Skinny Shame

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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….

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Published by

Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

5 thoughts on “Skinny Shame”

  1. I love seeing these types of post because I hate both fat and skinny shaming. I think that both skinny and curvy girls are equally beautiful and I’m glad that you’ve brought this advertisement up because I have had this discussion about it today. The “perfect body” does not exist and it is all of our small imperfections that make us beautiful.

    Though I also hate the whole “men like this, men like that” because women should not consider themselves beautiful because a man tells them they are, women should feel beautiful because they are confident in themselves.

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    1. I agree with everything you said! There is no perfect body and skinny girls shouldn’t feel ashamed either and when we keep saying “this is what ‘real women’ look like” then there is always going to be a woman who feels left out because we come in ALL shapes and sizes!

      And women should never care what a man think, nor what another woman thinks either. We all just need to love our bodies, no matter what size we are!

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  2. It’s really hard to be a woman. Sometimes it just feels like no matter what, you’re always wrong no matter what. I don’t blame you on wanting to be represented fully. When I met my best friend, I immediately felt like she was the “ideal body type” or at least the one the media chooses to represent the most (skinny and a natural blond). About a month into our friendship she told me shyly that she envied my strong arms, always wanted boobs and thought I had a great bum. Sometimes it takes an honest friendship to remind us that nobody feels perfect in this world of nearly unattainable ideals! – Aja

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    1. I try to tell my guy friends this all the time. I tell them women are always in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation”. We never feel good about the way we look or the way we present ourselves.

      Me and my friends will often tell each other that another one is perfect. Each of us hates our body and wishes we had someones elses. I am trying to love my body now though and I am helping my friends do the same. We all go though life shaming ourselves but in the end we are still in our body and nothing but miserable, might as well accept yourself and love yourself. We’ll all be happier in the end if we do :)

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