The radio in my car is currently broken, and will only tune in to one station that I would not usually listen to. Yesterday I found myself bopping along to Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass, a song that, despite being huge in late 2014, I had never listened to from start to finish.
On paper, this song is brilliant. With themes of self-love, acceptance and positive body-image, it has all the makings to make someone feel great about their body. Until it gets to that one line. The one that uses the term ‘skinny bitches’. Sure, in context it’s about telling everyone they’re perfect, but how can this be accurate when used in such a negative way?
Body bashing in the media has always been huge. “Stars in their swimsuits” “shock weight gain” and “dangerous weight loss” are plastered across every trashy mag in the universe. There is no happy medium. People are either too large or too thin. And apparently they’re all sad about it, too.
2014 was a big year for skinny bashing. Meghan Trainor and Nicki Minaj spoke out about their dislike for ‘skinny bitches’, and celebs were blasted more than usual for being “dangerously thin”.
In society, it seems that it is ‘rude’ to speak of someone’s weight – but only if they are considered ‘fat’. Why is it okay to tell someone they’re looking too skinny, but if you said someone looked as though they’d gained weight it would be taboo?
A close friend of mine is naturally very slim. Her frame is small, but she is in proportion and has a lovely body. I remember hearing her speak of a customer she served at work last year. It was a cold day, and the lady told her something along the lines of needing ‘some more meat on her bones’, else she feel the affects of the weather. When my friend replied that perhaps the lady should remove some ‘meat’ from HER bones, it was brought up how rude it was to discuss someone’s weight.
Rebecca Judd was one of said celebs to be body-bashed during 2014’s anti-skinny crusade. And her reaction was nothing less than perfect. She is a naturally thin person. That’s simple to see just by looking at her frame. Early this year, Bec gave birth to her second child. And hot damn she looked good after doing so. However each time she posted a photo of herself on social media, it would be flooded with comments of ‘far too skinny’ ‘you look unwell’ or, the one which seemed to be her personal favourite – ‘OMG do you eat?’. This one prompted a response from Bec which can be found here, and which adequately sums up everything that is wrong with skinny-bashing.
The concept of ‘real women’ was also another which was huge in the past year. ‘Real women have curves’/’we need to have real women modelling’/’it’s great to see real women in that magazine’. The definition of ‘woman’ is an adult human female. That’s it. Nothing about the size of their hips or the way they look in a swimsuit. If you identify as a woman, you are a real woman. As easy as that.
We need to realise that all bodies are beautiful. Tall, short, curvy, slender. Bodies are incredible things. We breathe without thinking, our hearts pump liquid around our bodies to keep us alive, and, as women, we can grow a tiny human right inside our tum, and if you don’t think that’s incredible then I don’t know what is.
Body bashing needs to stop. End of story. We need to stop judging other people (female OR male) based on their body type, because for society to grow and heal we need to be bringing each other up, not tearing each other down. We need to recognise that calling someone fat won’t make anyone feel better about themselves, and telling someone they’re too skinny won’t magically change their body to make it ‘acceptable’ to your standards.
You are a living and breathing reminder of how amazing our bodies are. Mountains of skin and bone and muscle, and all of that skin and bone and muscle forms this one amazing creature that is capable of doing so much. So let’s use that ability to do good, and encourage proper self-love without bringing others down in the process. Let’s learn to love ourselves, and love others, too, because a little bit of love goes a really long way.