The ‘Cac Responds To Kate Upton Body Haters
Full disclosure: Kate Upton is ‘Cac connected.
She loves us…ok, ok she loves her cousin Stephen…so is it any surprise that our bloggers had strong reactions to an article calling Kate fat and ugly (in not so blunted terms)? We’re including the ‘Cac team’s reactions for you here (you can tl;dr, but that’d be your loss)…One response from a lady, one from a gent:
From a Gentleman: In Defense of Kate Upton
Among all combinations of words I never thought I would have to write, “In defense of Kate Upton,” is toward the top of my list. What is there to criticize and who would do so with enough vitriol and venom that I would be moved to act in her defense? She is the most fun-loving, most approachable, most that “that super hot chick you were friends with who is now at your wedding because you’re still friends” awesome supermodel in the world. This is the girl who did a staring contest with you for Sobe, did the Dougie for everyone courtside at a Clippers game, and then recorded a video of herself doing the Cat Daddy during a Terry Richardson photoshoot. This is before I talk about any component of her modeling career — the girl just took the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for 2012. When GQ featured her on the cover earlier this summer they said, “From Mansfield to Monroe, from Farrah to Pam, the U.S.A. is pretty good at bombshells. Let’s all welcome Kate Upton to the canon.” Kate Upton makes us proud to be American.
About a month ago I wrote in my Tumblr that folks have a different fascination with Kate Upton than they do with other supermodels. Sure, she is absolutely gorgeous and many a person would commit atrocious crimes for a chance to date her but she is different in a sense. Kate Upton is that super-hot friend we had when we were growing up (or is the super-hot friend we wished we did). It doesn’t matter if she became hot or always was. The point is, that she was a hottie and knew it, made jokes about it, teased you even, but honestly gave “0 fucks” that she was so hot and that people were trying to get with her. She made you cooler by being friends with her but she was never going to bail on you at the club or at a party just because the douchebag bouncer or frat boy said it was “just chicks” allowed inside.
Maybe you hoped that one day she would realize you were the guy for her but even if she didn’t, (which she probably didn’t and Kate certainly hasn’t) you were happy just knowing that you had a true-blue friend who was down to eat burgers with you, show you how to smoke weed for the first time, and then go back to your place to perfect her Cat Daddy in your basement (she just happens to be like the prettiest person in the world!). I guess it’s for all these reasons that I’m surprised I even have to write an article in defense of Kate Upton.
Kate Upton, for being 20 years-old, gorgeous, and rich, seems like a pretty cool person — all things considered.
While this post begins as a defense of Kate Upton, I think the more salient conversation pertains to the health and significance of a website calling someone like Kate Upton a “well-marbled cow”. On top of that, as men, in what ways are we implicated?
Those two sentences right there merit books for their discussion. I’m going to try to get at the essence of this question in much less than that but, please bear with me, there is only so much that can be said in the blog format.
For those who don’t know, back on June 10th the website “Skinny Gossip” published an article titled Kate Upton is Well-Marbled. The article went on to argue that Kate Upton, the aforementioned 20 year-old Sports Illustrated cover model, has:
“Huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition – she looks like a squishy brick. Is this what American women are “striving” for now? The lazy, lardy look? Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for? Sorry, but: eww!”
The article picked-up some attention but recently has garnered more attention through Reddit and bloggers from Hello Giggles, Jezebel, and Salon.com. All of the response articles cast light upon the dangerous implications of the writing on Skinny Gossip. Skinny Gossip claims to celebrate the skinny form and, as an online community, aspire to a vision of a healthy body that is skinny. Nothing in that mission is inherently or necessarily unhealthy, but the website as a whole–and the Kate Upton piece–offers dangerous advice and damning condemnations of perfectly healthy behavior. Jezebel mentioned that Skinny Gossip adheres to “thinspiration”, a term which describes a range of activities that are inspired by the thin body form and which reject bodily excesses. (“Thinspiration” is described as “pro-ana” or “pro-anorexia” by more progressive-minded folks.) Skinny Gossip used to post a Starving Tip of the Day which has since been removed. Jezebel also quoted many of the tips for the “thinspired” person which you can check out in the picture below:
Sites like Skinny Gossip and the “wisdom” they purport to offer are sickening, dangerous, and nauseating–that much should go without saying. After all, if Kate Upton who is (for all intents and purposes) physically impeccable is not beyond public slander for her body then what hope do the rest of us have? I mean, my boobs are probably much floppier than Kate Upton’s and my thighs are certainly bigger! I guess I’m a squishy brick, too.
As a person, I’m disheartened to read this sort of rubbish and as a male in society, troubled that conditions exist for this sort of talk. How the author of this particular blog post came to the conclusion that lambasting Kate Upton and calling her a well-marbled cow was a. accurate or b. somehow going to evade the scrutiny of her many adoring fanboys escapes me.
