The praise of mediocrity, a real woman has ...
I have a lot to say in this matter, mainly because I have a certain amount of feminine shapes and from my point of view this is absolutely not worth the envy. Big bust is not my problem anymore but I remember how inconvenient it is, it disturbs when running, you can not buy bras for £5 in H&M and it looks good only in some clothes that do not include turtleneck and everything that is high over the neck. And if you think that all men adhere to the principle "the bigger the better", then you've probably seen too much pornography. Today I want to raise the subject of female beauty. But this time I want to definitely talk to one of the sides.
Do not get me wrong - I do not have complexes. I do not bother with my weight, I just calmly acknowledge the fact that if I dropped 10 pounds, I would look great (at least when it comes to the figure). I do not need someone to compliment me, because I have a very exuberant self-esteem and I know that I do not have to be a super-woman because I'm a superbist (and yes, my beloved, such a cheeky megalomania is a recipe for a successful life) and anyway I will go through life without hiding in anyone's shadow.
When it comes to men, one thing is certain: they love women (not counting those who love other men). Blonde, brunette, redhead, skinny, thick, mediocre, with glasses and without glasses. Tall and small, freckled and swarthy. Some have "their type", but most of my friends and my husband’s mate when asked about the ideal, tell me enigmatically, "she have to be cool. And pretty ", which gives a fairly wide field for interpretation. Some prefer skinny girls with protruding collarbones, others - Rubens shape, full of silhouettes. Around me I see women with all shapes and sizes. What's the problem?
You remember Dove's Real Women campaigns a few years ago. Campaigns decorated with this thought have emerged in recent years as a reaction to the cult of anorexic models, when the world realized that the desired by many women size "0" can be a pass not only to the world of great fashion, but also to serious health problems. After the wave of the trend, the designers got to know the BMI abbreviation and many of them openly protested against excessive weight loss. Herve Leger remembers the times of Cindy Crawford with longing, and many certainly remember Kasia Struss, who was famous in the fashion world. In autumn 2010 she did not show up on the catwalk of Tommy Hilfiger - the unofficial reason for the company's resignation from cooperation with the model was just too low BMI (16.5). Europe is currently demanding even more - for models working on the catwalk in Madrid theoretically can not be employed, whose BMI is lower than 18 (in Milan, the lower limit is 18.5). Adored by the crowds, Kate Moss would not get a job in any of these cities according to these rules. It's a theory. And practice?
In fact, the slimmest models, like the icon of British style, Stella Maxwell or Karlie Kloss are currently very popular among designers and photographers, but also fans, for whom they are definitely more than "clothes hangers". At the same time, there is an alternative in the industry - such as the slightly rounded shapes of Daisy Lowe, Miranda Kerr or Barbara Pavlin - but still in the generally accepted canon of beauty, promoting a very slim, slender figure with long legs, unattainable for most women. The real "plus size" is rather a catchy curiosity and polite bow towards political correctness than the real the object of designers interest. The fashion world wanting to satisfy the growing needs of a bored recipient, from time to time surprises with a new, controversial trend - promoting very large shapes is for the editors the same as using controversial images (Andrei Pejic, Shaun Ross): an attempt to break the cultural taboo in the cells commercial interest, generating interest from a potential reader (= customer). Whether it's old age or androgyny, or showing children as models - let's face it, it's more than attracting attention and opening wallets of the new target group.
Dove campaign from a few years ago met with a warm reception from receivers. Presentation of ordinary women with different silhouettes was to give customers to understand that you can be sexy regardless of size. The unprofessional models appearing in the advertisement were a kind of counterbalance to the world of catwalks of great designers and exaggeratedly slim silhouettes that made women around the world complex. The reality of the body versus the cult of thinness. Truth against Photoshop fiction. Because beautiful shapes are feminine shapes. Because every woman can be beautiful.
The rebellion is gradually rising. Ladies endowed more generously by nature, they eagerly picked up the slogans of "true femininity" and promote larger sizes. There are collections of clothing dedicated to the fluffy, you can find more models and bloggers "plus size" willingly posing for photo sessions. All this to show that being overweight is not something to be ashamed of. That regardless of size, a woman can be sexy, well-dressed and well-looking, that she is not condemned to stretched t-shirts and baggy GAP jeans. The response to the attacks of supporters of protruding collarbones are sensual sessions of Crystal Renn, Beth Ditto, Nigella Lawson (sexually dangerous even during dishwashing), Robyn Lawley or Ashley Graham. Sexy curvy, beautiful, appealing.
