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Over the last few years I have noticed an interesting change in the world of cyber-art in relation to body types.  I am not saying that I have seen the bodies change - there are still a massive variety of bodies out there - but I have seen how people respond change.  

An evolution is taking place before our eyes.  A few years ago, photos of large, curvaceous women almost exclusively attacked comments such as 'ewwwww', 'gross' and 'I just threw up a little' (I actually received that last comment on a photo of one of my larger models).  Then views began to change.  Attackers were attacked by a new breed of commenters.  These new voices praised the models for their bravery, thanked them for showing how beautiful larger women could be and told them how sexy they were.  

Meanwhile, the opposite was going on for the very thin models.  They started out as glorified sex objects but a few years back things changed: comments went from 'hot' to 'FEED HER A CHEESEBURGER PLZ'; from 'nice model' to 'that is just gross'; from 'mmmm' to 'ANOREXIA', attacks on the photographer for photographing her and attacks on the model for making other women feel bad.

Today a third type of commenter has emerged; a backlash to the backlash, so to speak.   Mixed in with the 'good on you' and 'work it girlfriend' messages, larger models are again being attacked but the tone has changed.   Now people consider themselves doctors.  Instead of 'ewwww' we get 'Why the fuck does everyone keep saying this is hot?  This is unhealthy and by encouraging her you're only affirming her bad habits which are going to KILL HER!!!!!!!   This is not hot!  This is dangerous!  GO FOR A FUCKING RUN AND STOP TELLING HER THIS IS A VALID LIFESTYLE CHOICE!'   The skinny models have also seen a change: people are speaking out for them, defending their bodies and their health.  'I'm as skinny as that model and I eat constantly and never exercise.  Women come up to me in the street and tell me to seek help for my anorexia and that I look sick.  It feels like shit so maybe you should check your facts before you attack her.'  

So this is my stance: kids, a stranger telling you that your body is 'gross', 'unhealthy' or 'dangerous', that you 'need to fucking eat something' or 'lay of the maccas' is not going to help anyone.  It may make you, the commenter, feel better but that is all.  You are not a dietitian or doctor, you do not know the full story behind someone's body type and thus comments such as this come off as ill-informed, judgmental and completely insensitive.  Leave women to work out their own bodies and minds!  Point and laugh at the bad photo shopping or call a models body 'gross' to your friends in the privacy of an offline conversation but please do not attack the model online or where she will read the comment!   Do not think that you are helping anyone but yourself by doing this!  

In short, be nice, be humane, be compassionate and be respectful.  Look after yourself but not at the expense of someone else's mental health.

Thanks.

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soft light VIII by photoport
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Some only see the fat by SeductiveByatch
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Rosetta as she is.. by AlexanderB
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:iconthe-chaosincarnate:
The-ChaosIncarnate Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2009
A brilliant article. I hate the way models are objectified like that - a model's photo captures a moment in his or her life, their surroundings, their expression - a human being. Humans are beautiful and complex and individual, nevermind what they look like. ^^

Also, I don't think I've ever seen any muscular models, which is odd if someone's trying to capture images of the human condition
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:iconseductivebyatch:
SeductiveByatch Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2009
As one of the models you featured. THANK YOU! I wrote as piece a few months ago about the rude, mean and downright hateful comments I and other models get on our images.. What ever happened to Grandmas advise? "if you can't say something nice don't say anything".

I was actually told to go die in a gutter with my children for posting my nude shots, how is that helping anyone or anything?

I have also had the "health" advise, my Dr. says I am healthy. Thank you but no thank you on dieting advise....

I always say I refuse to give anyone the power to make me feel bad about myself..... we all need to take the power for our feelings and self image back and not give anyone that power to use simple words to hurt.
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:iconnarikia:
Narikia Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thankyou for writing this. Good work!
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:iconriku-x-gaara:
Riku-X-Gaara Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2009
I absolutely agree. ;)
Even I have to say, I'm naturally skinny, but I've always gotten so many comments from people thinking I'm anorexic or that I should just plump myself up more, but even there are the people that will have positive things to say as well.
Besides, as some people say, we're human beings, not objects.
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:iconirenelangholm:
IreneLangholm Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Superb article.

I have myself been a skinny girl all my life and have heard more than once that I need to eat or that I look sick. Even in my childhood. I can't imagine that those comments are any less hurtful than being told that one is too large.
I've tried gaining weight in all kinds of ways without success. But I've just had to come to except the genes that my skeletor dad gave me. lol

I think we just need to relax a bit when it comes to body shapes. They come in all sizes and neither large or skinny doesn't necessarily mean that one is unhealthy.

