15 December, 2008

Quick Hit Strikes Back: The Sexification of Illness

http://polkadotgals.com/index.html [NOT SAFE FOR WORK]

I do not begrudge these women for trying to raise awareness of fibro, but is a bikini/nude calendar really a good strategy? I also have to question the wisdom of selling lingerie [NSFW] in conjunction with the calendar in the name of "awareness."

What concerns me is the fact that many of the people who have posed for the calendar fit perfectly into the already-existing white, Western hegemonic ideal of female beauty, and are apparently nude in the name of "awareness." It's a move straight from the PETA playbook: using (white) naked female bodies to make consumers ostensibly aware of a cause without examining the larger implications of such a move.

How much "awareness" can one really have if one is too busy focusing on T&A?

For more on the sexification of illness and the related consumerist implications, read Barbara Ehrenreich's amazing piece "Welcome to Cancerland".

1 comment:

amandaw said...

i remain convinced that "awareness" as a cause in itself is, without exception, more harmful in the end than it is helpful.

these ladies aren't raising awareness of fibromyalgia. they're raising awareness of their own bodies, using fibromyalgia as a vehicle to get there. the climate in which we live means that it is simply impossible to do it the other way around.