I was flicking through the Mail Online trying to find my next fix of hatred being thrown at immigrants or gays, and I saw something that, not only stopped me in my tracks, but also made me some emotion. An emotion who’s origin wasn’t a deep seated issue about being told off. It was this article about ‘fatkinis.’
Now, a ‘fatkini’, for those who don’t know, is a trend of real women showing pictures of themselves in their bikinis. Nothing wrong with that, is there? My Big Fat Fetish, just this week, has shown us that, not only is it completely normal to find people who are so massively obese that they should probably need medical help at the most vulnerable time of their life, but that these women are sexually voracious. (There was also some talk about ‘feeders’ being an actual sexuality stamp, but that’s just going to confuse things here)
There’s nothing fantastically adventurous so far is there. No three boobed beauties, or a woman with an arse so big that it’s probably constricting her ability to use a toilet properly. Nope, nothing. Just some women who don’t look like the usual type of woman who would be a model.
Is that revolutionary? Is that news-worthy? Because the last time that I left the house, there were more “normal” women kicking around bus interchanges than there were models. Women who aren’t fully confident with their bodies. But where this article annoyed me was that it works on the assumption that a) being thin is brilliant, which if rising cases of eating disorders is to be believed, it isn’t, and b) there’s something out of the ordinary about being “fat.”
The story continues to tell us that these women are trying to inspire other women to throw off the shackles of comparison and stride out into the World as they are. Which they should definitely do. No one should have to be held back because of their weight, or their face, or because one leg is shorter than the other. It’s ridiculous.
But having “real women” fighting against the stereotype only goes as far as reminding people of what the stereotype is. These women are saying “look how great we are compared to thin women. We’re voluptuous and sexy and know a thing or two about eating bread.” But that’s just bringing another comparison into the equation that’s actively reinforcing the original problem.
WOMEN OF ENGLAND: If you think that you look great wearing something, then own it. It’ll reflect in the way that you carry yourself. And if you want to lose some weight, then do it. But stop going on about it. Men don’t care whether you’re thin or fat (and for that matter, it shouldn’t matter to you whether they do). The only person who cares should be you and your doctor.
Articles like this only work to reinforce a stigma that is already far too prevalent in the modern media.