Too fat, too thin ... no BODY wins

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's not too often that I drag my soap box out of the closet and climb up on it, but after spending far more time than I care to admit reading a certain blog on Tuesday night, I can’t just not say something about it.

  
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Tuesday afternoon my sister emailed me a link to an article about another blogger who recently criticized Kate Upton for being fat. Even though I’m not entirely familiar with Upton (I know she’s some kind of model, and is actually quite stunning), I was kind of surprised that anyone would call this Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model “fat”. Naturally, I followed the links to these outrageous comments and found myself on SkinnyGossip.com, a website that celebrates the skinnies and condemns the fatties. 

The full article titled “Kate Upton Is Well-Marbled” began with this sentence: 

“Did you know that humans are 80% genetically identical to cows? Well, allow me to prove it to you…”

That statement was immediately followed with a picture of Kate Upton walking down the runway in lingerie (or is that a swimsuit? These days, it's hard to tell). I was flabbergasted.

It gets worse. Skinny Gurl, the moderator and author of the blog, posted even more pictures of the voluptuous Upton with commentary such as:

“Huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition – she looks like a squishy brick. Is this what American women are “striving” for now? The lazy, lardy look? Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for? Sorry, but: eww!”

And, like a lot of people, reading her blog made me angry (and sweaty). 

Skinny Gurl claims that her website is not pro-anorexia (or what is referred to as “pro-ana”) and vehemently argues that she does not promote self-hatred or self-harm. Then why is it that she recently removed a section of her blog titled “Starving Tips of the Day”? And why are a majority of her reader's comments nothing but incessant chatter about what they ate that day, pleas for advice on how to curb hunger, or just general lamenting about how fat they feel because they accidentally overate (and by these girls’ standards it was probably 2 crackers)? Sure, Skinny Gurl says she will delete user comments that take starvation and fear of fat to the next level, but what about the hundreds of other comments still published on the site talking about how the best way to burn calories all day is to keep fidgeting and never sit still?

Starvation and a preoccupation with food. Hmm, that sounds like tell-tale symptoms of disordered eating.

Yeah, Skinny Gurl, your webite isn’t pro-ana at allllllll. *rolls eyes*

And sorry to burst your bubble, Skinny Gurl, but littering your posts with bright yellows disclaimers about your stance on “self-harm” is doing absolutely nothing to counteract the fact that your blog is promoting hate against overweight women or that the majority of your readers have unhealthy perceptions of their bodies.

What I don’t understand is why women of all sizes can’t cohabitate. Why does loving one body shape have to come at the expensive of another? Why do some skinny women hate fat women and why do some fat women hate skinny women? It doesn’t make any sense. Promoting any kind of specific body shape is toxic and websites like Skinny Gossip are the problem, not the solution. Women gathering together in the Skinny Forums to gripe about Scarlet Johansson’s cellulite or unite over rice cakes are nothing more than breeding grounds for dangerous behaviors and thinking. 

But what I find most troubling is how malicious Skinny Gossip is about the women she criticizes. It’s one thing to find a certain body shape unattractive (in this case, overweight women) but to badger them and make fun of them in a public forum? Skinny Gurl, that just makes you a miserable, mean person and makes it obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that you have your own issues.

There has been a lot of backlash against SkinnyGossip.com's article on Kate Upton, and after reading through her post archives, I got to thinking: “Would we all be reacting this way if someone created a blog that bashed skinny women?”

Sadly, I don’t think such a blog would create nearly as many waves. Why is that?

Then I got really frustrated because that question alone definitely makes some of Skinny Gurl’s points valid (Ugh, and I soooooo did not want to agree with anything this hateful broad says). While I truly do believe her website glorifies disordered eating behavior and while I absolutely do not agree with her methodology or how carelessly she mocks other women that she considers fat, she is right when she preaches about a double standard. Skinny women, though maybe not as publicly or as frequently, are definitely criticized for their size and they too carry the weight of unfair stereotypes (no pun intended). If you’re skinny, you automatically don’t eat enough. Or you’re on drugs. Or you have an eating disorder.

How is the different from the assumption that just because you’re overweight you must be lazy and eat too much?

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^^I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks the woman on the right is "too fat" seriously needs glasses.

I have to admit, I’ve grown pretty tired of the “fat is beautiful!” vs. “skinny is beautiful!” debate that’s been cluttering the internet for the past few years. You either have too many curves or not enough; runways models are either too thin or average women are too fat and ugh, I’m just sick of hearing about all of it. So long as you’re healthy and happy, who gives a s**t? Beauty is subjective and there will never, ever be a set-in-stone definition of what is considered the “ideal body shape”… So stop dwelling on it! Learn to love you as YOUa single entity, not in comparison with anyone else. 

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13 comments

  1. If Upton is fat I'm obese. I think she looks great. Heck I exercise to try and be in shape like that one day. Some people are such negative haters. urrrggggg

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  2. Yeah, Upton is gorgeous - I agree that I exercise to be in shape like that! Realistically, who doesn't want to look nice naked? But for me too, I want to be STRONG. I don't want to be He-Woman, but I want to be able to endure cardio for long periods of time (so I can chase my dogs and children around my future yard) and lift heavy things (so I can take nice long vacations to far-off places and lug my giant suitcase around). My body weight should be something I can easily move around - that's what strong is to me. :)

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  3. AMEN. It reminds me of the quote from this video: http://t.co/wrxMrJeD "Why does it bother you so much that I don't hate myself?"

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  4. Very well put Cuz!!! Definately sounds like Skinny Gurl has some issues.

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  5. Right on. I had a similar, visceral reaction to the hatred that was just pouring out of that site.

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  6. Excellent post. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders. Kudos to you for taking a stand!

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  7. I agree that this is just SO frustrating! I suffered with an eating disorder for several years. Recently, I've lost weight the healthy way (healthy fresh food and RUNNING - which is why I love you blog, Courtney!) and everyone assumes I must be "not eating" or doing something drastic and unhealthy. I have two particular friends who give me such a hard time about being smaller than them (and it's really just biology, I'm 5'2 and they're.... tall, and just bigger-boned in general), and I often wonder if I'd get this much grief from anyone if I was overweight. Who knows, but it does beg the question, can we ever win here? "Too fat", "too thin", "too flabby", etc. I can only assume that people such as Skinny Gurl must be so fiercely insecure that they feel the need to criticize others. It's a shame.

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  8. I just don't understand. I used to be a size zero when I was seventeen then I got cancer and lost more weight then I discovered food I love food. I now weigh a healthy 135 and I love my body i'm strong i'm fabulous and anyone that doesn't love their body hates others whether your too big or too little. People should focus on themselves first and leave others alone. If you like yourself then do you. Forget stereo types everyone has their own definition of beautiful and that's all that matters.

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  9. The reason that models are tall and thin is because to be a model, one has to be beautiful...tall, thin, proportioned bodies, perfect bone structure, skin, etc. It may not be fair, but tall and thin simply looks better than, well, short and fat (above pic). On the plus side for those women who aren't built like models (the majority), there are a number of men who prefer these average women, women with fat, breasts, and hips. So, even if a women is not beautiuful, she can still be admired by men, and feel good about herself. Men are more concerned with what will feel good (cushion) in the bedroom, than with what looks beautiful. These women must have sex and have children, since they cannot earn a living modeling, but a lot of women end up appreciating their children and families and having happy lives, even though they don't look like supermodels. My point is, their are women for every purpose in life, and they can be happy.

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    Replies
    1. ^ You are ridiculous. Just saying. None of that was necessary. Spread the love, or go join Skinny Gurl. Everyone love your own bodies, we're all made beautifully and unique.

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