Thursday, May 10, 2007

The camera adds ten pounds

Framingham State College in Massachusetts recently suffered a rash of thefts. The items stolen? The campus newspaper, with anywhere from 150 to 1,000 of the approximately 2,000 issues disappearing from various distribution points. The culprits? Female students who were photographed wearing mid-riff baring clothes. The motive? They felt the pictures made them look fat.

At least, that's what the paper's faculty adviser is saying. The photo in question revealed seven young women wearing shorts and tank tops, with the words, "I (heart) N-O-O-N-A-N" written on their stomachs. According to reports, two of the women decided that the pictures didn't show them in the best light, so, as one of the two stated, they "got caught up in the moment and grabbed a whole bunch of copies." Of course, the faculty adviser for the paper has also been quoted as saying that, of the four times the paper has been stolen, the implied body image issue is the "most stupid reason" yet. And yes, the girls involved in the theft could face disciplinary action.

What we're seeing here is a prime example of people not planning ahead. Generally, if you attend an event of any kind, be it a lacrosse game, a concert, or a professional knitting seminar, and you paint parts of your body (or wear ridiculous but hilarious costumes), your intention is to get seen. Heck, your intention is quite possibly to get photographed, so that people can see how wild you are, and how devoted you can be towards your favorite athlete, rock star, or stitch. Therefore, getting their picture in the paper was fairly closely tied into the original aim for these girls. For a couple of them to later regret their decision because they felt the photograph made them look fat, well, that's akin to trying to sue Sacha Baron Cohen for getting you to say something stupid for Borat (yes, we know that people tried that, too).

But maybe these girls are in the right. Maybe the lighting of the picture really did make them look heavier, causing their friends to mock them. Or maybe their friends were mocking them because, after three days, the painted on letters still weren't washing completely off. We've had pictures taken that make us look incredibly pale and a little gaunt, but you don't see us clamoring to have them removed because they make us look dead.

Heck no. We order extra prints, so that we're prepared for a before/after set-up, after we've gorged ourselves on Twinkies, Cheetos, and plenty of sun worship.

And, as far as feeling that you looked fat in the photos, girls, you've got nothing on Kirstie Alley. And if she can suck it up for Fat Actress, you can deal with a little playful teasing over the font size for your personal declaration of fandom.

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