Sunday Stuff 21/4/13

News that resulted in me whooping, crying and doing a victory dance all at the same time: I really do fancy emigrating to New Zealand after I saw this video of their parliament breaking out in a Maori love song after the group passed an Equal Marriage bill.

Column that manages to get to the heart of a sticky issue: How to bury Margaret ThatcherTraditional funerals are great levellers, not political rallies. That’s why I won’t turn my back today by Giles Fraser

I have buried some extraordinary wrong ‘uns in my time: crooks, murderers, wife-beaters and swindlers. But these funerals were never lies, because unlike a secular send-off, where the past virtues of the deceased necessarily take centre stage, the Christian funeral can leave all that stuff to God. It is not, first and foremost, the celebration of a life or the retelling of achievement. It is an unsentimental acknowledgment that death is the ultimate democracy. It comes to us all – the good and the bad, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak.

The ‘hang on a minute, it isn’t that straight forward’ blog of the week: There is a Dove Beauty advert doing the rounds at the moment, which lots of my female friends are sharing and extolling. It is good marketing, makes the watcher think about how they view themselves which is good. But as this blog, Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry, explains, it is still embedding stereotypical views of beauty which is the opposite of what Dove usually claim to do.

When the participants described themselves, these were some of the things that were implied as negativesfat, rounder face, freckles, fatter, 40— starting to get crows feet, moles, scars…  Whereas some of the implied positive descriptors used by others were: thin face, nice thin chin, nice eyes that lit up when she spoke and were very expressive (my actual favorite),  short and cute nose, her face was fairly thin (this was said twice), and very nice blue eyes. So… I don’t know if anyone else is picking up on this, but it kinda seems to be enforcing our very narrow cultural perception of “beauty”: young, light-skinned, thin. No real diversity celebrated in race, age, or body shape. So you’re beautiful… if you’re thin, don’t have noticeable wrinkles or scars, and have blue eyes. If you’re fat or old… uh, maybe other people don’t think you look as fat and old as you do yourself? Great? Oh, and by the way, there are real women who look like the women on the left. What are you saying about them, exactly?

Tweets of the week:

@maysoonzayid: Stop saying “He prayed 5x a day” like its extremist! Praying 5x a day is 1 of the 5 pillars of Islam its NOT radical!

@DaveHolmes: Have we tried turning the world off for two minutes and then turning it back on?

@TlfTravelAlerts: Platform 9¾ at Kings Cross is closed due to overrunning imagineering works.

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