Stung Eye
Stung Eye

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“Life in the ‘peg seems to be steamrolling forward at a pace I once reserved for last minute projects.”

That is a sentence from an email I sent a friend after returning home from Australia in 2000. I had just started my first full-time job. The steamroller is back in gear.

Today the Free Press published a letter I wrote them:

Britney Spears @ MTV Awards 2007 I am disappointed with the Winnipeg Free Press. Here is a quote from the Arts & Life cover story about Britney Spears at the MTV Video Awards (Some comeback, Sept. 10.)

“(M)ost unforgivable given her once taut frame, (Britney Spears) looked embarrassingly out of shape.”

A glance at the image run alongside the article confirms that the author, Associated Press writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody, may have very high standards.

Increasingly, our society is struggling with problems related to body image. It is widely recognized that these problems are linked to the propagation (through the mass media) of unrealistic standards for a beautiful and healthy body.

By printing this article, the Winnipeg Free Press has lent credibility to a poisonous idea. Young girls and boys reading your paper may now be inclined to equate this image of Britney Spears with an out-of-shape body. At the same time, they are being told to exercise and stay in shape themselves. Do you feel comfortable with the standard you have helped set for them?

I did not submit the letter through the regular channels; I sent it to the acting editor in chief, the publisher, and the editor of the Art & Life section. Someone from the Free Press called yesterday to confirm the authorship, and to ask that I not send my future letters directly to the editorial staff. :)

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