Zach Miller (zarfmouse) wrote,
Zach Miller

Real Women Have Curves

Last night my parents and I were watching the movie of Monterey Pop. The smaller west coast hippie music festival that predated Woodstock. Apparently the movie came out before Woodstock and was the first widely seen movie featuring "hippie culture". According to my dad, all the poser fashion hippies that went to Woodstock basically learned "how to be a hippie" from Monterey Pop. I'm always very interested in the roles played by media (independent and mainstream) in forming the overlapping countercultures of the '60s. Even in that near-rebelious time...perhaps the largest growth of the movement stemmed from media (movies about music festivals) and culture (music festivals) rather than from protest (but of course the culture and politics of the movement were deeply intertwined and mutually supporting).

I thought it was cute that the small west coast hippie fest had a humbly decorated stage with big sheets of flowing cloth. The giant east coast hippie fest had a big barebones utilitarian stage of unadorned plywood and scaffolding.

Ravi Shankar's performance was as always mezmerizing. I've gotta get more of that shit in my life.

Anyway, none of this is the point of my post. The point of my post is that Mama Cass, the lead singer from the Mamas and the Papas, who has an awesome voice, is a big woman. That in and of itself is mostly unremarkable: she has a beautiful voice and seemed perfectly healthy. Of course she would be on that stage with that band.

But then I started thinking about it and I realized that I can not think of a SINGLE even slightly popular contemporary female singer that could be classified as anything other than "skinny". Not a single one. What is with that? How is it that there are more women in music but they've ALL gotten skinnier? I can easily name a dozen popular male singers who are large. We all know about the horrible body type norm illusions perpetuated by marketting images and magazine covers and mainstream pornography and television and hollywood and the fashion industry and the local TV news and the diet industry and the cosmetic surgery industry and and and but are we aware that it is even happening on the semi-popular folk music and indie rock stages? That makes me so sad.

So then tonight we happened to rent Real Women Have Curves. That movie rocked. So now I'm even more obsessed about this topic.

I wish I was a girl so that I could say something like "Fat Chicks are Hot" and have it sound as rebelious and empowering as I want it to. Instead, because I'm a boy this whole post sounds very uneasily worded to me. I'm such a poor excuse for a male feminist.

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