Hey Barbies –shut your yapper!

Hi Girls: I would like your point of view on a post on my other blog, WeAreTheRealDeal which is a collective blog by Body Image Activists.

Please view it here: Barbie's Shut Your Yapper

Feel free to comment there and here, I'd like to engage in our own conversation on mamaV since I believe this community comes from a different pov.

Looking forward to your thoughts,


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52 Responses to Hey Barbies –shut your yapper!

  1. MCP says:

    Well, I read it- there was so much back and forth with it, that I had a hard time following it and what went down. It was a little confusing.
    But from what I can gather, this new blog you started was to promote positive body image and someone who saw the photos of the bloggers felt that they were either too thin or too white emulating Barbie and that this contradicted the point and got pissed.
    I read what you said about this not being your intent, and I think you defended yourself in stating that you are looking for other contributers to reflect diversty on this subject and they will be forthcoming.
    That being said, I can see how despite the border on the blog, when looking at the photos of the contributers, viewers may interpret this the wrong way. I am not saying I agree with her, but I can see how someone of color or someone larger than average clicks on the commentary and sees thin white girls talking aboutbody image may view it that way.
    You are the one, remember- who talks about being natural, not spending excessive money on make up or beauty products… then a lot of these pictures look like glamour shots of these girls to me. Then you refer to yourself as a “Barbie and proud.” Think about that…..
    I think you are trying to send a positive message out there, but you also get very carried away when you get angry and go on the defensive. You don’t think about what you say. You are the first one to attack the media for images of stick figures and the negative impact they have on young girls. But then you come out and say you are one and proud?
    Don’t you think this is highly hypocritical of what you preach?

  2. SmudgerUK says:

    I didn’t like the tone of what Jelly posted, and I didn’t like the tone of your response.

  3. MCP says:

    Mine- or Mama V’s?
    Here’s the thing… Jelly may have had a bad tone.
    But I don’t think it was necessary for Mama V to take it that far. If you read through all of it, she ends up acknowledging the need for diversity, but at the same time, wanting people who struggle on the lower end of the scales experiences to be validated.
    I get it and I do not disagree with her. But what I have a problem with is that she wants people to accept “the skninny squad,” but she’s the first one to blast it. That’s clearly evident- her pro anna pictures, the thing on the too thin model…
    The reality is that most people, particualary advocates – WHETHER THEY HOLD PROFESSSIONAL DEGREES OR NOT, against eating disorders, do not link “Barbie & proud to be one” in the same sentence.
    I understand her point in honoring everyone’s struggle, but she can’t have it both ways… She can’t one day blast the too thin people of the world and then state that she is proud to fit the mold of a plastic doll who represents one.
    Perhaps this is why Kate Harding is no longer participating in this project

  4. mamaV says:

    MCP and SmudgerUK: This is a case of sarcasm gone bad. You both know by now I am over the top sometimes…and with the audience at the other blog they are really letting me have it.
    That’s ok. When these sorts of things happen, I always think “Did I intend to hurt?” And if I can answer no, I am ok with it. If I answer yes, then I owe a huge apology. In this case, not my intent but I surely did offend.
    Here’s the thing I was attempting to say — if someone is thin, or beautiful, they have equal right to feel negative about their body image and/or looks. Why is it ok to discriminate against someone who fits the mold?

  5. mamaV says:

    On Kate, she got a full time blogging gig. This whole thing blew today, way after that decision was made.
    Bottomline, this collective blog effort may not work…and that is ok too!

  6. MCP says:

    alright, fine- i jumped the gun on that one. she hadn’t posted why yet and I assumed. I was wrong. I totally understand your point- but you do discriminate against the mold- you attack too thin people ALL THE TIME

  7. mamaV says:

    Hey again: I just realized part of what everyone is offended by and I am posting an apology.
    The end comment “Barbie, the goddess you will never be” was meant to be to say Barbie is the unattainable image NO ONE will ever be, this is the negative body image that sets the standards.
    I would never say such a thing literally to anyone. The fact that you all misinterpreted this too tells me this was not written appropropriately.
    Anyway, the other stuff is still up for criticism.
    Thanks for your input!

