I guess I’m on a bit of a feminist rant this week. This is the post I was planning to post early this week, before the Superbowl inspired my post on Beyonce instead. But this all fits right in. It’s all part of the bigger issue of objectification: how it happens and why it’s so bad.
Scrolling through my Facebook news feed the other day, this image popped up:
I’ve seen it before and I’ve “Liked” it before. My first response is “Hell yes!” The girls on top look anorexic and unhealthy and why is our culture telling us this is what we should be trying to look like?? If this image and others like it are a step in the direction of preventing girls from becoming anorexic and encouraging our culture to embrace the appeal of a healthy weight, that’s great.
But in reality, I know that this image is really just part of a bigger problem.
The truth is this: the problem isn’t that our culture tells girls to pursue a standard of physical beauty that’s unrealistic. The problem is that our culture tells girls to pursue physical beauty above all else.
I’ve had moments where I stand in front of the mirror and feel, simultaneously, too fat and too thin. My eyes go right to every trouble spot and my mind berates itself for not working out enough or eating that cookie last night. Then my eyes travel to my exposed ribs, my small chest, my hip bones jutting out, and my mind berates itself for looking disgustingly skinny. NOT a good word.
This is the result of a society so focused on physical appearance that nothing else matters. You have to be thin in the right places and curvy in others. You have to be airbrushed to be perfect. And if you’re not perfect? Well, let’s not even go there.
When I see the above picture, I usually get especially happy when guys have “Liked” it. “Yay!” I say to myself. “See,” I say to other women, “guys don’t like girls who are so crazy skinny. Why are we doing this to ourselves?”
Who cares?? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with making sure our lives are whole and fulfilling, rather than worrying which row of images guys like most? Shouldn’t we be teaching our girls to care about their education, to pursue their passions, to live an active and healthy lifestyle, to care for others, to stand up for themselves?
The move back to thinking curves are sexy is great. But the better move would be this: thinking all body types are sexy, then getting over it and caring about more important things.
What do you think?