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Old 04-28-2010, 09:58 PM   #241
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The abbreviation of the movie Free Willy.

Maybe that wasn't the right line of thinking I was aiming for. Was just trying to refute the "but we must make the babies" argument.

I'm not too worried about the human race dying out anytime soon. I might not be birthin' no babies, but other people are more than making up for my lack of sprog.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:16 AM   #242
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I'm not even sure why this seems to be a contentious discussion at all. I don't even know who this woman is but even if I did, who cares why she does or doesn't want to get pregnant?
I'd never heard of her before either, but then I don't watch TV.

Her freely volunteered, publically stated (in a women's health magazine) reasoning for preferring adoption to pregnancy smacked of the familiar "Eww gross, pregnancy makes you fat and dumpy and I can't have that" line of thinking. The "contentiousness" would appear to be over whether one can roll their eyes at that without it being some sort of judgmental antifeminist statement. Since she's made her fortune promoting herself on TV as a woman fitness trainer, and was not being pressured to justify anything, personally I don't feel sorry for her having drawn some flak for that statement (mostly from birth mothers who felt insulted by it, unsurprisingly, but that's a lot of her fans and clients).

So far as I can tell, no one found the more general fact that she prefers to adopt rather than get pregnant contentious in itself. I think anyone can understand a woman who's already attracted to the idea of adoption considering it an added 'bonus' that she thereby wouldn't need to go through the physical burdens of pregnancy and childbirth, but I do find it a sad comment on how successful the commercialization of the female body in our culture has been at alienating women from their own bodies that a normal, natural, healthy function like pregnancy is sometimes viewed as an aesthetically unacceptable descent into a kind of 'animal' messiness. The reality is that idea is out there though.
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:55 AM   #243
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:02 PM   #244
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I do find it a sad comment on how successful the commercialization of the female body in our culture has been at alienating women from their own bodies that a normal, natural, healthy function like pregnancy is sometimes viewed as an aesthetically unacceptable descent into a kind of 'animal' messiness. The reality is that idea is out there though.
I don't disagree with you here, I just don't really see the difference. So she thinks being pregnant is gross and aesthetically unacceptable, is that really any worse than me saying I don't want to get pregnant because I am happy with my current lifestyle and a baby would be too much of an interruption? I like being able to go on a 4 day road trip with only a 24 hour notice. I like spending time with Phil and sleeping in on Saturdays. I like spending money on photography equipment instead of diapers and formula. I like having paid vacation days where I'm actually on vacation rather than having to use them for having a baby. I like training dogs too much at this point in my life to give it up for having a baby when I still have a decade to do that if I want to.

I don't really think her reasoning is dumb (I can't relate to her or her lifestyle so I just plain don't care), but I think it was dumb of her to make that comment. She should have just said, "I plan to adopt." Would we think differently of her if that's all she'd said? Why? That's exactly what I say when nosey people ask me why I don't have any kids. "I plan to adopt" (because we do). For some reason that makes the nosey people go away. Maybe they think I can't conceive or something like that, maybe they should be more sensitive and less nosey in the first place...
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:13 PM   #245
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So she thinks being pregnant is gross and aesthetically unacceptable, is that really any worse than me saying I don't want to get pregnant because I am happy with my current lifestyle and a baby would be too much of an interruption?
Huh, interesting point. I would comfortably say that there are people who would look upon those reasons as equally "selfish," that old happy fun times argument.

I have no problem with this person not wanting to get pregnant for that reason, but as others have pointed out, I think she really shot herself in the foot with her profession and is losing out on a gold mine of opportunity for post-pregnancy workout videos or whatever.

But hey. She's the only one who can decide what to do with her body, and who's to say she didn't consider the opportunity and come out the other end thinking "....nope. Still not gonna do it."

(Of course, then some might argue that that's a really questionable reason TO have a baby. )
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:47 PM   #246
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So she thinks being pregnant is gross and aesthetically unacceptable, is that really any worse than me saying I don't want to get pregnant because I am happy with my current lifestyle and a baby would be too much of an interruption?
I totally agree.

