows therefore be selling out to the home improvment industry??

  6. I see it like this — buying foundation to smooth out and enhance a brown complexion is healthy — buying bleaching cream to deny that complexion is unhealthy. Planting flowers in your yard to make a lovely home for your family is healthy — buying a big showy house you can’t afford is unhealthy — but if you can afford the big house it’s fine.

  7. sinoangle,

    i guess i think there’s a blur between healthy and unhealthy ways to take care of one’s appearance. i think the idea of breast implants is pretty physically brutal. but then i also think, “well, i chose to get braces as a kid,” which is metal wires and brackets wrenching my teeth away from their natural alignment. my teeth were perfectly healthy; it just wasn’t the best grill to look at. so, sometimes i think there’s a closer relationship between “normal” ways of prettifying yourself (like make-up and such) and the not so normal ways, and that i’m personally conflicted about it.

  8. I think the normal ways are based on celebrating your beauty and the abnormal ways treat your appearance as a problem to be fixed.

  9. sinoangle, I would say you should cut your hair and take showers. I can’t think of an appropriate analogy for planting flowers in your front garden. In any event, while I’d say that exploiting insecurities is Not a Good Thing, I’m not sure there’s a definite line between self-enhancement, improvement, whatever, and buying into idealized standards of beauty.

  10. The unattainable standard that encouragages models to diet to the point where they no longer menstruate and their hair falls out, or lose so much weight by binging and purging that they die is just sickening. The powerful effect this has on children, plus the issue of obesity due to lack of physical excercise and the harmful ingredients in our foods such as high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils and a host of other ingredients that may be the real culprit in health are being exploited and mishandled.
    Pediatrians use charts and graphs sometimes without actually making a realistic assessment.
    There is a lot of pressure on young children to conform to the unattainable standard, and then the intersection of race and gender comes into play. For example, I just read an article in my local paper, written by a woman who had taken a trip with her seven year old daugther. They got a nice tan. Her daughter started crying after the trip because she wanted her skin to be light again. Apparently, a classmate told her that she couldn’t play twins with her anymore because they didn’t match. Another big issue is facial hair. What about kids who have dark hair over their lips. Since it doesn’t seem to fit the standard, these kids can be told that they have a mustache. This is painful stuff. Should the lady give her daughter an umbrella? Should the kid have laser hair removal.
    I personally think not, but there is a lot of pressure to conform and a powerfull effect on self-esteem at work here.

  11. I accept that it’s not so cut and dried, but panracial’s nomal/abnormal definition is a good rule of thumb IMO. :)

  12. Last night I watched a movie on tv where a little girl was being raised by her single father (both white.) She decided the father needed a girlfriend and tried to fix him up with a woman she knew – black, Caribbean, and obese. When the two adults met alone in the room where they had been tricked together and realized what was going on, the audience was supposed to note and laugh at the utter unfeasibility of this handsome slender white man and this large black woman — for no reason other than their apperances. As the man stammered the woman beats him to the punch saying that he is too pale and bony for her — another laugh because its the overweight black (read: undesirable) woman rejecting the white man who’s a catch and because society doesn’t attach any negative connotations to either white skin or being slim. The white man later ends up with a slim white woman.

    It was a double whammy of sexism and racism that the audience was supposed to laugh at, spurred on by prejudices that remain too unconcious to be distasteful. Despite the fact that the black woman was as pretty as the white woman, the whole incident reminded me of this post as far as being an example of “symptomatic of institutional sexism (and racism)” and humor that demands that people don’t “start to realise that we are cogs in the machine and we need to force an overhaul” that wouldn’t automatically honor white slim women at the expense of black women large or small.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s