LettersSection 4A Thursday, July 12th, 2012
What’s wrong with washboard abs that are pale and hairy?
The “Shirtless by August” article in the June 28 issue does a disservice to our community with its shaming message that we are not attractive unless we have tanned, hairless, washboard abs. The article also contains inaccurate information and unsafe advice.
The section on diet correctly states that reduction of excess body weight (fat) is necessary for improving the appearance of abdominal muscles. However, limiting total fat intake to 20 grams per day is a “crash diet” that could be unsafe for some people. Reduction or elimination of alcohol intake is important but was not mentioned in the article.
The information on cardio, resistance, rest and personal training is good but lacking in details. Most of us can get excellent results without expensive supplements or trainers.
The body hair advice begins with the premise that hair on one’s abdomen is unattractive and should be removed. Let’s reject that dogma. It causes anxiety and low self-esteem related to body image. For those who insist on removing their body hair, the article fails to mention the most effective technique for long-term results on large areas: laser hair removal.
“No one wants to see whitewashed abs.” What a load of crap. There is no such thing as a “healthy tan.” Any amount of suntan results in permanent loss of skin elasticity, premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer. “Deep tanning lotions” provide no protection against damage. If they did, then you would not get a tan. Tanning beds are no safer than natural sunlight. In a tanning bed you can get severely burned in just a few minutes, depending on the intensity of the ultraviolet tubes, which can be unpredictable. Fake spray-on tans look fake, and they stain clothes and bed sheets, regardless of what the advertisements promise.
Just as we want society to affirm and embrace diversity in sexual orientation, so must we also affirm and embrace diversity in physical appearance within our community.
Editor’s Note: the author of the letter above responded with the following when he was informed we would print his message in the newsmagazine:
Glad you found my letter useful. I have no problem with articles giving advice on hair removal or getting toned abs. I just think those articles can be written in a way that still affirms those of us who have or desire a different look. I have spent lots of money over the years on hair removal and tanning, and have spent a big chunk of my adult life at the gym, trying to achieve the popular ideal of beauty. Have I gotten laid more often as a result? I don’t know. (There was one guy who said he wished I had a hairy chest. I could have killed him.)
Although she was selected by San Diego Pride to be the recipient of the prestigious “Friend of Pride” award, Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis was also nominated to be grand marshal of this year’s Pride parade. Democratic political activist and volunteer, Tedd Bunce felt so passionately about the merits of his nominee that he disseminated the nomination letter he sent to the Pride organization to the press after she was passed over for the honor this year. –Ed.
Rep. Davis, no runner up
I nominated Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) to be the grand marshal at the 2012 San Diego Pride parade. Congresswoman Davis represents the 53rd Congressional District of California, which covers much of San Diego, including Hillcrest and surrounding neighborhoods.
Representative Davis is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and was chairperson of the Subcommittee of Military Personnel during the 111th Congress. In this role, Dec. 15, 2010, she led the fight on the House floor to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” I watched every minute of the debate on C-SPAN and was very proud of my congresswoman as she went head-to-head with the opponents of repeal, led ironically by Congressman Duncan Hunter (R, CA) representing San Diego’s adjoining 52nd District! Congresswoman Davis brilliantly guided the bill to an historic victory, despite the opposition of her Armed Services Committee chairman, Ike Skelton (D, MO). The final vote was 250 in favor and 175 opposed.
President Obama signed the bill repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” into law Dec. 22, 2010, and receiving one of the signing pens was Congresswoman Susan Davis!
Recently, Ms. Davis gave a slide presentation at The LGBT Center explaining how she managed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” bill on that historic day. A large crowd attended and many LGBT military personnel, past and present, were there to thank her for her efforts on their behalf.
It is now time for San Diego Pride to honor our congresswoman for leading the fight to repeal this onerous, hurtful, repressive law. She has done a great service to not only San Diego’s LGBT community, but to all LGBT Americans!
Susan Davis always participates in the San Diego Pride parade, and now she deserves to be elevated to the 2012 grand marshall for the enormous contribution she has made to the LGBT cause!
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