Well I guess it is time [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] Thanks Bascule. Onething though - let's be sure to keep the discussion going from the last thread - so if anyone needs to see page three it's at http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Foru.../001206-3.html (enjoy!)
Magical, your story is heartbreaking. Please try to remember that some good has come of it, and can come of it, because by telling your story you may help prevent others from going through the same anguish.
Heather, I agree with your comments, and I hope no one will think they were negative. This emphasis on being overly skinny that is apparently so strong in the hunter and eq world, thankfully doesn't seem to be so in other areas of our sport. When I came back to riding 8 years ago, I started out eventing and now do jumpers, and I too hadn't seen this problem in those disciplines. Also, it's been a long time since I was a teenager, so I can't claim any insight about what they are experiencing. Until reading these and other threads, I was not truly aware of how severe this problem is with the young women and girls in the Eq and hunter world. Sure, I've read a particular trainer's comments in a national horse publication about how girls and women who looked fine to me in their photos would have to lose weight before they could be successful, but I thought they were just that -- pissy comments from one overly perfectionistic male with no understanding of the female psyche or female body. But now I see the terrible pressure such comments, and the attitudes behind them, have generated.
The good news is, if the problem is peculiar to one area of the sport, we can better focus on it and do what is necessary to change it. Yes, this is part of a much larger societal problem. But there is no need to add to the problem through our sport when it quite demonstrably serves no purpose whatsoever. Being a size 2 versus a size 8, or 10, or whatever, really doesn't make anyone ride better. Isn't Eq supposed to be about proper riding form leading to effective function? What does how skinny your thigh is have to do with that? If the pressure is coming from girls being given the idea that "I can't win unless I'm skinny," then we need to make very sure the best rider is rewarded in the ring, not the skinniest, so the trainers and riders can see that things have changed and the best rider will win regardless of body size.
[This message has been edited by Portia (edited 04-12-2000).]
"I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry
I was stunned to hear all the stories about the H/J world on this matter. It is breaking my heart. Another nail in the coffin of "fun sport". Some one in thread 1 or early 2 mentioned the weight issue in relation to a dressage clinician. I have been in dressage since the mid 80's and have sat with a ton judges at a ton shows over the last 10 years. Never once have I heard a judge say anything about a riders weight, nor have I ever seen it commented on riders test sheet. Perhaps THAT is a great restrainer of tongue, That test sheet is signed by the judge. It is witness to their thoughts.
The comment made to the young woman that started this thread a ways back was, to my understanding, a one on one comment made when the rider requested a judges review for " ways to improve herself" A verbal comment is worth the paper it is written on. If pressed it is judges word against the rider.
Perhaps, as some suggested before, this gives a nudge twords the day when eq rounds are scored on forms like dressage.
Just thought I would take this opportunity to clarify a fact. Eating disorders are not confined to the juniors. It is just as prevalent in the adults. I think once it carries on to that point, the non-juniors just don't speak about it. Ever. To anyone. Friends, or otherwise. If we are going to help, we need to help them all.
Good point, Bascule. Unfortunately, adulthood doesn't bring a magical understanding about these things. And yes, adults can be much more crafty in the way they hide their behavior from others.
An adult friend of mine used to event and she often took diet pills instead of eating in order to lose weight. Luckily, she is now a runner and gains fitness from healthy exercise instead of quick fixes.
I would like to point out in response to the post referencing a reply that "NOT ME" is the most prolific member of this sport.
I agree the issue may not be there, but does that mean it won't. Of course there is a difference between divisions judged on the horse vrs. those judged on the rider. However, it is as silly for the rider to be judged for "skinny" as it would be for a western horse to be judged for the amount of silver on the sadlle and tack.
Both issues are technically covered in equitation the phrase "general appearance" is an excuse for prejudice. In western it's appointments that gives a loop hole.
We on the other hand could take the lead from Spain, they passed a "Law" that no advertising models could be smaller than a size 6. They are also concerned about the image problem which is affecting the general health and fitness of it's citizens.
Pick up the torch and run with it, we can do that too.
Snowbird, I had heard of that new law in Spain as well and think it's great. A few months back I was reading Glamour magazine and there was a spread on new spring fashions featuring a size 12 model- that being the average size of women in the US. The woman was beautiful, and my no means overweight- this woman looked healthy! It made me wonder why more models with more realistic bodies aren't featured. I think it would do a world of good to have greater awareness that there are many beautiful women who aren't stick thin- and not just in the riding world! Any thoughts on what we can do? Sorry for getting off track.
Actually I don't think you are off track. I stopped reading "women's" magazines years ago because I always felt inferior afterwards. Then I saw an article about the tricks of photograpy, air-brushing, and computer imaging and realized the TRUTH!!! NO ONE really looks like that - not even the models who are represented to look like that!!!! The model they used in the article was Christy Brinkley who I think is really beautiful. They showed how they had taken inches off her thighs and waist and enhanced her bust/cleavage using the air brush. I've seen Christy in person and she is beautiful!!! It's ashame that she isn't represented as the REAL beauty she is.