  8. mcp says:

    Thanks, I understand what you meant. And I am not trying to be too critical and I appreciate and thank you for your apology. I personally even though it may come off that way don’t get offended by these things. I really don’t.
    I truly think you are very well intentioned, but I try to be objective when I read your posts and look at it from different angles of how people may perceive the comments. No- you are not going to please everyone, and no, everyone is not going to agree with you.
    I think what I had issue the most with was what I already said- which is an issue of contradiction of having it both ways.
    Barbie is the unattainable image NO ONE will ever be, this is the negative body image that sets the standards.
    But then you state on we are the real deal that you are proud to fit the mold of this image- or something to that effect- I can’t flip back and forth between windows because I have a million things open, but I think you understand the point I am trying to make.
    I’m trying to gently get you to see how the proud to be Barbie comment and the construction of how you worded it can be interpreted by people who look up to you when you to talk about being accepting of all shapes and sizes- so long as you are not in critical physical danger on either end of the scale, as an ideal.
    I truly feel for people on all this site who struggle with the battle of food- be it anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, obesity, and just the dumb ass pressure of the media and society to be skinny and beautiful.
    When you say you are proud to be a Barbie, and then say she promotes a negative body image, what does that say to your readers?
    It’s just something to think about, but apology accepted

  9. smudgeruk says:

    @MCP – I was referring to MamaV’s post, not anything you’ve said. Rest easy!
    @MamaV –
    “if someone is thin, or beautiful, they have equal right to feel negative about their body image and/or looks.”
    Yes, I do agree with that statement. How often do we see actresses or models talking about disliking their bodies? A lot.
    However, my gut instinct is always to want to punch said models and actresses in the head when I hear that, because as a “curvy” girl, I get personal, negative comments and abuse hurled at me in the street by complete strangers. So yes, I’d say “fat” girls do get it harder, and feel more marginalised. And we do feel, frequently, like we’re lacking a voice. We have no voice. We are only depicted in films as the “fat and funny friend”. It pisses me off.
    To be perfectly honest, I think this has all blown up because your WATRD post, before clarification, reads as rather catty, even bitchy. (Although I don’t doubt for a moment that it was unintentional – I don’t believe you to be malicious at all.)
    I don’t think sarcasm always comes across easily when written.

  10. twistedSISTER says:

    I am not sure I should read the post to be honest… I just went to the link but didnt click…. I am worried by what I may think about it to be fair!!

  11. twistedSISTER says:

    Ok… I caved! And to be completely honest with you I was shocked at what I read! I thought I knew mamaV quite well after being with this blog for near on 3 yrs and chatting back and forth a for a short time but this post that I read was either a complete mistake and not really what she wanted to put across or I want to scream about how hurtful I found it!
    I tried to read the comments that were posted there and got completely stressed out with it. Its a joke and I should have followed my gut feeling and not read it. But if someone could please explain to me what the HELL IT MEANT would be good because to be honest I dont know what to think anymore….. either I am changing or MamaV is, either way people change and opinions change. I for once am finding myself not siding with Heather on this and that on its own is a shock to my system. Sad or not dont really care but its true. I found Heather to be a close friend and helpful person but when I read that post… I didnt see the person I knew.

