“REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES”, “STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY” AND ANYONE UNDERWEIGHT SHOULD “GO EAT A BURGER”. THESE ARE ALL MESSAGES THAT ARE SUPPOSEDLY IN SUPPORT OF THE BODY POSITIVITY MOVEMENT. BUT ARE THEY REALLY? IT SEEMS THAT WE MIGHT HAVE REPLACED FAT-SHAMING WITH SKINNY-SHAMING. WHICH POSES THE QUESTION, IS IT EMPOWERING TO PRAISE WOMEN WITH CURVES? OR, DOES MORE NEED TO BE DONE TO ACCEPT WOMEN OF ALL SIZES?
Edited by Emma Orlando
“I’m all about that bass, about that bass, no treble…I’m bringing booty back, go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that…” Yes, we’ve all heard this Megan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” blasting across radio stations and dominating the top seat in every chart in 2014. Highly praised for the “body positive” lyrics, the song called women to love their curves despite what size of dress they wear.
Does the same apply for women wearing a smaller dress size?
Bella Hadid has recently sparked a new controversy on Instagram. The Victoria’s Secret model has recently announced herself as the new face of Nike’s major campaign. A seriously impressive achievement, but one that met a lot of resistance from fans of the sportswear. They criticised her for being too “thin” and giving young girls unrealistic expectations. Many comments have said that a brand like Nike needs to use
“an athletic bodied person to model”.
Skinny-shaming is offensive too
Emma Woolf is the author of “An Apple a Day” and “The Ministry of Thin”, which talk about her ten-year battle with anorexia. She said that when she worked in publishing, one of her senior colleagues, who was overweight, would always tease her for being
nothing but skin and bone.
However, the way her colleague talked about her size would not be acceptable if the situation reverses. When she put this story in her book, she received numerous messages from women calling her a skinny bitch and a fat-nazi, even though her book contains nothing of criticism towards plus-size women.
Recent years has seen a new meaning being given to the body positive movement. From Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty to plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday, certain body types have been favored over another.
Can we say a body type isn’t beautiful?
Why can a song preach plus-size women, but a commercial campaign cannot promote with a thin model?
How can we criticise and mock women being skinny, but be considered offensive when commenting on someone who is overweight?
Why are we told that “real women have curves”? Shouldn’t all women feel comfortable with themselves, regardless of the body type they have?
We often hear that “strong is the new skinny” as an empowering statement, but is this just another message of defining what the “ideal body” is and how women should look like?
Discrimination works both ways
Any type of discrimination towards one body type is equally inappropriate and oppressive than another. The struggle of out-of-control craving is just as difficult as out-of-control starving. The true meaning of body positive movement is about loving your body regardless.
There is no one body type to define “real women”. They can exist in any shape of body and your physical appearance has zero effect on how “real” you are.