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News & Opinion

W e've heard a great deal about how psychologically damaging our popular culture's representation of women can be. Much has been said about the ways movies, MTV videos, magazine ads and beauty pageants send an implicit message to teenage girls: that their value is based on their looks.

Only recently has the resulting backlash gained enough momentum to make companies re-think their marketing methods. One of the biggest victories against hourglass-figure fascism was Mattel's decision to give Barbie a more realistic body shape. Though still endowed with a perfect, and perfectly unobtainable, physique, Barbie's wider waistline has many women breathing a sigh of relief.

But what about men? What about the male body image? According to this article, at the same time women have gained some liberation from the unfair expectations foisted upon them, men have become more obsessed with their own appearance. Plastic surgery, eating disorders and fad diets -- they're not just for females anymore.

Maybe it's time men received a portion of the new sympathy women have earned for themselves. After all, even when it comes to puberty you gals have no monopoly on awkwardness, pain and confusion. Think dealing with bra stuffing and that first period is tough? Try getting mistaken for your mother.

The above articles are why I'm dubbing this week's Weekly Wire "The Sexual Body-Image Issue." Strangely, we've also got a column titled "Got Balls?," and it doesn't fit into the above theme in any way. Oh well, you can't have everything. Only Barbie gets to have everything.

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A boy's change of life. [8]
John Bridges

Christmas and Other Questions
How does an atheist explain Christmas to his child? [9]
Bruce R. Baird

Volume I, Issue 27
December 8 - December 15, 1997

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Mirror Image
Body image used to be considered a female vanity -- now it's the guys who are worried about how they'll look in their swimsuit. [2]
Alicia Potter

Military Hospitality
Anti-School of the Americas protestors from Austin get a warm greeting from the military. [3]
Joshua Fisher

An Offender Gets His
All's well that ends well in the case of ex-judge David Lanier. [4]
Karen B. Shea

Let's Play 21 Questions
Salt Lake City Councilman Bryce Jolley tried to block a sexual orientation clause to SLC's nondiscrimination policy with a game of "21 Questions." [5]
Katharine Biele

Bullies in the Pulpit
The Southern Baptist Convention is famous for its Fundamentalist bent. However, there are moderate Baptists who question the direction the SBC is taking under its right-wing leadership. [6]
Betty Bean

Nurse Ratchett
Understanding AIDS. [7]
Mike Ratchett, Staff Nurse

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Guns and Poses
Margaret Renkl strips Barbie naked and muses. [10]
Margaret Renkl

Got Balls?
Walter Jowers dunks his balls in the Maytag. [11]
Walter Jowers

Solutions for the House Trial
Angry young man or cranky old fart? You decide! [12]
Cap'n O

Odds & Ends
Timed-release news capsules from the flipside. [13]
Devin D. O'Leary

Mr. Smarty Pants
Our resident know-it-all unearths the latest trivia. [14]
R.U. Steinberg

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