As a fat woman, I was appalled when I first heard Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”, especially considering it was heralded as a song for “real girls”. My reaction to lyrics about men liking “booty” to hold at night and telling “skinny bitches” about how great it is to have said booty was one of complete horror. I started noticing a trend appearing in songs, on social media, in mentalities. “Real women have curves!” was touted as body positivity when really, it was more thinly veiled body shaming. And while I understand that thinner women DO have some privilege over fat women and I agree with the backlash against the impossible Hollywood beauty standards, we shouldn’t be tearing each other down in the process. In other words, skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming, and it needs to stop.
- All bodies are good bodies. There is no one body type for “real women.” Real women exist all over the world and they can be very thin or very large. Your physical appearance has zero to do with how “real” of woman you are.
- Body shaming in any form is oppressive. Downing a woman for her body, thin or fat, creates this mentality that no body will ever be good enough. Women have been conditioned to feel this way, especially by men, for years and it needs to stop. By manipulating us into focusing so much on attaining the perfect figure, they are profiting. They are attempting to prove that we don’t have worth aside from being a beautiful trophy to parade around. But we are humans with thoughts and idea and so much strength. We deserve more.
- Skinny women have insecurities, too. Just because a woman is thin doesn’t mean she doesn’t have very real insecurities about her body. As a boudoir photographer, I see it constantly. Women who have, in my opinion, perfect bodies will preface our shoot by saying, “OK, so can we not get ___ in the shot? I’m really insecure about that area and I don’t want it in the photos.” EVERYONE has parts about themselves that they don’t like or want to improve upon.
- Women need to stick together. We already deal with men’s opinions on our bodies. Let’s work together instead of slamming any body type that doesn’t look like our own, yeah? We already live in a society where women are still not seen as equals to men; let’s not show our teeth to each other too. We’re on the same team.
- There’s enough room for everyone to be beautiful. Just because big girls are beautiful doesn’t mean skinny women aren’t. No one is slamming you personally by saying that a body type that’s different from your own is attractive (unless they’re saying REAL WOMEN HAVE _____ and in that case, screw them). All woman are beautiful, big or small, and there’s room for all of us to shine.
- Teasing and bullying often leads to eating disorders. In one study, it was proven that bullying (along with abuse and discrimination) by peers directly correlated with a woman’s development of eating disorders. So before you tell someone to “go eat a hamburger,” remember that that person may be battling bulimia or anorexia, both very serious illnesses that can lead to death. Be kind to one another.
- Emphasizing weight/size over health can cause serious body image issues in kids. While nutrition is important in a child’s, emphasizing habits, not image is gentler on their psyche. In a study done by the University of Minnesota, researches found that “the vast majority of eating disorders first begin in adolescence, and kids appear vulnerable to any mention of their weight by their parents, even when it’s (presumably) supportive in nature.”
- Your body type doesn’t define you as a human being.The traits and values that truly matter in the end are your kindness, openness, generosity, loyalty, etc. Your body should be taken care of because it houses all of those traits. But that shell does NOT define you. Remember that.