Alright guys, so I feel this post has been a long one coming.
Today was my day off work, and with a cup of tea steaming beside me, I was perfectly ready to do nothing but read, eat and maybe binge on Adventure Time. HOWEVER, I manage to stumble upon (through a series of referrals and links) to Calvin Kleins new line of clothing and their advertisement of it. While I dislike how naked and perverted I believe their choice of promotion shots to be, this is not about that issue. It’s about the comments I found on their Instagram photographs.
Despite what we choose to belive, no one, man or women is immune to body shaming. Fat, chubby, muscular, thin; you just cant reach this invisible standard of beauty that everyone besides you are in on. While the majority of body shaming is aimed towards heavier set women and men, this does not mean that the issue of body shaming towards slender or smaller people should be ignored. Despite being on the chubbier, curvier side of the scale, that doesn’t mean I feel the need to shame those who were born skinnier or slimmer than me. I have many friends and family members who are smaller than me, and I wouldn’t wish any amount of body shaming on them. To put it frankly, no one deserves to be body shamed. Whether you’ve worked hard for your body shape, or you were born that way, it’s your body and you can do the hell what you want with it, media standards be damned.
As models usually are, the calvin Klein models shot in their instagram images are, of course, skinny. Some incomprehensible to my chubby butt, and to be honest, I felt a little disgusted with myself looking through them. It didn’t help that I was looking at these while eating lunch. I felt uncomfortable, knowing that I would never be able to attain this image of desirability that the media had set. However, this does not mean they deserve to be harassed. They no not deserve to be shamed for their size. They do not need to be shamed for how they pose in the photos. Modelling is their job after all, and if their asked to stand over the photo and show off their underwear to the camera, then the ones to blame are the directors, not the models.
I had just put my fork down, a little too upset with my body to eat anymore, when I clicked on an image and read the comments. Here I and I’m sure many other people are, wishing we looking like this in some form, while others had left mean and disgusting comments on the image. Here are just a few.
‘More like I have no tits in my Calvins’
‘She looks like she has a cock lmfao’
..’.. Ew put your labias away. Nasty ads.’ (She was wearing underwear)
I couldn’t get over this last comment. You don’t see me screaming at you for showing your huge man bulge in an underwear advert, especially when it’s obviously photoshopped in. I mean, come on people, we’ve all seen our fair share of penis’s in our lifetime and the likelihood that every male model is just that well endowed is just absolute rubbish. Unlike women, however, men are hardly ever harassed for that as it’s seen as something ‘powerful’ and ‘manly’.
Also, lets not ignore the transphobic gem just sitting there, nestles amongst the other comments. I’m sure, that if I dared to look through more comments, many more would crop up. It is not uncommon for slim models to face this type of transphobia. Words used in a way to remove them from their own femininity, to deny them their womanhood on an account of having a more slender and tomboyish build. Transphobia has been especially prominent on in the media as of late, in response to the bill allowing trans women and men the right to enter the bathrooms they deserve to enter. Since the announcement of this, cis and trans women alike have been harassed. Slender women, more boy-like women have especially been the target of harassment, which is just pathetic and sloppy stereotyping. Not all transgender women are tomboyish and not all cis women are feminine.
The comments on these images proved to me that you cant win. You’re breasts are either too big or their too small. You’ll get called twig legs if you have a thigh gap and an elephant if they touch. I realised that I’m never going to be good enough for everyone, for the media. So, I’m going to stop trying. I’m going to stop trying to conform to everyone else’s standards of beauty, and start asking myself what do I find beautiful. How do I want to look. Do I really want to loose weight, or is that just a societal pressure? I want to take the time to ask myself what I want to look like, because seeing this images and their comments made me realise that no matter how big or small I am, people are always going to find something to harass, something to rip into.
A huge thank you to my wonderful friend Rachel for checking over this blog with me and giving me the confidence to post it. You are amazing.