The past few days, I’ve been watching Xtina’s “Your Body” video on something pretty close to a constant loop, mesmerized by the kitschy decor, the 76,000 weaves, and her fantastic, beautiful body. Christina looks, in my opinion, better than ever — and more important than that, she looks happy. She knows that she looks good, and flaunts it with impunity. I frequently hold my hand up to my laptop’s screen for a high five through the internet, but alas, Xtina has not yet met my palm for a slap of body-positive solidarity.
Lately, though, any conversation about her seems to at least mention her weight, whether in passing or driven home with vicious repetition à la Kelly Osbourne (By the way, whatever high ground Osbourne may have once had from comments Christina may have made was pretty explosively eradicated by her decision to audition for World’s Cattiest Woman on Fashion Police earlier this year.) People seem so eager to jump all over her for having lost the shape that every pop star is expected to remain in until her untimely death, either from a tabloid-encouraged eating disorder or a Kim Richards-esque retreat into seclusion and substance abuse. She broke the rules, and now must be publicly flogged.
We do this with everyone, Britney got hers pretty hard when she started showing the minor signs of having birthed TWO GODDAMN CHILDREN, and any female celebrity who even briefly dances on the far side of a size 2 is immediately ravaged into a withered carcass in the comment sections of gossip websites. We have accepted this as the natural order of things, and are so numbed to its disgustingly misogynist, hateful nature that we aren’t even shocked by it anymore.
But there is something particularly gruesome about seeing a woman who looks as beautiful as Aguilera does in her video for “Your Body,” sporting a figure that is not far of at all from Sofia Vergara’s or Kim Kardashian’s, getting ripped apart as “fat.” If she is fat, I can’t help but think, what does that make me? What does that make the vast majority of women? I think we all know the answer to this, it’s only so brutally put on display when a woman whom we’ve come to expect will remain always pixie-like and slender comes into a more voluptuous figure. We know that, in the eyes of people who would call Christina fat, we’re disgusting. We’re not worthy of being proud of our bodies, or showing off as she does, or feeling that we can be sexy and desired.
It doesn’t matter if you look at her flaunting her body and her slightly-enhanced hair in her new video and think she’s the sexiest woman alive — you don’t have to. No one is required to find anyone attractive. What is cruel, though, and actually destructive is to snidely label her things like “fat” or “gross” and shame her for feeling good about herself. You don’t have to think she’s sexy, but she is more than allowed to think she is. And you know exactly what you’re doing when you shame her for her body. You know what you’re implying about what a woman should look like, what the majority of women (who are not nearly as pretty as her) look like, and what a woman can and cannot be if she dares to go out in public.
So talk about the song. Talk about the fashion. Talk about the various hot dudes that adorn her as she blows things up. But try and show off your hard-earned years of finishing school and avoid, at least once, bringing up the fact that she isn’t as thin as she was when she was 18. The only person who is proved to be ugly by such comments is you.