Monday, August 11, 2014

Real Bodies Taking Over the Internet

Recently Buzzfeed posted this article about plus size women posting "gorgeous pictures of their real bodies with the #fakini hashtag." I absolutely loved the pictures of women. I thought it was empowering and incredibly brave.

I felt proud of these women.

Then I read the comments. The comments were disappointing, negative and mean.

Real Comments:
"Fat is fat. Obese is obese. Stop with the crap." 
"Stop trying to make people believe obesity is beautiful. These women are not even fat.. they have morbid obesity. I am obese and working to lose weight, i do not want to get diabetes, I do not want to die young of a heart condition and I want to feel better about myself. You accomplish that by eating better and exercising, not trying to make people believe it is ok to be this big"
         "Surely having a massive gut is unhealthy.."
"The issue I take with this is that, quite clearly, most of these women are obese if not morbidly obese. To willingly call them 'curvy' is a way of masking their poor health choices behind a fantasy of body confidence for all. Obesity shouldn't be a lifestyle choice, and there is nothing clever or empowering about passing on the message that women can be proud of being dangerously unhealthy because other people happen to be slim. They are not the antithesis of being slim. There are comments on here that women can be sexy no matter what their weight and I agree wholeheartedly, but at what point do we call out obesity for its complete lack of sex appeal? Is there really anything sexy about an early death, diabetes and heart disease?"

What people don't understand is it takes confidence to wear a bikini (skinny or not). It takes extra confidence to wear one as someone who does not look like what everyone else considers "normal."  On top of that, to take a picture of yourself in said bikini and post it to social media is brave!  
Photo: GabiFresh/Instagram

I don't think the article and pictures were encouraging obesity. I think they were about being confident and challenging societal norms. Society says it is not okay for women over a certain clothing size to wear a bikini (or even swimsuits).  People want "larger sized women" to cover up.  The truth is....we shame plus sized people. 

However, there seems to be a counter-culture body positive movement going on via bloggers, YouTube, and sites like Pinterest and Tumblr.  And there's nothing wrong with that. 

These women know that they are not an ideal weight. Some are working on losing weight. These pictures are not about unhealthy vs. healthy. They really are about acceptance and not being ashamed.  

If you are able to accept where you are in life then you can begin to change it. 

The other big argument in the comments section was the use of the term "real women." Some people feel that using this term for plus size women is throwing shade against skinny women. Every women is a real woman but by using that phrase, plus sized women are acknowledging that many women are over a size 10 (and considered plus sized), that most women are larger than the models we see in magazines and that plus sized is real sized. 

Once again it is about empowerment.  

How do you feel about the article and/or comments in the article?

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