  12. MCP says:

    She explains what she meant by it.
    MCP and SmudgerUK: This is a case of sarcasm gone bad. You both know by now I am over the top sometimes…and with the audience at the other blog they are really letting me have it.
    That’s ok. When these sorts of things happen, I always think “Did I intend to hurt?” And if I can answer no, I am ok with it. If I answer yes, then I owe a huge apology. In this case, not my intent but I surely did offend.
    Here’s the thing I was attempting to say — if someone is thin, or beautiful, they have equal right to feel negative about their body image and/or looks. Why is it ok to discriminate against someone who fits the mold?
    The way I surmise and understand it, she was trying to validate that anyone- fat or skinny can have a negative body image. A person wrote in on her new site complaining that the people blogging about body image issues are all white skinny girls anc commented in nasty way that there was not enough diversity.
    I think both points are valid- there is not enough diversity on that sight, but she is also right to say that any person can feel negative about their body- fat thin or normal.
    The problem lies within how she said it, but she apologized.
    What I am still waiting to hear from her on is how an activist against eating disorders thinks it is wise or appropriate to call herself A Barbie and proud. She has yet to acknowledge that that comment was also WAY OUT OF LINE and in abesolutely awful taste and totally hypocritical of what she preaches. That- more than the diversity thing is what set me off the most. And then, if you read her last post she says:
    “Barbie is the unattainable image NO ONE will ever be, this is the negative body image that sets the standards.”
    So if Barbie sets such negative standards, why state you are proud to be one?
    Mama V, I really think you need to address the hypocrisy in your statement and recognize that you are sending a very mixed message to your readers.

  13. smudgeruk says:

    I think what’s really coming over here is that people are confused about what MamaV was actually saying.
    There was a lack of clarity in the post which has left it open to various interpretations, and I think until I see further clarification, I’m going to hold off damning or supporting either way.

  14. MCP says:

    I think saying you are a Barbie and proud of it… ummm…. where’s the need for clarification? That’s pretty damn clear to me and not in need of interpretation.
    And it is- FLAT OUT hypocritical and contradictory to what she preaches.

  15. twistedSISTER says:

    MCP, you say she has explained it, which she may well have done but I DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT! This is what I am saying. And although the points you make are in fairness sometimes accurate and sometimes not. It seems to me that you say alot of things and yet you dont hear what others are saying. I may be wrong and you and others may not agree with me but hay ho such as life it happens.
    I give up trying to make people see things that they need to open their eyes to, I give up trying to make people feel better about themselves because there is not really much point in it if someone is going to rub it all away.
    Shock horror I am with SmudgeUk x
    More from my rant on my blog.

  16. MCP says:

    TS- I get it, you don’t understand what she’s saying.
    I was just reiterating to you what she said her explanation was behind the comments. I get that you still don’t understand it.
    As for me not hearing other people- I hear other people perfectly fine. I hear and understand perfectly well what Mama V says. My problem is that with some of it, I feel it is inapproprate and harmful to people with eating disorders, for example, saying you are proud to resemeble a Barbie.
    But that’s my opinion. This is America, I am entitled to it, as are you and as is she.

  17. smudgeruk says:

    “I think saying you are a Barbie and proud of it… ummm…. where’s the need for clarification? That’s pretty damn clear to me and not in need of interpretation”
    Well, yes, perhaps… But I’m honestly not sure what she *means* by that statement.
    Does she mean, “Yes, I’m a ‘Barbie’ and proud, because I’m blonde and thin – I’m proud of that because that’s who I am, it’s just the way I’m made.”?
    Or does she mean, “Yes, I’m a ‘Barbie’ and proud, because I’m blonde and thin – and that makes me better than you.”?
    Or does she mean something else completely?
    My point is, you can reach either of those interpretations above and about a dozen more. Until there’s clarification on what point she was actually making (which has become lost somewhere) I’m afraid I’m just confused about it all.

  18. smudgeruk says:

    “I give up trying to make people see things that they need to open their eyes to, I give up trying to make people feel better about themselves because there is not really much point in it if someone is going to rub it all away.”
    No way, you keep doing your thing.

