The Daily Mail asked a few couples to confess their true feelings about their spouses’ bodies. Which sounds like the premise for a bad reality TV show or episode of Jerry Springer, but turned out to be their excuse for making eight adults pose naked, and writing a headline about how endearing it is that husbands love their wives “wobbly bits.” Which is sort of like body positivity version 0.5: We know you’re trying, DM, but you’re not quite there.
The article is titled: “What does your husband REALLY think of your wobbly bits? Five brave women find out – and the answers are surprising and endearing.” Which in itself is a little problematic: We know a lot of us are brainwashed into feeling insecure about our bodies, but does everyone still believe that men are only attracted to thin, young women? Why is it so shocking that men could be into a woman who doesn’t eat protein shakes and dehydrate herself to look like a Victoria’s Secret model?
Contrary to what the title suggests, the post isn’t just about what men think. Each partner offers “honest” commentary about their husband or wife’s body, including their “favourite bit” and “least favourite bit.”
Ironically, I’d say the women seem slightly harsher on their husbands’ bodies than vice-versa. While most of the husbands are shy to critique their wives, the women are more straightforward. (When asked what he doesn’t like about his wife’s physique, Mark Phillips-Craig responds: “I can’t think of one — she’s gorgeous and wish she’d stop worrying.” What doesn’t Louise Egan like about her husband’s body? “His pudding belly!”).
To me, our differences in willingness to critique each other’s bodies are a lot more interesting and surprising than the fact that these men are satisfied with their wives’ bodies. But instead of presenting some interesting differences and reactions amongst normal people, the angle here is that it’s endearing that these men love their wives’ bodies… because they’re FAT!
And that’s it.
Mostly, I think the Daily Mail just wanted to show a few “normal” people nude. Their nudity isn’t really central to the point of the article, but it has likely caused plenty of readers to gawk and click. But in the process of getting us to scroll through the images, squinting to get a better eyeful of real wrinkles and body fat, they’ve sent a fairly body-negative message that we wish would go away: Ladies, it’s not shocking that men find you attractive even when you don’t have the body of a teenaged supermodel. Is it endearing to find each other attractive despite physical imperfections? Maybe. But isn’t that just part of being in love?
Photo: Daily Mail