Following on from my last post on the topic, yesterday I can across a heated debate on body size on British Vogue’s Facebook page. The post in question was about whether or not their followers found a mannequin, that has since been removed from the La Perla store it was placed in, to be offensive. The mannequin was of a skinny female that showed ribs slightly protruding as she sported a bikini. The mannequin had a little but of a stomach and medium sized breasts, with ‘normal’ sized arms.
My personal stance on the issue was that it was in no way offensive and should have been allowed to stay, perhaps better if it was placed alongside mannequins of different realistic body shapes and sizes. This does not mean that I endorse any eating or body disorder in any way; I do not encourage anyone to try and look that way. However, I believe that it was a positive sign that a mannequin was made as a real shape. From the comments made on the post, it became clear that I was in no way the only girl who was shaped like the mannequin; nor was I the only one who has been harassed because of my size (natural, and perfectly healthy for me).
Unfortunately, like other controversial posts not everyone agreed that it was good. Many people took to saying that yes, it was offensive and couldn’t be anything realistic of women. Many are concerned that it would encourage girls and boys to become anorexic. Other posts were a little less kind in their views. Some viewers posted negative, and in many opinions downright nasty, comments about the mannequin being an “alien”, ugly” and “disgusting”. Now I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinions; you may not personally be interested in that body shape. That’s fine. Why though must people be so cruel? I do not believe that making other people feel bad about what God gave them is warranted. It does the same amount of damage that any mannequin could do to girls or boys who aren’t comfortable in their own bodies. Besides, if the store was trying to encourage anorexia, than surely the mannequin would have been stick thin, had a collarbone and even more ribs showing, and definitely not have big breasts, thighs or stomach. Yes I understand people are impressionable, but in that case they need to look closer to the underlying problem by seeking the help of a professional and support from family members and friends (please do not find me harsh in that, I understand it is a serious condition and I hope anyone who has any disorder whatsoever is able to find happiness and regain a healthy lifestyle).
The skinny bashing has to stop. NOW. Just as people should have the right to be represented by fuller figured mannequins and models, so should those who are naturally skinny and cannot help the way they are.
I have done a quick research of Facebook pages who share a similar view. One particular page is called ‘Healthily, naturally skinny’. It is a new page that promotes a healthy lifestyle and offers support for those who have been victimised because they are naturally thin.
I will never proclaim to be the wisest, smartest or most mature being on this planet. However, even though I am only 22 I do have some experiences that could help other people survive in this world.
So here is my proposition: I am going to start an advice column. On this.
(I am still working on learning to use this site so I am not 100% sure on anonymous settings just yet; I can assure you though I won’t share any responses. I am no counsellor either… Just an average person who doesn’t want anyone to make the same mistakes as I have.)
Please feel free to ask any questions- I am a good listener and it might help to get an outside opinion. And just so everyone knows, socks and sandals will ALWAYS be a fashion DON’T, even if the catwalks decide to lose their minds.
I believe that yes, everyone is beautiful no matter what they look like, be that small or big.
Yet it seems to me that lately being naturally skinny is a crime. Apparently anyone who resembles a “bag of bones” so-to-speak should be forced to eat a burger and undertake counselling for being ‘anorexic’. It couldn’t simply be that they have a fast metabolism or different genes, could it?
Throughout life I have often been stared at because of my weight. At some stages I couldn’t go a day without a negative comment being made about my size. In school when we had talks about eating disorders I was made to feel like people were looking at me, making the automatic assumption that I (and some of my peers) was the person these people were actually supposed to talk to.
Believe me, it’s a horrible feeling. And I’m not the only one made to feel embarrassed that I don’t weigh the same as every other person my age. If anyone actually knew me, they’d know that I cry when my brother eats the last kebab, and will stuff my face with pizza without shame. Burger or water? I’d take the burger please, with extra fries. Yet the rare times I drag myself off the couch to go for a walk with friends (which might I add that it’s still important to stay fit; I do it because its fun, not to lose weight) I get those ‘looks’ from people driving by and can only imagine what they are thinking (and before you ask, no it’s not because of what I’m wearing- apparently around here track pants are perfectly acceptable for walking attire thank you very much).
So why do people do it? Why is it so bad to be skinny now? I understand that people want to feel good about themselves in their own bodies and not made to feel they have to be size zero. But come on- surely we can do this without incriminating people for being skinny naturally? Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for what I have, truly I am, and I am not ashamed. But it’s when people who are on the smaller size get blamed (imagined or not) and talked about just to make others feel better that gets on my nerves. We’ve all seen those Facebook memes talking about a person not wanting to hug a bag of bones, etc.
The skinny- bashing has to stop. Now. It’s time people realise that everyone is beautiful no matter what size they are; an hourglass figure is no better than a pear shape or ‘stick figure’, and vise versa . Don’t assume you know what’s best for someone.
This blog will contain random musings of a 22 year old Australian who is getting really tired of people generally.
I understand not everyone will agree with each post, and I intend to continue to show my respect your ideas (assuming anyone swill actually read this). However, I have a feeling a lot of what I do write will appeal to many people, both young and old, even though I do not claim to be a prolific writer. Feedback on this blog will always be welcome; racist, sexist or general abusive comments will not be (I like a good joke or two but please keep in mind that if we cannot respect each other than why bother hope for a peaceful future?).