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July 10, 2014 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2014-07-10
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41

Thursday, July 10, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
e m1J*id igan 3aig
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu

Thursday, July 10, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

ยข9

Skill over beauty

IAN DILLINGHAM
EDITOR IN CHIEF

AARICA MARSH
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

STEPHANIE SHENOUDA
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorialsnreflect theofficial position of the Daily's editorial board.
Allothersigned articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Eradicating
More awareness needs to be directed toward diverse demographics
ashtenaw County recently reported a total of 33 new
HIV cases for 2013, increasing reported cases by
37 percent since 2012. With seven more cases than
2012, Washtenaw County experienced the largest number of new
infections since 1999. Similar to historical statistics, men who have
sex with men, or MSM, still comprise the majority of new infections
at 80 percent in the county. However, the number of new cases
among young adults and African Americans MSM are rising rapidly.
In order to decrease the number of new infections, the county, state
and national governments must work to emphasis the severity of the
disease to younger and more racially diverse audiences.

f you've turned on the computer
in the past couple days, chances
are that you've come across talk
or maybe even
some pictures - of
Prince Fielder's
shoot for the
ESPN Magazine's
Body Issue. Well,
if you haven't,
the former Tiger
and Home Run
Derby Champion VICTORIA
posed nude for NOBLE
some photos to
appear alongside
other (slimmer) athletes like Venus
Williams, Jamie Anderson and
Michael Phelps. And while others
have slammed ESPN's decision as a
gross publicity stunt, and complained
of their indecency, I would like to
applaud the message ESPN has sent.
While I definitely
liked Prince a little
more when I could
call him "my Tiger," It goes
I really appreciate
his and ESPN's sayingE
willingness to ignore deserv
American beauty y
standards. And their1
that's exactly why he
belongs on the pages
of a major magazine
- not in spite of his weight, but
because of it.
The outrage over Prince's
photographs shows the degree to
which big media has institutionalized
thinner beauty standards, and
gradually prompted American
readers to accept them. While
the naked photos of traditionally
attractive celebrathletes were
celebrated for depicting strength and
discipline, Prince's was written off as
inappropriate. Why?
As a culture we've moved from
appreciating function, to appreciating
aesthetics. The body of an incredible
athlete is worth less than if it were
more attractive, regardless of the
power capability of either. For some,
it can be extended to other objects as
well. Food is better if it looks better
in an Instagram post, not if it delivers
the best nutrients. Clothes are judged
on their style and brand name, not
their quality. Which is fine - we're
entitled to our own preferences. But
this superficiality shouldn't be applied
to everything. Especially people.
The best thing about the placement
of Prince in the magazine is that it
can help us move away from those
hurtful judgments. Exposure breeds
acceptance, and printing and posting

these images is an excellent first step
in correcting media bias. But, more
importantly, it's just more normal.
More American bodies resemble
Prince's than any of the other athletes
pictured. And while theirs should
be celebrated too, it's important to
recognize that perfection isn't the
standard. Another great addition to
the ESPN's series is paraolymipan
Amy Purdy, and the general diversity
in sport, race, gender and ability is
also awesome to see.
But while the pictures of Prince are
wonderful, I can't help but wonder if
it points to another double standard
in sports. Would the pictures have
been used if the heavier athlete were
female? I kind of doubt it. While
American culture is exceptionally,
aesthetically focused for both genders,
it's less so for males. In business,
sports, music and other arenas, the
focus seems more
on performance
than on beauty.
r Without Take the sport
of alpine ski racing
everyone for example. Run a
es to love quick web search
of Ted Ligety,
bodies. the preeminent
American athlete
in that sport. Very
few articles will
focus on his physique, or cast him
into the "sex symbol" role. Now do
the same for Lindsay Vonn, a female
of similar status in the sport. So
many more are about her dateability,
past relationships and body. Both
are attractive, yet Ligety is mostly
photographed in action or by the
podium, while several, if not most,
of Vonn show her in a bikini and
on the red carpet. Fair? Not really.
Women lose out on the opportunity
to be appreciated for their talent and
dedication for their sport. They don't
train year-round just to be sex icons,
but rather to be the best in their sport
- just the same as the men do.
So I didn't mean to make this
positive addition of naked Prince into
a negative, but its implications are
clear and important. We can't give
acceptance a gender. For a while, the
trends were for both genders to face
body scrutiny. That trend is dangerous
and unacceptable, and it goes without
saying that everyone deserves to
love their bodies. It's time that we
throw that trend in reverse, and it's
refreshing to see ESPN doing so - but
improvement isn't just for the guys.
- Victoria Noble can be reached
at vjnoble@engin.umich.edu.

Fresh 'Obvious Child'

F
tact
bol

Washtenaw County's
increase in positive cases
mirrors trends in Southeast
Michigan and the United States
as a whole. While a 37-percent
increase in cases in Washtenaw
County is dangerous by itself,
the spike also has the potential
to set a deadly precedent
within the next few years.
Since people contract HIV
through other humans, having
more uneducated or unaware
citizens causes a harmful
domino effect.
When HIV was first
discovered in 1981, several
grassroots organizations -
and eventually the federal
government - began
movements to educate
the public and raise
awareness about the disease.
Unfortunately, with the
continued development and
effectiveness of antiretroviral
drugs used to combat HIV,

awareness and education
towards the youth has tapered
off. Given the disconnect
between the severity of the
disease witnessed when it
was first discovered and the
demographics of recently
transmitted cases, creating
a new campaign targeted at
younger and more diverse
audiences is a necessary step
in decreasing the number of
newly infected patients.
The predominant way to
stop this hazardous cycle is
through raising awareness
and educating others on HIV
prevention. This task, however,
proves difficultgiventeenagers
and young adult's disaffiliation
with the HIV/AIDS movement.
About one-third of new HIV
cases in Washtenaw County
are those between the ages of
15 and 24. Similarly, in 2013,
the Center for Disease Control
reported that young, Black

