I keep seeing references to fat women that are meant to be positive, calling them “real women”. Plus sized clothing stores that advertise the idea that their clothes are for “real women”, commercials for the More to Love dating show that indicated that he is dating “real” women. Shirts that say “real women have curves”. I would love to have more fat positive t-shirts, but they all seem to be saying something nasty about thin women. While I teach dance classes that are created specifically to be body inclusive, I personally know a woman who was ridiculed in a belly dance class for being too thin.
It really bugs me. As if thin women are somehow “fake”, or that we should try to convince our would-be partners that we are somehow better to date than our thin counterparts because of the shape of our bodies. I think that we are stumbling mightily on the path to equality. From my perspective, it’s not about trying to bring the other side down. We achieve equality by bringing ourselves up – by doing things like shattering stereotypes and refusing to participate in a cultural phenomenon whereby our body size is used as a measure for anything other than exactly what it is – the size of our bodies.
Trying to make thin women feel bad about themselves is not the way to go – in fact I would wager that it increases the chasm (of mutual fear and insecurity) between us. Trying to make other people feel bad about themselves to make ourselves feel better was a bad idea in Elementary School and it’s a bad idea now.
If we want people to stop judging us by our body size, how about we stop doing the same to others.