Fabletters on Body Image: Part Two

Dear Ceanray,

Thank you for sharing your story! You are completely correct in saying “the scary part is that my story is not unique.” Another thing that is scary is that this is an issue that affects everyone; both men and women, and people of all body types and sizes. Some people think there is an ideal body type – but really you can never win.

Advertisements bombard us with images of slender women. Stick figure mannequins in stores inadvertently send the message that to be beautiful is to be thin. Of course, we all know that this isn’t true; and this is where the movement of body acceptance emerged from. I fully support this movement, because I think it is so important to create a society of people who love who they are. However sometimes in the process of trying to support people and help them to love their bodies, we unintentionally shame other body types.

Do you remember when you came to visit in the summer, and to pass the time on a long car ride, you, my sister, and I were jamming out to Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass? We had so much fun trying to recreate the dances and singing it. I thought it was permanently stuck in my head!

We sung along to lyrics with great messages like “every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.” But lost in all of our fun were lyrics such as “you know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll, so if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along.”

Um, what?

All About That Bass was one of the top songs of 2014, and with its catchy beat it’s not hard to see why. To most people, the song enthuses the fact that everyone is beautiful. To me, it is a backhanded compliment. Yeah, every inch of you is perfect; but naturally thin people resemble stick-figures and if you are naturally thin or associate with people who are, you can “go ahead and move along.”

The lyric following this slam is “No I’m just playing.” So, okay, Meghan Trainor made a joke. Ha. Ha. But wait a second; the lyric following that is “I know you think you’re fat.”

To me this suggests that if you are thin, you are expected to “think you’re fat” and desire to be even thinner than you already are; again, even if you are naturally thin and don’t have a problem with it. What happened to enforcing the message of loving your body and promoting that every inch of us is perfect?

You mention that your positive image of yourself began when you realized the potential your body has and that it isn’t “purely superficial.” We can’t always look to music or media to help us love our bodies. We must look inside ourselves, just as you did.

Every inch of you is perfect, Ceanray and readers – don’t forget it!



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