Photos Can't Escape It, Either

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Paul McAleer, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. Paul McAleer

    Paul McAleer Guest

    Photos Can't Escape It, Either

    A while back here on BFB, I pointed out that even a photo of a fat person
    on a stock photo site could garner negative comments. I posted a comment
    calling the other people on the carpet, and there's been nothing there
    since.

    So it was interesting to me to see this image
    http://www.manipulation.com/003312.php . All told, it's a nice photo -
    great colors, nice aesthetics. Take a look in the comments, and you'll see
    some great stuff. Like, "That fat lady is obnoxious and it makes the pic
    ugly." And my favorite, "wow, that is quite the gastrapod."

    Now if you will, take a spin over here
    http://www.bluejake.com/archives/2005/01/19/chile_3.php . Again, very nice
    photos. Someone in the comments decides, though, to call one of the kids in
    the photo a "lard ass."

    The thing that infuriates me about this is that these are just
    photobloggers sharing their work, and even that genre of website can't
    escape fat discrimination and dumbass, uneducated comments. It's
    frustrating to see these photos and think that the only things some people
    come away with are, "Wow, look at that fat!" or "What a fat ass!" or
    similar.

    Photography, like other arts, has the potential to shape and mold peoples'
    worldviews. Fat positive photography is out there, but frankly the
    "headless fat woman" sells more. So what needs to be done to get a more
    positive image out there? And what do we do, besides commenting back, to
    fight this kind of gross ignorance?
     
    Paul McAleer, Jan 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. Paul McAleer

    Canongirly Guest

    whatever
     
    Canongirly, Jan 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. Paul McAleer

    Mike Kohary Guest

    Interesting, but seems to be more of a social commentary than a photographic
    topic, so I'm not sure why you included alt.photography in your
    distribution. What needs to be done, besides commenting back? Well, what
    else can you do? I suggest ignoring it and living your life in such a way
    that satisfies you. What do you care what anyone else thinks. As for these
    folks blogging their photos and getting the occasional rude poster, they can
    simply delete the offending posts, which is exactly what I would do.
     
    Mike Kohary, Jan 25, 2005
    #3
  4. Paul McAleer

    Mike Kohary Guest

    Interesting, but seems to be more of a social commentary than a photographic
    topic, so I'm not sure why you included alt.photography in your
    distribution. What needs to be done, besides commenting back? Well, what
    else can you do? I suggest ignoring it and living your life in such a way
    that satisfies you. What do you care what anyone else thinks. As for these
    folks blogging their photos and getting the occasional rude poster, they can
    simply delete the offending posts, which is exactly what I would do.
     
    Mike Kohary, Jan 25, 2005
    #4
  5. Paul McAleer

    Ben Thomas Guest

    It's human nature to find faults with others and to try to boost one's ego.

    That said, there's nothing healthy about being fat.



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    Disclaimer:
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    Ben Thomas, Jan 25, 2005
    #5
  6. Paul McAleer

    Owamanga Guest

    I think ego is a society thing. It's not core to our survival, but
    being wary / disgusted by fat people is.
    Indeed, the reason people respond to fat people like that is far
    beyond anything society did to us. It's human nature - the thing that
    (used to) keeps us alive (before society took over). The instant
    reaction most people have when coming in close contact with dead
    people, fat people or diseased people is that we find it revolting.

    Dead people can mean that something in the area is dangerous to
    humans, we find it naturally scary and don't want to stay there. This
    is self-preservation.

    Extremely fat people are useless for mating, are also larger than you
    and are possibly more capable of doing you harm.

    Diseased people are also possibly dangerous to be in contact with.

    Society actually tries to change these completely natural reactions
    (that you can see repeated in nature with other species). Of course,
    anyone can be de-sensitzed / trained / indoctrinated not to respond in
    this way, but it's always there in the background. As photographers,
    we should be aware of how the subject can affect the emotion of the
    viewer and so I wouldn't consider it off-topic for a general
    photography NG.
     
    Owamanga, Jan 25, 2005
    #6
  7. Paul McAleer

    Big Betty Guest

    Fat protects against cancer.
     
    Big Betty, Jan 25, 2005
    #7
  8. Paul McAleer

    Owamanga Guest

    Only because they die from heart-disease first.
     
