“The naming of the intolerable is itself the hope. When something is intolerable, action must follow, subject to all the vicissitudes of life. But the pure hope resides first and mysteriously in the capacity to name the intolerable as such: and this capacity comes from afar—from the past and from the future. This is why politics and courage are inevitable.” - John Berger
The proof that weight loss is political lies in what women feel when they eat “too much”: guilt. Why should guilt be the operative emotion, and female fat be a moral issue articulated with words like good and bad? If our culture’s fixation on female fatness or thinness were about sex, it would be a private matter between a woman and her lover; if it were about her health, between a woman and herself.
Public debate would be far more hysterically focused on male fat than on female, since more men (40 percent) are medically overweight than women (32 percent) and too much fat is far more dangerous for men than for women. In fact “there is very little evidence to support the claim that fatness causes poor health among women…The results of recent studies have suggested that women may in fact live longer and be generally healthier if they weigh ten to fifteen precent above the life-insurance figures and they refrain from dieting,” asserts Radiance; when poor health is correlated to fatness in women, it is due to chronic dieting and the emotional stress of self-hatred. The National Institutes of Health studies that linked obesity to heart disease and stroke were based on male subjects; when a study of females was finally published in 1990, it showed that weight only made a fraction of a difference for women that it made for men. The film “The Famine Within” cites a sixteen country study that fails to correlate fatness to ill health. Female fat is not in itself unhealthy.
But female fat is the subject of public passion, and women feel guilty about female fat, because we implicitly recognize that under the beauty myth, women’s bodies are not our own but society’s, and that thinness is not a private aesthetic, but hunger a social concession exacted by the community. A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession with female obedience.
The nations seize with compulsive attention on this melodrama because men and women understand that it is not about cholesterol or heart rate or the disruption of a line of tailoring, but about how much social freedom women are going to get away with or concede. The media’s convulsive analysis of the endless saga of female fat and the battle to vanquish it are actually bulletins of the sex war: what women are gaining or losing in it, and how fast.
Naomi Wolf, “The Beauty Myth” (via loreleiunleashed)
Like everybody who is not in love, he thought one chose the person to be loved after endless deliberations and on the basis of particular qualities or advantages.
Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past: Cities of the Plain, 1922 (via realityintolerant)
We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss- we want more and more and then more of it. But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass, say the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless: I am living…
Marie Howe, from What The Living Do (via fivegiraffes)
The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people’s hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely.
During the Age of Silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for I love you or I feel serious. When a hand was used to shield one’s face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one’s lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for Now I realize I was wrong to love you. These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn’t go round with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they’d understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you. Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me.
If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms – if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body – it’s because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what’s inside and what’s outside, was so much less. It’s not that we’ve forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it’s too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other’s bodies to make ourselves understood.
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love (via tilthe)
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
Maya Angelou (via circumstanceanddisposition)
So it’s 1:45 pm. I’ve applied for a job, looked through a ton of other jobs, earmarked a couple more, (just about) decided that I’m not going to do the interview for Gros Morne because I don’t want to work there (it’s eighteen hours in transit to get there. Eighteen!! That’s if the weather’s good enough for the ferry to be operating…) - and now I’m going to work on my ethics application, finally. I haven’t had such a busy week in ages. It felt like something had to give, so I guess Gros Morne will give, and everything else, I hope, will come together.
Keng Lye - Alive without Breath (2013) - Hyperrealistic sea animals created using acrylics and epoxy resin, layer by layer
OMFG these are so amazing.
I stared at these very hard and it took me a bit to know wut da fuq was going on. Amazeballs.