“real women have curves” and other atrocities

Oh, boy. Here we go again. The “real VS… not real…?” body fight. This time it is being brought to our attention after the Miss America pageant contestant, Mekayla Diehl, or Miss Indiana, took center stage during the bathing suit segment of the pageant. People across the nation took to Twitter to show their approval: “Finally, a contestant that’s not a bag of bones.” and “The fact Miss Indiana is not a complete twig makes me really happy.” Look, I think she looks fantastic. She says she eats lots of vegetables and lean meat and doesn’t obsess over her weight which sounds pretty healthy. But the issue I have is with people thinking it is okay to call other people a “bag of bones” or to say one body is more real than another. There’s been little criticism in the world of “thin- shaming” and I have to wonder why. Thin girls and women are just as likely to feel insecure about their weight as their curvy counterparts so why do they not deserve support? What makes them less real? I know plenty of thin women who eat just as much as I do and because of their genetic predisposition, they simply won’t gain any weight or have a difficult time doing so. That deserves body snarking?

While I do think it is crucial that all body types are represented in our media, I think it is equally as important that we end body shaming of all kinds. It sustains the idea that objectification is okay and gives the green light to put everyone under scrutinization. We all lose this fight. I guess what it really boils down to are childhood lessons learned: Treat others the way you would want to be treated. And always skip instead of walk. Is that a rule? It should totally be a rule. Always do that, too.

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5 responses to ““real women have curves” and other atrocities

  • Oscar Rivera

    I half-agree with the sentiments expressed here. I think, rather than focusing on one’s body, we should focus on one’s health. If someone’s healthy – that’s what we should be concerned with. If, for instance, I start to trend towards the more overweight end of the spectrum because I have adopted unhealthy eating habits, I want my friends to call me out on it. It’s not about shaming someone because of how they look, but framing the situation for what it is: living unhealthily is detrimental to you. Plain and simple.

    • thefemininefeministe

      Thanks for your input! Health is important, I absolutely agree. However, you can’t determine how healthy someone is by their weight. Just because someone is overweight doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t healthy and the same goes for underweight folks. See: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=91817

      I alsooooo find it unsettling that someone might think it is okay to let someone else know what they think about what they are putting in their mouths. If I want a hamburger, whether I am a size 6 or a 16, that is my prerogative. I also fully support anyone who wants to live a fit lifestyle. It’s their personal choice and how they want to live their life.

      • Oscar Rivera

        I don’t disagree with your first point. I was thinking more that these interactions would happen between people who knew and spent time with each other. I agree that it’s difficult to determine one’s health purely based on their body type (although I think one can make a pretty safe deduction in the cases of those who are morbidly obese). Having said that, I don’t think it appropriate to appropriate judgments on those you don’t know.

        I do have to disagree with your second point, however. While I don’t think it appropriate to dictate what one does with one’s own body (if you want to do meth, that’s your own prerogative), but I don’t see any inherent fault in giving one’s opinion on the matter, even try to persuade. For example, say a friend of mine is bitten by an obviously rabid possum. Since this person is my friend, and I care for their welfare, I would suggest this person go to the doctor as soon as possible to receive treatment. Obviously, my friend can do whatever they please, but I don’t think I would be a very good friend if I did not try to emphatically persuade my friend to go to the doctor.

      • thefemininefeministe

        I can agree with you that such exchanges should only be done between close friends and not acquaintances and certainly not strangers– but I still think something so personal is best to be discussed between the person and their doctor. When I suffered with anorexia, it drove me MAD when perfect strangers or coworkers felt the need to make comments about my body or suggestions for weight gain when I had an illness and this is moreso what I am referring to when I talk about people minding their own business. A loved one’s advice, however, is appreciated.

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