Archive for November 28, 2012

Another reason to like the woman in the mirror

Whenever I start to feel down about the way I look, I stumble upon something that makes me feel better about being regular old me.

I’m at that point in the semester now when I have no energy left to be positive, so I really needed something to remind me how much I like being me. And I found just what I needed in the form of the Human Barbie.

The Human Barbie (pictured above) is a real person. Her name is Valeria Lukyanova, and her goal is to look like a human Barbie doll.

Yes, that’s right, this woman wants to look like a doll that we all know has proportions and attributes that are unattainable to humans.

But that hasn’t stopped Lukyanova, who hails from the Ukraine, from going after her dream of looking like a cheap plastic doll. Though she won’t confirm it, experts believe Lukyanova put herself through extreme plastic surgery (probably removing some of her ribs to make her waist look smaller, getting injections in her lips and implants in her cheeks, narrowing her chin and nose as well as enhancing her breasts to mimic Barbie’s unrealistic measurements). She also partakes of a rigorous makeup routine, using theatre makeup, eyelash extensions, and colored contacts to create her Matel-like looks.

We know that “if Barbie were a life-size woman, her measurements would be 32-17-28. Dr. Athony LaBruna, the director of Manhattan Plastic Surgery explained in detail as to what all needs to be done to transform a living human body to look like a plastic Barbie doll.” LaBruna explained that “’A women needs to get breast enhancements to be a 38DD and cut some ribs out to get an 18″ waist, make the hips wider and change her face.'”

It appears that Lukyanova has followed these instructions to a T. This is especially obvious in these before (left) and after (right) pictures:

Lukyanova now measures 34-18-34, not quite as un-human as Barbie, but pretty close.

This raises the question, what does one do once one achieves the goal of becoming a human Barbie doll? Well, what else? One makes YouTube videos to document her doll-like qualities.

I’ll be honest, Lukyanova’s attempt to transform herself into a living doll is as unappealing to me as anyone who tries to transform herself into something she is not. In fact, Lukyanova looks just as disturbing and unattractive to me as Michael Jackson’s sad transformation over the years…

or that person who is having himself made over to look like a cat…

Like I said, sometimes you just need to stumble upon something that makes you happy to be yourself… warts and all. And Valeria Lukyanova’s obsession with looking like a plastic doll is just the kind of thing that makes me very happy to be me.

Thanks to all the real girls

 

It’s that time of year when—for better or worse, for the right reasons or the wrong ones—Americans think about what they are thankful for.

I am thankful for so many things—my devoted husband, my loving family, my incredibly generous friends, and the fact that we’re all currently healthy and happy and gainfully employed.

But I’m also happy that things appear to be changing in terms of the way women are depicted in the media. Yes, people like Kim Kardashian are a reminder that things will never be perfect, but in a year when not-skinny Lena Dunham stars—sometimes half-dressed—on Showtime’s Girls…

and curvy Mindy Kaling stars on her own sitcom wearing super hot skintight dresses …

and 49-year-old Helen Hunt (who thankfully looks her age) stars in The Sessions—many times completely naked…

…there can be no doubt that our ideas about beauty are expanding.

And there’s no way I am not extremely thankful about that.

The Real You Project—I need your photos!

Since Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I think this is a good time to launch a new project designed to make us think more positively about our bodies and appreciate what we have.

I always try to do something fun and interactive to start the New Year (see my “Non-resolutions for everyone” post from last New Year’s), and this year I’ve decided that what I’d like to do is feature pictures of people who look real here on I Will Not Diet.

By “real,” I don’t necessarily mean curvy. I simply mean people who don’t look like the unreal Photoshopped images we see on the covers of our magazines.

Sure, that means curvy women, but it also means women who don’t have button noses or men who don’t have biceps. It means women who are flat-chested and men who are beanpoles. It means women who wear glasses (hello, Tina Fey) or men who are losing their hair.

Simply put, it means whatever you want it to mean. You get to decide what real means for you.

The only rule is that it doesn’t mean women or men who have had all of their flaws Photoshopped out of existence.

To that end, I’d like to ask YOU to send me a picture of yourself, a picture that you think makes you look great, but a picture that also looks real and highlights your individuality and doesn’t obviously hide your so-called flaws. You have over a month to get me a photo, so start thinking now about what it is you like about yourself that is different from everyone else and definitely different than the women and men we see on our magazines and our screens.

Please send your pictures—nothing sexual or explicit please—to molly at iwillnotdiet dot com with the words “Happy New Year” in the subject line by midnight on December 30th. If you want to include an explanation (or a link to your personal website), you can, but that’s not necessary. All I need is a photo and a name.