  19. MCP says:

    Smudge- I understand she could have meant it a variety of ways.
    But do you really think that when you are an eating disorder activist, it is in good taste or common sense to go and say something like that? Think about it…. She could say I like my shape and I am proud of it.
    Comparing herself to Barbie- whatever way she meant it- i don’t really care how she meant it at this point. It’s irrelevant to me how she meant it. It’s the fact that she had to say that period that bothers me.
    and then- here’s another thing I don’t get, and I wish she would explain it. She says I am proud to be a Barbie, but later contradicts it with her own very words:
    Barbie is the unattainable image NO ONE will ever be, this is the negative body image that sets the standards.”
    I don’t understand how no one see’s the pattern I am trying to express here.

  20. twistedSISTER says:

    I see your pattern MCP, I just dont need to hear it, I need to hear what MamaV herself is trying to portray, I need to understand what she meant, other than that people will draw their own conclusions including you, me, smudge anybody
    Smudge… love ya xxx

  21. twistedSISTER says:

    Also MCP I am not saying you cannot have your own opinion…. you are intitled to it no matter what country you in!!! I am just stating that by your posts on this post and on others you seem to read what you want to read but then just carry on with your own thing regardless so it just seems to me that you may not be hearing EVERYTHING that someone is posting wether it be mamav or other posters.
    Anyway I am not going to argue about it, there is no point to it and it would prove nothing as you said everyone has opinion and that is mine

  22. MCP says:

    thanks- love ya too. It’s just frustrating and all so confusing. I get what she was saying about the body image thing and anyone can have negative feelings about how they look – but the whole Barbie=proud, then Barbie= bad… i am just very very puzzled. It will be interesting to see what she says on that part of it.

  23. twistedSISTER says:

    Look MCP, blogs are confusing not just this one, mine is probably too to the people looking in and that have not read it al. And I probably contradict myself loads of times but thats the beauty of blogging. This post is probably the one thats got under my skin more than any, simply because I dont understand it. Past posts I may not have agreed with but I have understood it. This just baffles me because I dont trust what I cant explain………

  24. Mrs. B says:

    Sarcasm is a literary technique that is really hard to pull off and truthfully, you have to know the intentions of the writer well before you “get” that it is sarcasm.
    As a long-time listener of Rush Limbaugh, I consider him the master of sarcasm and one of the most intelligent people in the media. But people who listen to snippets of him never get him and are outraged.
    I “get” what you did, MV. There was truth in there. You are proud of being Barbie. Others should be proud of being Michelle Obama or….whoever they are. It’s all good. They’re all God’s children. Wow. God’s children? Yep, you should be proud of that! Regardless of your physical shape.

  25. twistedSISTER says:

    Welcome back Mrs B. xxxx

  26. MCP says:

    I think that was a lovely thing to say Mrs. B, we are all God’d children and should be proud to be so.
    But you can rest assured that if I had a daughter with an eating disorder and she were reading this site, I would not want her hearing from someone who is vehemently against them saying she is proud to be Barbie. It sends a horrible message. I am not saying her feelings about being proud are irrelevant, but for me, I care a lot less about what she meant than calling herself a Barbie. Totally inappropriate. I know- I’ve said this 100 times and I’m being annoying but I feel very strongly about it several other people on her other blog said the same thing I am saying now

  27. Maeve says:

    In terms of the “proud to be Barbie” comment, I think we have to look at it this way.
    When a person says they are “black and proud” or “gay and proud,” we interpret that as, they are black or gay, and there’s nothing wrong with that, they’re happy with it.
    But if someone were to say they’re “white and proud” we interpret that differently. In general someone would take that to mean that they think being white is better than being another colour.
    When mamaV said she was a Barbie and proud, I think she meant it the first way (that there is nothing wrong with it, she’s still happy with herself), but it got taken the second way.
    I don’t think there was anything wrong with this particular comment, when you look at it in context. But I think the way the response was written in general left a lot of room to get interpreted in a very bad way, just like if you said you were “white and proud” that would get interpreted in a very bad way…and it probably wouldn’t be adviseable to put it that way if you want people to understand you.

