Back in January, I ranted about the trend of “When Did This Become Hotter Than This” meme, and body acceptance gone wrong on the internet: Images prizing “real” women—i.e. voluptuous sex icons—over thin women are getting shared on Facebook and Twitter as a means to promote better body image and reject harmful beauty ideals. The intention is good, but ultimately, pitting women against each other because of their body types isn’t. And finally, a new image is starting to circulate around that helps explain that.
The image above is a reaction to the image below—one that I and many other women felt was more damaging than positive:
Like the Nigella Lawson vs. Gillian McKeith meme before it, the image was created and posted, presumably, in the spirit of promoting healthy body image—something we can all get behind, especially in light of this week being National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and all. But idolizing any body type—whether it’s super-thin or super-thick—is the problem. Because there’s no such thing as realistic beauty standards.
Encouraging hatred and jealousy towards “skinny bitches” or women lucky enough to have Marilyn’s curves won’t help any of us get ahead; it only keeps us obsessing over what we look like and whether it falls in the range of what’s considered physically “hot.” It’s not any more healthy to pine after breast implants or wear girdles to attain the proportions of a pinup model than it is to diet in order to be skinny.
Instead, we should be encouraging ourselves and our friends to feel really good about their bodies, and be happy for everyone else for feeling good about theirs, too—whatever size or shape they are. If you’re really amped about body positivity and want to make each other feel good, post the photo that encourages all women to feel good.