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Gristle And the City: Vein Face Off

IMG_0661Can someone please explain to me what in the GD hell is going on with this new veiny gristle phase?  As a gal with an eating disorder, I can understand the screwed up mindset of being thin, but does the DSMV, when revised, need to include a new category for women who want to look like The Incredible Hulk, minus the Incredible?  Is this somehow the new "thing?"  If it is, I don't understand it at all. 

Don't get me wrong.  I try to be as fit as I can be and I enjoy any amount of leanness I can achieve.  And yes, everyone has different ideas on what is attractive, but... veins?  Arms that look like a slab of ground round?  

So, let's have the face-off, shall we?  Only, as we all know, there are no winners here.  Just some animated ground round, phone books torn in half and tears.

Madonna: Madonna-Gristle-Arms-Veins

In the first corner, the gal from my home state of Michigan: Madonna!  She's got a preaching father, is reportedly sticky but sweet and appears to work out 36 hours a day.  She's about 98 lbs and 90 of those lbs are veins.  Perhaps, allegedly, etc.

Look at those guns!  One (read: me) wonders if this particular gun show is selling out.  Does she charge $8,000 for her gun show like she does her concerts?  I'm all for older women embracing fitness - it has so many health benefits; plus, why let aging get the best of you, amirite?  But this... Jesus Tapdancing Christ.  If she ever runs out of money, she could go to the local community college and become a human model for anatomy & physiology.  The benefits to the students would be astounding.  The professor can demonstrate each tendon and ligament, every muscle on the body (there are a ton of them, they're a bitch to memorize and recall) and I suspect one can learn about digestion, as if she ate a piece of popcorn that popcorn piece would be visible as it makes its way down her esophagus and, eventually, her digestive tract. Her ex-husband, Guy Richie, said cuddling with her was like "cuddling a piece of gristle."

On a serious note, one cannot look like this without severe malnutrition.  And that takes all of it from frightening to really, really sad.  Eat some carbs, Madonna. 

Sarah Jessica Parker:


In the other corner, we've a new contestant, a new contender in the Vein Game: Sarah Jessica Parker.  A favorite SATC character to those who enjoy SATC, a fashion icon, a trend setter.  I miss her impossibly curly hair, and some make fun of her, but I give her mad props for not yielding to the negativity.  So she's got a large nose; who cares?  She's pretty and she cleans up well.  And she dated Robert Downey, Jr. back in the day, which pretty much means I simultaneously love and hate her.  (RDJ is delicious AND nutritious.) 

She's always been thin - we know this from Square Pegs (shut UP, young people who have no idea what Square Pegs is) - but the gristle is a rather new development in the [d]evolution of her figure.  Once lean and lithe, she now resembles a skeleton.  She has reverse boobfat.  (For the mens, this is the bit of skin that spills over certain shirts and dresses.) 

Like Madonna, SJP could donate some time for  educational use in an anatomy course, as every one of the (approximately) 640 skeletal muscles is visible.  I'm guessing. 

Again, in all seriousness, this is malnourishment.  Malnourishment is a bitch.  Malnourishment is not attractive.  We can mock all we want (and a big part of me wants), but the fact of the matter is that this is Sarah-Jessica-Parker-Veins-And-The-Citynot the figure of someone healthy. Women do not have this kind of body naturally.  Women are supposed to have, as much as we bitch about it and try to overpower nature, a bit of fat on their body.  And I'll let the mens weigh in on whether or not this is attractive, but according to the mens I know and love, it's absolutely not attractive.  Do these women mean to be this way, to have this kind of body, or is it something more that drives them?  An eating/exercise disorder?  I wish there were a way to find out because I'm baffled.  We all do what we want with our bodies; we do what makes us happy.  And my fellow ED sufferers know, sometimes what makes us happy isn't what makes us healthy.  There's just a limit, in my opinion, in how far a person will go to achieve a lean frame.  And this, again in my own opinion, isn't attractive or healthy.  It's alarming.   

 We criticize if they're "fat," when they are actually normal and beautiful.  We criticize when they're too thin.  We make jokes because we consider them fair game - they're celebrities.  And now I'm criticizing them because these two look like they should be ripping phone books in half and fighting each other UFC-style.  But seriously?  This is frightening and extremely unhealthy.  We women aren't put on this earth to be someone's eye candy; however, in some circumstances it's so unhealthy and unnatural that it needs to be recognized as such.


PS: I've got $5 on Madonna winning the Madonna/SJP cage match.

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Heather Z.

I agree. The photos are alarming. (Also- I LOVED Square Pegs! I'm singing the theme song now.)


yikes. unhealthy, unnatural, unattractive.


is that photo of madonna fer real? ewwwwww. I just threw up in my mouth.


Madonna and SJP look like they've been held prisoner somewhere and tortured.

Their perceptions of their own bodies must be so out of whack because if they realized how they actually look, I think (hope) they'd try to change it.

Can we e-mail them these pictures and only show them their bodies from the neck down? Do you think they'd recognize those figures as their own?


I see this and think: Damn, I'm jealous. The agony I go through when I have to get blood drawn.

Check this website for a medical explanation:



Katja of Skimbaco

You are so freaking funny and I totally agree, that does not look good. I even take my extra pounds in fat rather than have arms like that. At least I look human.

Fawn Amber

Come on...those photos have to be photoshopped...don't they?

Cynical Nymph

I believe there is a sub-form of body dysmorphic disorder: muscle dysmorphia. One of the diagnostic criteria for it is belief that one's muscles or body are too small. BDD isn't categorized under eating disorders, though, despite there being a fair amount of comorbidity. As with so much, BDD is being much more fleshed out (no pun intended) in the DSM-V.


I agree with this, but that's only because I also think it's a gross look on men.

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