Sunday, January 15, 2012

Women... please stop doing this!

Today I am angry, and I need to say something about it.

Today I saw an image posted on facebook that made me so angry I needed to speak up. And it was posted by multiple friends, posted by women, "liked" by women, shared by women, and supported by women.

This was the image...

I hate images like this. This image implies that one of these body types is "wrong" and the other is "right". All of the women depicted here are beautiful. The women on the top row are naturally thin. They have what we would call an "ectomorph" body type. They could probably eat their faces off and still never look like the women on the bottom. The women on the bottom are naturally curvier and have a "mesomorph" or "endomorph" body type. None of these body types are "wrong" they're just different.

Why is it, when something negative is said or shown about an overweight woman, we send out a lynch mob, but when it's aimed at a thin woman, we think it's okay? Do we think that thin women are immune to body image issues? Do we think that they never look in the mirror wishing they were curvier or more muscular? Wonder if their shape is feminine enough? Wish they had fuller breasts/hips/butts? Think about getting implants?

I work with women of various shapes and sizes and I deal a lot with body image in my work. I can tell you that just because a woman is thin does not mean that she is happy with her body. I have had women who look like the ones on the top, come to me and ask me to help them build curves, to give them rounder butts, to make them less boney, to put some fat on them. Sometimes they are concerned that with their low body fat percentage that they may have problems conceiving or won't be able to breast feed. How would a woman like this feel seeing this posted on facebook? Is it going to help to be more accepting of her body? Or is it going to hurt her?

Also, and I know I'm not going to be popular for saying this, but it needs to be said: Curvy is not the same as obese. Obesity is not healthy. Period. So please stop calling obese "curvy" and let's call it what it is. It is a huge epidemic in North America, and it needs to be addressed and treated seriously... not sugar coated. It's important to take responsibility for our health in this way. I was once obese... not "curvy", but obese. I realized that I needed to change this for my health and I did. It was hard, but I did it, and so can any of you out there.

So, I have a huge favour to ask of all of us. Can we please all agree to stop judging each other's bodies? We can blame the fashion industry all we want but at the end of the day it comes down to US to change things. How about we stop posting things about "curvier being better" "men don't like sticks/clothing racks/bones etc" and instead we post messages of acceptance of ALL body types. And let's not judge those who are struggling with their weight... they're probably judging themselves enough, so instead, how about we help support them to make healthy changes?

My challenge to all the women out there is this: Stop judging each other. Instead, let's focus on being healthy and strong and fit, and let's support each other to do the same.

Thank you.


  1. Wow! sooo good to hear this. I have been telling people I know to stop calling others skinny. Its never meant as a compliment to the thin person. Why does everyone think its ok to use a word that indicates that the healthy slim person is somehow sick or anorexic? Another one is when someone says" you're so lucky you're skinny" thats the worst. When in actuality it has nothing to do with luck, I'm working out 5 days a week and eating right, chubby chops!

    1. I agree that there is no ideal body type, and that it is wrong to judge one way as right and the other as wrong. But just to let you know, that those women in the picture dipicted above are not "naturally thin".. they do starve themselves. These women are known for they're crazy diets and bad habits and I think that's what it is getting at. A healthy slim person GENERALLY does not look like that.. not saying that some people aren't like that by nature.. but these ones are ARE anorexic and sick (except maybe Kira Knightly). While being obese isn't healthy either, it's important to note that the women in the bottom of the picture are not obese. They really are curvy. It is meant to show you that what is considered to be attractive by today's society and magazine images is not the reality of what women should look like. Keep in mind that there are some people who eat right and work out and are still naturally bigger boned... that does not mean that they are unhealthy. So while I understand that calling truly obese, unhealthy people "curvy" is not the truth, it is important to realize that there are curvy women that do exist, and that criticizing them and assuming they have bad eating habits is also wrong. Overall.. beauty = healthy, and that comes in all shapes and forms.