I got into a discussion on Facebook today on the “International Size Acceptance Association UK/MENA” page that really has me annoyed. I don’t want to hijack someone else’s page, so I thought I would put it here with the commentary that I didn’t put on Facebook and see what you guys think.
Original Post by FP: “In my opinion, women should have hips, boobs and a stomach. Women shouldn’t be made to think that we have to look like skinny boys to be attractive – we are meant to be shapely.” It linked to an Article titled “Woman are meant to be curvy…not look like boys”
Me: I object to this very strongly, especially on a size acceptance space. Size acceptance means EVERY size. There are plenty of women who are not “meant” to be curvy and they are not less a woman than I am. I don’t believe that the road to size acceptance is paved with blatant hypocrisy and so I think that since we want acceptance and respect for our bodies, we should probably take a pass on trashing other people’s bodies.
FP: We are not against the naturally thin, but I want to show the harm of body hate, starvation and the harm the thin is in message has on women and children all over the world. we are all worthy of respect and dignity and our body size is not our identity or a measure of our worth. There are many women who are thin and shapely. women’s bodies are meant to be shapely womanly, not looking like teen boy’s like they force women all over the world, to starve themselves down to, shapely is not plus size only.
Ok, first of all, it’s not your job to be for or against anyone’s body size or shape. You are not the grand overlord of body sizes. Secondly I know women who are built like teenaged boys who don’t appreciate hearing that they are meant to be more shapely than they are. If you are against body hate and starvation then let’s actually be against that, not against people’s body shapes. When you say that some body shapes are right and some are wrong, then you are opening the door for people to say that your body shape is wrong. I don’t know about you but the discussion I want to be having is that we should respect and embrace people of all size, not that we should stop shaming fat people and start shaming thin people instead. Some women aren’t meant to have hips, boobs or a stomach, and their bodies are beautiful as they are.
PD (new commenter): Maybe Ragen is reacting to the headline of the story. It’s slightly offensive.
On the other hand, I think there is a great deal of “size acceptance political correctness” out there that needs to be reined in. “Size Acceptance” is a euphemism for “fat acceptance”–I prefer the latter term.
For example, we are not necessarily about protecting the rights and sensibilities of men who are 6’1″ and weigh 185 pounds, therefore, I do not understand the insistence that we protect the rights and sensibilities of women who are 5’7″ and weigh 125 pounds. Size acceptance is fat acceptance. Others may see this differently than I do.
Holy crap do I see it differently than you do, and while I respect your right to have this attitude, it makes my blood boil. I settled for this profanity-free response:
I am reacting to the title but also to the idea that there is a way that women’s bodies are “meant to be shaped”. To me it’s not about political correctness or protecting anyone else’s rights, it’s about not doing to others precisely what we don’t want done to ourselves. We can demand respect for our bodies without putting down other’s bodies. This is not the Oppression Olympics and everyone is affected by a culture of body hate. I disagree that size acceptance is a euphemism for fat acceptance, and I certainly don’t think that it means that we only give acceptance to those people of whose size we approve. I don’t mean to link spam but to avoid this comment getting any longer, you can read my blog about it if you are interested: http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/hypocrisy/
What I wanted to say was: Are you fucking kidding me with this? I cannot stand this kind of attitude. Why aren’t you protecting the rights of men who are 6’1, 185 or women who are 5’7 and 125 pounds? How much shorter and/or fatter would they have to be for you to deem them worthy to have their rights protected? Also, did I miss the e-mail where you were put in charge of who deserves rights and who doesn’t, because the gays would like to have a word with you.
If you mean fat acceptance than say that. If you say that you are for size acceptance but you don’t accept people of all sizes you are at best a hypocrite and at worst a sneaky liar who says you are for one thing but is actually for something else. It’s idiotic statements like this that cause people to constantly assume that those of us who fight for size acceptance are thin-bashers. This isn’t about political correctness, this is about living in integrity.
Please consider this: The idea that thin people are not harmed by our culture of body hate, so it’s ok to say nasty things about thin bodies, is not just a lie it’s also a trap. Besides making us look like complete hypocrites, it creates a chasm instead of a bridge, and it makes an enemy instead of an ally. I shudder to think that someone who is traditionally very thin might be thinking “Wow, the way we treat fat people is bullshit, I’m going to look into this whole size acceptance thing” only to find websites where they are greeted with the message “Where are your hips, boobs and stomach? You represent body hate and starvation. Your body is wrong! You don’t look like a woman, you look like a teenage boy!’ Go ahead, bask in the “acceptance” of that message, I’ll wait.
We can do better than this. Putting others down to make yourself feel better: didn’t work in Junior High School, won’t work now. If you want size acceptance, how about you start with, you know, accepting people of all sizes.