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skinny women are evil, fat women are lazy. (or, SEA CREATURES UNITE!)

Posted by Anj Marth on 10/05/2011

I don't care if you're skinny and covered in shag rug. I love you anyway.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff addressing the lack of larger or fat women in advertising, as symbols of beauty. It’s good in a way to see more of this, because the focus on one body type in media can be really disturbing. The implications that anyone bigger than the models is sick, lazy, or unhealthy; that fat women are all ugly, these aren’t right and need changing. I really think it’s good to raise awareness about body image, and to show women of all different sizes as beautiful and feminine.

That said, I also find it disturbing that many of these essays portray thin women as “anorexic” “unreal” and “nonexistent”. Look, I do know that the use of photoshop and the like has made images of impossible women pretty damn common. And yes, a lot of celebrities have eating disorders. But this isn’t always the case. By portraying thin women as unhealthy, sick, or unreal, you are continuing body shame. You are doing the exact same thing to other women that media has done to you, and it’s just as rotten.You’re continuing the cycle of abuse. Yes, you. You were hurt, so now, you’ll hurt others. For shame?

Thin women exist. Not all of them are anorexic. Many of them are scrawny, even. People vary. Some of us have high metabolisms, some have lower metabolism. Every size is beautiful; health is distributed equally across the scale. There are fat women who ARE lazy. There are thin women who DO puke after meals. But there are fat women who are healthy as hell and eat good food and are active, and thin women who eat well and have balanced lives.

Stop body shaming ! You don’t have to insult thin women to make fat women feel better. When you’re talking about how offended you were by a sign at a gym (mermaid or whale?) you don’t have to insinuate that whales are awesome and healthy and mermaids don’t even exist, are asexual, and have body issues. I’m right here! I can hear you! I’m reading this thing you wrote because I AGREE with you, for fuck sake! Why are you telling me I’m unattractive? I think that sign was stupid too! But now- now I think you just don’t get it. and I won’t even get into how rude, how…UNFEMINIST, telling women that not getting pregnant makes them less important, is. Because that’s an entire new can of worms. As if getting pregnant was part of beauty? It can be, for some. For others, it isn’t. Why make either choice shameful? What the hell is wrong with you?

The same people who made that sign make signs saying I need to bulk up muscle. They try to sell supplements to me. They insinuate that being thin is unhealthy; they’re trying to make money off of my shame AND yours. Why are you helping them? What’s wrong with the shape I am? You and I can be different. Neither one of us has to feel like shit about it.

Stop telling women that the shape of their body is wrong somehow. Stop insulting other women. This makes you part of the problem.

Seriously. I agree with you. Quit alienating me because I am not fat. Calling me a skinny bitch, unreal, or anorexic is not helping matters. The same way I don’t walk up to strangers in public and ask “How did you get so fat?” refrain from doing this kind of thing to me, in reverse.

I think fighting eating disorders is a noble goal. Women with eating disorders who are my size, however, STILL think they are fat. Eating disorders are not caused by size,  but by mental illness, exacerbated by body shame. The same kind of body shame you are helping to spread.

Next time to sit down to write about how fat women need more respect, admiration, and acceptance, keep in mind that body shame is the root of it all. DON’T BE PART OF THE PROBLEM.  Fight against body shame, not against other women who are shaped differently than you.

That’s my sisterhood rant for the day.

I’ll update this as it gets facebook shared, with any particularly good rants people add to it there.

Pandora:

Yeah, honestly, I saw that start popping up today and liked it until I read it completely. I understand why people “like”it and whatever. But honestly, it just came across as sort of ignorant to me in the end. I too did not see why the issue of sex had to be brought into it, I believe twice(?) Among other reasons I just could not see what the relevance of that “fact” was. Also, who says dolphins don’t like mermaids? Was the other of this a dolphin in a past life and therefor is comfortable saying that? Then there is the issue in regards to the beautiful songs of whales, I was always of the impression that mermaids have always been well known for their amazingly beautiful voices that lured sailors to their drowning death… Idk, just sayin.

I remember when I was very thin for many years and was constantly remarked about. “Somebody feed this bitch a sandwich” and “You need to eat” etc etc. It was enough to make me very mad and also feel very insulted. I used to say this all the time, the shit does fling two ways.

and wtf is with the shit saying how whales get to travel to all these exotic places? Mermaids can swim, why can’t they go to those places? I think my favorite part though, is the ridiculous quote at the end, “Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ‘Good gosh, look how smart I am’!” Ummmmmm…

I know this all too well, I just remember being freakishly thin and being very openly shamed as a result. I always would think to myself, “WTF? I am not making rude remarks about your body, and if I did, I would be a bitch. So why can you do this to me?”

Noah:

 I think what we’re trying to say is… Who gives a shit! There’s really nothing like sex with someone you’re attracted to, of any type, for whatever reason. I wish people (the advertising and sales community and pop culture) in this country would quit trying to make such a big deal out of a certain desirable body type. Maybe it’s just all good lovin’ to somebody.

Resonanteye:

I just don’t think it’s good, for anyone, to be that unkind about body shape. I think a lot of it is the fact that there’s backlash against women being treated as equals- a lot of thinking that women are meant to be hot, to be mothers, and that’s the only choices there are. It’s a very divisive thing, for women, to talk about how different our choices are, and it’s easy when strippers say their job is feminist, and stay-at-home moms say they’re feminist, to start thinking that denigrating the other options, the options thousands of women fought and died for us to have, are somehow invalid.

We should be fighting for equality, living up to our dreams; whether that’s having kids and raising them into decent human beings, or working and creating in the workplace; we should be fighting to be seen as human beings, not sex objects or test-tubes for fetuses, but we spend all this time feeling like shit about how we look, and stomping all over each other in retaliation.

It really shouldn’t matter so much what a woman looks like, but it does. That right there is the issue, not fat vs. thin or breeder vs. childfree.

what about fat ladies that don’t want kids? or skinny bitches with a load of podlings? or women that just don’t care at all about how others view them, and simply…exist for something besides being judged on how hot they are? they’re just adding to the weight of shame by saying that shit. it makes me as angry as ads that put down fat women; it’s the same shit pointed in a different direction, totally.

2 Responses to “skinny women are evil, fat women are lazy. (or, SEA CREATURES UNITE!)”

  1. you said it!

  2. Word!

    As a person of considerable physical substance I have much solidarity with tiny people. Most of my friends are scrawny. Some have eating disorders, some don’t. Some are lazy as hell and eat more food than i do (those women i call bitches… but always with love).

    Personally, I think it would be a sign of something great if the dominant culture ever came to see that beauty is an amalgamation of things taking many forms… body type alone doesn’t = beauty

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