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Paul Campos nails it again

Consider Hollywood's current It Girl, Keira Knightley. Knightley has a body mass that places her in the second percentile of the population. If her weight were to deviate as radically in the other direction - in other words if she were in the 98th percentile of body mass - she would weigh approximately 300 pounds.

Yet Knightley is presented by our media-industrial complex as a completely natural object of male desire, while men attracted to 300-pound women are considered to be in the grip of a bizarre fetish. (Meanwhile the archetypal male sex symbol Brad Pitt has a BMI of 27, which also happens to be the average BMI of middle-aged American men).
PS: Definitely skip the comments. Campos has a set of trolls that follow him around.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 27th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
This is funny, because I'm listening to an old "Jimmy Kimmel Live", and he mentions that, for Oscar security, they had to cover the drains in case it rained to protect Keira Knightley. I LOLed.
Feb. 27th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
(Meanwhile the archetypal male sex symbol Brad Pitt has a BMI of 27, which also happens to be the average BMI of middle-aged American men).

Which is a bit misleading, because Pitt's body is, I would guess, in a fairly low percentile range of body fat percentage, as he is quite thoroughly buffed.

The point Campos is making is spot-on, but he should know better than to use BMI here.
Feb. 27th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
How did I lose my Campos feed? Thank you for reminding me to put him back on my must-read list!
Feb. 28th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
A relative who is in recovery from eating disorders feel that the social/cultural explanation for eating disorders isn't as good an explanation as an addiction model.

I'm not sure what I think, but I figure she's there and I'm not, so I'll defer.

It could be a nature/nurture combination: a person who has certain vulnerabilities begins a calorie-restricted diet and it spirals into an eating disorder.
Feb. 28th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
I suspect the social/cultural explanation isn't sufficient, but I've seen evidence that eating disorders increase in countries that are exposed to the Western ideal of extreme thinness, which suggests social/cultural messages might contribute. (There are other explanations for the association, such as that along with exposure to Western body ideals there is exposure to Western psychology models, leading to more diagnosis of eating disorders.)
Mar. 3rd, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
Awesome quote. Thanks for sharing it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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