Article by 30SecondsToMadness. Originally published on Aug 22nd 2014 at 15:08, republished today for throwback Thursday…
I know this is a sensitive topic for a lot of people so I’m going to try and tread carefully here, but this is something that frustrates me no end.
There should be no set idea of beauty or of “right” when it comes to body shape and size, yet I have seen far too many memes and Facebook statuses about what is attractive and what is realistic, as if all women these days are the same shape. “Curvy is better than stick thin”, for example; how are the people who don’t have enough natural tools to twerk with going to feel? The fact is, people are different; we all have different genetics, lifestyles, diets and a million other external factors that affect the way we look, and the world would be a rather boring place if we were all the same.
Having said that, there has always been a set idea of what is desirable throughout history, and that has changed drastically from domestic goddess to flapper girl, from size 0 to size 16. However, these ideas should not be a necessity if you want to succeed in life, or an insult to be used if you are anything but the media’s idea of “perfection”.
“The power to make you feel like you’re not good enough”
We all have hang-ups about our bodies; that’s human nature. Some of us want to shrink our waists and feel comfortable wearing a bikini like we haven’t before, and some of us desperately want our chests to grow so we can fill out that strapless dress that we’ve always loved. But these are our opinions, about ourselves, no one else, and I don’t believe that the opinion of other people, with different bodies than ours, that don’t know us, can comment on what we “should” be. If you’re happy with your own body then no one should have the power to make you feel like you’re not good enough.
These days, we live in a culture where it is not okay under any circumstance to go and grab someone you vaguely know by the waist and tell them how “fat” you think they look. But it is okay to grab someone and incredulously shriek about how “skinny” they are and how they possibly got that way, making them feel uncomfortable and self-conscious in the process.
“Thin” has become an insult.
Some people cannot control their weight going up, maybe for a medical reason or a genetic one, and no one would constantly point that out to them; that would be called bullying. At the same time, other people cannot control their inability to gain weight; most of the time it is their metabolism, their genes, their DNA and not their fault. Yet it seems that it is perfectly acceptable to constantly harp on about how“skinny” they look, and question if they are eating properly because they are not the curvy size 10 or 12 that we are made to believe is the most normal and desirable thing. It’s true, there is a high percentage of young girls with eating disorders, but that does not mean that everyone smaller than the perceived normal size is not eating properly.
Personally, I don’t think there is a need to comment on someone’s figure unless you are truly worried about their eating habits and are close enough to discuss it reasonably with them, or because you want to tell them how good they look today, whether they are male or female. Shrieking across a changing room at anyone because of their size can be humiliating and degrading.
“Respect… our differences”
Today, “fat” is an insult. “Thin” is an insult. No one seems to be the “right” shape, or good enough to fit into the new set mould of “beautiful”. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, and attraction can come from many things, not just a person’s outward appearance, and I think we each need to respect that our differences are going to attract different people, whether you are big or small.
In short, we need to stop telling each other that we are “too fat” or “too thin” and learn to appreciate our natural forms, whatever dress size we may be.
Photo Credit: Charlotte Astrid via flickr cc
Related Articles (from the archive):
- Size Zero
- Only Skin Deep
- The Ideal Image?
- Feeling Thinspired?
- Just As Beautiful?
- The Body Obsession
- Be Positive, Beautiful
- I Am Who I Am
- Why Do We Follow Trends?
- Don’t Stand In – Stand Out!
- Pressure To Be Perfect
- Make-Up: For Or Against?
- Sex, Singers & Society
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