The other day when I was out for dinner, our obnoxious waiter handed me my food while saying “you obviously don’t eat much”… I pretty much couldn’t believe that he said it, but I’ve had plenty of other people say similar things about my body image. Sometimes when I make a dish recommendation to customers when I’m in work they say things like “you’ve obviously never eaten it, there isn’t a pick on you” or “maybe you should eat something, ha ha ha”. I’m sure some people are thinking ‘oh poor you, people point out how thin you are, how awful?’.
Well actually, it is awful. Why do people think that it’s ok to negatively comment on my weight? It’s the equivalent to them saying to larger person “you’ve obviously eaten that dish, you’re so fat”. It’s not ok to comment on anyone elses body image – especially not complete strangers. What are these people thinking?
Why are we standing up for larger women but dissing the smaller ones?
Why do people and the media think it’s perfectly ok to stand up for larger women while putting ‘thinner’ girls down? Does that not completely contradict that all sizes are beautiful? I whole heartily believe that the demand for ‘skinny perfect girls’ is a thing of the past. People are becoming more educated in the sense that not every young girl opens a magazine, sees a tiny model and automatically becomes anorexic. It is much different these days, and thank god for that. There are high fashion beauty campaigns with men and women of all sizes, races an religions gracing the glossy magazine pages.
Models with skin conditions like vitiligo (check out Winnie Harlow!), disabilities like cerebral palsy and other ‘real’ people are storming the fashion industry. So it’s not fair to keep blaming the media that we’re being forced to look one certain way. Nowadays you will find proud curvy models and everyone encouraging each other that big is beautiful and we no longer have to conform to society’s standards. Being skinny is bad and why would anyone want to be thin? But wait a second… we’ve all gotten past the ‘small is good, big is bad’ phase, so now we’re moving on to ‘big is great, small is horrible’? Why can’t we just move on to ‘everyone is bloody great as long as you’re healthy’ phase?
In a 2006 interview with Salon.com, Michael Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, very controversially explained that he ‘doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people’. This came to light in 2013 which outraged people across the world, everyone was furious that he mocked larger people and talked of how ‘thinner was better’. But in 2014 Nicki Minaj released a song called ‘Anaconda’ which has the lyrics F-ck them skinny b-tches in the club, I wanna see all the big fat ass b-tches… F-ck you if you skinny. Everyone loved that one.
Meghan Trainor also told everyone she was all about that bass and not into stick-figures and that we should tell them skinny b-tches. Jaysus, seems like everyone’s having a bit of a go at skinny women there. If someone released a song telling some fat b-itches to do anything at all, there would be murder. So why is it ok to talk about thin women that way? It’s not. Anyone who has something bad to say about someone elses size is a bully. It’s prejudice, just like racism. So no one- large, medium or small should feel the need to comment on other women’s sizes… life is hard enough without your body image being criticised.
So what is a healthy body image?
I think the way that you are when you’re healthy is beautiful. No, I do not think that large women who are spilling out of clothes because they have a seriously unhealthy diet are ‘beautiful in their own way’, just because recently – the body image of larger women are being appreciated. Being obese or overweight isn’t good for your body or your health. But if you’ve got big thighs and a big bum and you’re a size L, because that’s just the way you are, then good for you! If you take care of yourself and treat your body right, then flaunt it if you got it.
On the other side of everything, I also think that healthy and natural equals beautiful when it comes to skinny women too. Some people are born thin. That’s it. Skinny doesn’t always mean you eat 1.5 pieces of lettuce for every meal because you strive to look like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Thin can be gorgeous too. If you’re the Ambassador of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee but still wear the kind of dresses that you love, then good for you! Not having to wear a bra all the time because you literally have nothing to support, can be such a blessing (I know this for a fact). Maybe it’s because you have a fast metabolism or have always found it hard to put on weight because of a busy lifestyle, it’s ok to be thin as long as you’re healthy.
However, I think that females who starve themselves or take drastic measures to look like someone else who is thinner, is not beautiful. A trend at the moment is ‘waist training’, and while I believe people have every right to do as they please, I think it’s quite a scary concept. Having a small waist and large hips sounds great, but what that’s doing to your insides doesn’t sound too good to me. I am not judging the people who use them, but I am judging their decisions to put their body in harm to look a certain way – again with this idea that there is some sort of ‘perfect’ body image that we need to hurt ourselves for. This is just an example of what I don’t think is beautiful when it comes to ‘thin’ girls, because it’s not natural.
I think anorexia is a different subject and it’s not what I’m discussing because that is a mental illness. When someone comments on the body image of those who suffer from anorexia or bulimia, using words like ugly or horrible, I think it’s really unfair. It’s sad because they are suffering from a mental disorder which they cannot control, to me that’s just heartbreaking. It’s upsetting and my heart goes out to those people, women and men. But it’s such an inspirational thing to see and hear of stories of people who have battled it, who have become healthy again.
So maybe people need to stop being concerned about other people’s weight, whether they are a size 6 or a size 16. If a woman is happy and healthy with her body image, she shouldn’t be subjected to hearing other people’s opinions. It is none of your business what size someone else is and it’s certainly not your place to comment.
People need to think before they pass judgement, maybe that woman gets up every morning for a jog and drinks a kale juice before work while you’re still lounging in bed? And maybe that other woman just had a set of twins and she hasn’t had the chance to get back to her normal life, never mind the gym… while you’re there with enough spare time to be judging someone you don’t even know.
I think we all have enough problems without being told we’re too skinny or too fat by a stranger. So everyone just be nice, we’re all a lovely bunch of huns.