The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Anxiety… So Hot Right Now

Posted by Leah on July 13, 2008

Just when I thought The Age online had all the best stock-parts-of-women-pics, this turned up, used by ninemsn to draw attention on their front page to – wait for it – an article on anxiety and depression sensitively titled ‘Chill out: what to do when worry takes over’.

Well, I don’t know about you gals, but feeling anxious always makes me want to glide on some red lipstick, get my teeth whitened and sensuously bite my lower lip. And after I’ve done that I really love being told to ‘Chill out’ – it’s a surefire way to get that pesky wandering womb back in place and keep a lid on any impending bouts of hysteria.

This cracker was followed by another classic – accompanying ‘Busted: the breast enhancement boom’.

Weirdly, this was positioned directly below the lips photo, so my first impression was of a woman measuring her chest who HAS MASSIVE LIPS INSTEAD OF A HEAD AHHHHH. While the article on lips – sorry – anxiety is fairly straightforward, the breast ‘enhancement’ article contains some true clangers.

‘There is a large Asian population in Australia, many of whom have naturally small busts and want a very natural enhancement. The yummy mummy, that is, young mothers, commonly seek a breast rejuvenation after they’ve had children — this is usually a breast lift, modest implant and a tummy tuck. None of this is a surprise, but perhaps the newest set coming into the surgery is the group I call the studly hubby. Basically these are men over 30 who are feeling increasing pressure to make an effort to look good. In these cases it’s a case of tackling manboobs and stomach.’

So did you get that? Asian women have small breasts, young mothers are physical wrecks and men over 30 look like crap. What I find disturbing about this passage is how it attempts to normalise plastic surgery. The use of words like ‘natural’, ‘commonly’, ‘usually’ and ‘modest’ makes having surgery to improve your appearance sound like a completely rational and normal thing to do. Now, consenting adults can do what they like with their surgeons, but that doesn’t mean plastic surgery should be lumped in with makeup and fashionable clothes as merely another part of a superficial repertoire to help people feel that they ‘look good’. Altering one’s body is a serious business and perhaps should come as ‘a surprise’ rather than being the norm.

Another issue touched on by the author is men undergoing plastic surgery. To me this fits in with the growing industry in cosmetics and the like for men. This is an interesting issue for another post on another day, methinks.

So what are your thoughts – what might be the next sensitive topic to have a Sexist Stock Photo inappropriately attached? Breast cancer? The world food crisis?


2 Responses to “Anxiety… So Hot Right Now”

  1. hannahcolman said

    Excellent. Whack on some red lippy and feel that anxiety disappear!

  2. rayedish said

    I deplore the ‘yummy mummy’ surgery thing.
    Mothers of the world don’t you realise that you are doing you children irreparable damage if you do not look like a sex goddess 24/7!

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