The woman who is on the cover of this year's SI Swim suit edition was interviewed on some talk show recently. Apparently she had a baby a few months before she was chosen for the SI cover. The interviewer asked her how she got her shape back so quickly because she looked AWESOME on the cover. The model laughed and said "air-brushing, that's not me, no one has a body like that!!! If it wasn't for air-brushing and computers none of us would have a job".
I really do believe that our society's constant obsession with unnaturally thin women is affecting way too many of us in a negative way. Look at the role models your daughters idolize - are they women like Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Ally McBeal (can't think of her real name), Gwyneth Paltrow, Felicilty?????
A friend of mine and I were out for our usual lunch time walk the other day and it was one of the first really warm spring days we have had. We noticed how many men had their shirts off - beer bellys, flabby breasts, hairy backs and all. I remember laughing that that is the difference between men and women - I would NEVER dream of baring any more skin than absolutely necessary and would rather have heat stroke than show off my flabby, old lady, triceps or thighs [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
Whether we want to believe it or not women are socialized to believe that thin is beautiful and almost everywhere we turn that notion is reinforced. There are a few good articles about "average" or "normal" sized women but in those same magazines you will find ad after ad trying to convince you that thin is a better way to live.
You asked "what can we do"? We can stop buying those ridiculous magazines!!!!! Write to advertisers and tell them you won't purchase their products until they use more "life-like" models. You can talk to your daughters about reality and teach them to eat with a purpose - to be healthy!!! You can STOP making comments to children about being PUDGY, CHUNKY, or as my father used to say "pleasingly plump" - I weighed 97 pounds when I graduated from high school and my father called me "pleasingly plump"!!!! You can learn to recognize the symptoms of eating disorders and interveen. You can STOP PAYING trainers who don't treat you and your children with respect. You can STOP PAYING your entry fees in classes that pick the "prettiest" rider. You can look in the mirror every day and tell yourself how beautiful you are!!! and you can tell your daughters, sisters, friends, and the other women in your life how beautiful they are too. There is a lot!!!! we can do.
[This message has been edited by inthesaddle (edited 04-12-2000).]
Hey, Warpaint, I read your post on the "Weight Issue 2" and totally can relate! I am a ( drum roll, please, I can't beleive I am saying this ) size 12! I've been that way since the 8th grade ( I am in the 11th grade right now! ) I have been like that for over 4 years now and I don't care how ugly or stupid I look, I am NOT going to go to the utmost solution and STARVE myself. Thank you for posting on this thread even though you didn't want to. EVERY post counts and should be read with the utmost respect and courage of the people who are posting about their lives, what they have gone through etc. The mind is a very powerful thing and I am glad we are using it! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
Major Kudos to WarPaint and Peptalk - you go girls!!! or you girls rule!!! Seriously, I'm so proud of the two of you.
I went from being "Twiggy" to "Stump" (curtesy of my older brother) when my metalism took it's turn at around at 18. I actually pleaded with him to at least call me "Trunk" (I did grow 3" after high school.) Then the joke continued, sometimes I'd be "Sapling", other times "Trunk" (never "Twiggy" again LOL). However, the "joke" wasn't funny. It wasn't even funny when I was "Twiggy", IMO.
You two will always be comfortable with yourselves, IMO and that's GREAT. One less huge stress in your lives! Continue on, I say!
\"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.\" -- Ralph Waldo E
I am one who has personal experience with both worlds. I went to college for "fashion design" grew up with a hairdresser mother and so clothes and fashion were my world. I was 5'7" and with a waist that a waist cincher could pull in to 14". Man, and that was all the way around. I saved my wedding dress for my daughters and neither of them could get even close to zipping them up and they are by far not fat. Size 6 or 7 tops. They were devastated. I was the natural stick figure, no boobs and no butt.
Not only did I eat everything but I had spent my life being so skinny that everyone tried to stuff me with food. Gobs of butter, egg nogs with heavy cream and some awful goop made by Schenley that was supposed to be equal to a full meal six times a day. I couldn't put on an ounce. I was so tired of being picked on for being too skinny. My doctor died before I ever made 115 pounds.
That lasted for years until I hit 45, maybe even 50 before it caught up with me. Then whatever it was that had kept me skinny shut down. Suddenly, I was never hungry and ate less than anyone you've ever known and the pounds kept creeping up. Even when I've bee sick from both ends (you know what I mean) for days I never lost an ounce.
So I've done skinny for 40 years and I guess the next 40 years I'll learn about fat. Not obese, size 14-16 but definitely not skinny.
I will tell you what the posters have said is true. Those pictures are so retouched that when I modeled you could have a picture of me face to face on two pages and not know it was the same person. In fashion they liked the girls to like coat hangers. It was easy to pin up the back that didn't show so that the front looked fine on the skinny model. Anyone with a bustline or hips was out, just for practical presentation reasons.
There is another thing to remember, the curves and lines of a feminine woman are not attractive to a lot of designers.They are afraid that a real female might be attractive at the wrong time and place. They like people who look like young boys. There are a lot of different ideas an motivation behind the images that are presented, especially in these days of diverse life styles and sexual preferences.