Among my friends, I don’t know anyone who finds a body beyond the boundaries of good health attractive. To be underweight or overweight — as defined by folks involved in medicine, not in tabloids — is unattractive, isn’t cause for celebration, and will probably lead to more cause for alarm than pick-up lines. But what are we doing to convey that argument, the more healthful argument, the constructive argument, as opposed to the one that says girls should avoid being fat at all costs?
I would like to be able to answer this question with, “a lot!” and then exhibit a number of examples of men — especially young men — taking the initiative to promote healthy body image but I just don’t know of any. This isn’t to say that such efforts don’t exist; I’m certain they do and I would love to be connected with them. But, on the surface at least, it seems that my demographic is part of the problem.
Immediately, I think of products and sites through which women are objectified and, consequently, their bodies are seen as commodities for ownership and acquisition as opposed to celebration. And when one can acquire a body, just as they can acquire land or whatever else, one enjoys the power to criticize and oppress that body for the sake of dominating it. The language used to describe sexual encounters between men and women is indicative of such a relationship…(be it with respect to diction, the development of various colloquialisms, or the use of the passive voice. That, however, is another paper for another day.)
The point is this, men. There is power in the penis. Perhaps that is a crude way to put it, but it’s true. As males we are born with a certain level of power, dominance, control, what have you. American society, and most every other society, is organized as a patriarchy with men sitting at the top. As such, certain norms have developed which we probably shouldn’t allow to continue to be norms and I think that we should address them for the sake of our women.
1. Objectification – Women aren’t commodities. As Game said in his song, Good Girls Gone Bad, “Respect women, I don’t care if they a 2 or a 10. We don’t beat on Kat Stacks we just bring it to an end.” The language we use to speak about the women in our lives should be indicative of this respect. Never, ever, is it our right or duty or privilege to sit back and freely criticize the other sex for their appearance. Women aren’t cattle and they aren’t stocks. Our manliness is not affirmed by the acquisition of many women nor jeopardized by the lack thereof, because women. are. people. They do, as much as men do, deserve our empathy, understanding, encouragement, and love. “Even the fat ones?” you may ask. To re-appropriate a saying, “Yes, fat girls deserve love too.”
2. Rape Culture – One of my best friends, he loves to say this, “Free speech isn’t free. There is always a cost. The question is who is going to pay for your ‘freedom’ to speak.” I cannot help but think about websites like Barstool or the men’s magazines that speak about women in a way that promotes rape culture — and, yes, this is intimately tied to the objectification of women. Jezebel and the Telegraph UK published a story explaining how researchers found that the average person had a distressingly difficult time distinguishing between testimonies from convicted rapists and excerpts from popular men’s magazines (or “lad mags” as they are referred to in the UK). How difficult is distressingly difficult? Click the link and take the quiz yourself. Sites like Barstool say such terrible things as (taken from here): (source 1 : source 2)
This should be cause for alarm for any sane person. Removed from context you should, at least I hope, say, “Whoa, wait a minute. What?!” But the issue is that these kinds of passages, this sort of trivialization of rape, and the conscious or unconscious attempt to treat rape and women’s issues as some sort of punch-line for a cheap joke has to stop. This kind of language is indicative of the objectification of women and the objectification of women enables rape culture and this kind of language. It is a wretched autocatalytic relationship that only men can break. If we want fewer articles calling Kate Upton “well-marbled” then we have to break down the underpinnings of a society that drives women into having perverted notions of beauty, self-worth, and healthy body image.
3. Actually be upset (and then do something about it) – We get upset or angry about so many things throughout the course of our days and so many of those are things we can’t affect. Derrick Rose’s ACL tear was an absolute heartbreak for me but being angry sure didn’t heal his leg in time to trump the Sixers. My favorite contestant on “Next Food Network Star” was eliminated last week — one week later, she still is eliminated. Congress has voted on repealing the Affordable Care Act like 33 times. I can’t do anything about that until election day.
But on the other side of it all, I could do something EVERY DAY about improving women’s health.
I hope that you were as taken aback as I was by the fact that some underweight blogger (she is underweight by her own measurements, btw) dared call Kate Upton a lumbering, lazy, lardy cow that gives bad blowjobs behind a motorcycle garage for $25 and then chose to insult me for thinking that Kate Upton is beautiful with these choice words:
“Yes, yes, I know that every tobacco-chewing, beer-drinking, shotgun-toting, NASCAR-watching man south of the Mason-Dixon line would love to get into her pants (or, as they say down South, “into her tent”, which in her case is the same thing) — but most of those guys wouldn’t know a beautiful woman if she jumped out in front of his pickup truck.”
So what if I like NASCAR (which I don’t but what if I did) and so what if I think Kate Upton is beautiful? Where do you get off assuming I’m from the South? And why are you insulting southerners like they’re ignorant shits that don’t know anything?
