The other day, I saw an article that blew my mind. Some of you may have even seen it, as it was shared over 300k times. Because it seemed pretty viral, I felt like I had to give “You Attack My Size 0, But I Can’t Attack Your Size 16” a read, but it completely rubbed me the wrong way. My intention in writing this is not to bash the author, because I do think she has the right idea in mind. However, the way she handled this was pretty inappropriate and actually disappointing.
“Since when has it become socially acceptable to bully one size but when it’s done in reverse to a size 16 everyone is in a uproar?”
In writing this article, I think the author’s main point is great – that it’s not fair for people to be against “fat-shaming”, but partake in “skinny-shaming”. I completely agree. It isn’t fair. While I appreciate that our society is slowly coming to terms with the fact that it isn’t okay to ridicule someone for being larger, it’s taking a bit too long for society to jump on that same bandwagon for girls who are very thin. I can’t tell you how often I used to hear people say “UGH. She’s so skinny, I hate her”. I’m sure words like this can be hurtful to those who hear it – why should someone’s size be the determining factor in whether or not someone likes them? I agree with the author that this is something that needs to change and I give kudos to her for bringing it to everyone’s attention.
But here’s where she loses me…
“I’ll probably be fussed at for saying this but you women are the first ones saying us skinny girls aren’t real women but you’re also the first ones wishing to wear the crop tops and short shorts I wear. Is it that you secretly wish you could look like me or is it that you truly hate the body I possess? Or is it a insecurity that your man would want someone like me over someone like you.”
Hang on a second. What is going on here? Maybe I’m crazy, but it looks like the author of this article is trying to bring awareness to “skinny-shaming” by “fat-shaming”. I don’t see how this is beneficial for anyone. In trying to help people see that “skinny-shaming” hurts people, she’s saying things that can be very triggering for others.
First of all, this breaks my heart that the author of this article feels so negatively about people that are larger than her. Because I’m not a size 0, am I not as worthy of my boyfriend’s love and attention? As someone larger than a size 2, are my thoughts confined to jealousy of those smaller than me?
I also don’t understand why larger girls can’t wear crop tops and short shorts if they want to. I say, if you want to wear it, then freakin’ wear it. It’s never okay to tell someone what they can and can’t do because of their size.
But wait. There’s more…
“Rather it be insecurities or not, please figure it out and stop body shaming us and we’ll stop body shaming you.”
No. No. No. It shouldn’t be this way. By now, we should all know that the whole “if you stop, I’ll stop” thing NEVER works. If you’re genuinely interested in putting an end to body shaming, you wouldn’t do it, regardless of whether or not others still are. Be the bigger person and set an example for other women. I know I’ve already exhausted this thought but apparently I need to say it again: what you say on the internet is accessible by many, many others. This includes young girls who are at such a vulnerable place. We need to be setting a good example for them.
So here’s my final thought:
It shouldn’t be an us vs. them battle, or a large vs. small fight. In a world where societal standards make it hard to be a woman, we don’t need to make it harder on ourselves. Why can’t we, as women, celebrate each other for not just how beautiful each of us are, but for how intelligent, kind, passionate and fierce we all are? In a world where we have men (I’m looking at you, Donald Trump) trying to tell us our value solely based on the curvature of our silhouette and the “attractiveness” of our facial features, we need to be standing together, not fighting each other. By now, nearly every woman most likely understands the challenges we each face because of the pressure put on us to look a certain way, and knows what it feels like to be shamed for not meeting these standards. You would think that this would make us a stronger force of women who don’t want other women to feel the way others have made us feel, who want to lift each other up and empower one another, rather than adding to the pressure already put on us.
From here on out, I challenge each of you to be a support system for every other woman you cross paths with, regardless of her size. Make an effort to rid your vocabulary of words like “fat” and “skinny” and replace them with words like “witty” and “passionate”. And for the love of all things good in the world, do not participate in body shaming.
Who’s with me?