    Owamanga, Jan 25, 2005
    #8
  9. Paul McAleer

    Larry Bud Guest

    The thing that infuriates me about this is that these are just
    What's uneducated about pointing out a fat person in the photo?
    People want to get a good feeling when looking at photos. Most people
    don't get a good feeling looking at a fat person. It's the science of
    attraction at work.
    There's nothing ignorant about it. People are attracted to what
    they're attracted to. If you want more positive comments, shoot pretty
    people.
     
    Larry Bud, Jan 25, 2005
    #9
  10. Paul McAleer

    Larry Bud Guest


    What a perverse way of looking at early deaths due to being overweight.

    Being an Iraqi leader protects against growing old, but I wouldn't
    recommend it.
     
    Larry Bud, Jan 25, 2005
    #10
  11. Paul McAleer

    Jer Guest

    So, the implication of this seems to say that people like a photo of
    someone else only if they're attracted to a person in the photo. If
    this implication has any foundation under it, then I would strongly
    suggest that adults refrain from looking at photos of children, lest
    they be attracted to the child.
     
    Jer, Jan 25, 2005
    #11
  12. Paul McAleer

    Owamanga Guest

    I think you've introduced the notion of *sexual* attraction. Children
    are attractive to most people, without being *sexually* attractive.

    Youth is attractive, just like a flower is. There is nothing to be
    ashamed of. Its not illegal or immoral.

    The vast majority of babies are the most attractive members of the
    human race, and often have no signs of gender (so they are asexual).
    Partly because they have big eyes, and partly because are the least
    threatening.

    Generally, young people are more attractive than old, females are more
    attractive than males and healthy looking people are more attractive
    than jabba-the-huts. This is true regardless of your age, dimension or
    sexual orientation.
     
    Owamanga, Jan 25, 2005
    #12
  13. Paul McAleer

    Larry Bud Guest


    No, I said people want to "get a good feeling" when looking at a photo.
    Whether that's looking at a puppy, a sunset, or a hot babe, one
    generally gets a good feeling. Most people do not get a good feeling
    looking at a fat person.
     
    Larry Bud, Jan 25, 2005
    #13
  14. --

    Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
     
    Lawrence Wasserman, Jan 25, 2005
    #14
  15. Paul McAleer

    Guest Guest

    Where exactly is the manipulation?
     
    Guest, Jan 25, 2005
    #15
  16. Paul McAleer

    C J Campbell Guest

    An interesting theory, but there are some serious holes in it. Aversions to
    dead, fat, or even diseased people are fairly recent developments
    culturally. Granted, at one time lepers were shunned, but this had more to
    do with religious proscriptions than anything else.

    Fat people in particular were regarded through most of history as
    attractive. They were obviously better at survival, wealthier, and more
    powerful. Any examination of pre-20th century art will show a predominance
    of fat people as desirable or figures of social power or political
    importance. In fact, there is a considerable body of thought that obesity is
    as common as it is today because it is naturally attractive.

    One might also note that it is probably equally unhealthy, if not more so,
    to be excessively thin. The thin bring to mind starvation, disease, and
    death, not the fat. The thin are predatory, hungry, greedy and grasping,
    ready to do any evil simply in order to survive. An examination of early art
    depicting terrifying people will nearly always show them to be thin.
    Shakespearean villains are always thin -- "yon Cassius hath a lean and
    hungry look," for example. Aristophenes and even earlier playrights also
    depicted their villains as thin. The wicked stepmother in fairy tales is
    always thin. The bogey man is thin. The character in "The Scream" is thin.
    Baba Yaga is thin, as are all other old crones and witches. This prevailed
    even into the middle of the 20th century. Gangsters and hoodlums in old
    movies are invariably thin, short, and/or otherwise 'deformed.' Mad
    scientists are invariably thin. Even today, if a movie shows a fat person as
    evil, then that fat person is invariably wealthy, powerful, and charismatic,
    attracting many followers, like Jabba the Hutt. If anything, it appears that
    we have a natural aversion to thin people, not fat people.
     
    C J Campbell, Jan 25, 2005
    #16
  17. Tell my again why should I accept your unhealthy lifestyle, tubby?
     
    Brian C. Baird, Jan 25, 2005
    #17
  18. Paul McAleer

    C J Campbell Guest

    But through most of history they did get a good feeling from it.
     
    C J Campbell, Jan 25, 2005
    #18
  19. You keep telling yourself that, Crisco.
     
    Brian C. Baird, Jan 25, 2005
    #19
  20. Paul McAleer

    C J Campbell Guest

    As you see from the replies here, bigotry will always out. It will always
    find an excuse, too.
     
    C J Campbell, Jan 25, 2005
    #20
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