Has anyone noticed lately that you can’t make a comment on a woman’s appearance without being accused of “body shaming?” Along with this, have you noticed the trend where we’re now praising women’s largess as being “real”, “brave,” and “authentic?” Welcome to the new body positivity movement people.
Here’s the thing, I’ve been an avid reader of celebrity gossip magazines and I’ve seen enough unflattering beach photos of Kim Kardashian and Kate Moss to know that the glossy covers taken at a fancy New York fashion shoot is not true reality. I know that uploaded Instagram photos have been Face Tuned and filtered. I think by this time, everyone knows that people do not live in a perpetual halo of good lighting. We’re not ignorant of this because these tools are available to us mere mortals too and we use it to our advantage. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one looks as good as their online profile pictures. We’re all big fat liars people! But, I also think that giving yourself the “body positivity” excuse of “not shaming” may not actually be helping us become the best version of ourselves. We don’t read glossy magazines because we believe that is reality, we read them to have something to dream and aspire to. Because if we don’t have a goal to try to strive for, what are we left with?
For the folk’s that do “fat shame,” they might self-righteously sniff and say that they’re just worried about a bigger girl’s size because of “their health,” but let me tell you…. this is a lie. We could care less if you’re healthy, we want you to suffer for beauty. After all anorexia and binge eating are two different sides of the coin when it comes to eating disorders, yet the thin woman will get sympathy and the fat woman will receive scorn. Any other way would just be unfair because in order to receive the gift of beauty an exchange must be made, just as the Little Mermaid had to trade her voice for legs. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You can either be comfortable and average or tortured and special. Subconciously, we all believe that in order to be beautiful and worthy of admiration that it must be earned with the discomfort of strenuous exercise and hunger pains.
Yet, if body positivity is simply loving the best version of yourself, regardless of whether or not your personal best fits inside the cultural ideal, than I’m all about it. I know that no matter what size I am, I’m not going to change my muscular legs for the long willowy ones of a ballerina. Britney Spears and Kate Middleton are both beautiful, but have 2 completely different body types and it would be pointless for either of these women to try to become the other. However, taking overweight women and putting them on a pedestal and praising their “realness” is the same as giving every kid a trophy for just showing up at the game, but refusing to play. It’s pointless and cheapens the efforts of others. That’s not to say that anyone ever has the right to be cruel about anyone else’s looks either. I mean if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. But just because you don’t fit a standard of beauty doesn’t mean you’ve earned a trophy for being less than. Because only unicorn get to have their cake and eat it too.