  28. MCP says:

    Great points Maeve-
    But I just feel in general- regardless of how she did or did not mean it… identifying yourself as the equavilent of Barbie on a website geared to promoting healthy body image and against eating disorders is very bad news. I personally really don’t care what or how she meant it- it’s that she said it. PERIOD

  29. Dragonbait says:

    On the issue of intent and offensiveness, I’d direct MamaV and anyone else who is interested to Melissa’s post on Shakesville about the subject: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/04/feminism-101-sexism-is-matter-of.html
    It covers a lot of ground and covers the issues very well I think. Sexism isn’t the (only) issue here, but I think it’s perfectly accurate to substitute racism/classism/size-ism or any other form of prejudice that one might be engaging in. The part in particular that I think is at play is this:
    “Let me quickly stipulate and clarify that one can unintentionally express sexism. That innocent intent, or ignorance of the history of how women have been marginalized, does not, however, in any way change the quality of what was being expressed. Something can still be expressed sexism even if the speaker’s intent was not to oppress women. And particularly if it does fit neatly into a historical pattern, it necessarily conjures that pattern of sexism, intentionally or not.”
    The assertion that one does not have to acknowledge that this is true, that the speaker’s intent matters more than the actual (rather than intended) effects, is an incredible assertion of privilege, and basically says “I matter more than you. Deal with it.”

  30. gsmnlit says:

    SP and their followers are an overeducated bunch(their words) and are staunch feminists. Anybody who deals with them better study up on feminism and the concept of privilege or they are going to get chewed up and spit out twice…as you have.
    I know you heart and motives are good.

  31. M says:

    As someone whose life was profoundly changed for the better by the Renfrew Center, of which you seem to be a strong supporter, I have to say I’m shocked by the post in question. Renfrew was the first place I learned that I might not be inherently inferior to anyone thinner & prettier than I am.
    I would never expect such a post from someone who considered herself an advocate for women with eating disorders, and I would never, *never* trust someone who felt that way to help me or speak for me.

  32. mcp says:

    Thank you. I have said the same thing several times about her comments being eggrigious to someone who is an advocate for eating disorders. Some people on here don’t share my view which to me is astonishing. She has only minimally responded.
    I think she’s embarassed and ashamed- as damn well she should be and gone into hiding

  33. Katie B, AoA says:

    I just want to know…
    While it’s a great compliment that she said there aren’t any “ugly” contributors…
    I want to know what she’ll post when someone she feels is ugly has joined the panel.
    “Oh, yay, there’s an UGLY chick here now!” ?
    Somehow, methinks this idea of specifically seeking out including someone ‘ugly’….is not a good one.
    (And that’s my own sense of sarcasm, take me with a grain of salt.)
    Non-sarcastic version:
    Tone bad. Reaction bad.
    No cookies.
    Gah, can’t quite get this not sarcastic thing, either. I feel your pain, mamaV.

  34. LT says:

    Dragonbait – if someone is going to label themselves as “feminist” (which MamaV does on her header), I would really expect them to be familiar with the 101 basic concepts of Privilege.
    If she gets it enough to understand male privilege, it really isn’t a stretch to begin to understand other forms.
    Motives can be well intentioned, but if the execution of said motives is done extremely poorly and hurtful, well, be prepared to have your motives questioned. And when called on the carpet lame excuses for an apology doesn’t cut it. Just saying.

  35. gsmnlit says:

    Who wouldn’t be a wee bit upset after having a crowd of WOMEN screaming at you and pounding you.
    I imagine the adulteorus woman in the Bible felt the same way as screaming crowds held rocks ready to pound her to death for her sin.
    Are any of YOU perfect? I know I’m not. So why don’t you just shut the F up for two minutes and go take a look in the mirror.

