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Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Bird Blogging: Backyard Edition

Check out what I found foraging in my backyard this week:

I know, it's the worst possible picture, but I could only get as close as the kitchen window. I feel like a Bigfoot hunter. "Really, it was right there in my backyard. See, I have this blurry photo!" In case this makes it any more apparent:

Is it a Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-Shinned? Not like anyone can tell from the photo; everyone will just have to take my word for it. It's likely not exciting to many, but I've never seen a bird of prey up close, so I was ecstatic. If the RSPB Geltsdale nature reserve has any influence, we might see more like them in the future. Hooray for the Baby Boom for Birds of Prey!

Of course, wild fauna are captivating, but what Friday Bird Blogging would be complete without a glimpse of the rare and majestic Martingale enjoying a stroll in the backyard?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Smile, dammit! Smile!

On the 'shift' in female body size in advertizing:

This stirring trend utilizing "average women," "'real' women," and the go-to "sizable" gal Queen Latifah in fashion magazines is designed to "reflect the population" and "help self-conscious teens (and adult women) see that not everyone is perfect;" although if you are a "real" woman, you are still "flabby" and should hide your "defects" at all costs. Hooray for progress!

The recent Dove campaign, which the AP also notes, illustrates perfectly this faux feminist have-your-cake-and-throw-it-up,-too attitude towards women who look like women. The campaign features "'real' women," sizes 6 to 14, wearing nothing but their skivvies and smiles, oh, yes ma'am, it does; and what are these unapologetically, proudly curvaceous women smiling about? Why, Dove's firming collection, of course; "lotions and creams meant to reduce the appearance of cellulite."

Telling women that they, too! can be proud of their naturally round, feminine figures as long as they look neither round nor feminine -- wear black! tone up your arms! lay off the carbs! firm up your thighs! and smile, dammit, smile! -- is not a progressive new fat-friendly trend: It's hypocrisy.