Recently I wrote this post about how much I liked Meghan Trainor’s single “All About That Bass” because of it’s body-positive message (and great beat). I shared my thoughts on it with a friend of mine who I think has some great things to say about body image and body positivity, and she pointed out that at one point in the song Meghan sings –
“I’m bringing booty back, go ahead and tell those skinny b*tches that”
which in her mind (and mine as well, once I’d thought about it) made the song less body-positive and more just fat positive.
There’s a big movement of fat acceptance on the internet, and I follow several bloggers who write with this in mind, and who I think are incredibly inspirational people. However, I struggle a bit with the notion of ‘Fat Acceptance’ just because there are people who use it as an excuse not to take care of their health and well being. So, when I read this article today, I realised it perfectly expresses all my views on body positivity. The article is titled “Reasons #fatkini Selfies Aren’t ‘Real Women’ Expressing Themsevles” which is a nice controversial way to begin. What the article was focussing on is a trend of #fatkini pictures which have been turning up across social media, celebrating larger women embracing their figure. Buzzfeed then ran an article lauding these women as “Real Women” (which to be fair, they are).
What was really interesting to me though, was the message of the piece. What the writer said, in a nutshell, is that women celebrating their bodies using the #fatkini hashtag (I know it’s tautological, but we live in that kind of world now) aren’t the only “Real Women”, and using phrases like that is just damning to a different sector of society and fashion. Movements like the #fatkini trend are sadly resulting in other women are being slammed for wearing size 000 clothes, which is absolutely as bad as fat shaming. Which brings me back to Meghan Trainor because unfortunately that is what she does in the quote above – she marginalises a group of women who are thinner than her, and calls them names, and frankly, that’s not on.
So I take back my support of Meghan Trainor’s song, and put it behind today’s article. Body positivity and acceptance is something which should be open to absolutely everyone. Whatever body shape or size you are, if you are happy and healthy, you shouldn’t need to, or have society expect you, to change. I hate to think that any of my larger friends consider me a “skinny b*tch” because I’m quite little and am trying very hard to get healthy to improve, among other things, my lung capacity for the singing – not just to be “skinny”. I’m sure they don’t, but I think when people like me who are not on any extreme of the spectrum start to feel the sting of body shaming rather than body positivity, the world has finally gone mad, because if I have a response to this debate, then people on the real receiving end must be having a horrible time.
What I’m trying to say is, be happy, healthy, and love how you are. If you are fat and post a #fatkini selfie, you’re a real woman. If you’re thin and post a selfie, you’re a real woman. If you take issue with the whole selfie craze, you’re still a real woman. The only people who aren’t real women, are people who choose to designate themselves as “real” something else. And even they should be happy. Let’s just all be happy, and be who we are.