“Bliss Babe” is a very slick local hómàge to Vogue and Vanity Fair. Self-positioned as ‘the premier women’s lifestyle magazine for Nevada and California,” BB is available at upscale public accommodations not frequented by the likes of me.
The current edition’s cover story promotes “Beauty, Body and Bliss” complete with naked local ladies demonstrating what readers can become with proper diet, exercise and visualization. It’s 14 pages of artsy black-and-white entitled “Function, Form and Bliss Body Positive.”
Zounds. Another outbreak of the power of positive thinking.
Writer Meghan Ochs is one of 10, aged 29 to 49, who bare almost all in illustrating appealing paeans to empowerment.
Ochs captions each photo with new-agey buzz. The magic word “positive” pops up like sugary sprinkles on doughnuts. All the comely participants are slim and trim. If this is supposed to be empowerment and they are so courageous, why not go all the way? What’s so repulsive about nipples and wisps of secret hair? Must everything tangential to babies remain taboo? Several women to whom I’ve shown BB consider the article egregious.
There’s nothing wrong with positive thinking as suggestion, but not obsession.
Positive thinking was pioneered in the 19th Century by the founders of Christian Science, the faith-healing religion. It boils down to “wishing will make it so.”
It has become the mantra of conservative corporate America. If you get sick, lose your job or go broke, it’s all your fault because your mind ain’t right, so change your negative attitude.
“Positive thinking has made us a blame-the-victim nation, perfect for the likes of morally obtuse presidents,” I wrote last year. “Bush the Lesser banned bad news from security briefings, according to former National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice.” (Barbwire 3-7-2017)
So reported Dr. Barbara Ehrenreich in “Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America.” She wrote her bestseller by surviving both breast cancer and think-yourself-well pinkness. She suggests critical thinking instead.
Her 2009 masterpiece details how psychobabble groupthink greased the skids for recession. Ask anybody on Wall Street. Stocks never go down.
Bliss Babe asserts that with proper diet, exercise (and perhaps a little corrective surgery), you too can look like Danyelle Sargent Musselman, 40, wife of UNR’s basketball coach.
Megan Spodobalski, 48, runs a fitness gym and was one of seven finalists for Reno Gazette-Journal Citizen of the Year. (She lost to Sparks’ answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor Geno Martini.)
Ironically, BB ignored perhaps the most important part of Ms. Spodobalski’s impressive resumé: the Breast Cancer 2 Bikini program, “designed to build both fitness and confidence levels in breast cancer survivors,” the RGJ noted.
The six-month regimen became a 2016 documentary featuring buff bikini-clad survivors presented by KTVN TV-2 news anchor Kristen Remington, a body builder like Ms. Spodobalski.
The bikini show participants share a common trait with the Bliss Babes: Barbiesqueness.
BB publisher Leslie McCarroll praises her subjects as courageous just because they “bared their soul and allowed themselves to be vulnerable in order to tell their story and empower women and men to love their bodies.”
So why cover up their family parts? Why not bravely go full-commando without the cammo? Where are non-Barbiesque survivors? A smaller article in the same edition depicts red-dressed ladies of much broader ages, shapes and sizes commemorating Heart Health Awareness Month.
What about young girls propagandized to perversely pursue skinny supermodel silhouettes? That’s the gateway to anorexia.
McCarroll should drop Vogue and read Ms. which has accepted no advertising since major cosmetic companies cancelled when the magazine featured Russian women doctors displaying the wrong type of nudity: no makeup. The slightly-clad Bliss Babes enjoyed the services of professional cosmeticians before demurely disrobing.
START THE CURE. I attended the 2014 memorial service of 24 year-old anorexia victim Callie Hutson who could not find adequate care in northern Nevada. By the time her family sent her to Denver, it was too late. I mentioned her to retired Reno top-gun lawyer Robert Hager who recently produced an hourlong documentary about the daughter he lost to self-starvation, “Love, Chantal.” <https://vimeo.com/195403377>
Perhaps we can use it to kick-start a Nevada advocacy organization to demand better care for victims of the Barbie affliction.
Perhaps Bliss Babe and Channel 2 will run stories.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>