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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Leanness and looks, Part II

I'm not sure exactly whether the main difference between today's diet and that of 150 years ago was the proportion of carbs vs. fats or just the overall amount consumed. Obviously there was a big difference as far as the physical exertion put forth as well.

But it's hard not to notice the difference between the way Civil War soldiers looked --

-- and the way Civil War reenactors look:

Being lean not only makes you better-looking, it somehow makes you look more capable, and more serious as well. If either the Grays or Blues had seen opposing soldiers who looked like these reenactors, it would have undoubtedly boosted their confidence.

This may conflict with the spirit of the Fat Liberation Manifesto, but it doesn't conflict with basic human nature. There is something about a lean face that makes it seem more somber, and grim, and gritty -- as if the person behind that face is ready to wage war, as opposed to just play act at it.


Anonymous said...

Funny you should bring this up again because I saw something on TV yesterday that coincidentally illustrates this point.

For some unknowable reason I thought of the late politician Bella Abzug a few days ago. "Battling Bella" was a perfect example of a media creation before the concept became known. The heavily Jewish NY media loved her, even though she was an embarrassment to her cause. I had a high school teacher (Jewish, male) who referred to her as "Bella Lugosi."

I won't bother linking to pics here, there are many on the net. But I did find one that was revelatory:

Not bad. Nice smile.

The coincidence. I happened to see Judge Judy Sheindlin on TV and the facial resemblance between her and Abzug struck me. Not surprising as they are co-ethnics. Sheindlin looks like Abzug, but 6 inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter. Sheindlin and Abzug started out roughly equal (maybe Sheindlin a trifle prettier) but Sheindlin didn't get fat and kept her looks.

Good features:

The skin ages and the face thins with age, but if the are good, you can get away with a lot:

But what if she'd gained 50 pounds? Who would see those fine features hidden in a pillow of fat?!

The fat liberationists are pissing in the wind.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Wow, that early picture of Abzug really is revelatory. I'd never seen a picture of her when she was young; what a surprise to find out that she'd been a looker.

Agree about Scheindlin; in fact that's probably why she has her TV show.

Of all the liberation movements, the fat liberation movement is probably the one I have the least sympathy for: it's the easiest one to escape from. in fact I'd be more sympathetic to a dumb liberation movement than to the fat one. Though, when you really think about it, many of the current liberal causes ARE dumb liberation movements, under other names.

Anonymous said...

Agree with everything you say, esp. about Sheindlin - her above average looks have always struck me. I also think she's sharp as a tack, but if she was sharp and ugly, she wouldn't have that show.

Liberalism as a dumb liberation movement? I dunno. I think that modern liberalism is a scam run by very smart people, to control the stupid. What else can you call the queer liberation movement? The people controlling Big Gay are very smart. The foot soldiers are stupid as fuck.

John Craig said...

Anon --
No question the George Soros's and David Axelrods of the Left are intelligent manipulators, but the bulk of their movement -- affirmative action, emphasizing that the only difference between the middle- and upper middle-classes and the lower class is luck and privilege, is basically dumb liberation.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I went to a Civil War reenactment in Virginia. It was an experience, one that was semi interesting. I've only gone to one reenactment, never again. Not my thing.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
I've never been tempted.

Anonymous said...

The director of the civil war movie Cold Mountain said that he filmed the movie in Rumania because he could find extras that looked as thin as the 19th century American men pictured. In the case of movie extras, he could choose ones that weren't as fat as those re-enactors - but most American men nowadays are too bulky.


John Craig said...

Puzzled --

Was that you who made the first and third comments? (Sorta sounded like you.)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sorry.

Puzzled, Sorry & Appalled

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
No need to apologize. But my first thought was, this sounds like Puzzled but she's not signing her pen name to it....Wonder why.

Steven said...

My response to the fat manifesto: shut up fatty.

ha im joking but Jesus just lose some weight instead of bothering everyone with a manifesto. No one is buying it. I'm a little overweight and I've got no problem admitting it makes me less attractive and less healthy. That is exactly what makes me diet instead of progressing onto obesity.

I want to see a fat Che Guevara with viva type 2 diabetes as the symbol. We're going to liberate fat people as soon as we finish this chocolate.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Even the Left prefers leanness. Che Guevara would never have become a poster boy or the face on all those t-shirts if he hadn't had prominent cheekbones and dramatic eyebrows.

