I asked for feedback, and you provided. The consensus was: Write what’s true to YOU. (As in, me.) Well, here goes…
My good friend McKenzie posted a link to a blog post today that said a lot of things I’ve been feeling the need to say. But for one reason or another, I’ve never gotten around to it. Probably because it’s a heated subject. Probably because I’m afraid of offending someone. Probably because it’s been said a million different ways a million different times. But apparently, it needs repeating, because the message hasn’t exactly reached everyone that needs to hear it.
But there’s also my fear of coming off as defensive on the subject, which is not my intention, though some may choose to read into it that way. Because I feel it’s more important to share my views on the subject (and maybe generate a healthy discussion?), I’m going to tell you what I think anyway.
First, read the blog post that says what I’ve wanted to say here.
If you didn’t click that link, here’s an excerpt (but really, read the whole thing):
Real women have curves! How many times have you heard this lately? I used to say it myself. I’d liken this to a person attempting to elevate women by demeaning men. Men are stupid. Men are weak. Men are the problem.
Flipping oppression just spreads the shit around.
If only curvy women are real women, what is a skinny woman? A cardboard cutout? A hologram?
To hear a woman say “I love my body” is a beautiful thing. But what if she follows that by saying, “…because I’m not one of those bony skinny bitches. MY body is womanly. Women are SUPPOSED TO have curves”? Or, “…because I’m curvy but not FAT. Those gigantic breasts are so ugly”? I don’t think that is a beautiful thing, a comradely thing, a feminist thing. It’s just another type of misogyny.
Yes, I told you it was a delicate subject.
Here’s the thing. I’m one of those “skinny bitches.” At 110 pounds, give-or-take, I’m one of those women people look at and say, “My GOD, eat a burger!” when I’m not eating, and when I am, in fact, eating a burger, they’ll say, “My GOD, you’re one of those people who can just eat whatever you want and not get fat, huh?”
For some reason, people think it’s okay to make comments like this to thin people. For likely similar reasons, no one really sympathizes with a woman who receives backhanded compliments for being thin. But if I told someone to stop eating burgers, that’d be really freaking rude, right?
Here I am. Clearly starving myself. Or, you know, not.
I hate to seem mad or bitter. In general, I’m not. The thing is, I wouldn’t be at all if it weren’t for double-standards, backwards logic, and hurtful comments. And most women feel the same– curvy or not. Yet we’re all defining what a “real” woman is. What a “healthy-looking” woman is. What’s wrong with the above photo? Do I make other people feel uncomfortable?
I have never felt bad about my body. Except when other people try to make me feel bad about my body.
Sure, I went through a time in high school when I wished I was more curvy to appear older, more “mature.” And I still have plenty of insecurities, don’t you worry yourself about that. My hair’s not perfect, I still break out like I thought only teenagers should, I’m pale. But I actually think my body’s pretty rockin’. I look like my momma. We’re blessed. We work out. We eat. Both in moderation, you know?
I don’t write this to alienate anyone. I am fully aware that there are likely women reading this who struggle with their weight or body image. To those women, I offer my support, my encouragement, my heart. Shouldn’t I? Shouldn’t we all?
Yes. We should do these things for all women and be aware of the comments we make that might be in jest, but are also a bit of a jab. Comments we might think are appropriate to make to a thin person, but not to someone who’s overweight. Comments we might not think a thing of when we make them, but really shed light on our own insecurities. That bring out insecurities the receiver didn’t even think they should have until someone else pointed them out.
We can’t avoid the topic of weight– certainly not in this country. But when it comes to our daily personal interactions, both face-to-face and online, we have to choose our words more carefully.