Who’s promoting what?

If “fat” people wearing bikinis are promoting obesity, aren’t slender people wearing bikinis promoting eating disorders?  When I I watched this video and the lovely young narrator said that people have actually told her that her body, in a bikini, promotes obesity, I was speechless.

In a world where thin-ness is worshiped as a religion, the beauty and diet industries rake in billions of dollars yearly, a young, fat woman in a bikini is the problem?  Why is no one on public beaches screaming about thin people and how their bathing suit clad skinniness is causing eating disorders?!  If you want to be all science-y about it, there’s probably at least as much evidence that the pursuit of the “thin ideal” causes eating problems as there is that fat girls in bikinis promote obesity.

There is just so much wrong with both of these pictures I don’t know even know how to start.  Well, that’s a lie, I do know.  Where we start is by saying all this bullshit about fatness and skinniness and ideal beauty is exactly that – bullshit.  If I accept someone’s judgment about my body, some external bogus description, then I accept there is some ideal, set by some mysterious “something” and I’m not meeting it.

Fuck. That.

I’ve spent far too much time in my life hating my body for no good reason.  I’m fortunate that I didn’t hate myself enough to develop an eating disorder, harm myself, or give it all up and decide to live on cookies and kool-aid.  I’m lucky that I was able to struggle through a bunch of personal work and come out thinking that my body’s pretty great – healthy, strong, flexible, attractive, and doing a bang up job of getting me through life.  But hell – it took me most of my life to get here and I’m not 35 anymore.

I see so many women who expend SO much time, energy, and intellect fighting their bodies, and I feel so much grief and anger for all of us.  It’s all a distraction – a way to keep us focused inward, fighting each other and scrambling for crumbs, instead of holding each other up, and using our gifts and talents to make our world more wonderful. It’s a distraction and we’ve accepted it – we’ve internalized it to the point that we use it to put ourselves down.  No one else needs to bother, we do it all on our own.

I’m not buying it.  I don’t buy the labels, the sizes, the judgments, none of it.  No, you don’t look fat to me.  No, you don’t look flat-chested, or thick-waisted, or dumpy or short or lanky.  You look beautiful.  Focus on your health, be well mentally and emotionally, take care of yourself physically, but determine your own beauty.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t look stunning in a bikini.

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