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When thin is fat and fat is thin

Date: May 8, 2014 | Posted By: Audrey

Has anyone else noticed that when it comes to popular media, some celebrities are praised for their apparently unbelievably fantabulous bodies and amazing physiques, while others who look pretty much exactly the same in terms of size and weight are criticized for their curves?  Or how sometimes “real” – as in, real bodies – is alluring—and other times it’s repulsive?

Am I crazy, or do these stomachs look sort of the same? Round is round.

Am I crazy, or do these stomachs look sort of the same? Round is round.

Take this recent photo of a vacationing Kate Moss for example, which ran under the headline “Kate Moss Displays Trim Figure as She Takes a Dip in Rio” in Britain’s Daily Mail.  IMHO, Kate looks happy, confident and great.  But she’s got a not-pancake-flat belly that on another star would be reason enough for public humiliation.

Somehow, however, Kate’s branded as “trim” while the woman on the right who has virtually the same physique was featured in an article where “brave” women bared their “mummy tummies” and “wobbly bits” in order to get expert advice on how to camouflage them. And praising some bodies that look like this, while labeling other that do as “fat (True story.  It totally happened to Jennifer Aniston) has me totally confused — and angry.

On the flip side, some celebs today are praised for their natural, “real” bodies.  Take Kate Upton, who has been celebrated as a new It Girl by Vogue and is commonly referred to as a “normal girl” and a good example.  At least most of the time.

Someone needs to tell the media to just say no to body snarking.

Someone needs to tell the media to just say no to body snarking.

The rest of the time, she apparently is fair game for snide digs at how hard she has to “struggle” to fit her “ample” proportions into her clothes and how she recently made an “eye-popping entrance” at a movie premiere.

The same treatment gets heaped on famously curvy Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks, who’s been called “the perfect role model” and a womanly ideal  BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT, fer cryin’ out loud.

No matter.  She still took a lashing for “flashing more flesh than she had intended” when the buttons on her top “failed to contain her ample cleavage.”  Oh, please.  “Ample,” again?  It’s like we’re caught in an old Beavis and Butthead episode. (“Cleavage.  Heh  heh heh.  That means she has boobs.”  “You said ‘boobs.’ Heh heh. Boobs! Boobs!”).

So what do we—as women and as a society—do about this trend?  We can learn to trust our guts (rounded or not) when it comes to our bodies rather than the media’s wavering definitions of female beauty.

Audrey D. Brashich is the author of “All Made Up: A Girl’s Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype and Celebrating Real Beauty.” Find more here.




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3 Responses to When thin is fat and fat is thin

  1. Liz on 05-14-2014

    It makes me SO angry that we are all still taught to constantly scrutinise and criticise womens' bodies/looks to establish their worth.

    In our supposedly 'modern' era it is totally insane and insulting to our intelligence that the spotlight is still on womens' looks and the assessment of whether our bodies are 'sexy' enough.

    I CAN'T believe now that more and more women are earning, and thus supposedly having a say in things in the world, that we still put up with it. While of course men have body/sexiness expectations put on them by society, they absolutely provide themselves with a multitude of 'anti-hero' options to champion all body/character types (movies, Hollywood, cartoons, magazines, internet etc. etc. ALWAYS have a crowd of ordinary types around the 'heroes'). Why on EARTH do women not do the same? We will never be equal while there is only ONE type of woman we can be (young, slim and attractive).

    It feels like we basically haven't progressed from the ages when the only women of value were those who were 'sexually attractive' and any others were nothing.
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