I agree that society’s standards of beauty are harmful and damaging and entirely generic. I agree that women with curves should be able to feel beautiful – because they are – and confident. But I do not agree with making women of a different body type feel bad about themselves in order to make that argument. That’s exactly the kind of judgement and intolerance we’re supposed to be advocating to squash in the first place. I keep seeing images splashed around the internet like the one above, and it really disappoints me. Why do we need to make each other feel inadequate in order to make ourselves feel better? When did it become okay to start shaming girls of small or underweight builds?
Some would argue that you can’t naturally be that thin (if you believe that you clearly know nothing about the “classic” MFS build), and that those girls deserve the shaming because they’re anorexic and/or should “eat something”. And those comments that I see everywhere getting behind that kind of attitude are so wrong that I can’t even really wrap my mind around them. You do not develop a legitimate eating disorder by choice or without cause and you sure as hell aren’t going to be cured of it by a bunch of a**holes on the internet and the television blabbing about how you’re too skinny and it’s unattractive and you should eat a burger. I’ve never had an eating disorder, so I don’t have personal experience with it and I don’t know how it feels. But, my point is whether you’re shaming an underweight girl who’s naturally that way or it’s someone who does have an ED, it’s wrong, immoral and absolutely not the message we should be trying to send. This isn’t part of the solution, it’s the definition of the problem.
I believe these things all come from the same place to start with; being constantly bombarded day in and day out with unrealistic ideals of beauty, everywhere we look. We’re constantly having products pushed at us from every angle telling us how we could and should be more beautiful. We’re being shown women who’ve been photo-shopped and airbrushed, shot in the perfect light after having their makeup and hair tweaked to “perfection” and we believe that because we don’t look like that we aren’t good enough. But those girls don’t exist. They don’t. Those images have been manufactured and manipulated in order to make you feel like you’re not good enough so you’ll spend your money trying to change that. Eating disorders are on the rise for a reason and I have no doubt that all of the above heavily plays into that.
Ranting aside; come on girls (boys too!), we have to stop spreading this kind of message everywhere. We’re taking steps in the wrong direction by doing this. We need to learn to build ourselves – and others – up without tearing everyone else down in order to do it. Maybe you prefer thin girls, maybe you prefer curvy girls, and that’s fine (beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all)! We should just be able to like what we like and appreciate how we look without hurting everyone else. If you see a picture of someone who doesn’t match you or your preference, then don’t comment! Simple as that is it not? We so often knowingly choose to say something that will hurt someone else. Why? As cliche as it sounds, instead of making ourselves feel better by shifting this negativity onto someone else in an equally as destructive way, we should really just learn to celebrate ourselves and each other.