Thursday, April 9, 2015

I’m Thin Enough, I’m Fat Enough And Doggone It People Like Me.

By: W.G. Muir

I’m not a fan of anything that tells me what is currently trending in some corner of the internet, be it Twitter, Facebook or the homepage of Yahoo. I find such topics that trend are mostly about things that rarely affect the life of the average person. Of course these things are only trending because ordinary people keep clicking on them and sharing them on Twitter, Facebook, and in emails to friends and family. I just don’t understand how so many people can be fascinated about some A-list star’s pitbull had a litter of puppies.  

Because of the trending box I have a topic I wish to rant about. I saw a blurb about a cosmetic company’s attempt at battling body image. Fair enough they are the biggest contributor to this problem. A problem which I believe is wholly manufactured so that some political crusaders can justify their very existence and why news organizations pay them to appear on the airwaves. I know somebody is going to say I am insensitive and that there are teenage girls out there who are struggling to conform with what society tells them is normal.

I got news for you; all teenagers struggle to fit into society. Both girl and boys. It is just part of being a teenager. If you are an adult and reading this, you went through the same thing and most likely survived. The kids of today will also survive and make it to adulthood. That is if you get out of their way and quit coddling them as if they were a china doll.

Let us get back to the issue: cosmetic companies, body image, and why I am ticked off. So, over the past several years there has been this crusade to do away with ultra slim supermodels. As far as I can tell there have been two main reason. The first is that these ultra slim models are in someway unhealthy. The second reason is that they do not represent who the average woman is. I could say that in advertising for men, the men chosen to sell me razor blades and deodorant in no way represent the average man. If those Axe body sprays wanted to prove their product really helped guys land a date with the cheerleading squad they show some fat smelly guy in those ads instead of the pretty boys.

That is not want I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is the way the cosmetic companies (and other companies that cater to women) have gone about addressing the image of body image. They can’t just hire models that represent the average woman and place them in their ads; letting this become the norm. No. They must take to the highest mountain peak and broadcast to the whole world that they do indeed care about body images. This does not combat the problem of body image issues. In my opinion it make the problem worse. It’s like seeing a dictator killing his own people so you send your army in to get him. Sure you have removed him from power but in the process you killed even more of the people you were there to save. There were other options to get rid of the bad guy but none of them showed the world that you were doing something to combat the problem.

Which is what all these companies are interested in doing, appearing as if they are attempting to fix the problem, which in most cases they are not. In the case of body image they are not really saying all female body types are beautiful because they exclude the skinny women. If they are to be seen fighting this problem they can in no way include thin women, because they are now the enemy. How can you say that we are being all inclusive when your policy is actively excluding a group of people. These people are thinking they are being open minded and taking the high road when in fact they have done nothing but flipped the script. They are doing the exact same thing they complained about. Only now they are one doing the oppressing even though they claim to be the ones that are oppressed.

If you truly wanted to shift how women are viewed you start your own company, hire the models that fit your image, and not say anything about it. Let the images sink into a person’s subconscious. Stand-up comedian Louis C.K. has a bit about the n-word and how saying the phrase the n-word makes you think word. That is what these companies are doing every time they point out how they think all women are beautiful. They are reinforcing that there is indeed a standard of beauty that everybody has agreed with and it is not the one they are advocating for. Thus further reinforcing the narrative that only skinny women are seen as beautiful.     

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