Frankly I'm more concerned with all sorts of fucked up reasons based on which women have babies. As far as I can tell this one isn't harming a single other individual with her however vain statement.
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:59 PM   #247
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...I think it was dumb of her to make that comment. She should have just said, "I plan to adopt." Would we think differently of her if that's all she'd said? Why?
Sounds like you already have an answer to your own "Why?" in mind, since you also say you "think it was dumb of her to make that comment." Why do you think that? I already explained why I thought it was "dumb" (though that probably wouldn't have been my word choice...more like ill-advised, and a bit sad as well, given the context).
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So she thinks being pregnant is gross and aesthetically unacceptable, is that really any worse than me saying I don't want to get pregnant because I am happy with my current lifestyle and a baby would be too much of an interruption?
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I plan on adopting because I just don't want to go through a pregnancy and birth when there are plenty of babies that already need families. What does that make me?
The first example isn't really relevant, since the Jillian Michaels story has nothing to do with decisions of whether and when to become a parent as such--it's about attitudes towards women's bodies, and in particular, pregnant women's bodies. In the second example, it's unambiguous from the context that you're thinking only in terms of your image of your own body (if that, even...I get the sense you're really talking more about aversion to pain than body image?). Unfortunately for Ms. Michaels, the reality is that context matters, and--apologies for sounding like a broken record here, but--when you suggest in an interview with a national women's health magazine, while speaking in your capacity as a nationally prominent female fitness trainer to women from all walks of life, that you "can't handle" inflicting the cosmetic horrors of "that" on your (literally, famously fit) body...well, guess what, some people are going to detect an insinuation or two that you perhaps find "that" grotesque and alien in general, because the reality is that strand of thinking is out there, and just about any woman who's ever been visibly pregnant has experienced it firsthand. (Equally patronizing counternarratives of perpetually starry-eyed, tummy-patting anticipatory ecstasy--read "presumed temporary mental incompetence"--notwithstanding.) And, guess what, some of them aren't gonna like what they think they're hearing, either. It shouldn't have taken rocket science for Michaels to foresee that.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:05 PM   #248
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Unfortunately for Ms. Michaels, the reality is that context matters, and--apologies for sounding like a broken record here, but--when you suggest in an interview with a national women's health magazine, while speaking in your capacity as a nationally prominent female fitness trainer to women from all walks of life, that you "can't handle" inflicting the cosmetic horrors of "that" on your (literally, famously fit) body...well, guess what, some people are going to detect an insinuation or two that you perhaps find "that" grotesque and alien in general
I really don't want to sound flippant, but...

so?

There are plenty of things that most of us find extremely unappealing about other people's bodies and we make those judgments every day. If she thinks that it's grotesque to have stretch marks, you can find 10 people who think that it's grotesque for a woman to have a gut hanging over her jeans or a triple chin.

I guess that I just don't really get why this is particularly insulting. And for the record, I don't share her views in the slightest, but ultimately I don't find them any more off-side than most of our judgments about other people's bodies.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:10 PM   #249
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I wasn't suggesting they were. Just explaining why I don't feel sorry for her, nor inclined to defend her, in drawing the reaction she did.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:20 PM   #250
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Sounds like you already have an answer to your own "Why?" in mind, since you also say you "think it was dumb of her to make that comment." Why do you think that?
Because I think it's a nosey question and doesn't really need to be discussed unless it's between partners. IMO it was dumb to discuss publicly, regardless of the answer.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:11 PM   #251
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So she thinks being pregnant is gross and aesthetically unacceptable
What she said just sounds too a bit neat and clinical to me. Like something a character in Brave New World would say to be honest. Now, granted, easy for a guy to say this.

Actually it occurs to me that with some exceptions there seems to be a slight generation gap in reactions to this discussion in the thread.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:14 PM   #252
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I really don't want to sound flippant, but...

so?

There are plenty of things that most of us find extremely unappealing about other people's bodies and we make those judgments every day. If she thinks that it's grotesque to have stretch marks, you can find 10 people who think that it's grotesque for a woman to have a gut hanging over her jeans or a triple chin.

I guess that I just don't really get why this is particularly insulting. And for the record, I don't share her views in the slightest, but ultimately I don't find them any more off-side than most of our judgments about other people's bodies.
Surely there is a big difference here. Physical characteristics like guts and triple chins are usually from poor lifestyle whereas physical changes due to pregnancy are, well, completely natural.

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She is currently embroiled in a lawsuit over the efficacy of her diet pills.
I tend to assume that anyone involved in the marketing of diet pills is basically a charlatan.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:12 PM   #253
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What she said just sounds too a bit neat and clinical to me. Like something a character in Brave New World would say to be honest. Now, granted, easy for a guy to say this.
I don't know what she actually said, I was repeating what yolland said.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:04 PM   #254
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Frankly I'm more concerned with all sorts of fucked up reasons based on which women have babies.
Must agree with this. I have far more respect for a carefully considered decision (whatever the reason) not to become a parent than for those who blindly jump or fall into it and do it badly.

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As far as I can tell this one isn't harming a single other individual with her however vain statement.
If you believe as a public figure that she has no influence, maybe. As Yolland mentioned, perhaps a warped body image message for an adopted child, especially a daughter. It's certainly going to affect the commission of her agent and the stress level of her publicist.

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Actually it occurs to me that with some exceptions there seems to be a slight generation gap in reactions to this discussion in the thread.
Tread carefully there, buddy.

Actually it's more of a motherhood gap. Mothers being sensitive to the public perception of the utility and value of women's bodies being more than skin deep and non-mothers sensitive to the pressure of being non-mothers and any insinuation that it's not natural or acceptable. I am certainly not insinuating that in the least...I've lived in both camps.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:28 PM   #255
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If you believe as a public figure that she has no influence, maybe.
So it really is that she is held to a higher standard b/c she is rich and famous?


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Actually it's more of a motherhood gap. Mothers being sensitive to the public perception of the utility and value of women's bodies being more than skin deep and non-mothers sensitive to the pressure of being non-mothers and any insinuation that it's not natural or acceptable. I am certainly not insinuating that in the least...I've lived in both camps.
I think he made a fair observation and you're probably right.
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