Chris Mallory said...

For one thing, the re-enactors probably have 20-30 years on the real thing.
I found one reference that for the 44th Mass regiment in 1862, the average height was 5'7" and the average weight was 137 pounds.

The minimum weight for a modern US Army recruit who is 5'7" is 121 pounds. For a six footer it is 140 pounds.

John Craig said...

Chris --
Some of the older reenacts looked middle-aged, but some didn't. And some of the soldiers looked older themselves; the Civil War wasn't like the Viet Nam War or more recent wars where almost all of the guys on the front lines were young men.

Some of those guys in the top photo actually put me in mind a little of the Duck Dynasty guys: bearded, a little stiff, and formidable-looking as well.

Having those standards in the modern Army is a good idea, though m understanding is, they have more of a problem with guys who are fat and out of shape than with guys who are too skinny.

Anonymous said...

"Some of those guys in the top photo actually put me in mind a little of the Duck Dynasty guys: bearded, a little stiff, and formidable-looking as well. "

LOL, you discovered my REAL crush, John. Phil Robertson!! My oh my, what a handsome old devil he is, and another example of someone whose kept his looks because he's remained lean.
(smile a little suspicious, though....)

Willie is a little on the tubby side, though. What would he look like 40 pounds lighter:

Jase is a dreamboat. Because he's stayed trim:,_State_Farm,_2013.jpg/220px-Jase_Robertson,_State_Farm,_2013.jpg


John Craig said...

Puzzled --
I have to hand it to you, you are a real connoisseur of men: from baseball players to football players to the Duck Dynasty guys, you've got an informed opinion on all of them. You're right about Willie, his bone structure is perfectly fine, it's just all covered in a layer of fat.

I appreciate your honest and informed opinion.

We should talk about women's looks sometime. My guess is you'll agree with me on the post:

Anonymous said...

"I have to hand it to you, you are a real connoisseur of men: from baseball players to football players to the Duck Dynasty guys, you've got an informed opinion on all of them."

Bingo, John. That's exactly what I consider myself. It's a rare trait in a woman. To be attracted to men, and yet look at them clinically and fairly. I think I do that with women too.

The Aniston poll is a fake. Of course Hollywood has always had these fake polls but at least in the past they touted genuinely beautiful women. I don't like to name top 10 lists for anything, but certainly Grace Kelly would be on any list. (Tippi Hendren was exquisite but for some reason her acting did nothing to me, and beauty has to have something more than just looks.)

That said, the two most influential actresses ever, were not classic beauties. They were Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe. Bardot never even made a Hollywood movie. I need hardly explain how famous Marilyn still is, and only recently did people cotton onto what a great comedian she was. Bardot is simply the most influential fashion icon ever. There is not a print model today that doesn't mimic Bardot - the pout, the kittenish quality, the sex stare. Whatever she wore, sold immediately - all over the Western world. And her influence on the sexual revolution was profound. John Lennon once gave an interview where he said that as a teen he was obsessed with her. No Bardot, no rock music? OK, maybe an overstatement, but worth a thought.

LOL - comparing Jeb Bush to the guy who got ass raped in Deliverance was cruel - and true! Rand Paul as a Hobbit, lulz.

This brings back Cruz' finest moment - his lecture to the media. I actually was considering supporting him for about 5 minutes as a result of that.


John Craig said...

Puzzled --
It IS rare for women to be able to be attracted to men, and yet also analyze exactly what it is they're attracted to -- or not. (You're definitely not puzzled on this score.)

Tippi Hedren absolutely slayed me. Something about her voice, and femininity. I'm not saying she was a great actress, just that she was incredible attractive.

Hmm, Bardot and Monroe. I won't argue with you about their fame. Bardot was the original template for European sex kitten. I was never obsessed with her; she was beautiful, yes, but to me a little bland, and there have been a lot of women -- like Claudia Schiffer -- since who've looked a lot like her. I've actually admired her even more recently for her outspoken stance on Muslim immigration to France. Her original objection to them was that they slaughtered animals (her biggest cause) in a way that she found offensive, but, whatever the original impetus, she had a lot of courage to speak up the way she did.

Monroe, a great comedian? Nah. To me she was more of a comic foil, and she did that well because she played the dumb blonde so well. (She was the original template for that.)

