I wrote a post on body shaming not too long ago, and the response was incredible. I am a feminist, and that is something I am incredibly proud of. I firmly believe that women are strong and powerful and deserve to be treated equally and fairly not only by the opposite sex but by each other. Unfortunately, amongst other things, women are exceptionally good at tearing each other down.
I was upset the other day when one particular tweet of mine seemed to cause a huge amount of controversy. It voiced my opinion on '#effyourbeautystandards'. If you aren't already aware, this trend was sparked by size 22 plus sized model Tess Munster, who posted a series of revealing pictures of herself on social media promoting the idea that beauty is not defined by numbers. I wholeheartedly agree with the true message that Tess was trying to promote, but somewhere in the abyss of twitter that message was replaced with thousands of girls posting their own '#effyourbeautystandards' pictures along with captions such as 'I will never try to be skinny again', 'size zero is disgusting' and 'say no to silly annorexic and bulemic models'. Tess was trying to prove the point that beauty is not defined by size, but somewhere along the line people seem to have confused this with the idea that she is promoting plus size as the only acceptable body shape. Why is societies' perception of beauty continually being prioritised over health? It is quite clear that someone of a size 22 is at just as much risk of serious health conditions as someone who is a size zero.
What began to happen, (and I'm sure this was not Tess's intention at all), was that girls started to skinny shame people who couldn't conform to this new idealised perception of beauty. There was one particular tweet that really resonated with me due to it's unbelievably degrading content. It said; 'Bones are for dogs, the meat is for real mean #effyourbeautystandards'.
Let's clear some things up:
1. There is NO DIFFERENCE between implying that a fat person is ugly and implying that a skinny person is ugly. You are calling a person ugly. That is not ok. Just don't.
2. If people object to size zero models as they believe that the body shape encourages young influential girls to aspire to a body image which may not be natural or healthy for them, then what is the difference between aspiring to be a size 22? That size is equally as unhealthy and unnatural for most women. Why can't we promote loving what you are and who you are, and most importantly promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle instead of claiming that anyone who does not conform to either extreme is not beautiful.
3. Annorexia and bulemia are serious illnesses and are not things to joke about. Just because you are skinny does not automatically mean you suffer from an eating disorder. Using an illness as an insult against that person is dehumanising and wrong. Again, just don't.
The point I am really trying to make is that I wish girls would stop competing with each other, stop glorifying a particular body shape or size and in the process diminish someone else's self confidence. What is important is your health, not the number sewn into the clothes you are wearing. You deserve to be respected, you deserve to be happy and most importantly you deserve to be healthy.