Lisa recently asked, “What warrants a slide show on a newspaper’s website?” Denise L. sent in an article from the Life section of the Globe and Mail website called “Obsession with Aging Female Parts Has Created a New Body Lexicon” that brings up similar questions about what topics are given attention. The article states,

Ladies of a certain age, the best that can be said is, welcome. Congratulations are not necessarily in order…

Such is women’s obsession with the tyranny of their aging bodies – some might even call it a body dysmorphic disorder – that they develop names for the various age-signifying bits that can seem as offensive as teenage behaviour, prompting a need for strict control (in this case intervention in the form of diet, exercise, cream, injection or scalpel).

The names suggest annoyance, never love or fondness of the type men have for some of their parts.

Which is unfortunate. Don’t you love your teenager, despite his long, greasy hair? The cure, ladies, is to laugh. To wit, a list of the best names for the worst afflictions.

We then have images to illustrate aging and the names giving to aging body parts. Here are a few. Vampire Dinner Lips:


Quilting Pattern:


Suitcase Knees (because they’re “padded and bulky”):


Crepey Cleavage (presumably looks like a crepe?)


Crow’s Feet:


Huh. I wonder why women don’t see to express “love or fondness” for their aging bodies the way the article claims many men do (something I find doubtful).

The article presents itself as an antidote to women’s obsession with their bodies and aging, a way to help women laugh and accept their bodies. But the images that accompany it, clearly meant to make the figures into objects of ridicule, make it hard to imagine how they would achieve such an objective. Reading it just made me aware of all kinds of things I’d never heard of or particularly noticed before. And in a larger sense, the question, as with the slide shows of scantily clad women, is why this is news? And why pretend the article is about helping women accept their bodies through humor, which I don’t think it does?