Monday, April 26, 2010

Controversial Topic (Watch Out)!

Lately I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion regarding people’s taste/disgust/opinion regarding the sizes and shapes of models/women. I personally have been hearing or seeing a lot of comments that basically say “smaller” is bad and “bigger” is good. This train of thought is a bit disturbing and here’s why. To uplift one group of people by degrading another is just plain mean. Comments stating that women/models that are a certain weight or not over a certain weight are “skinny” or “anorexic” while women/models that are over a certain weight are what “real” women look like is rather insulting.

Women come in all shapes and sizes and shouldn’t be considered “less than” because they don’t meet a certain criteria. Often it is stated that a slimmer woman who doesn’t have curves is unattractive or looks unhealthy. I used to be one of those girls and I can tell you that size discrimination goes both ways. The fact that I wasn’t considered a real woman because I didn’t have many curves and wore a size four still irritates me. For the record I couldn’t help my weight. I ate more than my grown father (and husband) and had a healthy active life. I can’t tell you how insulting it was when people insinuated that I was starving and insisting that I couldn’t have been eating enough. As a matter of fact I know some tall sized one women who can’t help their weight either and they can throw down more food than a football team and no they do not have eating disorders. But because I didn’t have a pudge here or a roll there people insisted that something had to be wrong with me. In fact maybe there was something wrong with me. All those people insisting that I needed curves and more weight to be attractive gave me a freakin’ complex. So I over-ate to try and gain weight so I could be beautiful. It’s not to say that I don’t think curves are beautiful, they are. But, it was hurtful that people looked down on me because I didn’t have curves. You know some women just won’t have them no matter what they do and there is NOTHING wrong with that.

After I had my first son I finally got some curves and little “roundness.” It has taken me a while to get used to my new sized ten shape but I like it. Now that I am a little bigger I don’t look at “smaller” women and assume that they are anorexic or unattractive because of their lack of curves or body weight. Just as I don’t look at “larger” women and assume they overeat or are lazy. We are all built differently and I see a huge variety of women every time I go outside and a lot of them can’t help the way they look. Sure there are things a lot of us could do insure that we are as healthy as we can be but some people are just stuck with the body shapes they have. It’s really unfair to make certain assumptions based on just how people look because we really don’t know their story.

Often it is said that the media pushes weight loss and being super skinny into our faces. That may be true. But is it the women’s fault or should the blame be placed more on the industry that tries to force people into a certain mold. I really don’t think it’s fair to insult these women because we don’t know their story. People say that these women set impossible standards for women and girls to live up to. My question is why are we trying to look like them? If we don’t like the way they look then why try and emulate it? I wonder if we were truly happy with ourselves would any of this really matter?
What is my point, you say?
Why can’t we all just get along? There is so much beauty in each and every different type of woman in the world and it should be embraced and cherished. To degrade one group of women (or even people) in order to uplift another is filled with negativity and is on the opposite end of the road to acceptance. Discrimination is discrimination no matter what end of the spectrum it comes from.

Just a little something to think about.

2 comments:

Elise Logan said...

For me it's more a matter of health. There are people who are naturally thin, and those who are naturally bigger. If you're healthy, I think it's all good.

My problem with having extremely thin models/actors is that most of them AREN'T healthy. They are on extreme diets that deprive their bodies of nutrients, or they have eating disorders. some of them ARE naturally thin. But when you hear about models who are nearly 6' tall and only weigh 120 being fired (the Ralph Lauren model) for being too fat, well... there's something very wrong with that message. It's telling people that they are too "fat" when they are perfectly healthy - and that drives unhealthy behaviors.

Of course, you can't tell by looking at someone whether they are naturally or unnaturally the way they are, so it's a difficult line - condemning the industry's actions which encourage unhealthy behavior while not damning all thin people.

On the other hand, there comes a point at which too much weight is a health issue, too. It strains your heart, increases the likelihood of other chronic conditions, puts a strain on joints and ligaments. But that point varies from person to person - so again, making judgments is a tricky business.

I've come to the point where I try not to make comments or judgments based on size. I might comment that someone looks ill - but that's more likely to be because of hollowed eyes or sallow skin, or some other indicator.

jodi said...

my daughter is a size...I dunno. But she still wears a size 10-12 little girls skirt while otherwise fitting into a junior medium. Skinny hips? Then again, she likes that whole Japanese school girl look, and it suits her.

She's been noticing other girls her age have curves, but....there's nothing wrong with her. People are jerks. You shouldn't discriminate against skinny/non-curved people anymore than I'd discriminate against a larger person (or like it if someone said something about my being a size 16)

Good post, Lauren. :)