Two words that make anti-body shaming actual body shaming

I’m sure anybody that uses the Internet has seen various quotes stating that ‘curvy girls are better than skinny girls’. The whole idea of this statement is to make girls feel confident and beautiful whatever their size, which is an honourable attempt, but in my opinion it falls down into the gutter with the statements saying that fat girls are ugly. Why? Allow me to explain. Just read it again. Curvy girls are better than skinny girls.

Why should we support claims and statements that are still dividing body types? The statement is trying to lessen the divide, but they’re still body shaming!

So I have a little story I’d like to make available to any readers that will read more than a couple of paragraphs.

India is skinny. She doesn’t like the way she can’t enjoy a bath because of the bumps and bruises it puts on her spine. Her mother is thin. Her grandmother was thin and her great-grandmother too. A high resting heart rate stops India from playing sports with her friends even though running is one of her favourite pastimes. Her BMR is high and she eats a lot to keep that fast metabolism happy. She can’t find clothes that fit properly. Shirts hang off her and she is humiliated that she has to wear children’s clothing. She wears an A cup bra. All the advertisements she sees are of women with big boobs. She hates what she sees in the mirror. She hates that other girls snap at her to ‘eat a sandwich’ and the boys snicker that she must be a lesbian because she looks like a boy. India hates herself.

Juneau is overweight. She can’t handle the heat in summer. She gets painful welts on the insides of her thighs. She gets heat stroke a lot because she wears so many layers of clothing to hide her body. Her mother is overweight. Her grandmother was overweight and her great-grandmother too. A hereditary thyroid condition has slowed Juneau’s metabolism so much that weight gain is inevitable. Juneau gets up at 5am every morning and runs on the treadmill but she cannot shift that bothersome pot belly. She feels victimised in clothing stores. Everything is uncomfortable from her bra underwires to her shoes. Her back aches with strain from her F sized breasts. All the advertisements she sees are of women with thin waists and no cellulite. She hates what she sees in the mirror. She doesn’t eat for days at a time but her friends tell her she should just eat better and exercise. She hates when they say that because she’s so weak from hunger and from running every day. She hates that the boys tease her and call her fat. Juneau hates herself.

Leila is a “normal” weight. She looks completely healthy and the doctors say she is the epitome of health because she is neither fat nor thin. Her mother was a normal weight but there’s something quite abnormal about Leila. She goes to the gym every day, even when she’s sick. She can’t shift that bothersome part of her body that she doesn’t like, but if and when she does manage to shift it, another part will have to go. She is a socially acceptable size but cries in changing rooms. She is always anxious. She feels invisible. All the advertisements she sees are of perfect women. She hates what she sees in the mirror. She hates that she’s average. She hates that her friends weigh less than her. She hates that boys hit on her when she’d rather just be alone. She cuts herself. Leila hates herself.

India touches her bones self-consciously when people joke ‘bones are for dogs’.

Juneau contemplates how much it would hurt if she cut off her own fat as she is bombarded with skinny by the media.

Leila sees both girls and loathes them, one for envy and one for fear projectivism.

No girl is happy.

All three girls hate their bodies.

 

It’s not about curvy being better than skinny. It should be about accepting ourselves and concentrating on being healthy and happy.

I am all three girls. So are you. So is she. We are and will always be projections of our judgements.

Women are not bones or fat.

Men are not dogs.

No person should be belittled for who they’re not or for the body they have. Let’s encourage health, fitness and happiness instead of impractical ideals. I will never be a size 0 (size 4 Australian – children’s sizes here by the way) because I have wide hips. It doesn’t mean that I am not beautiful. I have wide hips because I am who I am. This is what we should be saying. This is who we should be.

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