Aerie has recently brought on a new model for their campaign that emphasizes being the “real you”. They aren’t using photo shopped touch ups or hiring size one models for girls to look up to anymore. Aerie seems to be representing a more seasoned scale of body types that more women can relate to and they are getting praised for it (as they should be!). Of course with that, comes some flack as well.
Particularly, for their new “plus-size” model. She has been body-shamed for her size and called every name in the book. Some people are astounded by this, considering that calling her “plus-size” may not even be an appropriate description. She clearly takes care of her curvy body. Not to mention, she is gorgeous. So where is the problem?
We all body-shame. Everyday. To ourselves and to others.
Skinny girls get body shamed for being too thin. Anorexic. Twig-bitch. She needs to eat a cheeseburger. Larger women get body-shamed for possibly being overweight. Fat. Huge. Disgusting. Heffer. Now sure, we are aware that one is more prevalent in the media and society than another, but that doesn’t exclude either from this conversation. Both happen.
I find it interesting, all the conversation around plus size models versus supermodels. Mainly I find it interesting because to me, I still can never be either of those women. When I see a new “plus-size model” with measurements not too far off from mine, I am still confused. Their breasts may be way smaller than mine, while their hips are much wider. Their waist is tiny and they still have a tighter stomach than I do.
Oh, and yeah, THEY ARE MODELS.
These women are absolutely stunning, regardless of their size. They are exotic with beautiful eyes, lips and glowing skin tones. I’m happy they are noticed because I feel more women should be represented in the media, but that doesn’t mean I can relate to them.
I don’t look like a model and therefore, I body-shame. Before, it was because I wasn’t thin enough and now, it’s because I am not curvy enough. The expectations for women to meet the size requirements are still unrealistic and it only creates more body shaming in my opinion. I can’t look like an hour glass.
My body wasn’t designed to be that way.
When you’re killing yourself in the gym to attain that and don’t get the results, it can be extremely defeating. The standards of beauty and health in this society are too demanding. Everything in the media is not a reflection of real life. With this, I’ve come to an important conclusion.
Body-shaming will always exist. With fads constantly changing, there will always be something. Something we need that we don’t have. Some way we should look that we can’t. Someone who looks better than we do. None of us are perfect and even those that are close, can still find something they want to change about themselves.
So I leave you with this. We will all have days where we body shame and days where we don’t. Imperfections are what make us different. Hating my imperfections one day and embracing them another doesn’t mean I hate myself, or my body for that matter.
All it means is that I am human being and sometimes, I see things differently than I should. At the end of the day, I’ll still choose to love myself and you should too.