If you’ve been on the internet at all these past few days you have probably heard about Victoria’s Secret recent campaign and the backlash that followed. If not basically they took a photo featuring a bunch of models and across them the phrase “The Perfect ‘Body'”. Many claim the the campaign promotes unrealistic ideals and 10 women got together to recreate the photo with “real women”.
Now I actually agree with the claims and what those women have to say. Advertisements should feature women of all shapes and sizes and featuring only skinny women does create unrealistic ideals. My gripe with this and other responses like it is the idea that skinny women are not real women too. Look at the recreation, I believe there should be a skinny girl in there too because there are many skinny “real women” too. In fact I am one of them!
Now I have seen a lot of people respond by saying that skinny people are already represented in advertising and media and so do not need to be represented in the responses but I disagree with that stance.
First of all, yes, skinny women are over represented but that doesn’t mean all skinny women have the perfect body that these professional models have. Nor does it mean that all skinny girls are shaped the same like the models in the picture. I’d like to see skinny women like be whose breasts are small and have no hips yet still managed to get stretch marks. Skinny girls who have a belly pouch and chicken legs. Not all skinny girls are a model of perfect beauty and health and we need to see women in magazines who look like us too.
And second, a lot of us support these campaigns that feature everyday women and want to be included because we are just as fed up with this crap as curvy girls are. I don’t think this should be a “real women” vs “skinny women” thing. I think this should be about what is realistic and for the most part that is being accomplished except for perpetuating the idea that all skinny girls are perfect models and not what a real women is.
My whole adult life I’ve had other women treat me badly because I was skinny. I’m not trying to be whiny here. I totally get why and I do understand my privilege but what they never understood was that I not only wasn’t actively trying to be skinny, it’s just my genetics, but that I also didn’t identify with what I was seeing on TV either. I tried to talk to them about my insecurities I had and about how much I agreed with their views but I was always shut down and often the conversation ended with me being called a “skinny bitch”.
As a black woman I never thought those women represented me anyway. But the women that I looked up to, women like Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Rhianna, were all curvy and voluptuous. I wanted to be curvy so bad because in the community I grew up in having tits and ass was everything! It got to a point a few years ago where I was trying so hard to gain weight I was actually eating 6 meals a day! I ate a whole lot of peanut butter and banana sandwiches and I added butter to everything I ate. I gained some weight but I didn’t have the time nor the appetite to keep it up. I am very proud of the weight I did gain though.
After that I worked on just loving the body I had but these campaigns of women showing what “real women” look like kind of hurt. Some girls are curvy and some aren’t but we are all real women and we should be represented TOGETHER. Instead skinny women are being excluded and I don’t get why. I would love to see more of these done with one REAL skinny girl included too. We have to remember that we are all REAL WOMEN!
Anyway, that’s my two cents….