But not tomorrow’s. If you choose to define your body according to men’s opinions, that is.
I saw this picture on facebook, a while ago, and immediately became annoyed with it. A lot of boys and girls were responding positively to it but there were obviously some negative comments coming from girls who were “naturally skinny.” The comment section ended up being very long and filled with arguments between girls who belonged to either of these categories about who was actually hotter, with the occasional comments from guys who tried to cheer up the hurt parties by telling them that they actually thought that X was pretty hot also and not to feel too bad about themselves.
This is the problem that I have with the picture – the idea that women should feel good about their bodies based on the opinions of men. The ever changing opinions of men I should say.
This is my response: Women should feel good about their bodies regardless of what men think. Men are fickle. They change. Their opinions change and what they consider to be beautiful regularly changes. Are you really going to let your self-love and convictions of who you are rest on the opinions of idiots? It isn’t a nice way to live and your self-esteem is going to be very fragile, because one day they’ll be calling you hot and the next day they’ll be calling you a cow or a scarecrow depending on your size. You’re never going to be truly happy with yourself when you try to live up to the impossible ideals of others. So don’t allow these pictures to make you feel bad or give you an ego boost. Instead you need to consider how insulting it is that men think that we can only consider ourselves beautiful if they reassure us that they think that we are pretty first. They can rest assured that we don’t need them for that. We’re perfectly capable of coming to our own conclusions about our bodies without their assistance, thank you very much. This is the first thing that should come to mind when you see a picture like this.
The second problem that I have with this picture is that it divides women. In the comment section below the picture there was so much bickering between girls about who was actually hotter. There was also a lot of skinny-hate and accusations of girls starving themselves in order to be that skinny. The skinny girls in turn had many rude things to say to the self-professed thicker girls. But a lot of wise and wonderful things were also said, the gist of which was that neither category of girls is hotter than the other. We’re all beautiful regardless of our size and we have to be happy with ourselves and who we are without bringing other people down. Furthermore, are we really going to let the opinions of men divide us when they are one of the main causes of the insecurities that women collectively experience? Women have so many things in common with each other with respect to our lives in a patriarchy. Most of us have painful issues with self-worth which are closely tied to our experiences with men. Is it progressive to fight with each other over the little scraps of approval that we can sometimes get from men? Or is it more progressive to listen to each other and to try to understand each other’s lives? I think it’s the latter. You’re not the only woman who has been shaped by many, different experiences in her life. You’re not the only woman with complex emotions, who responds in various ways to different situations. You’re not the only woman who is a human being. Other women are not as black and white as society, culture, men and even some women make them seem. We’re all complex creatures, and it is beneficial for us to start listening to each other instead of competing for worthless compliments from men.