Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Weight and Feminist Ire

by Marjorie
We love string cheese. Being thrifty (cheap), I buy whatever brand is cheapest based on sales and coupons. Recently, we've been eating Frigo Cheese Heads. The individual packages promote various characters from The Incredibles. I haven't seen the movie, but I know Anne has. Each cheese stick has a different character and interesting factoid about the character's particular talents or attributes -- like some male character who is so cool, he says "Freeze" to the bad guys before he freezes them.

Well, on my cheese stick package, I see a lovely picture of an animated young woman. The accompanying text says:

Elastigirl is 5'8" tall and weighs 125 pounds. Her power is full-body

Why do we get the height and weight of this character? I reviewed the contents of the entire package (and a big package it is) and there is no other height or weight measurement given for any other character, and there are a couple of different packages for each character.

Who is the target market of this product? Thirty-something moms? Yeah, I'm going to ask my kids if I can go see The Incredibles. I'm thinking its targeted to a younger demographic, one that is perhaps very weight sensitive? [Hello my anger. Breathing in, I smile at you, breathing out, I embrace you.....nope, not working]

I am outraged at this. First of all, I don't think 125 is a reasonable weight for most 5'8" women, its very skinny. I'm an inch shorter and was about that weight right before I got married because I couldn't stand my law school roommate and spent all my time in the gym and eating frozen vegetable stir-fries. While I enjoyed feeling skinny, I knew I looked peaked. One friend of mine figured I was thin because of stress, which I took to mean I didn't look healthy and good. Granted, I was 26 at the time, so its not too off the wall that a teenager might be this skinny. But what about the ones who aren't? I think this package might as well list the urls for the Ana (anorexia) and Mia (bulimia) websites.



Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

It matches the movie... the dad grew a beer gut when he stopped being a superhero but the mom (the former Elastigirl) hardly gained weight at all. That is not realistic! The vast majority of women gain some weight when they have children, and she had three. I pointed out in my review that Mrs. Parr didn't go through any sort of metamorphosis in the movie. I was disappointed in her character.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

That is really bad -- not only is it physically unrealistic, her lack of metamorphosis sounds as if she didn't learn or grow or change, etc. Maybe I'm going beyond the scope of the movie, but from a feminist content-analysis, it sounds like Barbie-girl was frozen in time -- the opposite of us Elastimoms who are learning and growing and trying to find our spiritual paths and true callings.

5:08 PM  
Blogger david said...

Hiya Marjorie!

Do you want me to change your blog link to this one on the scripture study page?

Oh. And btw -- I think yer right on elastigirl. You don't see Clark Kent's weight posted on the package of the superman action figures -- and his near-sightedness is faked!

4:50 AM  
Blogger clanlally said...

I am probably going to get in a lot of trouble for this...but Elastigirl is a cartoon character. :)

She's not real. And she had her molecular structure altered. According to the physics of the movie, she could conceivable distribute her weight any way she wanted.

I understand that none of the other character's weights are listed. But Mr. Incredible spent the beginning part of the movie in a rather obese state before he started to hit the train yard and getting buff...ready to fight evil. :)

Maybe they were being sensitive to his weight issue. :)

(You know you love me.)

6:06 AM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

Hey Mike,
Glad to have you here! Welcome.

Ahem, now....perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the works of Susan Faludi so you know why a cartoon character isn't always a cartoon character -- its a reflection of the repressive cultural views of women -- or something like that.

Why can't Elastigirl alter her molecular composition without us knowing her exact weight anyway? Neither Zan nor Jana ever discussed their weight -- though the very fact that Zan could only change into some form of water blantantly pointed out the limitations of the male mind. Biff! Pow!

I hate myself for loving you.

5:49 AM  
Blogger clanlally said...

I am Sparky's raging liver. :)

11:19 AM  

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