MSM is the demographic most
seriously affected by the HIV/
AIDs epidemic with 55 percent
of all new infections among
young MSM.
I A higher number of youth
and minority race infections
disproves the notion that
HIV is a disease of the past.
However, those under 30 often
believe that contracting HIV
isn't a realistic possibility. This
incorrect perception likely
contributes to the infection
spike with those under 30.
Millennials must receive
comprehensive and resilient
education about effective
methods for preventing HIV
infection and the detrimental
effects it has on its victims.
By heavily engaging youth,
minority races, MSM and
other severely affected
demographics, we can work
toward eradicating HIV from
the nation's population.

A br
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Then sh
drunker

ilm manages to nant. Donna seems to be locked in
kle abortion with a continuous loop of bad luck and
unfortunate circumstances. Her
dness and humor plight reaches a climax of irony
when she decides to get an abortion
By JACOB RICH - the procedure must be done on
Daily Arts Writer Valentine's Day.
Despite these trying circum-
'ief note before we begin: stances our heroine must face, this
ould not watch the trailer film about an abortion is rarely dark
vious Child." It is deceptive, or depressing. For Donna, comedy is
cut, and spoils many of the more than just a hobby; it's a coping
funniest mechanism. Donna sees the humor
ts. The in even the most unfortunate of
would also situations. Expect the film's fre-
ou believe ObViOUS quent, funnyjokes to range fromthe
the film macabre, like comparing an abor-
traditional Child tion clinic to the DMV, to the just
ic comedy, Rooks Nest plain nasty, like when Donna con-
t isn't. Nor Entertainment templates the logistical challenges
ilm a pur- abortion faced in the 60's because
subversive Michigan Theater "the bushes were so bigback then."
n of rom- Gillian Robespierre (a writer/direc-
n the vein tor so fresh-faced her Wikipedia
y Came Together." "Obvious page was literally written and pub-
s a powerful, emotional story lished WHILE I was writing this
eople, and aboutabortion. It's review) jokes about the obviously
olutelyhilariousthroughout, controversial subjectwith abalance
ling I wasn't expecting con- of poise, brains, and blunt honesty.
g its subject matter. Much like a great episode of "South
film opens with genuinely Park," you will laugh both at the
stand-up comedy. Donna crudeness of the humor and the
enny Slate, NBC's "Saturday topical cleverness behind it. And
ive") is onstage at a dingy unlike the vast majority of today's
club in Brooklyn, the kind comedies, nothing will insult your
black marker-coated unisex intelligence in this film.
ims are crammed with hip- Slate's performance, which due
very weeknight. While you to the limited release and contro-
t remember her from SNL versial subject of this film will likely
n only lasted a year and was not receive the praise it deserves,
rt in part due to an acciden- is frighteningly human. Donna is
mb), Slate is unforgettable hard-drinking, crude, and some-
ropping uncouth joke after times obnoxious, but she deftly bal-
h joke about Judaism, dirty ances her character's negative and
'ear, and farts. Each lands positive traits to seem almost ... real.
eaudiencebothonscreenand It's in stark contrast to comedies
heater. like "Juno," where characters talk
ediately following her set, and act in ways only people with
is dumped by her boyfriend. memorized scripts could. Donna
ie loses her job. Then, after a does pathetic real- people things,
in one-night stand, gets preg- like spending hours leaving drunk-

en messages on her ex's voicemail.
I've met people just like Donna. I've
never met anyone like Juno.
Miraculously, Robespierre man-
aged to find a supporting cast that
stands up to Slate in both their
ability to act like real people and to
be hysterical. Polly Draper (CBS's
"Golden Boy") stands out as Donna's
mother, who impressively balances
neurotic with wise and mature in
several key scenes. Several comedi-
ans are also allowed scene-stealing
moments, especially unknown Gabe
Liedmen, who spews a cavalcade of
fantastic one-liners as Donna's "gay
best friend" Joey.
Robespierre did not simply suc-
ceed in garnering laughs through
dialogue - clever film techniques
and ironic juxtapositionlead tosome
of the film's funniest moments. A
somberscene inwhich Donna, asob-
bing wreck, stands outside her ex-
boyfriend's apartment,gotbiglaughs
as country singers croon "single girl,
single girl, always dressed so fine."
In another scene taking place in an
abortion clinic, Donna hauntingly
and hilariously sports a shirt printed
with adorable baby footprints.
If I had to find one criticism with
this film, it would be that Donna's
love interest, Max (Jake Lacy, NBC's
"The Office") is a bit too much of a
white knight. The film tries to coun-
terbalance his chiseled looks and
tendency to always have the right
thing to say with a touch of awk-
wardness, but it's notenough to keep
his character from feeling far less
realistic as Donna.
I realize I have been frustrat-
ingly vague about the direction the
plot takes, but I wouldn't dare spoil
anythingelse about this funny, fear-
less movie. Know this: it never gives
in to any sort of Hollywood cheese.
"Obvious Child" is the best movie
I've seen this year, and the best com-
edy I've seen in several.

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