There’s a photo that has been making the rounds on my Facebook news feed lately:
This isn’t the first of its kind; there have been other pictures in the same vein. They hold up a skinny woman against a curvy woman and declare the latter as The Winner™. Usually, someone posts one of these images with an emphatic ‘THIS‘ and ten billion people reply with variations of ‘That top row is gross!‘, ‘Curves are way better!‘ and ‘I’d rather stab out my eyeballs with a shard of broken glass than have to look at those skinny bitches!‘ These pictures are supposed to be empowering! These pictures are supposed to be a rallying point for people to make a stand against the media’s definition of perfection! These pictures are supposed to be a wake up call to the dangerous direction our society’s standard of beauty has gone!
Except they’re not.
The media has been telling women that if they’re not skinny, they better hope that they have a great personality to fall back on because there is no way that anyone will find them attractive. Ever. That’s pretty fucked up. You’ll get no argument from me that that is something to stand up and fight against. However, when your weapon of choice is a picture like the one above, what are you saying? You are, in essence, saying the exact same thing: If you are [insert physical trait here], then you are ugly. These ‘better than’ pictures are just as harmful to ladies as is the media’s insistence that skinny is the only form of beautiful. They are just another slam on women, a way to tear us down, divide us and tell us that we aren’t good enough.
Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. To hold up one above all others is wrong. But Nina, you might say. Curvier people have it tougher and we deserve to toot our own horn! Toot away! You deserve to toot! If I had a great rack and shakeable hips, I would be tooting about them as well! But don’t do so at the expense of other women. Don’t become what you are railing against. How is saying ‘curvy is hotter than skinny’ any better than saying ‘skinny is hotter than curvy’? Or blonde is hotter than redhead? Or clear complexion is hotter than freckles? Or any of the many other things that are purely subjective? Leave this stuff up to the eye of the beholder. Actually, fuck the beholder — just love yourself. You don’t need third-party validation to tell you its okay to do so!
So let’s take this division and apply it where it truly deserves to be: monarchs, body parts and scientists.
So you know what? If you’re curvy, you are beautiful! If you’re skinny, you are beautiful! If you’re short, you are beautiful! If you’re tall, you are beautiful! If you’re X, Y and/or Z, you are beautiful!
But if you’re stupid? Well, you know. I’m sure at least your mom loves you.