I’ll post everything I get to welcome the new year on Tuesday, January 1st.

Thanks for your help!

Picking up the Sandy Five

Everyone knows about the dangers of emotional eating, especially since they were made famous by Lindsey Lohan’s character in Mean Girls. 

We get stressed, we eat. Rinse. Repeat. And so on.

As it turns out, that’s what happened to those who suffered through Hurricane Sandy.

Without power for days—in some places for weeks—the victims of Hurricane Sandy took to eating junk food like children take to eating candy.

One New Yorker claimed in horror, “I went through Duane Reade and was grabbing Double Stuf Oreos, whole milk, Twix, Twizzlers, Sour Patch Kids.”

Others started hitting the same fast food and chain restaurants in Times Square at which they usually turned up their noses.

Glee star Lea Michele even detailed how her dad dealt with the stress of Hurricane Sandy on The Tonight Show by eating all of the food he and his wife had saved for both of them.

I don’t blame these people for dealing with their stress this way. I eat when I’m stressed too. We all do. It’s a normal coping mechanism.

But it doesn’t seem fair that, after everything they’ve been through, these people have to deal with weight gain on top of everything else.

Can’t an East Coaster get a break?

I Will Not Diet will return Thursday…

My computer is currently on the fritz, so there’s no new post today.

See you all Thursday!

Send your good karma my way… I need it!

It’s that time of the semester when everything starts to unravel…

I haven’t worked out since Tuesday…

Of course, that means I’ve picked up a few pounds because other people can sit on the couch for months with no consequences, but if I do it for two days, my body melts into the sofa…

I’ve been mainlining soda like the junkie I am…

I haven’t cooked any food all week…

I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since—I don’t know—August…

I actually graded three of the wrong papers this week (so not kidding)…

I ate Chinese food—yes, things are that bad…

And, finally, I’ve been spending every minute I’m not on campus in my pajama pants.

Listen, I don’t mean to sound fatalistic. I’m a firm believer that when we fall off the wagon, it’s best not to beat ourselves up, and, instead, it’s healthier to just try to do better the next time.

But at times like these I feel like I’m spiraling out of control and am not sure when I’ll be able to regain some balance in my life. At tines like these, I have to wonder why we let ourselves experience so much unhappiness.

I’ve got too much going on Friday and Saturday, but I’m really really really hoping that Sunday I can get my shit back together. If you believe in the power of prayer, please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Why we must vote… during every single election.


Today was election day in the United States, and, like many Americans, I did my civic duty and voted. (My “I Voted” sticker is pictured above.)

I always feel lucky to vote, but this year I felt even more lucky than normal as I thought about all the women and girls who aren’t allowed to go to school, much less vote.

Last month, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai tried to go to school in Pakistan and was shot by the Taliban for doing so.

Make no mistake, telling woman they aren’t allowed to go to school or aren’t allowed to vote has as much impact on the way we see ourselves as the images of women in our magazines and on our screens. Because when you tell a girl she doesn’t have the right to go to school or a woman she doesn’t have the right to vote, you tell her she is nothing, that she is worth nothing.

The truth of the matter is until women are treated equally, until all women believe that being a women means our life has value, we will never feel good about ourselves or our bodies.

And that’s why I will never take my right to vote for granted.

Almost one hundred years ago, the suffragettes fought for me to have that right to vote, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to dishonor their memory by not voting.

I hope you will continue to do the same.

How long will people deny the fact that diets don’t work?

Salon published an incisive article about weight loss and the federal government last week, and their central assertion is so surprising that it bears repeating.

In the article, Salon talked to someone they called “Dr. X,” who is “one of the nation’s most distinguished medical researchers, is employed by the federal government.”

Dr. X explained that the federal government has been conducting a weight-loss study called Look AHEAD for eleven years, and since they’ve found that they “simply don’t know how to produce significant long-term weight loss in a statistically significant group of people,” they’ve abandoned the study.

This isn’t news to me, but I bet it’s news to the millions of Americans who go on diets everywhere.

Dr. X goes on to say, “For years, critics of the war on fat have been pointing out that we don’t know how to make people thinner.  Undertaking a regimen of eating less and exercising more does not result in significant long-term weight loss for most people, and it’s not known if such weight loss, if it were maintained, would produce improved health outcomes.”

Let me repeat that: “Undertaking a regimen of eating less and exercising more does not result in significant long-term weight loss for most people.”

I’ve been saying this for years, and now the federal government is backing me up.

So what I want to know is can we all stop dieting now? Please!

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