Life: How To Talk To (& About) Humans
Hey. I just went out for coffee with a friend. In the real world. That was a bit nice. When I got back to my other real (online) world, and logged into Facebook, two images popped up in my newsfeed. Here they are:
The top one (of Robyn Lawley) was posted by The Australian Womens Weekly captioned:
“Turns out Robyn Lawley feels the same way about her “plus-sized” status as most of you ladies do!”
The bottom one was posted by a friend who posted a long intelligent caption part of which was:
”This is an example of marketing by both companies. ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE REAL WOMEN. I am sick of seeing this bullshit everywhere.”
I am guessing that the AWW is being supportive and kind to the percentage of the Australian population who are size 12 or above? I think it’s really good to be kind to those people (I am one of them!) I like a bit of kindness in my day. I love the AWW.
And yet, the Robyn image labels women into minuses and pluses, however inclusive or accepting those posting it are trying to be. It plays along with the whole ‘How big am I? How big are you? Judgey Sizes and Shapes’ game. I’m kinda bummed that Robyn seems to have played too. I suppose that she’s reacting to being labelled herself. I get that. I’m not sure what it’s like to be in her (very attractive) shoes, so I’m not going to be too antsy about that.
Not bothering with shoes at all, the Dove and Victoria’s Secret images are tapping into lots of different (bare-footed) things. People who don’t have model bodies, people who like model bodies, people who like undies, people who like ladies standing in lines, people who like people who are standing on one leg, people who love glamour, people who love girls-next-door, people who like armpits. All kinds of things. They’re designed to get our attention. And they’re designed to get us talking about bodies. And we are. Bam! Even armpits. Aww.
However well meaning these kinds of campaigns are, lining women up to celebrate body diversity often just creates body competition. It’s inviting us to make judgements and observations about how things look. It’s inviting us to size things up. Let’s not do that anymore.
We need to stop talking about size altogether. Yep. You know that. I know that. My dog knows that. The guy that makes my coffee knows that. We’ve been over and over it, right? Let’s move on!
No one is plus size. No one is minus size. No one is normal. We are more than that. We need to shift the focus from body acceptance and champion people acceptance. We need to shut the door firmly on this kind of stuff. It’s old. It’s boring. It’s not relevant. Begone.
Luckily, when one closes, another door opens, because that leaves the language of shape and size wide open, ripe for renovation. This language is a good fixer upper. It’s the worst house on the best street.
Let’s try those words in a rethunk way, shall we? And let’s include the fellas, because these words have been unfairly dominated by the ladies. Let’s go.
He’s plus. She’s plus. She’s real. He’s real. Unreal. For real.
If we care about humans and helping everyone feel okay, then we can stop talking about bodies and start talking about the qualities that do matter. Rad. Fancy. Pash-worthy. Tricky. That’s the real stuff. Not armpits.
What’s your real power? What’s your plus? Do you prefer BBQ Shapes to body shapes?