Friday, July 1, 2011

Peta Todd's piece on magazines and feminists

Peta Todd whom I'm a big fan of wrote an interesting article for The Sun. I don't mind the Sun, all papers are the same. They will not publish anything remotely negative about Katy Perry and a few comment moderators delete ANYTHING I write but other than that they are ok for a laugh. Here is Peta's article text:

Women’s mags put more pressure on girls than
raunchy photoshoots by Peta Todd

FOR the second time in six months I was asked to appear on Newsnight.

Yes, that's right, the super-serious BBC discussion panel hosted by the even more serious Jeremy Paxman.

Last time I was representing the institution of Page 3, but last night's subject was slightly different. Feminism is in the news, mainly thanks to a brilliant book by Times columnist Caitlin Moran.

In How To Be A Woman she discusses what it is to be a woman in the modern day, the pressures put on us and expectations people have. Naturally, a number of subjects close to my heart have been stirred - and I gave my opinions in a pre-recorded interview for the show.

The word "objectification" is bandied about a lot at times like this, particularly in relation to lads' mag culture.

According to some, women are objectified by raunchy, topless photoshoots. But objectification, in my opinion, is an ugly way of saying "appreciation" - appreciation of women and the naked form.

Obsession with naked women has existed through the ages. Historically it is the focus of all forms of art. Naked girls are found in paintings, as sculptures and on vases.

The greatest writers - Shakespeare, Dickens, Lawrence - all wrote about sex and sexual women.

Today the female form is found in lads' mags and on Page 3. If the demand was not there from the public, it would not be produced.

My commentary:

Dickens did not write about sex Peta, he was pretty clean.

I'd like to respond to this but in doing so firstly state that I am looking at Peta from the position of what she does for a living and offers to the public which is her great looks. This is very good writing but Peta is missing the hypocrisy on BOTH sides. Not all Lads mags have curvy women and Peta herself while one of the most justifiably beautiful women in the world and spectacularly endowed with beautifully shaped breasts is not very curvy or hourglassy from the boobs down, she is enviably slim and column shaped. Lads mags prefer Peta's look over an hourglass or guitar shape (sounds nicer than pear shape) and rarely feature small breasted women with large hips-even trim small breasted girls with proportionately fuller behinds and hips. Lads mags will feature women with large breasts and very slim hips though. Kelly Brook is perhaps the only hourglass figure seen in the mags and she is very fine boned and slightly built unlike say a young Sophia Loren or Jane Russell who were both very Amazonian with proportionately wide posteriors and taller frames, the likes of which you'll only find today on the lovely Christina Hendricks and lads mags rarely feature her.

We only see a truly curvy hourglass figure these days if the model is VERY thin. Measurements in nearly all the lads mags issue are false as well. They all CLAIM hourglassy stats yet the eyes can see there is scant difference between the hips and the waist. Once again nothing wrong with that but THOSE numbers are just as misleading as thin models who are retouched!
Bottom line is that ALL magazines have a long way to go before we see real curves. If you want all shapes and sizes then you want the amateur market mags which feature all real women without re-touching. Peta writes well and she is a wonderful and inspiring woman but to say "I guarantee the average size and curvyness of the girls in the lads' mag will be far bigger than those inside the women's..." is emphatically and empirically false

(I take back what I wrote : Kelly Brook IS a young version of Sophia Loren or Jane Russell and like Peta an inspiration. She is not as tall or as big boned but still very close and has the best body in the entire world. My biggest complaint with lads magazines is that , while I understand they show fit girls, they should allow for more variations OF fit body types. There are many fit , not skinny small chested and/or fit girls with big bums. It would be nice if they had some tall (over 5'10) girls in as well.

Finally I love the expression "They are groaning under pseudo advice on how to find the perfect man...")