This post has been a long time coming (sorry for the wait).
Although I have not been fat shamed, I do know what is like to be judged for my appearance and want to address this because very few people or organisations do. Two words: skinny shaming. Often when I am with colleagues or certain social groups (sorry friends), 70% of the nights’ conversations are about weight loss, diets or going to the gym. I’m not one for exercise I won’t lie but I do wish to increase my fitness levels just so that when I’m about to leave the house and I forget my keys upstairs, the thought of being locked outside for a few hours sounds better than running back upstairs to get the keys (laziness, I know).
More often than not, when I utter the words ‘I need to go to the gym’, I am faced with comments from ‘oh you are as skinny as a stick’ to ‘you will have nothing left on your body but bones’ or ‘no one likes a bag of bones, men want something to hold on to’. Well A) my body is not the way it is to please a man so what I choose to do with it, is based on me and me only and B) people don’t understand how offensive and dismissive that comment is and the problems it causes.
As mentioned in my previous post, I grew up being called all sorts of names relating to my weight and I think that people think because it isn’t fat shaming and in their eyes, being skinny is considered ‘lucky’, their comments are not berating. I am telling you, they are. Now that I am curvier, I don’t get the comments as much anymore but they come my way once in a while and I can’t help think about women that are thinner than me that go through the same thing if not worse.
Slimmer women are excluded often from body positive movements. There is somewhat a culture of ‘them and us’ when should be about embracing ALL body types but because skinny is what’s socially accepted, they are almost treated like the enemy and their opinion on self-love doesn’t matter when they have done nothing wrong. A good example is when people refer to curvy women as ‘real women’. Although the message has good intentions, it is insinuating that skinny/slimmer women are not real women which in itself is body shaming. All bodies are real and there is no quota to say what body type qualifies and which doesn’t. We are almost doing what society does to curvier women but in a way that I believe sometimes is not intentional but presents the same results.
Models are often criticised in the media about their bodies but we forget that some people are just built like that or that it is their personal choice to be the way they are and whilst we complain that society does not accept curves, why doesn’t the body positive movement accept all body types. When looking around on social media, most images that promote body positivity include some body types but often miss out slimmer figures.
When trying to empower each other about self-acceptance and self-love, we should try to represent all body types, races and genders for it to be effective.
Again, I LOVE the fact that we are all speaking up and defying society’s standards to create a world where everyone is accepted for who they are and don’t feel the pressure to look a certain way or be someone other than themselves. However, I do wish for it to be a place where ALL body types and races are embraced and have magazines with non-retouched images of all body types in ONE magazine and stores selling both smaller and larger sizes in ONE store, in the same section.
To conclude, I say let’s educate not exclude and welcome all body types into coming together. As long as we create standards of who qualifies and who doesn’t, society will continue to divide us and hold one group on a pedestal than the other.
From now on, we will have new blog posts every Friday with guest writers to switch things up. Let us know what you think in the comments below and if you would like to contribute to the Mymilla Blog, get in touch!