So what I say is yes be proud "I AM Woman". I find incongruous that in these days of so-called feminine liberation we are allowing ourselves to be trapped by images created to satisfy the personal opinions of such unimportant people. You are a female and we are built differently and we should be proud of what makes us different.
My old riding instructor to get us to sit up straight and ride proud would say "OK! Now show me your trophies". Girls are always going to be girls, why should you look like boys? If they want boys then let's get boys to ride, and let's not try to be a poor imitation of a boy.
[This message has been edited by Snowbird (edited 04-12-2000).]
I know a lot of horse show girls (mostly jr riders) who have eating disorders too, not just my friends from school. You'd be suprised how many closet belimichs we have among us (I don't mean on this board, but in the h/j and eq world). A lot of them are "Big names". Whether it's diet pills or starving themselves or throwing up, they find a way, and they hide it well. I KNOW who Cozmo is, some of you may be surprised by her identity- I'm not saying eho she is cause she'd never speak to me again- but if you show and keep up on who's winning in the jr. ring, you'd DEFINANTLY know her, and her boyfriend (although you would not know that they were going out- it's a secret). Well, anyway, Cozmo IS getting help. She is in a hospital that specializes in eating disorders, although if you looked at her she seems perfectly normal. Not that she is fat, just healthy, and skinny (if you consider skinny healthy). Anyway, her parents aren't letting her go to Devon unless she gains weight, so she's soing ok.
My father has worked in production for major magazines like Time, Sports Illustrated, and now New York magazine (not The New Yorker). He has told me so many stories of what they do to pictures. They have always done it via airbrushing/dodging and burning, but now, thanks to the magic of digital imagery, it is cheap and easy.
He has told me that they have moved basketballs on SI covers because they were in the way of a logo! Or get rid of that darn "John 5:16" sign forever in the background at games.
Hillary Clinton was recently on the cover of New York mag. She had come into the office to meet and greet and do pictures. Dad said she was soooo old looking (compared to the media image). Fortunately, they have great photographers, got a great shot, and were able to completely digitally remaster it.
I used to work for Practical Horseman and they did things to covers, too. Mostly eliminate shadows and background distractions, heighten colors, etc. Nothing scandalous that I can think of!
Again, everyone, let's get in shape!!!! I'm going to start by taking a pre-natal yoga class!
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. - Gandhi
One of those city that are big towns, real big!,San Antonio TX
Ok I got on a computer and I wanted to say how proud I am of everyone. I can't write much cause my mind is not mentaly there at the moment considering where I am at the moment. I just wanted to let everyone know Im OK. and mentaly feeling good. I had a healthy lunch and diner today and even stoped to get snacks on the way up. I ate too much but it felt good. My friend who I am staying with took me to diner and he knows how I love viel masala. I use to eat viel and lamb as a child because for some reason I had an easier time digesting. Well anyhow the portion was more than enough and I was already on the way to being stuffed when the plate got to me but my friend who has been My big brother for 14 years of my life held my hand and said small bites. You are eating everything. So I smiled and did. Eventhough with all of this going on it was so nice to release and relax with him. Im just shareing cause I know some of you are wondering how Im handing so I thought I would inform you on it. Im realy happy right now and I have this huge grin on my face. He was so proud to see all of my work and was happy to see that I have finaly begun the road to being free.
So Im doing fine and by 10 tomarow I will be home. Snowbird from the other board you made a coment about the name thing. Im doing it that way because of who. I know I shouldn't and Im stronger but he is the last person I need. also I have a sister who this will affect in the worse way. I have discussed all of this with them and for the moment till time cn ease us i need to hold my name. Im not saying Im going to remain anonomous forever just for now till some more issues are handled. I know of alot of people that read this magazine and right now I don't need the calls till I get my life more in controll.
Snowbird also I surf around your sight from time to time and if that pic is of you all I half to say is wow you are a georjous woman. WOW. If not pay this comlament to her. (refering to the first pic of the people who run the farm page. Well guys night I have to sleep cause i have a 4 and a half hour drive back. Portia can back me up on this one. Im not looking foward to the mess on I35 in the morning. Yikes Dallas at rush hour. Who disgined this city anyways? Its worse than NYC. But not as bad as Houston. J/K. Night [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
\"I\'m going to go see a horse about a man\" - Unknown
Portia- just to clarify that the issue isn't as much in the jumper world. This thread was started BECAUSE of a couple of Grand Prix riders. One inparticular is VERY WELL known . Because of your location (Texas) you don't see her at the horse shows on a regular basis. This woman is a walking skeletin and she is at the point in this disease where her color is a yellowish/grey and she is growing more hair on her body. Which I believe the body does to keep warm because of lack of fat on the body. (I am not sure of the reason but I do know that is one of the symptoms). People at the shows that are spectators (not those who know her and know that YOU AREN'T SUPPOSE TO SAY ANYTHING) Actually gasp when she walks by.
The problem is not limited to magazines. Has anyone looked at a tack catalog lately? A good number of them feature models whose emaciation is absolutely appalling. But -- kudos to Huntfield's. The models in the Spring 2000 catalog actually look fit and normal.