Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An argument against Thin Hate

 Whilst I applaud any attempt to erode the idea that you have to be a size 4 to be beautiful, I find it just as hateful to be labelling thin bodies as unacceptable as I do fat.  Your dress size does not define you, it does not show whether you're a 'good' person or a 'bad' person.  You are not more or less real if you are a size 6, 16 or 26.  Skinny women are real women, fat women are real women, in-betweenies are real women.  We are all real, goddamn it, and this shouldn't need any kind of debate.

The prevalence of anti-thin hate is just as damaging as anti-fat hate and the fat-acceptance movement needs to be just as against it as any other form of body shaming.  If we support this kind of behaviour then we are perpetuating the myth that some body types are just plain unacceptable, and whilst some may see poetic justice in reversing the status-quo, the reality is that we will just leave another generation of women struggling to be something that they simply are not.  I wouldn't wish the looks, the comments and above all the self-hatred that I have felt on anyone else. The ridiculous panic of 'but if we accept fat people then people will be encouraged to live unhealthily' could become terrifyingly real if we were to reject thin-ness and replace the ideal with one equally unobtainable for many women.

Of course, most 'real women have curves' rubbish isn't suggesting that we replace thin with fat or anything so simple.  What it actually suggests we replace the 'aspirational' skinny body with is one not too dis-similar from a Barbie doll - big boobs, tiny waist (because it's beautiful to have curves but not to have fat).  It is not helpful to replace an ideal that  is (for a large proportion of women) neigh-on impossible to achieve (ie. starve yourself to be acceptable)  with an ideal that is (again for a large proportion of the population) only possible to achieve with surgery (or, according to the Daily Fail, breastfeeding ).  I used to work with a beautiful young lady who had neigh-on starved herself skinny and still felt so uncomfortable with her body that she had breast implants (which left her in near-constant pain) - no woman should have to go through this.  We need to promote the beauty of curves without negating the beauty of other body types.  We need to stop promoting unhealthy behaviours in the service of being acceptable.  We need to stop equating body size with health.

Which brings me to my final issue with thin-hating pro-curves propaganda.  The misuse of the term 'anorexic' is becoming increasingly prevalent  Anorexic does not mean skinny - anorexia is not a choice - anorexia is not something to be mocked.  Anorexia is a serious fucking illness and sufferers do not need your judgement to make them better.  In the same way as telling me that I should stop eating cake (for my own good) it is NOT FUCKING ACCEPTABLE to tell an anorexia sufferer to get some pies down her.  No matter how socially acceptable it might seem.  The increasing social acceptability of the idea that anorexics should be persecuted is ill-informed, discriminatory and unhelpful in every way.

The inspiration for this post came from the deplorable 'Hips and Curves, not Skin and Bones' Facebook group.  Yet another hate-filled board full of trash (I've reported it and suggest you do too) - 297,607 people 'like' this page.


  1. Fab work pet. Good message!

  2. This is a great post.

  3. thank God anyone else notices it!

    thank you so much
    Although I'm thin, I do think that society should accept and respect every body shape, I don't think diminishing one specific body type is the solution.

    Have a nice day!
    sorry my English, I'm still learning it!

  4. Hello ...!
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