Thank you re: the physical impressions of the Republican field post.....Yeah, Cruz is a sleaze and a phony, but he's got no shortage of brainpower.

The Ambivalent Misanthrope said...

LOL, John Craig. That was a hilarious series of snapshots for comparison.... Made my morning.

I have come to believe that people were leaner in times past because one, there simply were not as many calories around to consume, AND that people exerted themselves physically more. A lot of them ate almost exclusively carb-based diets because it's expensive to grow meat. In most communities throughout history meat was a luxury, saved for special occasions.

My father grew up in an impoverished village in the Old World, and he says there were entire months when the family subsisted on potatoes and pickled cabbage, with some eggs and milk thrown in there once or twice a week. My grandmother baked bread, so that was a daily staple as well. Bread, butter, cabbage, potatoes --- sounds like diet Armageddon according to current dietary paradigms, yet everyone in that family was lean and fit. Grandparents lived into the 80s/90s, and even the children (my father's generation) are doing pretty well, except for a few cases of stroke and cardiovascular disease due to --- being overweight (high blood pressure) or developing type 2 diabetes.

John Craig said...

Ambivalent Misanthrope --
Thank you, as always.

I'm sure you're right about the overall number of calories. But I suspect some of it also has to do with modern foods vs. older foods. Your father's family lived on a a carb-heavy diet, but at least it wasn't refined, sugary carbs of the sort that are available now. The overabundance of sugar in our diets wreaks all sorts of havoc with people's health. If your father's generation was the one which moved here, they spent more of their lives eating typically modern American food rather than the unprocessed Old World food your grandparents who lived into their 80's and 90's did, which is why some of them became overweight and developed diabetes.

Anonymous said...

It's all a matter of taste, but in THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH she was the driver of the comedy, and Tom Euell was the foil. Euell is a forgotten actor who was fantastic at being the beleaguered nice guy.

Tippi Hedren had perfect features.

I'm with him - I think. Ambivalent Misanthrope I mean. Fat is a matter of energy consumed and energy expended, no more, that is, macronutrients. Health - that's a different matter. Micronutrients matter a lot, and that's where the whole issue of refined foods comes in.

Someone at Free The Animal did a thorough demolition of the Holy Grail of low carbers: the Inuit. It's long & technical but here you go:

IMO and it's just the opinion of a person with no science creds whatever, we'd all be better off if we just fasted once in a while. In most societies people simply had to go without here and there (and sometimes more than that...), and religious traditions tried to mimic that. Now, we live in a society where food is abundant, and there are no religious reasons not to eat. It's like a never ending binge. Really, the only people who don't have weight problems are those who are literally paid to be thin, or those lucky ducks who don't like to overindulge.


John Craig said...

Puzzled --

Ambivalent female is a her, but I'm sure she will be happy to have you agree with her. And, I agree with you, calories in vs. calories out, it's a simple equation. But these days, when calories are everywhere, it helps to have a balanced diet, with protein and fats, which will slow the burning of the carbs and the hunger pangs.

One thing to take into account with the Inuit is, they are closely related to East Asians, who are on average the longest lived people in the world, whether they live in East Asia or the US. Genetics has to play a role there. as far as the high- or low-fat diet of the Inuit, I'm surprised by the findings that they don't have a high fat diet. All of the fish in cold waters have more fat, and aren't Eskimos the ones who eat whale blubber? I suspect their diet is high fat, but varies a fair amount with the season.

Anonymous said...

The US should stop with the healthy eating shit like in schools by Michelle Obama, they should be doing what they do in France and encouraging kids to enjoy good real food like they serve there in school: baked bread, Roasted meat, risotto, goat cheese, real salad, potatoes sautéed in duck fat, vegetables cooked to be tasty not steamed to hell, real desserts, fresh fruits etc. If the kid fat cut out some carbs and fruit and sugar. Why the hell do we in America do this diet shit, all these "lite" options and fiberone bars in 7 11, just eat good stuff for once.

John Craig said...

Anon --
It's true, none of those (real) Civil War soldiers ever dieted, and when they ate, they ate fatty foods by comparison to what we eat today. The zone diet, otherwise known as the Dr. Atkins diet, otherwise known as the Paleo diet, all work. And all allow much richer foods (wth fewer refined carbs) than most people have.