It’s obvious that over the years the idea of what’s beautiful has changed.
Decades ago the curvier figure was idolized. To this day I see Marilyn Monroe pictures with the accompanying quote, “Real women have curves.” There are people in today’s society who still think she was beautiful. And why not? She had an amazing body. You couldn’t see her ribs or her collar bone and she didn’t have space between her thighs, but she was a gorgeous woman. Hey, she hooked JFK, one of history’s most attractive presidents; how’s that for beauty?
On the other side of the spectrum are the models of today. They are thin and often thought of when the topic of eating disorders comes up. It’s true that there are plus size models out there, but how many are as famous as their thinner counter-parts? You would think that with a smaller body type they wouldn’t be as sought after as they are, but something about a flat stomach and protruding bones happens to be the definition of beauty to many men and women.
But what I don’t understand is why there has to be such a controversy between the two.
I’m naturally a thin person. I could eat all day and night and not gain a pound. I’m not saying that to brag, I’m saying it because the same way men turn down women for being too big, men have turned me down for being too small. Before I got pregnant I didn’t have a chest or defined hips. I didn’t have a body you could grab on to or lust after when it was put into a bikini. I had a very uniform shape, that shape being akin to a 2×4 or what you might call a lowercase “L”. Sure, it attracted a certain type of man, but I wasn’t happy with it.
Over time I learned to accept my body despite its shortcomings. However, it didn’t make hearing others say, “Real women have curves,” any easier to accept. My genetics stop me from putting on weight in the right places, so am I not a real woman? I understand that bigger women have been discriminated against, but when did it become acceptable to retaliate? There shouldn’t be this stigma against one size of woman versus another. We are all beautiful, are we not?
I know nothing I say will stop some women out there from hating their bodies or some men out there from discriminating against one size or another, but maybe as humans facing the same body image issues we could start being nicer to one another.
We already attack ourselves for our imperfections. Why must we laugh at someone else’s definition of beauty and tear them down as well?