This is where we share stuff we can’t share on Facebook page for fear of being kicked out! Read why here. Usually the posts are about body image, sometimes there’s nudity but we’re all adults here. Right?
If you haven’t rolled your eyes at a mainstream news outlets’ list of body positive icons, then consider yourself lucky that you missed the frustration of seeing one of these stories come across your feed. Every few weeks it seems like another one pops up and not only are the majority of these icons above a size 8, but these lists usually include just one woman of color or sometimes none at all. I am so in favor of drawing attention to women who are challenging beauty standards but not if that list features women who all look the same.
It all begs the question: is a list like that actually challenging beauty standards or is it simply continuing to reinforce them?
In the press, the body positive conversation is being dominated by smaller white voices. Why does Amy Schumer saying she’s not plus size get covered by almost every news outlet while most remained silent on Gabby Sidibe’s sex scene on national TV? And when only certain bodies and voices are celebrated, this does a huge disservice to the community of individuals who worked so hard to get us here.
I have been catcalled exactly once. It was late at night, I was alone and waiting for my Uber outside the gates of LA’s Griffith Observatory, and I was already on edge. A group of guys drove past and shouted “cuanto?” at me, meaning ‘how much?’ in Spanish. I do actually speak some Spanish, but it was my first time dealing with ‘traditional’ catcalling, and I wasn’t thinking clearly. I couldn’t leave, but thankfully they did.
By contrast, I have been ‘fatcalled’ several times. ‘Fatcalling’ is a term I came up with to describe the abuse fat people, typically women, have hurled at them on the street. In my experience, the mainstream feminist narrative surrounding catcalling doesn’t allow much room for experiences like mine. Instances where I haven’t been objectified because the harasser considers me physically attractive, but instead where I’ve been denigrated because the harasser has decided I am not. Instead of “hey sexy”, I usually get “hey Jabba” (as in Jabba the Hutt, who is the boss of everyone so thanks for saying I’m powerful!!!) or “you’re a whale/hippo”, both of which are extremely cute animals that could crush a human being if they wanted to.
You’re not fat! You’re beautiful!’
This statement is incredibly problematic because it reinforces the idea that fatness and beauty are mutually exclusive.
Fat and beauty intersect, y’all. People are fat and beautiful. End of sentence.
Plus-size isn’t just about a “sense of belonging”: It’s also about knowing where you can buy some fucking clothes.
There have been some pretty questionable trends in plus-size fashion, and I’m not talking about yet another season full of “cold-shoulder” blouses.
Rather, I mean the trends behind the clothes — flower names instead of sizes, and models who want to be paid to for wearing plus-size clothes (but don’t want to be called “plus-size”), for instance.
I’m also talking about the way these conversations distract us from the real issues.