Little by (very very very) little, the request for more body diversity in all kinds of media gets answered. Which is joyful to see, because I love me some inclusiveness. But together with these changes, the criticism and backlash arises loudly.
‘Plus size models promote obesity!’
‘You fatties should just lose the weight and stop glorifying your bigness!’
The list, filled with rude and uneducated comments, goes on and on, and it hurts me to read that there are so many people not willing to comprehend that everybody deserves to be valued, ànd that diversity does NOT promote obesity but just overall respect.
I know that the rise of obesity is real, there is no denial possible, but in my opinion feeling confident should be a thing of all sizes
Don’t get me wrong, I know that the rise of obesity is real, there is no denial possible, but in my opinion feeling confident should be a thing of all sizes. Because next to physical health, our mental condition determines how high-quality our existence and society lives on. If people always get bashed for how they look, day in and day out, how do you expect them to flaunt their capacities? Where do you expect them to find the confidence to stand up for themselves and maybe tackle bad eating habits? And how do you expect them to develop their talents? Talents that are just as important and necessary for our society as anybody else’s!
Next to the support size diversity gives to bigger people, using women (and men) of all sizes in fashion, media en advertisement in fact decreases our urge to compare and so benefits the body image of all the viewers, big and small. And isn’t that just a beautiful thing? Our comparative character is often the cause for major unhappiness (such as depression, addiction, low self esteem and eating disorders), and eliminating that huge hurdle can only benefit everybody.
Or wait no, not everybody. Not the industry that makes money out of our uncertainties. Not the brands that make us feel like we look trivial and ugly with those wrinkles, fat and disgusting with that cellulite, or unworthy with those extra pounds. They nééd us to experience a sense of insecurity about our looks to be able to sell their products! Which is such an ugly truth…
Look, big people know they are big and they are not asking to be the new standard. I surely realize my weight is 15kg above what it should be according to my physician. But you know what? I’ve beaten 15 years of eating disorders (anorexia ànd bulimia) and so I’m damned proud of the strong woman that I am right now! Because I feel way more healthy than I was 10 years ago, although my weight seemed more ‘ideal’ back then, according to social standards. Am I at my fittest possible? Maybe not, but in the meantime I have the right to be valued, respected, and to dress nicely. And for that, I need inspiration! I need images that also portray my body type. I need to have cool clothes and be able to find new ideas in magazines and on blogs, so I can start the day with just as much swerve as anybody else! I realize the high fashion world is still very elitist (mind the exceptions!) and dressing fat or curvy people is not on their to do-list, but come on now, shit is getting boring!
Big people know they are big and they are not asking to be the new standard!
Cutting bigger people out of every life, including the world of beauty, fashion, advertising and media, is a major stain on our wellbeing. Increase that wellbeing and people’s general health will follow. Make sure we all learn to respect each other’s and our own bodies, and the battle against obesity will be made easier. Exclusion and body shaming won’t solve a thing, it never has. And a positive body image never made anybody ill. So drop the attitude and the fake concerns around size diversity and bigness, it smells like ego-gone-bad. And baby, thàt’s the true face of ugliness.