It is necessary to recognize the achievement of Yumi Nu, a 25-year-old American model, with Japanese and Dutch in the family tree: she managed to be much, much more talked about than Kim Kardashian, the woman with the most talked about body on the planet with whom she shared one of the special issue of Sports Illustrated with bikini beauties.
The model’s sudden notoriety was induced by another much-talked-about yet always dressed-up personality: Scott Peterson, the psychology professor who became rich and famous by speaking out on a wide range of subjects and writing a self-help version that encourages many young men and women to assume a healthy masculinity.
Peterson would probably never advise his millions of admirers to speak contemptuously, even in the virtual marketplace, about a woman’s body. But that’s exactly what he did when commenting on the cover with Yumi Nu:
“I’m sorry. It’s not pretty. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.”
The motivation is easy to see: Peterson distinguishes himself in the intellectual world for challenging, with a wide range of arguments, the foundations of politically correct principles. He’s gotten himself into a lot of trouble because of it. He thought it would be good to criticize the “authoritarian tolerance”, the endless repetition that all bodies are beautiful, everyone (or especially all) should live perfectly happy with the lot that nature has given them and radical changes only in the name of just causes, including in cases of gender dysmorphia.
It went down really bad. He looked like an old man making fun of a young woman. That’s ugly, and it shows that wearing a suit and vest doesn’t automatically give a man the gentleman label.
Peterson was so criticized that he ended up announcing that he was voluntarily leaving Twitter.
Yumi Nu, called plus size, a fancy term for someone with high body mass, celebrated by lip-syncing an abused song by Nicki Minaj.
The model, who is the granddaughter of the millionaire founder of a Japanese restaurant chain and the niece of another professional beauty, Devi Aoki, is beautiful and plump and certainly has a legion of admirers who drool over her full body.
The beauty of diversity is exactly that: tastes and preferences vary. To say that there are no established standards of beauty is silly – there are and they cause a lot of suffering, so often useless, especially when teenagers are discovering sexual attraction and its entourage of emotions.
One of the biggest constants in the beauty standard for women is the ratio of waist to hip circumference, a standard that Kim Kardashian has taken to such extreme extremes that they seem superhuman. How many women don’t make all sorts of sacrifices and surgical interventions to emulate the tiny waist, swollen breasts, and full hips and buttocks of the Kardashian family?
Is cosmetic surgery an affirmation of power or submission to beauty standards? Active or passive? Feminist or sexist?
Changing and controlling your own body is part of all human cultures and there are no easy answers.
In an article in the New York Times, author Melissa Febos wrote about the trajectory that led her to have breast reduction surgery, after a long time debating the possibility. She tells how, from the age of eleven, she was defined by her very large breasts – and harassed, groped, followed and placed in a position where it defined her almost exclusively.
Melissa, who is married to a woman, and uses feminist arguments for her surgery. She wrote the kind of article—feminist arguments for her operation—that we began to read grudgingly, but discovered interesting reasoning and a unique human story.
Human beings are complex, they land on the planet with a wide variety of models and have the right to accept them or try to correct them.
Everyone knows what people say behind their backs about a very fat person – and also about those who are excessively thin, among other striking characteristics.
It’s not elegant to say that in the virtual square. And Scott Peterson would be one of the last to be able to make arguments based on health: he went through a very difficult period, with extreme treatments for benzodiazepine addiction, unbearable insomnia and major changes in behavior.
Detail: in addition to Kim Kardashian and Yumi Nu, the singer Ciara, spectacularly curvy, and Maye Musk, the mother of the richest man in the world and probable future – or ex – buyer of Twitter, posed for Sports Illustrated.
She continues to work as a model and holds up well at 74 years old. But she is an old woman. Would Jordan Peterson say that Elon’s mother, who is now in Brazil, isn’t pretty?