  36. MCP says:

    no- none of us are perfect gsmnlit- I don’t think any of us here claim to be.
    But she was way out of line- and you have to understand that as someone who comes across extremely harshly at times- like the Nazi against eating disorders when she has no professional credentials to in my view to speak as boldly about them as she does, she still does it anyway.
    If you want to be an advocate for eating disorders- with that comes responsibility and sensitivity and a little something called COMPASSION.
    She seems to lack all 3

  37. mamaV says:

    Hi Everyone: Great convo going on here- thanks for your thoughts and passion.
    I took a day off of reading comments since I wanted to start fresh today, read through everything and respond. I am starting here, and then I am headed over to WATRD to dig into the 100 something comments over there.
    The coolest part about this entire thing is it is making us all think, including myself. The concept of privledge, yes is new, (not afraid to admit it, and who gives a rip about the feminists that want to beat me about it).
    We are going to make “privledge” a topic of discussion on WATRD next week, and each of the contributors will respond. I’ll post here so you guys know to go check it out and then we can continue our convo here or there if you would like.
    Here’s the deal – I’m no Barbie. I’m a soon to be 40 (Aug 22!) mom with lumps, bumps, wrinkles and still zits (irritating as hell). But guess what? I love myself, I accept my flaws, don’t try to hide them and I certainly never, ever look down upon anyone. If people think I am bogus, not my issue.
    I teach my children, and the Girl Scout Troop I lead about how all people are different shapes, sizes, colors, able bodied/disabled, mentally ill, etc….this is my most important job isn’t it?
    This blog is a way to extend my beliefs, and help other girls who may or may not “fit the mold” accept the realities of life (yes you are judged and advantaged by how you look). Once we accept that fact, we can look at where we stand, and go out and live! Surround ourselves with people who understand this privledge and do not feed into it or judge because of it.
    I extended this passion on WATRD by bringing together a group that I respected. I recognized our lack of diversity from day one and I am not going to keep justifying this.
    Here’s the thing- do you really think that I would put all this time and energy into these blogs if really, deep inside, I hated fat people? hated disabled people? For cripes sake it is asinine. I get it, I have always got it and I am on their side….but I will not sit by when I see so blatant reverse discrimination.
    How many girls have we known here that have died trying to be Barbie?
    How many friends do you know can’t even live their life because they are obsessed with being Barbie?
    Barbie doesn’t exist – that is the point. Society tells us she does, but she doesn’t, so that is why we need voices reinforcing this message.
    People didn’t like my snarky attitude, or my style of delivery.
    Was I slapping Jelly in the face with my sarcasm – yes.
    Do I regret it? no.
    Do I feel terrible that people took the “Barbie” comments literally? Absolutely!
    I thought the way I wrote it, and put in the most proposterous pictures I could find, made it so totally ridiculous that no one would possibly think I was serious.
    I thought wrong didnt I? And the roof blew. I apologized for the Barbie aspect alone, attempted to clarify it —but the rest of it?
    It’s my story and I am sticking to it…in fact, I am damn proud of myself.

  38. mamaV says:

    Mrs. B: Great to hear from you, thanks for your support. Hope you and your family are well!

  39. kate says:

    “privilege” is the word, not “privledge”

  40. prettyshinythings says:

    Lets face it, WATRD was never going to work; was it? Bringing together FA activists, weight loss bloggers and those geered towards eating disordred/recovery was never going to be a clear intersection. I can see how this would be the ‘ideal’ of body-image/weight blogging, but clearly these intersecting views do not create a healthy enviroment for commentary.
    IMO, Mama V, you need to specicfy what the ‘body image’ covered in the blog – if you are going to deal with weight and ED only, then this needs to be much clearer to avoid critism. Even better, take the initiative to search out panel members from all walks of life.
    ‘Privilege’ is a diificult issue, but it is everyone involvdes job to expand their views, horizons and that involves looking at viewpoints other than their own. To dismiss them childishly is downright offensive.