:thumbsup::)
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:iconbelieve-hope:
believe-hope Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2009
bravo for such excellence and for helping this world become a better and more understanding place
:heart:
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:icongirl-withagun:
girl-withagun Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
This is a very important issue to be discussed, and I am glad you brought it up. I would like to take this idea one step further, however. In a recent stock/reference search I discovered that most model pictures fall into one of two categories: thin or curvaceous. What about those who fall squarely in the middle and are just your average girl? Where are the athletes, the dancers and the bodybuilders? Try finding a stock image of a woman with some muscle mass on here. It's worse than the proverbial needle in a haystack. Perhaps the next leg of model evolution should include even more body types than just the expected extremes.
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:iconalicornmoonstar:
AlicornMoonstar Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree..and then there are those of us that have a normal body weight etc but have disabilities...I've been wanting to do something in the way of 'happy with CP' art for a long time now, because it seems like hardly anyone does :(...
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:iconsick-snowangel:
sick-snowangel Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
gosh, i couldn't agree more with you :) :)
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:icongirl-withagun:
girl-withagun Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
:) I'm glad someone does.
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:icondeltawarrior:
DeltaWarrior Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... People will continue to criticize no matter what, because it is also human to voice your opinion... I guess the important part is to be empathetic when you actually comment, that'll save you from a lot of awkward situations, I promise...
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:icondragonthief:
DragonThief Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009   Artist
Thank you! I can't believe how many comments I get on how unhealthfully skinny I look, but I can't not eat! I have a supper metabolism, and I could actually use more tone and trim up still in order to compete with the track runners out there who are skin bone and lean muscle.
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:iconmerlend:
Merlend Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
This reminds me of a few weeks ago while staying at a friend's house. I was living with him and his girlfriend for about a month when the comment was made. His girlfriend is a larger girl and we were looking at a psychology book she had, and it had one of those charts that listed your hight and ideal weight, her and I are about the same hight, and it says we sould weight about 111lbs. So, insecure as she is, she calls her boyfriend over and asks "do you still love me even though I'm fat?". Or course, he tells her she's not fat and he loves her no matter what. He reponce was "but the book says I should weight 111 pounds", and he told her "111 pounds? That's fucking gross. Samantha, you would be gross if you weighed 111 pounds."

That really hurt, because guess what? I weight 111 pounds. So even though he thought that was sickly and disgusting, he knew (seeing as how I was living with them) I eat much more than his girlfriend, and excercise almost never.

I broke my heart ot be insulted by someone who I consider very close to me by calling me "gross" because of my weight.
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:iconfeathered-cat:
Feathered-Cat Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I know this is old, sorry.

I wonder what your body types are though? Maybe Samantha has broader shoulders and 111 pounds on her would just look weird because it wouldn't match her shoulder width. There are just SOME WOMEN who should not be certain weights because their frame allows them to carry a heavier weight. (Typical, standard old school Swedes would be a good example. Not the snowbunny types, but older generations had the women help pull the plow and so they just naturally bred to be a "bigger" woman in the sense of their build, not their weight.)
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:iconxbloodandtearsx:
xBloodandTearsx Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009
that's quite rude of him. even if he meant it in a way to comfort his girlfriend, wow.. you shouldn't feel bad. he wasn't specifically saying to your face that you're gross though, just generally.. still, that sucks and i'm sorry. =\ did you ever tell him that?
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:iconmerlend:
Merlend Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
I did tell him, but he just kinda got upset at me for being offended...
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:iconxbloodandtearsx:
xBloodandTearsx Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2009
awwh. =\ that's just dumb. i'm sorry.
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:iconscottb:
scottb Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009  Professional Photographer
I have shot all body types from skinny to large and have had all the stereotype criticisms aimed at the models and myself. LOL I just don't get it - people are what they are so get over it.

I enjoy laughing at the sheepishness of some people. The robot mentality.

Scott :)
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:icongaborcsigas:
gaborcsigas Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
you enjoy laughing at people who laugh at other people and call them names, and you also call those name-calling laughers names? :confused:

"people are what they are so get over it."

[link]

...or am I misunderstanding something completely about this? (if so, then I'm sorry.)
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:iconscottb:
scottb Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional Photographer
lol yeah my theory is you can either laugh or cry - i prefer to laugh :)
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:icongaborcsigas:
gaborcsigas Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
you judge them and their kind because they judge you and your kind?

a "stereotype criticism" of theirs is information. a photo by you (a photo of a model) is also information. you enter their world with your info, and if they feel moved (impressed, hurt etc) by it for some reason (psychosocial etc background may run deep there as well), they reflect, entering yours (probably showing you what effect your info had on them). you may tell them not to watch your info (your photos), but they could tell you the same, to ignore their info (their comments).

and perhaps there's no problem with this all. after all, we're humans (probably). but being surprised and not getting how this works is... surprising and is hard to get. or not. :confused:

wait, what was it that I wanted to say before my argument cannibalized itself?

well, nevermind. people are all too often mirrors of one another.

