Remember D'Angelo? His abs in the "How Does it Feel" music video are tough to forget. I am a fan of his and was sad to hear of his decline. He recently has popped back on to the radar. He's lost weight, is making music again and generally cleaned up his act. Why am I talking about him? Well a he did an interview with Amy Wallace recently in GQ discussing the 11 years since that video came out.
Homeboy had a breakdown cause in part from being objectified. He discusses how the impact of that video and feeling like a piece of meat sent him down a horrible path. I do not doubt this, but as Lindy West points out in Jezebel's discussion of the article, that D'angelo being subjected to the objectification and scrutiny every one faces her whole life leading him into insanity is interesting. Yes it is. Very.
Objectification is never a good thing. I see it in myself sometimes walking down the street seeing a good looking guy and thinking nothing about who he is, but solely about what he looks like. My heart does not bleed for D'angelo. I think there was more at play that fueled a massive weight gain and cocaine fueled 11 year binge but it does make me wonder in general the role objectification has on some of our more self destructive behaviors.
I know for me the more male attention I get the more I struggle not to put weight back on. I am not 100% sure why I want to keep a heavy coat of weight on but part of me does. It's more a mental thing now then something I act on, but the impulse is there. While some people have the appearance of being more okay with offering up their appearance only I call shenanigans. It reminds me of a girl I went to high school with. She was beautiful. Absolutely without a doubt beautiful, and had a fabulous figure to match. Guys chased her, and she was pretty open sexually at a young age. We were talking about it once when we were about 15 and she said, "well it's not like the want to know me, I'd rather just give them what they want have some fun and then have them leave me alone." To do this day this statement still makes me a little sad. It's way too jaded for a 15 year old, and even at 15 I thought it was, at 31 I find it even more sad because she was not wrong necessarily. She was young, and did not know how to protect herself, and seek what she deserved and was being honest about how she saw things. She's married now, a talented playwright, and expecting a baby boy so she figured a thing out or two and that makes me happy for her and for anyone who spent a lot of time being told their value was their appearance.