  41. Dragonbait says:

    LT- I actually agree completely, and perhaps I wasn’t clear enough, but that’s basically what I was arguing as well. Intent doesn’t determine whether or not something is offensive and inappropriate. I provided the link and excerpt because I have more patience for Feminism 101-ing than people who have been doing this longer. I don’t mean that as a criticism, it’s just my teaspoon.
    MamaV- I strongly think you need to continue examining the idea of privilege, as well as other concepts that are usually considered feminism 101. One of the largest manifestations of privilege is not having to see it, and as such, it takes effort. Your initial post to Jelly, your apology, and your comment here all indicate that you’re being confronted with it for the first time and haven’t actually absorbed the concept yet. Take a moment, please, to stop and consider other marginalized groups’ voices and experiences before you continue trumpeting that yours is the one that is important here.

  42. Kitty says:

    Heather, I’ve seen you going downhill for a while now. You just hit rock bottom. I see that you “apologized” for your ridiculous post now that you realize how dumb it made you look. I also see that you closed comments. Is it because you couldn’t take any more criticism? Even your own contributor told you off. I think you should be replaced by the more diverse contributors that are now being promised on your fake ass “real women” blog.
    The real woman you are NOT

  43. MCP says:

    Mama V,
    Thank you for your apology and clarification. I think when you said you were proud to be Barbie, you meant you are proud of who you are, flaws and all. I took it literally and thought you were saying you were one and that that’s a good thing. I didn’t take it personally and I was not personally offended, but I was looking at the broader perspective of how other people could interpret the comment as sending a bad message. I understand now you did not mean it that way.
    I think that many people on this site are all in different phases of recovery, if at all and depending on what stage they are at, they can get easily offended, riled up, or very sensitive. I am not suggesting you walk on egg shells or not be who you are and say what you think, but think about the way you say it so something like this does not happen again. Also, if you’d ever like to read my blog, feel free. I write about a lot of things, but mainly I focus on Ed, and criminal justice for crime victims, as I am a news junkie. You can criticize me all you like! I can be pretty harsh to in my opinions and can use more commentators.

  44. twistedSISTER says:

    MCP you are more than welcome to come and criticise me if you want too! http://www.wordpress.com/twistsis

  45. smudgeruk says:

    “Some people on here don’t share my view which to me is astonishing.”
    Just picking up on this, as I feel it may be partially aimed at me.
    Something to think about, MCP – just because people don’t always agree with you doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It doesn’t even mean *you’re* wrong – it’s called a “differing point of view”.
    I am always happy to debate things back and forth with you, with the understanding that you respect my right to my own point of view, as I respect yours.

  46. Genevieve says:

    Ugh, I don’t know. Your response was perhaps a bit ill-thought out, especially since body-image is something people jump on so passionately and will always rebut anything you say with a personal experience. Not to say that’s a *bad* thing; it just makes it that much harder to use sarcasm, etc. I know––I’m a very sarcastic girl myself.
    That being said, I did have a problem with Jelly’s tone and with the implication that a blog can’t be worthwhile unless it has met certain quotas of diversity. Let’s see, Barbie, check, fat girl (how do we measure that, precisely), ugly girl (wtf?), pretty girl, disabled girl (sure, invite me because I’m disabled! Go for it! That will make *everything* all better because I will feel special and included for being chosen because you all were looking for a specific type of person).
    If anyone doesn’t like what is said or thinks it is too one-sided, well, guess what? A blog, or anything else, cannot give all perspectives. There will always, especially in this area of blogging, be someone who feels that their perspective is “left out.” That’s the way life is. You can’t, as cheesy as it sounds, please everyone. I’ve even seen readers rip a woman on a fat acceptance blog for blogging about how she started an exercise routine to become healthier! (she was having cholesterol and blood pressure issues and in addition to diet changes, she was doing some exercise. She got ripped a new one for “betraying” the FA cause!)
    Perhaps a more appropriate response would have been to respond to Jelly in the comment, or to say that while you recognize the “lack of diversity” on the blog, you all are coming from different body image places and are sharing what you know and what you think. Then you could have told her that she’s welcome to constructively call you out if you are being neglectful of a necessary perspective, but that just saying it’s broke without offering a solution doesn’t help anyone, and results in the kerfluffle going on now. We tell people all the time, if you don’t like something, do something about it!!! How is this any different? I definitely didn’t understand why people were upset with comments that Jelly should start her own blog––she should! And We Are the Real Deal should help her promote it! If she doesn’t think she has enough to say, then maybe she should have toned down her own criticism. “Hey, I’m worried about the lack of diversity on this blog. I don’t know enough/don’t have the time/whatever to contribute, but it concerns me. Can we get a dialogue going?”
    You all could have asked Jelly and others for ideas, you could have talked about how hard it is to get diversity without getting to quota/checklisty, you could have reminded her that even if *she* thinks you have no right to talk about body image, we *all* have the right to talk about it, no matter what we look like, etc.
    Yes, your response seemed harsh. It’s easy to say that, with hindsight. But I understand where you’re coming from, on the other hand. To be told, with your background, that you haven’t the proper perspective on your blog because of how you look? It reminds me of something they say at Feministing––partriarchy hurts men too. The “barbie” ideal hurts women who, at least based on one pic on a blog, seem to fit it, just as much as anyone else.