:yoda: :blahblah:
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:iconscottb:
scottb Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional Photographer
i really don't understand what your actual point is... but i am happy that this has entertained you and that you appear to have read many unsaid things into what i have said. lol I probably make no sense either. none the less it is entertaining :)
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:icongaborcsigas:
gaborcsigas Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
um, sorry.

my point was that at first glance you seemed no better than "them", that on a superficial level you seemed to behave just like those whom you critized. you said you enjoyed laughing at them and you called them stuff (sheepish and robot-minded), without getting any deeper understanding of their psychology - and this seemed, again, to mirror their own approach to you and to your models.

i must've been mistaken (at least i do hope i've been that.) sorry, again. i'm too tired, probably. shouldn't comment in a state like this. :)

you've got quite a nice gallery, btw. :nod:
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:iconecchi-senshi:
Ecchi-Senshi Featured By Owner May 2, 2010
I thin you may be reading that instead of just laughing to himself about it, he's getting online and heckling them. I doubt that's the case. It's one thing to think in your mind "wow, that person is retarded," and another to call them that to their face.

Like your journal said, if you have a negative opinion about someone's appearance, and you really have to express your opinion about it, don't do it to the model in question.

I liked your journal, and you were my favorite person today, but now I'm getting mixed messages.
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:iconellenlovely-stock:
ellenlovely-stock Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2009
Are you saying that the best method, when approached by hecklers, isnt to "Laugh it off" like Scott has innocently connotated?


This is the strangest verbal attack I've seen anyone so eloquently deliver.
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:iconwdmedia:
WDMedia Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009  Professional Photographer
Hi,

In reality photos have been been manipulated since they were first being taken. The very long exposures of early street scene appear to have no people. They were busy streets but the 'film' was so slow that anything that moved was out of frame way before it registered. Lighting and the actual lens used makes a big difference. You've always been able to make someone thinner or fatter, taller or shorter by the camera angle and how you place the paper on the base board when printing, and photos have always been retouched. And painters were doing this hundreds of years before film. Photoshop just makes it easier to go to extremes. I use that Dove Campaign for Beauty ad where the model's makeup and shoot is sped up and then ';Photoshopped' (it's not actually Photoshop that's used.)


---
Cheers
Andrew :teevee:
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:iconcrimsonmeg5002:
CrimsonMeg5002 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Well written! I love how you addressed all the points.
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:iconhiddenshadowwalker:
HiddenShadowWalker Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009
Very well said. :hug:
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:iconptollemy:
Ptollemy Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009
Well said. :rose:
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:icondarthmarlan:
darthmarlan Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009
Indeed :nod:
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:icontherictus:
TheRictus Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009  Professional Photographer
I completely agree with you. All of the women you have featured are beautiful. It was fascinating reading the comments on the featured images and how, more often than not, the skinny models get wow comments and the bigger ones get ';poor her' and disgust. How brainwashed we have become... It would be worth pointing out that in Jamaica and other countries, it is NORMAL to dislike 'skinny' women (and by that they mean anything under size sixteen!!!) and love big, curvy women. My wife is tall, and went from being a reasonably thin, average-breasted curvy-hips size 12 to a DD 16/18 after giving birth to our daughter. Do I hate her looks now? Quite the opposite. What an unselfish attitude to give up one's 'beauty' to give life to another. I don't think most men will ever understand that... Does she think she's still beautiful? No. She hates how she looks and finds it very hard to change it. Do I think she's beautiful? Yes. And I tell her every day...
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:iconclandestine-wishes:
clandestine-wishes Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009
Well said - although I might not agree with the way some people abuse their bodies, be it over-eating or under-eating, I'm sure they are well aware of what they look like and it never helps for a stranger to impose their judgement to their faces. This would definitely exacerbate any disorders they have.

I'm an honest person, but I don't go around imposing my views on other people who didn't ask for it. Lots of people should learn to keep their mouths shut ;)
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:iconsick-snowangel:
sick-snowangel Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
this is such an important issue you have discussed...i actually wrote a news article recently that also referred to the disrespect models always seem to receive, pretty much no matter how they look...i can't stand to see people judging a model's appearance as if she or he were a commodity....the model is a living PERSON after all and not a thing
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:iconladyred200141:
ladyred200141 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for pointing out that we are NOT commodities....we are living, breathing, feeling people despite how we look. Each of us has an individual story behind why we posed or why we look the way we do at this moment and it is in getting to know the story behind each model/photo that we can begin to get a glimpse of the person behind the photo. :hug:
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