That’s the title of an article by David Penberthy currently up on The Punch. The Punch is an Australian opinion site, owned by News Limited. David Penberthy has been a News Limited employee for years, and is the former editor of Sydney’s tabloid, the Daily Telegraph.
The reason for David jumping on the self-esteem bandwagon is that Australia has been knee-deep in a body image discussion. Last month, the National Advisory Group on Body Image – which was established by the Australian government in March – submitted the Proposed National Strategy on Body Image to the government. Among the recommendations is a Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image, which recommends using ‘healthy weight’ models (a pretty ambiguous term), realistic and natural images of people and disclosure when images of people have been digitally manipulated. The report is currently under consideration by the government, and they will release their response in 2010. You can read the complete report here or, if you’re lazy, a summary of the recommendations here.
So that’s all pretty positive. There was a lot of consulatation and the report attracted a lot of national press. But David felt that this process what missing something, and that something was men.
The Punch has today assembled this special package of pieces about female body image through the eyes of blokes.
Nevermind that the report is aimed at both sexes (though it should be noted that there is a focus on females) and is primarily targeted to school-aged people. Forget that. David wants to talk about chicks he thinks are hot.
We were moved to embark on this project because the one missing feature from the important national debate about female body image is that at no stage has anybody asked the blokes what they think.
It’s a pity – because there is now some interesting evidence that women are laying a serious guilt-trip on themselves and reinforcing stereotypes about their size and shape which have absolutely no bearing on whether men find them attractive or not.
This is the most petulant statement I’ve read in a long time. ALL THIS TALK ABOUT HOW WOMEN FEEL ABOUT THEMSELVES AND NO ONE ASKED MEEEEEEEEEEE.
I get that this, though obviously sensationalist, was well-intentioned and that too many women think that they are unattractive to others. But it’s so fucking ridiculous for anyone to think that the magic cure to low self-esteem is what men find attractive. Get your hand off it, Dave.
It’s possible that men haven’t been quizzed on their sexual preferences as part of the consultation process because a woman’s body image should not be tethered to what men find attractive. How revolutionary.