  47. MCP says:

    TS- I have visited your site, but have no gripes.
    Keep writing1

  48. MCP says:

    And no TS- I in no way felt your comments were aimed at me. Please don’t worry. I don’t take this stuff to heart- At the time I started writing responses, the barbie backlashes came later, so I was just saying that i found it odd people didn’t pick up on it sooner. But hey- she apologized.
    I frogive her.

  49. twistedSISTER says:

    hummmmm, ok I shall keep writing! thinking, thinking, thinking………..

  50. JG says:

    I am late to the party here, but have read all of the posts in question and really feel that MamaV (whose heart is CLEARLY in the right place — IMHO, this is quite obvious) is being crucified unfairly. She made a post which she intended to be sarcastic (I found this rather obvious when I read it) and it was taken the wrong way by nearly everyone. She apologized, now let’s all move on. I happen to like the WATRD site, even if it’s still having growing pains.

  51. aileb says:

    Second hand Cabbage Patches and Rainbow Brites, that’s what all the Mexican girls played with in my neighborhood.
    I could cuddle the cabbage patch and pretend she was my baby because my parents were migrant workers and tilted the land she came from.
    The Rainbow Brite was colorful like me and she kicked butt-beat that Barbie!
    The Barbie just layed there helpless. She had everthing and nothing left to prove.
    I use to wrap my index finger and thumb around her tiny waist. She was not like me.
    I always threw her across the room, let my brother shoot her down with his toy soldiers and
    she was always on the receiving end of my anger.
    Even after all the rough housing, my mom would always make her beautiful again.
    My eyes did a double take and my fists clenched.
    I moved to an all-white school when I was a teenager and I was surrounded by a sea of Barbies-look-alikes. No color; just varying degrees of perfection.
    I was in her world now and I would never measure up.
    I couldn’t change the color of my skin, jump up in social status but I remembered how her tiny waist could wrapped around my index finger and thumb.
    And so it began..
    The Barbie look-alikes in my world never told me to shut my yapper.
    They looked at me in awe because I could switch back from English and Spanish mid-sentence.
    They loved to hear me roll my R’s and thought it was cute that I said “ay” instead of “ouch”
    when I hurt.
    I don’t know why I told Barbie to shut her yapper so many years ago.
    Or why I never gave her a chance.
    I guess I am making up for it now. So what’s on your mind Barbie?
    There is so much that’s wrong with this world. Come on, and give us your take.
    I’ll spin it around and blame it on our genes and totally dismiss the media influences.
    You won’t back down and I’ll pull out the “Mental Disorder” card.
    The other bloggers I visit, are so polite and everyone agrees with each other, It’s a sea a Barbies. Plastered smiles and thank-you for your “view”.
    I hope this whole thing isn’t going to discourage you from writing.
    This was the first blog I read that was against pro-ana.
    It’s been 2 months and 18 days since I’ve started recovery :)

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