A big thanks to everyone who took part in the body image discussion we had on Monday. I really value everyone’s opinion, and you guys have me thinking so much more than I already was about this. So THANK YOU. One minor clarification I feel compelled to make, however, because my maybe my intent wasn’t clear. My only goal in stopping using the word “fat” is to cut off the flow of negativity. I recognize that the word is a descriptive term, just like “thin” is. But the way I was using it to describe myself, I was using it in a negative, hurtful way, and I was potentially teaching my daughter to do the same. And speaking as someone who’s struggled with body image issues for years, the LAST thing I’d want to do is to teach my daughter to use the word in a way that could hurt. I want her to learn that a body is a body and that big, small, short, tall, we’re all people and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. That’s all. Promise. (And now if the media could recognize that too, that’d be great, thanks).
Speaking of the media as a whole, Karen’s comment to Monday’s post mentioned the film Miss Representation, which, if you haven’t seen it, is excellent. I was originally going to include the trailer for the film at the end of Monday’s post but ultimately decided that post was long enough that I wasn’t going to then be all, “Here, now watch a nine-minute video.” And this trailer is so powerful that I think it even deserves its own post. It really hammers in my point from Monday. If all you see featured is one beauty ideal, we all start believing that that one ideal is normal and we start hurting ourselves to try to achieve it. It’s time to stop that. As best we can.
(And in case the link is broken and the video doesn’t embed like it’s supposed to, you can watch the trailer HERE).