You see, we’re all implicated in this one poisonous piece of writing. You, me, Sports Illustrated, Victoria’s Secret, your girlfriend, my mom, your future wife, or partner, — we all have a stake in making sure that our society produces healthy women. Literally, our society depends on healthy mothers and you cannot have those without cultivating healthy minds, healthy spirits, and healthy senses of self. Small and persistent changes in our language, behavior, and demeanor will make huge differences (differences certainly more massive than Kate Upton’s thighs) for the women in your life.
So if you won’t do it for the sake of this article do it for the survivability of the human race.
If you won’t do it for the human race do it for your country.
If you won’t do it out of blind patriotism then do it for your sister.
If you don’t get along with your sister then do it for your mother.
If you argue with your mom too often to make this sacrifice then do it for your girlfriend.
If your girlfriend isn’t enough of a motivator then do it for Kate.
I mean, after all, isn’t she who we’re trying to save here? Isn’t she, if anyone, worth defending?
From a Lady: “Jealousy – that jumble of secret worship and ostensible aversion.” –Emile M. Cioran
Only a few weeks ago, Kate Upton was a girl in a bikini licking a rocket pop on the cover of GQ to me – a pretty face with some flippy blonde hair and come-hither eyes.
Now she’s become a symbol for young women as the victim of heinous hate-speech written on the blog called “Skinny Gossip.” Up until now, Kate Upton has had nothing on her resume to make her a strong figure for feminism, to say the least; but, with these recent attacks publicized by the media and on sites like Reddit, girls have been rallying in defense of poor Kate – the prey of a vicious “pro-ana.”
Maybe my imagination is getting the best of me, but I can only seem to think that this blog post was the product of a Zuckerburg Facemash moment of passion. Imagine she sits down to watch E! News with her boyfriend and the host (who probably follows the tenets of “thinspiration” herself) affectedly talks about Kate’s smokin’ hot bod as they show a clip of her flying down the runway. Boyfriend candidly agrees with host. Rage ensues.
The poisonous, hateful, sexist words that “Skinny Gurl” felt the need to write can only be the product of jealousy. The fashion industry is tough on figures, but this woman was ready to strangle Kate Upton with her own string bikini. I’m sure seeing popular, successful Kate, a girl who attacks a double cheeseburger in a Carl’s Jr. ad, while “Skinny Gurl” spends all of her days ridden with hunger pangs in order to keep her 100 lb. figure is infuriating. I pity her.
But not that much.
My heart bleeds now, though. Not for Kate Upton; not in the slightest. She’s had her hard knocks in the modeling business, I’m sure, but each day she’s reassured by adoring tweets, wads of cash, and bug-eyed stares as she walks down the street. Upton knows she’s beautiful, and she doesn’t need a whack job that tells girls to starve themselves to make her feel any different.
My heart bleeds for the young girls who have read these remarks and realized that, yes, while Teen Vogue shows us willowy models and never explicitly states that they are the standard for beauty, we know that those at the top are thinking these things. “Skinny Gurl” is one of the only bloggers that has had the balls to come out and say it. The subject of standard weights for models is tragically taboo. The fashion industry has sidled by the criticisms of skeletal models draped in abstract designs for so long, interrupted only occasionally by a major event pointing out a flaw in the system. Remember Tyra Banks in People Magazine in 2007? It was all the buzz for a hot minute. Did we happen to see any change in the industry? Not particularly.
I’d like to see Kate Upton be a tipping point. The fact that she was deemed bovine with “big floppy breasts and a nonexistent waist” was enough at first for me to want to curl up in a ball and shut myself off from the world. I’m a curvy girl myself, certainly not the same shape as Kate, but reading this leveled some major hits to my self-confidence, wincing when I looked in the mirror while thinking about what Skinny Gurl would have to say about me if she saw me on the street.
Yet it took only a moment of reading the Internet outcry to make me feel more at ease. Even the recent actions taken by magazines like Seventeen, who pledged two weeks ago to only feature healthy, un-photoshopped young models in their spreads, are relieving. On top of this, a petition was recently handed off to the Teen Vogue offices in Times Square asking the editors to attempt to trade out their slender feather tutu-clad regulars for more shapely young women.
Skinny Gurl ragged recently in her clearly forced apology to the public about the double standard in assessing weight.
“I know it sounds weird in a world where we hear about “pressure to be thin”, but sometimes it feels like if you are thin – whether naturally or as a result of your daily choices – there is pressure not just to eat, but to overeat. And those of us who want to be thin – or need to be for our career – need ways to deal with that.”
Once again, I pity poor, delusional Skinny Gurl for her lack of mental capability. She likens the plight of women who starve themselves to fit high fashion standards to that of “overweight” women. Practically every second, skinny women are celebrated around the world in magazines, advertisements, films, runways, etc. Do we see this same treatment for overweight women? Hardly. I hope she tells me when it becomes in style to “overeat,” because I’ve honestly never heard anything more outrageous or false.
All too slowly, we’re working our way towards acceptance of all body types – the girl with the wide hips, the girl with the curvy stomach, the girl with the thighs that touch. It’s a crawl, if only this one event could help it break into a sprint.