Breaking News Ya’ll! A lady and her lumps have graced news headlines once more, encouraging us to celebrate as if we have found a cure for cancer, and gawk over the plus sized achievement.
As suggested by previous posts, my position on the body image campaign aint’ exactly a secret.
However, while Sports Illustrated’s decision did encourage a carb-athon ,and the healthy cover girl is indeed a positive movement, I can not help but feel cynical.
I mean… REALLY? it is 2015 and we (an educated, liberated, open-minded western civilisation, apparently) are celebrating a shift from underweight, extremely hungry representations of femininity as if scientists have discovered a new gender…
HOW IS THIS EVEN A THING?
As highlighted in the clip below, it is not our body shapes that have changed over time, it’s societies ideal image of the female figure (cheers). Having spent a long summer beaching, the wonderfully wide spectrum on which our body shapes vary is as obvious and present as ever, thankfully.
While the rig- rating panels will probably always exist, on personal and global levels, it seems as though there is a tug of war going on.
In a nutshell; curvy ladies are skinny shaming, and many plus size women are being slammed for being ‘bigger’ and ‘larger’ than the #norm.
It is not wonder then, that the issue of [Women’s] liberation, is rather confusing.
The age old question of whether women do certain things like breathe, dress [or pose semi naked on the cover of Sports Illustrated] for themselves or men, arose while I was wrapped around a pole and humping walls on Friday night.
One of my gal pals decided to dive through our feminist layers and release our inner sexual beasts for her birthday, and I of course I am not one to refuse such an invite!
After wrapping our minds and arses around the basic sequences, it was easy to see just how much full body strength is required to perform on a pole, and also how achievable and liberating it can be!
As we crawled around slapping each others bums and coordinated our moves to Chicago, the hysterical laughter expressed just how much feather bower fun we were having, as we focused on nothing other than ourselves for the hour.
It was not until the lap dancing lesson (two champas & hours in) that I started to question whether or not I felt liberated or objectified.
Using chairs as props, we were encouraged to visualise our lovers seated with their legs opened after we had opened and straddled them (LOL).
As I tried to execute the moves while watching my friends in all their glory, I was also debating whether I felt empowered or as if I was being trained to entertain the Hugh Heifer’s of the world.
When the Sports Illustrated news broke, I couldn’t help but notice the mixed commentary offered by random men and women who seemed to hold very strong opinions on the models body. This just communicated more over, how warped, conflicted and damaged our societies attitudes towards #body image; #empowerment/ #liberation, #sexism and #feminism are.
I would like to finish with a TED talk from an incredibly inspiring AUSTRALIAN woman who was a victim of her mother’s interpretation of femininity, empowerment and human rights. While female genital mutation is on another level of seriousness than verbal/ written objectification and bullying, all of these issues allude to a gap.
There seems to be a river dividing the western idealistic equal gendered, fully liberated, non judgemental and non sexist island many of us intend to live on, and the troubled reality we are currently swimming in.
I propose that we build some poles and swing along to the other side… Maybe then we will freely embrace our animal instincts, no matter our size!
Happy Wednesday !