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English 1B, Sec. 5.
October 18, 1976
Mary Rasmussen

                    ONE SKINNY LITTLE CALORIE

	Browse through a recent woman's magazine.  Many cigarettes
(the long and thin brands) and various liquors are advertised quite

a bit, but the substantial amount of advertisements deal specifically
with products which function to either change the scent, the shape, or

the basic looks of a woman.

	Hair product advertisements abound in the magazine.  We see a 

woman with "embarrassing gray hair" instantly transformed into a gor-

geous brunette with a single dye application.  Ladies with "dull, 

mousy-brown hair" are changed overnight into blonde, sexy broads.  Straight,

listless hair is zapped back to life with permanents, and unruly, frizzy,

curly hair is toned down to beautiful long hair.  Skin products such as
moisturizers, skin and tanning lotions, and face makeup are advertised.
Hundreds of different types of perfumes (some which may bring out the 

natural-born innocence of a woman or others which may, on the other hand,

bring out the animal instinct of a man). Other products  such as bright

red matching lipsticks and nail polishes capture our eye.  And, of course,

we cannot miss the constant dosage of diet ads...
attention is immediately focused upon the beautiful thin model who is 
ridiculously kicking her legs and flinging her arms.  Overjoyed by the fact
that "TAB has only one skinny little calorie in 16 ounces," she appears to be
in utter ecstasy after having sipped her can of TAB.  Reading the ad, and see-
ing such a beautiful, skinny, happy model, we think that perhaps TAB might not
be such a bad product at all.  Perhaps it might even taste "terrific," as the
ad suggests!  In fact, with only one little calorie, this particular product

even sounds rather unbeatable!  Anything with one skinny calorie must be good!
 	But why?  Why must a typical American female be constantly bombarded
by this image of the "skinny, petite" throughout her life?  Thin, thin, and
thin...beautiful skinny bodies.  The girls certainly know this necessary,
specific female requirement demanded by the males.  36-24-36 (plus or minus
three) are not numbers for a bicycle lock.  And yet, most women would not even
know WHERE to begin measuring a man's measurements!
	It is almost impossible for American women to escape from the "skinny"
image which is plastered over all types of the media.  "Special K" and "Post
Grape Nuts" are only two of many brands of cereal being produced for dieting
women.  Disgusting TV commercials promoting bras and girdles (Oh, it's so 
comfortable I forgot I had it on!) constantly sell this "skinnyness."  Maga-
zines flaunt beautiful, tall, thin female models wearing sleek, slender gowns.
Rarely does a typical woman's magazine exclude an article referring to some 
type of revolutionary new diet plan.  Even the women's special cigarette brand
is properly labeled "Virginia SLIMS!"
     	Why must women be constantly subjected to such harrassments?  Why do
the men,  who,  in most cases own the media, project this image?  Do they
demand this "thin" image purely out of spite?  Do they really loathe women,
and so, consequently demand that they see as little of them as possible?
(If you don't like it, get rid of it.)  Is it that the fashion designers 
are largely homosexual, and want women to look like boys?  Perhaps it is
that plumpness reminds them of pregnancy?  Or, can it be that the men derive
much egotistical satisfaction from feeling that they are the "Savior, Pro-
tector, and Provider" for their "frail, helpless, little wives?"  Or what?
	Why is this "skinny" image being perpetuated?  And, why are women    
conforming to it?  Women have already accepted the thousands of other pro-
ducts created by men which change their basic being.  Just as they have
accepted such ridiculous products as fake eyelashes, padded bras, perfumes,

and hair bleaches, they are now willing to pay up to 35 cents for a worth-
less can of a one calorie soft drink.  Why must men insist that women change
their looks or smell or shape?  And, why are men so opposed to strong, healthy
women?  Why must the great East German woman swimmer, Kornelia Ender, be      
condenscendingly described by a male journalist simply as "ox shouldered, 5'11"
Kornelia Ender?                                                                 
	"You've Come A Long Way Baby," is courageously spelled out for all
women in the "Virginia Slims" advertisements.  But, have they?  Women have
been are still are being coerced into an inferior position in relation to
the males.  By living up to the "thin" image (narrow standard!) that men 
have set for women, the females are only helping to reinforce their inferior
status.  Women must oppose this standard which they have been subjected to.
They must drop their curling irons, false fingernails AND one calorie soft
drinks.  By growing up as strong and healthy individuals, without having to
diet themselves down to HELPLESSNESS, women can help themselves to attain
equal status with men.