Fat bodies | 肥胖的身體

Victoria Secret Perefct Bodies. Image credit: oustrategicsocialmedia.com

by Smrita Jain

Fat bodies = lazy women

Fat bodies = women who don’t love or care for themselves

Fat bodies = depressed women

Fat bodies = ugly

Fat bodies = women who don’t have partners in life

Fat bodies = don’t deserve serious relationships

Fat bodies = unhealthy

I could go on and on, but this is the reality of what most people think fat bodies mean to them especially in the context of women. We see these views in advertisements, graphics, slogans, our daily talks, on dates, and several other ways.

Image credit: Smrita Jain

Judging a woman based on her looks is just like judging a book by its cover. But then why are professional graphic designers and illustrators hired to design a book cover? They hire them because there is a deep sense of strategy involved in designing the cover.

There is a reason as to why the cover is set in a deep, dark tone, or a bright yellow, or designed in a way to give a lighter romantic feel or with a font that is thick and bold or a thin and lean font or a handwritten style… the designer is strategically placing all the elements to make a cohesive look and feel of the book and to bring out a personality to the book. But a fat font used in the cover design does not mean that it’s an ugly book, does it?

While designing the book cover for Women in the Crossfire, by Robert Paul Churchill, which is being printed by Oxford University Press, I requested Paul to send me some of the beginning chapters to read, to get a whiff of what the book is all about. The book discusses honour killing and how women are victimized and what are the possible solutions to combat this cultural issue, its co-relation, and debunking the facts related to religious beliefs.

It was not up to me to make the story look good on the cover. The real story is when you actually read the book. The cover does not define the story. The cover is merely a personified vision of the story displayed using graphical and visual elements. We women are pretty much the same and our designer is the nature itself.

Just as any book cover does not define the book itself, women’s appearances should also not be the way to judge her character or her beauty.

Victoria Secret Perefct Bodies.
Image credit: oustrategicsocialmedia.com

In 2014, Victoria Secret came out with ‘Perfect Body’ campaign, as a plus size person myself, I actually felt very uncomfortable with their poster ads in front of the showroom. Very quickly, the campaign received severe backlash and women from all over the world wanted to show the reality, the truth about how normal bodies look like and how they are still ‘perfect bodies.’

But what happens after that? We dive back into the same old visual imagery that surrounds us in every step of our way that actually makes many women very uncomfortable. Do you remember the ad with the tag line ‘Are you beach body ready’ (released in 2015)? If yes, then brace yourself for the Seven Dwarves movie expected to release in 2018.

I have faced character assignation so many times in my life. But what was most hurtful was when I was told that I was fat which means I don’t love myself and that I am a depressed person.

Companies and organisations create awful, degrading ads, and then apologize but rarely go out of discussion. I sometimes feel many companies do this on purpose to create a buzz around their product or service even though they might be infamous for their ads. I’ve seen myself as the same ladies who get angry over these ads, stand in a line for hours and hours when the products go on sale.

We all can simply run around in a circle and try to chase each other’s backs but honestly, this is how the world works now. Simply put, it is the yin and yang: the negative and positive; dark or bright forces that churn the wheels of the earth around. The worry is if that wheel ever stops, would it stop on the sunny side or the fat side.

 

 

 

肥胖的身體=懶惰的女人

肥胖的身體=不愛自己的女人

肥胖的身體=抑鬱的女人

肥胖的身體=醜

肥胖的身體=沒有伴侶的女人

肥胖的身體=不值得認真的關係

肥胖的身體=不健康

Are you beach body ready?
Image credit: Campaignlive.com

上面的敘述大家應該也聽過很多,在現實裡面普羅大眾也確實是這麼看待擁有肥胖的身體的女性。我們在廣告、映像、標語、日常談天甚至約會等等的時候都會聽/見到不少。

根據女性的外形而去判斷本人就如同看著封面就判斷書好看不好看。然而大家有沒有思考過為什麼封面需要專業的平面設計師去設計呢?封面設計需要的不只是美觀而是一種策略的運用,也之所以為什麼有些書本的封面偏向深色、或是亮色、甚至是予人浪漫的感覺;又有不同的字體表達出不同的情緒、粗體、幼體甚至是手寫體……設計師有意的分佈不同元素來表達書籍的內涵,利用比較圓潤的字體是不是就代表那本書很醜陋呢?

當我為由Robert Paul Churchill所撰寫的Women in the Crossfire一書(由Oxford University Press印刷)時,為了更好地捉摸書本的內容,我要求Paul給我先發書本的開首幾個章節。書籍討論的是「榮譽處決」的相關歷史事實、探索女性究竟如何無辜的被變成受害者並且解決這個文化的可能方法。

不論我如何努力,我也沒有辦法利用封面就能將這個故事變得美好。當你閱讀這本書的時候,你才看到真正的故事 – 封面並沒有辦法定義這個故事。封面只不過是利用圖像稍微將故事總結一下 – 我們作為女人有著自己的故事,設計師就是自然本身。

就是因為書本的封面不能定義書的本身;女性的外表也不應該作為判定女性的內涵或是品格的標準。

內衣品牌維多利亞的秘密在2014年推出「完美身段」的宣傳活動,我本人作為一個加大碼的女性在陳列室站在海報面前則是感到非常不舒服。用不著多久,這個宣傳活動就收到眼中的反效果:全世界的女性要求看見現實並讓人知道正常的身體是怎樣並且將之定義為「完美身段」。

Red Shoes and 7 Dwarfs.
Image credit: Independent.co.uk

但是在此之後呢?我們還是看見跟往常一樣的該廣告,還是讓人繼續的不舒服。不知道你是否記得一個以「Are you beach body ready?」(2015)為宣傳標語的廣告?如果記得的話,2018年還有一套關於七個小矮人的電影呢。

透過我的身型就給我定型的狀況我遇到了好多次,但是最讓人受傷害的是我被指控我身形的由來就是因為「我不愛我自己」和「我是一個抑鬱的人」。

不同的組織或機構創作貶低女性的廣告然後道歉,但鮮少有樂意討論的。有時候我覺得很多公司都是故意這麼做藉此炒作,我自己也試過在因為那些廣告而生氣的同時又排著隊去等著買那些產品。

我們可以在同一個循環裡面追逐這不過如果我們面對現實,就能容易看見世界就是在這麼運轉著。簡單的說,這就猶如陰陽、正負、黑白一樣的循環,唯一令人憂慮的是這個循環到底是會停在好的一方,還是肥的一方。

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