Last week a post I published here called Don’t Make the Thin Girl Ugly was republished on the Huffington Post. I knew when I wrote the post that some people wouldn’t understand where I was coming from. I knew that I could potentially be putting myself in the path of arrows aimed at “thin privilege”, but I felt it was worth saying what I had to say. I still do.
My post was a reaction to a petition I found calling for a ban on using extremely thin models. The comments on the petition, for the most part bashed a picture of a very thin young woman.
Dissecting and judging someone else’s’ body, and then using that to pass judgement on them and their life as a whole should not be acceptable. I don’t feel that excluding or labeling a specific body type as ugly in order to make another feel vindicated is the right path toward promoting healthy body image.
If you have not read the piece, you can click and read it here, otherwise the rest of what you see on this page may not make as much sense.
When you use a large platform like the Huffington Post, your words get seen by tens of thousands of people. Naturally there will be a wide range of responses. Most of the emails and comments I received were very supportive, and a lot of them were “me toos”. I’m not going to talk about those here though. Although I appreciate the support, and the “me toos” are why I blog – the real discussion tends to happen when the tough comments come in. There are people who miss the whole point of the article, and some that don’t miss it… and just don’t agree.
I fell down the rabbit hole of comments. Here is a look into some of them.
I post some of this here because I believe these are discussions worth having. I’ve talked before about focusing less on what’s on the outside. I think our altruistic hearts all know that the shell is not the substance… but when it comes to advertising and media, it’s mostly visual – and these images need to change. I know that it has been one very thin image that has been glorified for a long time. Trampling one to uplift the other is often the tendency, but not the answer. Inclusion not exclusion seems to me to be a healthier goal.