I found out today that this image has been circulating on Facebook. Not having a Facebook account (that’s intentional), I would be one of the last people to know. In this case, that’s a good thing.
Somewhat apropos to my post from the other day, I ran across a post about the photo elseweb. The linked post is really quite excellent writing and she handles the issues raised by the image above far better than I ever could. I’d warn the easily offended that she uses some colorful language but, honestly, I think you should be far more offended by the image above than any 4 letter word she or I could come up with.
Why? After all, I’m a self professed fat woman. Shouldn’t the image above make me cheer with my non skinny sistren? Shouldn’t we want to ride all the skinny model types out of town on a rail or chant, “Feed them!” and throw food at them?
In a word, no.
You see, the fashion industry and all the associated industries (food, medical, diet, exercise, hell, even the people who make our furniture, cars, and the airlines) are all lined up to tell us that whatever size we are, it’s the wrong one. I’d be lying if I said that I thought that fat people didn’t get the shorter end of the stick, especially since I was a thin person when I was younger and I know what it’s like to be told that your breasts aren’t big enough or that your hip bones look funny in those pants, etc.
But, that’s not the point. The point is that these industries do a great job of turning us against ourselves. We need to stop with this insane crap about who’s hotter/thinner/fatter/prettier/etc. than whom. Yeah, it’s human nature, but it doesn’t excuse perpetuating adding more hate to our society. In the end what matters is if you’re happy with who you are, on the inside and on the outside.
If you’re too thin for your own comfort, find a doctor and work on it. Likewise, if you’re too heavy to be comfortable in your own skin, find a doctor and work on that. I know it’s easier said than done, believe me, I know. But it comes down to taking an internal and then an external inventory and then doing what you need for yourself. Nobody, and I mean nobody, can do it for you. Likewise, nobody should be allowed to force you into being something you’re not.
The counterpoint that has sprung up to the above image is some artwork done by a very talented and funny blogger here on WordPress. Her name is Nina and she blogs under Whirligig-a-gogo. Her two entries on this photo meme are both really great, and she’s come up with some outstanding artwork that is the type that we should be posting to our walls in Facebook.
Think about the above the next time you’re about to post, forward, or comment on one of these faux-feminist memes that’s actually divisive hate filled crap. Think about it the next time you’re looking in the mirror at home or in a dressing room and are tempted to criticize yourself. And absolutely think about it the next time you see someone who society probably considers outside the beauty norm. And before you judge, remember what else happens to that person day in and day out.
You just might end up feeling better about yourself in the end.