Eyre Affairs

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

"Her thin face, her sunken grey eye..." ~ Jane Eyre

When Charlotte Bronte juxtaposed Jane Eyre and Blanche Ingram (Rochester's intended romantic match), she ensured these two female characters differed in physicality. In 1847, Blanche was the prize. She had sloping shoulders, thick dark curls, and curves. Plain Jane was not only homely, but thin. Her lanky stature made her unattractive based on the mores of the times.

This week has been disheartening. I normally do not follow the media items on celebrities, but it was hard to ignore the story about Miss Jennifer Love Hewitt. The lady has been enjoying her very recent engagement to a Scottish man who loves her for who she is, curves and all, and the media has marked her with a red letter. Instead of an 'A', the media has marked her with an 'L', incessantly writing that her weight is unacceptable and that she appears "large."

My thoughts turn to Miss Marilyn Monroe, Miss Betty Grable, and Miss Sophia Loren. Ah, Miss Sophia Lauren who once said her beauty secret was to have a "spaghetti night" once a week where she ate big bowls of pasta to maintain her attractive figure. These women were not even a size 2 like Miss Hewitt, but probably a ten added to that number for a size 12. These women have all gone down in history as the most attractive and sexiest of women. If they were all 30 years old today, they would be ridiculed and belittled by the media as fat women who lack any attractive aura. Can you imagine the nerve? I cannot, because men of history attest to their stunning beauty.

What has happened? I do not know. All I know is that Jane Eyre would be a supermodel in today's world, which would ruin Charlotte Bronte's story and completely eradicate the nature of the relationship between Jane and Rochester. Marilyn Monroe would have to turn into an anorexic before being chosen for a part, and Sophia Lauren would be forced to give up her beloved pasta if she wanted to be seen on the big screen. What is worse is that perhaps the United States would never have won WWII if we had the attitude towards a woman's body then like we do today - Miss Betty Grable would never have been America's pin up girl; where would the motivation for the soldiers come from? Kate Moss?

Weight has never been an easy issue for most women, myself included. I see women who think being thin gives them some kind of advantage in life, and I am perplexed as to why. Being stick- thin doesn't mean you are special. It doesn't get you a degree, it doesn't get you a soul mate, and it doesn't get you a fulfilled life. All of those triumphs rely on spirit and inner passion. As a former teacher, I watched so many girls starve themselves to the point where they were jeopardizing their future because of their fixation on being a size zero.

I sat tonight sipping a chardonnay with my two female friends from work. None of us are size twos, but we aren't twelves either. We are in between, and we drank wine and nibbled on nachos as we discussed Miss Hewitt. We agreed she has the last laugh here. She is engaged to a man who loves her for who she is...he knows that real women have curves, and that sexiness comes from within. And while we agreed we were meeting on Monday at the gym for a total body workout class and discussed a schedule for racquetball during lunch, we also agreed that we would rather be in the same class as Miss Monroe and Miss Loren than the same class as Nicole Richie.

Because a woman with class is more important than a woman being a size zero, my friends.



Blogger Slim said...

LOVELY post. Amen sista


10:06 PM  
Blogger HLiza said...

I'm size 14..tall and big for Asian women magazine standard.. I can't lie and say I'm happy with my size..I really want to look like Hewitt..(are all the American media blind..she's still thin to my standard!)but I'm also happy that I'm accepted as I am..my extra flabs are caused by delivering 3 wonderful kids, hubby points at them often but I can point at his too..! Life is not about being pretty all the time..

11:54 PM  
Blogger moi said...

Thanks for dropping in on my blob!

I'll echo the Amen to this post. I saw some photos of Ms. Hewitt on one of those silly celebrity blogs I lurk around sometimes and she received quite the bashing for her zaftig figure. I thought, "Good gosh? What's the world coming to? The girl is positively gorgeous, and hell, has a figure everyone in the really real world would love to have."

And besides, you ever see the faces of those walking human x-rays as they age? Not. Good.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

~ Shannon

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

"Of course I'm cranky - I haven't eaten in 10 years!!!"
Gracie - The Starter Wife

I am grateful that my idol growing up was Marilyn Monroe and recently watching Gentleman Prefer Blondes - I forgot how sexy her and Jane Russell were in that film. Not everyone is able to have the "perfect" body that society deems to be attractive these days but just you wait when Rubenesque comes back into style! As long as your health is not in jeopardy I say be happy about who you are and realistic about the type of body you have. Trying to force yourself to have a body that's physically impossible is just silly and dangerous. Your friends, family and significant others in your life will still love you no matter what you weigh and be drawn to who you are and the person inside the shell :)

3:59 PM  
Blogger Mayden' s Voyage said...

Thank you...for this timely post-
thank you~ I needed those words of affirmation this evening.
I know I can do all that I need to do when the time is right- not to impress anyone, or gain approval. It's "Ok" to be me...
Hmmm- No.
It's wonderful. And you are wonderful too Amy. Happy, Happy holidays and Merry Christmas ♥~♥~♥

9:11 PM  
Blogger Vixen said...

Agreed. I will never in my entire life be a size zero. Ever. I think I jumped from a kids size to a 5-6 in misses in my teens and that was the small size.

Luckily for me I've found the important things in life you speak of and a man who loves me just the way I am! :)

10:06 AM  
Blogger foam said...

you're darn tootin' right, sister..

like you i'm between a size 2 and a twelve. lol...

yes, and the workout is to keep those luscious curves healthy and not to become a size zero. after all, workouts are good for the heart and the soul.

on that note, i know a few women who can eat and eat and cannot gain weight....and they want to and need to.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

Amen! That was awesome. It is funny to see how standards change. I love Hewitt's response to all of it. That is a classy lady.

4:49 PM  
Blogger A True Janian Reply said...

Why does the (shallow( media try to manipulate us into thinking that our worth is zero if we are not a size 4? It is getting to the point that even men, are getting tired of this trophy wife nonsese, realizing that there is nothing inside. I don't think Jane would have been considered a beauty by today's standards. She was too short, didn't have lips a la Angelina Jolie, and was missing a boob job. I think Miss Bronte captured the thoughts and yearnings everywhere by protraying a young woman who wanted to be loved for herself.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous RebeccaFinch said...

I have yo-yo'd my whole life and have been a size 2 a size 12 and everything in between. There comes a point when you should just be happy in your own skin

10:58 AM  

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