There has been a lot of media attention recently on a campaign called “Say No To Size Zero”.
Isn’t that great?!
If you’re a “curvy girl” (like me, for example) you might be thinking that this campaign sounds fantastic. I, on the other hand happen to think it’s misguided. This may be an unpopular opinion, but the fact is: If we “Say NO to Size Zero” aren’t we discriminating against skinny chicks? And, if we are, why is that okay?
The image above came alongside the caption:
“CURVY Katie Green shows off the body that crazy model agencies criticised for being ‘too fat’ as she launches a “Say No to Size Zero” campaign outside parliament today. The size 12 Wonderbra girl lost her contract after a bust-up with her agency over her weight. But days after refusing to lose two stone the 30F lingerie model was snapped up by undies giant Ultimo. Today she looks fabulous posing in their skimpies as she urges other companies to ditch the super skinnies.”
“Ditch the super skinnies”? That seems ironic to me. If encouraging the modeling industry to use curvier models is about giving a more unbiased representation of what women look like, then why would we need to “ditch” anyone? Why can’t all women’s bodies be appreciated?
An aspiring model was told she needed to lose weight (not cool)…however, she then landed an awesome job with Ultimo! Fantastic! So, why is she fronting a campaign against skinny girls? In my opinion, it has a lot to do with power. There are models of every body size and shape and it’s a truly wonderful thing, but there is still a lot of Weight Discrimination going on. For some reason a lot of girls think that there has to be a ‘winner’ in the beauty stakes, but I believe beauty is far more than that.
Why on Earth do people think it’s ok to say things like “Curvy Girls Do It Better”? Better than who? What is it we do better exactly? I have friends who are naturally size zero. They don’t like hearing “real women have curves” they are real women. We are all ‘real women’.
Why, when people see the A-listers walking the red carpet at the Oscars, do they feel it’s appropriate to take to twitter and announce:
“Someone give her a sandwich!”
What is that? It certainly isn’t dietary advice. It’s actually none of your business to discuss any other woman’s body in a mocking, unsupportive way and these are often women who champion the rights of curvier women…yet when it comes to criticising a woman for being too thin equality seems to go out of the window.
Another branch of this crazy faux-motivation is ‘Fitspriration’. To me, it’s completely uninspiring and yet another way for the media to capitalize on dividing women based on their body shape. I like exercise, but do I look like the bodies I see in those images? No. I’m guessing that unless you’re a fitness model it’s highly unlikely that you look like that either and the caption “Strong Is The New Skinny” does nothing for me. It appears to be another way of telling women that if you haven’t got a washboard stomach you’re a failure. I don’t buy it.
So, I can assure you, curvy girls don’t do anything ‘better’ but let me also say this: skinny girls don’t do anything better than you, either. Not because of their body shape. There might be girls who can swim better than you, sing better than you, or do math better than you- but I can almost guarantee that it has nothing to do with how much they weigh.
I would be described as a ‘curvy girl’ but campaigns like “Say No To Size Zero” just make me feel plain awkward. That’s still sizeist. Still nasty. And still discrimination- no matter how cutely you package it.
Can we look beyond weight and shape? Love each other, applaud each other and stop judging each other? It creates such division when we hate on each other. Most people I know either hate their own bodies and wish they were skinnier/more toned/more curvy, or spend time judging other people for being a certain way. When someone is happy with their own body, they usually don’t feel the need to belittle someone else’s. It’s usually insecurity that leads people to point out the supposed ‘flaws’ in another person.
We are all unique, one body shape is not better than another. All bodies are beautiful. Yes, there are a lot of size zero models, but there are positive ways to encourage the media to use a more diverse range of women, if that is what you want to see.
Rather than saying “No to Size Zero”, I’m just going to say “Yes To Body Confidence” and “Yes To Health”.
Trashing other women for looking a certain way is useless. It really says more about you than it says about them.
You can read more from Laurie Sanders on her blog.