Thursday, 17 October 2013

If we're going to reverse the fat-shaming phenomenon, let's choose a better spokesperson

Here's the thing: Most women (if not all. I mean, probably all, because life and society kind of suck) have some sort of hang up about their body. The greatest source of my displeasure used to be my hip/thigh area, but over the last decade it has grown to include my abdominal region, my muffin top zone, and the territory around my armpit fold where excess skin has accumulated thus preventing me from wearing anything strapless ever again. John Mayer may have tried to convince me that my body is a wonderland, but I've only ever seen it as an undulant war zone.

I don't want to be this way. I know that I'm a total cliché. And when my friends and I begin to descend into that rabbit hole of shame about our various body parts I'm the first one to speak up and say that we need to stop. We need to be proud of our bodies for what they can do, I say, whether it's run a marathon or swim two miles or digest a late-night pizza and a bottle of wine (at my age, that's an accomplishment), and stop beating ourselves up for not being an idealized, and largely unattainable, version of our fantastical selves. Because women are more than just their exterior bits. I mean, don't get me wrong, I want my exterior bits to look as good as they possibly can. If I didn't, I wouldn't spend hours of my life getting my hair and nails done, and half my rent on designer shoes. I'm not a hippie, for God's sake. I'm just tired of the inner dialogue that keeps wedging itself between me and a grilled cheese sandwich.

And much as I want to envelop every woman who is insecure about her body in a warm, fleshy, doughnut-scented hug, and tell her that she looks beautiful with vanilla icing in the corner of her mouth, I simply do not share in the feminist outcry that accompanies the media focus on a celebrity's weight gain. Especially when that celebrity has built her entire career on the tautness of her tits and the assiness of her ass, and is essentially solely responsible for her own objectification. Kim Kardashian is a perfect example. (I don't agree with attacking a woman for her pregnancy weight gain, and I'm not referring to that here. But she and her weight were a topic well before the pregnancy.) This woman, whose "job" is to...uh...well, I don't know what her job is, but she launched her career as a sex-tape maker and starrer inner (kids, please don't major in this) and from there built an empire on her sexy sexiness. Putting aside the fact that it's an embarrassment how people of this ilk — whose only goal in life is fame for fame's sake — are proliferating all across the modern Western landscape (go First World!), Kim Kardashian is the worst example of a woman fortunate enough to have a self-created platform in the public eye. She has orchestrated the entire conversation surrounding her image about her body, and as such that conversation won't veer off course, regardless of whether it's positive or not. Today, she posted this:     

Is this what we're meant to defend? When you go from playing the fat-shamed victim (or allowing the public to do it for you) to posting pictures like this of yourself, you've lost the argument for all women. So let's drop this bullshit of standing up for female body empowerment when this is the message that's being sent out. She is saying: Yes, haters gonna hate, but look at me now that I've dropped the baby weight. (Because I just assume that being Kanye's baby mama means you start to talk in uncontrollable rhyme.) Is this the woman that everyone has been tsk tsk'ing the media for fat-shaming? Is this the kind of response we as a gender want to employ to prove our point? I don't think it's fair for Kim Kardashian to be zeroed in on for having put on a few pounds anymore than I think it's right when women beat themselves up for doing the same, but I sure as hell am not going to go to bat for someone who thinks a semi-nude picture of her ass and sideboob is an adequate response or defense. Especially not when the only conversation she's ever sparked about herself was about the state of her body. I'm smarter than that. And so are you.

1 comment:

  1. Marilisa,

    I liked this post. Nicely done in a humorous fashion with effective take aways of here in the end.

    Good work