Unfortunately, even without looking at the issue of Photoshop, reality looks a bit different. In the case of a large overweight, the skin is rarely as firm and taut as in the models from the pictures, and the ill-fitting underwear and clothing merge into the body mercilessly, emphasizing the folds of fat and leaving marks on the skin. Often, excessive perspiration also appears, and the condition drastically disappears. In the real world, swaying hips look much less tempting, when every move also shakes the buttocks and thighs.
The "plus size" password caused social paranoia. On the one hand, the skinny, bony models are condemned - calling them names and accusing them of anorexia seems nothing bad. After all, they have such an easy life and in everything they look so good that it does not hurt to spill a little bit of bile on them. At the same time, stigmatizing someone because of being overweight is considered abhorrent hate, discrimination and almost the spreading of hate crimes. Because everyone can look the way they want. In addition to these skeletons models, of course.
We're dealing with an interesting paradox. There is still a cult of slim, shapely figure, but at the same time you can see some quiet approval for stigmatizing excessive thinness. At the same time, obesity is treated in terms of a civilization disease, and "sick people" are demanding special treatment - many of them live on invalidity pension, and forced to pay a double price for a ticket on an airplane, vigorously protest. It is difficult to determine how many obese people have fallen into this state as a result of serious diseases and disorders in the functioning of the body, but it can be safely assumed that this is a relatively small percentage. Ultimately, the problem of serious obesity is not global - it concerns rather highly developed countries, in which the pace of life and economic conditions have made the best (seemingly) dietary alternative highly processed food and served in quick service bars. Huge amounts of sugar, white flour, salt, flavor enhancers and preservatives - that's the real culprit. Very often it is the unhygenic mode of life that leads to serious health complications - the obese person is actually ill, but her overweight is the cause, not the effect of the discomfort.
The least space is given to mediocrity. Although the size of the average woman has probably increased in recent years from 10-12 to 14-16, the streets are still full of women who are socially accepted standards - not causing too much interest in passers-by either due to excessive thinness or because of too much high weight. Those of us who dress in shops available in every city, enter the second floor without breathlessness, see their own feet from the top, are able to run 50 meters to the bus and do not need help to tie their own shoes (maybe during the pregnancy). Since in the world of great fashion the norm is anorectic size 0 or a maximum of 6, is not the size of the average woman who can be seen on the street promoted as "real"? Trying to reach into the previously unavailable pockets, chains design "plus size" collections, and bored and jaded media, instead of encouraging a healthy lifestyle, boldly claim that femininity is sexy. Defining femininity as "the more - the better".
The average woman in the (conventional) sizes 8-12 (from "slim" to "rounded") found herself between the hammer and the anvil - on the one hand she knows she will never reach the dimensions of the model, on the other - she feels the internal resistance against fat folds on pictures of plus size models. She may complain about promoting anorexia, exposing herself to jealous accusations, but putting a finger on obesity will end up much worse for her. A person criticizing the image promoted by smiling and computerized ladies in large sizes is shouted and filed as a vain, pressure-sensitive media (it is the funniest) and intolerant.
I am raising objections. I protest against forcing social acceptance of obesity. I do not agree with the privilege of people suffering from serious overweight and treating them as disabled, except for cases of genuine diseases, where the symptom is a significant jump of fat mass and metabolic disorders. I will not say that thick is beautiful. I will never say that every woman should look and eat like Nigella Lawson, although I love her for class and grace.
The body and its condition is an individual matter - what we do with it is only our case. Fat or thin, we all have the same rights - including the right to please each other. However, let us not force the environment to bend under the dictates of political correctness, do not encourage people to defend something that physically harms our body. By boycotting smokers, combating drug addiction, we turn a blind eye to a serious health problem and we are once again fooling the media. We naively believe that large corporations are fighting in the name of the idea that they strive to equate aesthetics - as if we for a moment forgot that they do not do it for free and selflessly. Applauding pictures of models in sizes rarely seen not only on the street, but also in clothing stores, we forget that obesity is not only a matter of aesthetics, that excess fat accumulates not only under the skin, but also around the internal organs that a person with significant overweight often really takes two places on a bus or plane.
Fighting for equality and lack of divisions, let's not get into paranoia - let's give others the right to look the way they want, but do not reward their choices with public ovations. We promote not specific weight or size, but a healthy lifestyle, good condition, proper diet, properly selected physical activity, which is not aimed at achieving the right hip circumference, but energy and improving well-being. Do not forget that obesity is not the same as overweight, and "feminine shapes" also have their limits. If we want to fight the obsession of thinness, let's do it with the help of the image of the average woman, not the extremes from the other end of the field. Ultimately, it is us - average people - who are the most. Ultimately, we are the biggest purchasing power. Let's love Dove's women, not Beth Ditto's figure. Let's pay attention to the proportions of the body and general health, instead of getting crazy labels. Let us give ourselves and others a rational alternative, because in this particular case strength lies in mediocrity.