Escher Girls

Float like a butterfly, Sting like a WTF!?

This is a blog to archive and showcase the prevalence of certain ways women are depicted in illustrated pop media, specifically how women are posed, drawn, distorted, and/or sexualized out of context, often in ridiculous, impossible or disturbing ways that sacrifice storytelling.

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On fat and “health”

Health is between a person and their doctor.  You can’t often tell health by looking at people, and other people’s health is not your business. “Health” is also often used as an excuse in our society to put down certain body types and people with those bodies.   If you say “ew fat people gross me out”, many people will say “wtfno”, if you say “fat people are really unhealthy and we shouldn’t encourage or support that behavior” then it’s a different reaction, even if the actions that come from both reactions end up being the same (shaming, not representing in media, jokes, feeling as if you can tell them about their bodies and their choices without them asking you for your opinion, etc.) It’s the “acceptable” way to put down fat people because after all you’re just looking out for their health right?

I know and have heard stories of “fat” people at the supermarket being told out of the blue by a stranger that they should choose the “diet” product, or that they should buy the skim milk.  They didn’t ask for any advice, but the person felt okay just telling them what they should eat because, well they’re fat, so they must be unhealthy and we’re just trying to help them!  But it’s rude, and it’s demeaning, whether it’s because the person only wanted to help them to be “healthy” or whether the person just wanted to be mean to a fat person and point out that “haha you’re fat.”

When you’re different from what’s considered the “norm” and “default” in society, people feel like they have a right to comment about your body or about you.  In some cases, they feel they can touch you.  My black friends have had people ask to touch their hair to see if it feels like “white hair”, some people touch without permission.  As a trans girl, I’m a constant object of fascination with people wondering what’s between my legs.  As an East Asian girl, people feel like they can ask me “where do you come from” with impunity (followed by “no where do you REALLY come from?” when I answer “Canada”), and make assumptions about whether I’m a citizen.  And one of my fat friends had somebody grab her stomach without her permission and jiggle it saying “but don’t you want to lose this?”

What’s “different” about our bodies is treated as public space.

Whether or not a person is healthy or not can’t be known by looking at them and more to the point, isn’t our business.  It’s theirs.

This is not about the original artist or her comments, this is about the context in which the critics are reacting from, that fat people are seen as okay targets to disrespect or to make assumptions of under the guise of “health.”  Their health is their business.  Kinda like what’s between my legs is mine. 

(Also for the anorexia stuff.  Yes anorexia is unhealthy, but we shouldn’t assume it based on body type.  There are many women you’d never expect to have severe eating disorders because of how they appear that do.   Also, anorexia isn’t exactly a “choice”, it’s complicated… it’s affected by social messages, but it’s also a mental illness, and often can have many other things involved too.  For me, social messages are where my brain latched onto, but it was triggered by PTSD.)

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  8. rhube reblogged this from eschergirls and added:
    All of this. And, I know I’ve got my privileges, but the people who feel they had a right to touch my hair because it’s...
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  17. nintendonut1 reblogged this from elkian and added:
    This SO BAD Health =/= weight. Every body type is different. I’ve had people grab my wrists and wrap their fingers fully...
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  22. tilcara reblogged this from eschergirls and added:
    I could relate to the supermarket part so much. Most of the time I buy fresh food on the market/from the butcher/at the...