Re: more on bigorexia

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 27 May 2005 - 02:13:08 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: more on bigorexia"

    --- Kenneth Van Oost <> wrote:

    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From Scott Chase,
    > < But for memetics the things that I' ve read in
    > various
    > studies would bring the focus on means of
    > transmitting
    > boby image ideals and ways of changing body
    > appearance
    > into play. How important are parents, friends,
    > schoolmates,
    > and media in the cultural equation ? And how can
    > changes
    > in the ideals over tile for society and for
    > individuals be
    > quantified ? In a sense this takes us away from the
    > linguistic
    > bias this list has suffered. How can we steer away
    > from words
    > and towrds images as a way of looking at cultural
    > change ?
    > Measuring the shifting proportions of GI Joe over
    > the decades?>
    > << We are already two miles further down the road
    > Scott !!
    > According to D.J. Smail that is !
    > ( 1984 Illusion and Reality, the meaning of anxiety)
    > Smail argues, and I agree, that we' re all objects,
    > that we lost our
    > so precious subjectivity. How we move, how we
    > position ourselves
    > into this world IS how others see us_ we can only
    > react instead of
    > making decisions on our own; we consume but we no
    > longer able to
    > create; we follow without ever taking any
    > initiative; we confirm and
    > thus we can 't push anything thru'.
    > Words and thus for a great deal our linguistic
    > system objectifies and
    > the danger exists that we loose out within our
    > social intercourses the
    > sense of reality:- what can be spoken of; what is
    > pronounced; of what
    > is talked about becomes simply part of the accepted
    > truth and thus it
    > isn 't necessary to judge or to critize anything as
    > long somebody
    > with authority or with a more convincing ' image'
    > talks about those
    > things.
    > Evaluation and judging are subjective elements and
    > belong to what
    > somebody really is, he/ she reacts as an individual.
    > In our times of
    > objectivity, the content isn 't important, the '
    > credibility ' of whom
    > brings the message IS !!
    That could be something like the argument from authority fallacy, where people value perceived credibility higher than the actual content of what is said. We might tend to care more about what an authority in one subject says about something on an unrelated matter just because they are an authority than what the average person on the street says, even if the latter actually makes a better argument.

    Yet we might assume that because someone has a more muscular appearance what they say about fitness related matters is more important than someone who doesn't look the part but has a degree in exercise physiology. It's a matter of how people perceive others. They might value looks over substance.
    > The growing objectiviness of our society on the one
    > hand takes us
    > away from our linguistic bias, but on the other hand
    > the overvalue
    > of the WORD keeps a hold onto the same objectivity_
    > it confirms it,
    > it ratifies how our society is constructed.
    > Society/ culture is in itself a collective term, it
    > holds within common
    > stories about history/ identity/ ideology/ justice
    > and morality. This
    > system is fixed to protect us within its laws, but
    > at the same time
    > against the hazzards and risks of our inner need to
    > be a subject.
    > In the case of we wanting to steer away from words
    > and towards
    > images as a way of looking at cultural change, I 'm
    > afraid as long
    > everybody don 't recognizes the fact that we all are
    > individuals,
    > Nietzsches übermensch ( more human) approach is
    > characteristic,
    > we ain 't gonna get very far.
    > But the striking part is that our culture is in fact
    > one of images; of
    > objects who only can exist within and by of what
    > others see and
    > think and make of us. The one who claims that he isn
    > 't interested
    > in what the others say and think about him and who
    > thinks that the
    > save heaven of his own values and norms are enough
    > to go round,
    > misleads oneself_ as long you claim that you are or
    > want to be
    > ' something / somebody ' you need the confirmation
    > of others, they
    > have to acknowledge the fact that you exist. ( I ain
    > 't that keen on
    > that myself, but anyway...)
    It's funny how non-comformists stabilize upon subcultural norms. People break away from what they perceive as the mainstream and adopt Goth or grunge looks for instance. I don't know if I could assert that there's no such thing as true non-conformity, but the only non-comformist I could think of would be a hermit.
    > Who you are can only be SAID in terms of how you can
    > sustain the
    > comparisation with others ( what common is agreed
    > upon). There is
    > no or very little room for the subjectivity of
    > oneself, although it does
    > its part behind the scenes.
    > And in a society where you count more as an object
    > before anything
    > else, the attention/ the attraction to/ for the body
    > is very high.
    > Eventually, all will / can be measured as being part
    > of physical dimen-
    > sions. And to hurt people or to please them all you
    > need is to confront
    > them with the abnormalities and looks of their body.
    > And words can say so much more....
    Words can hurt, especially when you're an adolescent and get teased about your appearance. The clothes you wear, being too skinny or fat, having the wrong haircut, the out of date car your parents drive and a multitude of other characeristics that others in your age group can use as verbal weapons can leave their emotional scars. Words are important, like you say, but I think non-verbal stuff shouldn't be overlooked. Wasn't it Andre Agassi who said something like 'image is everything'? Sure the phrase if I remember it right is verbal, but it's conveying the notion that looks or status cues are important. Status related characteristics like clothes, cars, houses, camera brands, imported dark beers etc. are what people look at, at least if we believe the ads.

    If we were watching an infomercial about fitness equipment would we be more likely to buy it if the actors were way overweight versus in top notch shape? Would what they said be any more important than how they looked as far as audience impact goes?

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