Fuck your body shaming ways.

[Content note: discussion of body shaming, aggressive social justice words.]

The blockquotes below occurred on Google+ today. Since I’m not willing to give the asshole who said them the linkage or validation, he will remain anonymous. These are all exact quotes, and I have done my very best to not remove context. So I guess if you wanted to Google them, you probably could.

That said, kids, school is in fucking session. I don’t have a lot of patience for body shaming in general, and since an image posted by Stop The Beauty Madness is what set this all off, my tolerance is a little lower than usual.

The only thing in my head is, “she would benefit from a big fish supper”.

Body shaming, like the comment above, isn’t okay. Not when the woman is fat. Not when the woman is thin. Not when the woman is trans*, or cis. Not when the woman is alive and not when she is dead. There is no situation in which it is appropriate to say the above sentence about a woman you don’t know unless she has just said to you, “You know, I think I’m really hungry. I’d love a fish fry.”

A mute model in a photo can’t do that.

(It’s no more ok if you do it to a person who isn’t a woman, so please take that as read.)

It depends on whether they are naturally that way, or “making” themselves that way. If a person is thin to the point of looking ill, I reserve the right to make a respectful comment about that, in the hope that the individual will rectify the problem… Especially if they’re getting paid to attract my attention in the first place.

No. It does not fucking matter.

Unless or until someone expressly and explicitly makes their body your concern, you do not have any “right” to comment on their body. Bodies don’t become magically your concern because they’re in public. That includes bodies that companies have paid to put in front of you.

You have no idea why she’s so thin and even if you did, unless she has asked you to offer your opinion of her body, your flip comment that she could use a nice meal is bullying. You may not be bullying the model, she’ll probably never know that you just took your pants down in public and showed your ass, after all. But you are bullying women, by insisting that they conform to whatever you have decided is appropriate for them.

Further, you assume this is intended to get your attention, but hey! Not everything in the world is about you, no matter how much that hurts your entitled, privileged feels. Wow, god, that sucks right? Having someone be dismissive of you with a flip comment? That has got to be the pits.

I’m sorry we don’t agree on the matter, but it does prove my point, that if you put yourself out there, someone will criticise you. Here in the UK and in Europe, we’ve been having a healthy debate about size zero modelling and where my main interest lies, with the aspiring young models looking at industry role models, starving themselves to get into an industry a tiny percentage will ever make it into.

What does the percentage of girls/women who make it into modeling have to do with anything? Oh, that was just a tangent to distract from the fact that you’re spewing privilege all over? Cool. Let’s keep going then.

This model put herself “out there” (whether she was paid, or volunteered) in service of the idea that no woman should feel obligated to conform to the kyriarchy. The model put herself “out there” in other words, to open the modeling industry up. To fight the same thing you claim to be against.

Of course, respecting her and acknowledging that probably doesn’t feel as good as taking cheap shots at someone who can’t answer you back, and who doesn’t owe you her time even if she could/would. And when you’re called on that cheap shot, you erect that ally screen so quickly. “I’m against size 0 models.”

Guess the fuck what. I’m not against size 0 models any more than I am against size 30 models. I have friends who wear both sizes as well as sizes in between and sizes outside that range. I don’t want to ban size 0 models, I want modeling to open up such that all human beings can see their bodies reflected in media.

Then again, that’s a lot harder than just buying a skinny bitch a fish dinner, right?

I’m sorry you have a hang up about your body. Thats not my fault. I’m merely sharing my point of view. I think that the girl in the photo is neither attractive, nor unattractive. She looks a little thin… I didn’t ask her to lose weight, or tell her she was freak. I think she’s working in an industry where she is paid well, to attract comment on her looks. Beyond that I don’t care what she does. She has made a choice and succeeded in becoming a commercial product. I have a fast metabolism, so when I lose weight naturally people who know me say “you’ve lost weight”. It shows they care about me. I’d rather live in a world where I’m cared about and noticed, than in the world where in your mind, we shouldn’t ever look at someone else, or ask them how they are.

I don’t want a world where we don’t look at other people or ask them how they are. I look at other people all the time. I asked a number of my coworkers today how they were. I even asked one coworker if she lost weight, because I noticed a change in her appearance and she had previously expressed a desire to me to discuss her weightloss.

But I want to clip part of this out, and then show where things don’t follow: “I have a fast metabolism, so when I lose weight naturally people who know me say “you’ve lost weight”. It shows they care about me.” Do you know this woman? Are you secretly really good friends with her? Is she someone you care about deeply?

Or did you just see a chance to score points by criticizing a woman’s body for humor. Did you think we’d laugh? Did you think it was funny?

Women live in a society where no matter what they look like, no matter what they do to their appearance, there is always someone out there who feels justified in joking that they either need a diet or a dinner. People who don’t know them. People who have never met them. That’s not funny.

From this whole conversation, I’m guessing you consider yourself an ally. And yet when someone tells you that you’re standing on their toes, you just want your fucking cookie. Well I don’t need allies like you. I’m serious. I don’t need you on my side. I don’t need anyone who thinks that social justice comes on the back of any other human being.

To you, saying this girl needs a big dinner is nothing. To me, it’s evidence how far Stop the Beauty Madness has to go. To a woman in the audience with an eating disorder, it’s a trigger and proof that she will never be free of judgement of her body.

And no. You get no cookies for that message.


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