Saturday, May 2, 2015

Throwback Letter to Editor

Back in the day when everyone read Time and Newsweek, it was a happy event when my letter to the editor was published! Too bad that the problems of distorted body image and objectification are still with us today, worse than ever, it seems. Here is my observation from eighteen years ago:

Letters Editor
251 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019-1894

RE: "Is Fat That Bad," by Laura Shapiro, 21 April 1997

Your article concludes with an inspiring description of Alexandra Beller, but where is her picture? Perhaps it should have been on the cover. I would have preferred the sight of a "gorgeous" and "round" dancer, known for her talent and "strength of spirit" rather than the faceless, female hourglass that appeared on my magazine.

Why perpetuate the harmful stereotypes of size and shape? Shapiro writes that "there's not much else out there." Too bad Newsweek didn't take this opprtunity to provide something else, rather than pandering once again to that "rarefied world of ideal bodies" where "skinniness rules."

Kitti Carriker
Philadelphia, PA

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I had not been familiar with Alexandra Beller's work until I read Shapiro's description in the Newsweek article: "And that's why the sight of Alexandra Beller in action is so invigorating. Beller, a member of the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company, is a gorgeous dancer and a round one . . . heavier than most women dancers . . . although various teachers tried to discourage her, she persisted in studying jazz, ballet and modern. When she auditioned for Jones, she was one of 400 hopefuls and the only one selected. . . . Beller is the wrong shape in a rarefied world of ideal bodies, but her dancing breaks the mold. Shelooks great, and her strength of spirit glows. . . . Here's a welcome role model for being just the size you are -- and running with it."
Alexandra Beller
Read more
about Alexandra Beller
on facebook

And more
about body image
on my next two posts:

Too Beautiful to Go on a Diet
&
Weighing In

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