Body shaming. It's Not OK.
So today I was looking through my Facebook feed and an article about a controversial Victoria's Secret ad came up. It was an add talking about their perfect body (which is actually a bra type) and showed a bunch of Victoria's Secret models looking all perfectly fit on it. And of course it has everyone all in a frenzy. Now, I am not going to go into the ad. Though I will say two things: 1) I think it's awful and 2) they surely know what sells -- controversy. But none of that is where this starts for me and this isn't technically what this post is even about.
Side note: I am not linking to the ad because, seriously, I don't want this to be solely about that. It's just inspired by it. But a quick fancy Google search will surely lead you to it.
I read the comments and that's where everything starts for me (I know, I KNOW. That's where everything awful starts). I was truly amazed at some of the things people were saying.
Once I managed to get past all the comments that centered around how disgusting fat chicks are and how 50 pounds overweight is obese and obviously not the perfect body, I realized how big of a problem we really have here.
Most of the comments centered around the idea that if you have a problem with skinny or fit models you should put down your cheeseburger and go work out. You know, because the only people offended by ads are people who are jealous because they need to lose weight or whatever.
That's a problem in my book because it's not about some overweight gal who is just jealous because she'll never be in an ad like that. Or because she doesn't look like that. Or because she can't wear that.
There were also lots of people who were all "I'm skinny and if I see plus sized models in an ad for Lane Bryant I'm not mad that I can't shop there. I don't tell them that they shouldn't have plus sized models in their ads" (I use the quotes loosely since I'm totally paraphrasing there because there were so many comments like that and they all pretty much said the same thing).
Again, not the problem here.
It's not about not being able to fit into a store's clothes for whatever reason. No one is mad that they can't wear a bra from Victoria's Secret and someone else can. I mean, OK some people are totally mad. But you know what I mean. It's not the cause for the outrage over the ad (and ads like this).
Once again, not the problem. Why are we waging a war against plus size women? Why are they the target here?
People often assume that the overweight gals are the only ones who get outraged over this stuff. But they aren't (and they shouldn't be). This isn't a war of the skinny versus the fat or the plus sized versus the non plus sized. Rather, this is about body shaming. It’s everywhere and it attacks everyone. It doesn’t matter if you're underweight, curvy, average, or what have you. There is something somewhere that tells you that you're not good enough. That you don't look right.
And it's not just ads. They make a bumper sticker that reads "No fat chicks, car will scrape." There are signs for ice cream stores that read "no skinny chicks allowed." Because, you know, they don't eat or whatever.
Why does it make it OK just because it's all in the name of humor or selling a product? Why is it OK just because someone can look away or refuse to shop in those stores? Why is it always that someone is too sensitive? Why is it my problem because I should just change my body and then I won't be offended anymore?
Oh wait. That all makes sense. I just change what I look like and BOOM every problem is solved. It's a Christmas miracle.
Am I the only one who realizes how completely crazy all of that sounds?
No woman, no matter what size she is, should ever be made to feel ashamed of how she looks. Sure, I don't deny that there are people that need to be healthier. Some people do need to eat more to gain weight because they are unhealthy. Some people also need to eat less and more nutritious foods to lose weight. But that doesn't mean they have to take whatever crap is handed to them. Body shaming isn't going to get anybody anywhere. As a gal who has struggled with my weight I can tell you that I've never once in my life felt inspired by shame. It really just made me want to hide in my room with a bag of cookies.