How many of you have heard of Stella Boonshoft? About a month ago she posted this picture of herself on her blog:
With this caption:
WARNING: Picture might be considered obscene because subject is not thin. And we all know that only skinny people can show their stomachs and celebrate themselves. Well I’m not going to stand for that. This is my body. Not yours. MINE. Meaning the choices I make about it, are none of your fucking business. Meaning my size, IS NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.
And people went nuts.
She was featured on the Today Show, she was interviewed by People.com, she received more than 2.4 million hits on Facebook and more than 80,000 people shared her photo.
After years of being bullied about her weight (which is a result of her having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) Boonshoft has decided to attack sizeism by getting out the message of self-love and acceptance with her Body Love Blog.
Why are so many people offended by fat? What is it about fleshy roundness and stretch marks that fills people with so much rage that they have to torment and torture not only adults like Stella Boonshoft, but also children and teenagers?
On February 29, 2012 Susie Orbach of EndangeredBodies.org gave a speech during the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York City at an event called, “Body Image in the Media: Using Education to Challenge Stereotypes.” Among other completely relevant and provocative issues she raised she indicated that, “Beauty is no longer seen as intrinsic to the individual. Instead the individual is judged on how well she can shape herself to today’s aesthetic which is tall, white, blonde, long haired and big breasted.” (You can read the rest of her speech, here.)
Most of us think of foot binding in ancient China or African scarification when we think of body mutilation as a beautification process – but the west really takes the cake. Women of the west exercise some pretty extreme practices in order to reach what our society considers beautiful.
Along with starvation and bulimia (compulsive eating and then vomiting), women (and men!) surgically alter their breasts, stomachs, cheekbones, and even their labia to conform to modern beauty standards.
Our country does not promote acceptance. Not enough parents are teaching their children to love themselves for who they are (in the long run training them to be much more happy and well-rounded individuals [no pun intended]). In fact so many mothers are inadvertently raising their girls to not only hate their own bodies but also become prejudiced against others. Every time your child sees you look at your reflection in disgust, or hears you mention how fat you are or how much weight you think you need to lose you are setting a horrible example for her. As a result the beauty “industry” is profiting off of our insecurities. We are maiming ourselves to reach some state of being that will cause us to be more loved than we would otherwise be if we looked like our natural selves.
Beauty is a commodity and we are selling ourselves short.
|This could be me.|