‘No More Skinny’ campaign according to Dan Wootton at The Sun

Now my lovely readers who are here with beauty of fashion interests at heart, might want to click the back button now. I don’t normally, in fact I have never taken on a particularly controversial topic on this blog because genuinely this is not a manifesto. However I have been intending to speak out on the subject of body image for some time now and after having stumbled across this ridiculous tabloid campaign I felt now was the time to get my two cents in. Dan Wootton if you don’t know is a moderately brown nosing, occasionally condescending, usually avoidable ‘showbiz’ journalist currently working for quality publication The Sun. After seeing this Stella McCartney model photo he “decided enough was enough”, women could no longer be responsible for tackling the problematic representations of their bodies in the media, and he along with some Z-list mates would teach the world what attractive and ‘real’ women are (based on their extensive nutritional and medical training I'm sure).

I, along with many other women, have a ridiculously complicated relationship with my body for a multitude of complicated reasons. Growing up believing the sole purpose of your body is to make men want you and other women jealous of you, then being deeply ashamed when it doesn't is a deep routed problem with society. I agree with the campaign in that seeing a variety women represented positively in the media and in fashion will absolutely be a step towards breaking down that stigma. I also agree that models are kept to ridiculous standards and the attempt to maintain a particular aesthetic could be potentially detrimental to their personal health. Here my agreement stops.

Firstly I find it incredibly problematic that Dan Wootton, a white male, is attempting to champion a cause he can’t possibly identify with– illustrated by the supporting comments he has gathered. Olly Murs and Casey Batchelor have both commented something to the effect that men love curves - to which I would say – WHO CARES WHAT MEN LOVE? Aspiring to a body that pleases anybody but yourself is harmful in itself, but manipulating the representation of women to please men only perpetuates the idea that we exist simply as an object for their approval. Also to generalise what men love is ridiculous (see Calvin Harris – Girls). To say ‘men love curves’ pigeon holes AN ENTIRE GENDER to one specific matter of taste and I’m sure is just as insulting to them as assuming all men love chugging San Miguel in Magaluf and a ‘cheeky Nandos’.

As a larger girl, I have only been the subject of fat shaming but I know that thin shaming whilst equally as hurtful, is often more socially acceptable. To have assumptions made about your life based on your body is something I'm sure most women and some men have felt at some point in their life and it's the most frustrating and soul destroying feeling. Skinny, like fat, is a body type, an adjective,  not a state of health and to invalidate a body type which could be a completely healthy and legitimate result of genetics/other lifestyle decision is ludicrous. I would have more respect for this campaign if it was genuinely an attempt to promote the wellbeing, confidence and healthy attitude to body image of its subjects rather than ignorantly increase their measurements. To quote Mean Girls ‘Calling someone fat, won’t make you any skinnier’ and likewise shaming skinny models won’t make every day women feel better about their own bodies. I really hate the culture we have of bringing one group of people down to make another feel superior. It’s this ‘real women’ bollocks all over again. Newsflash, if you’re a human who identifies as female – you’re a real woman.

So to Dan Wootton I would say why don’t we encourage girls and women to set their own standards for their bodies based on what makes them feel happy and healthy, and not on what a male wants or their favourite airbrushed celebrity looks like (or at least I would if he hadn't blocked me on Twitter for expressing this exact opinion in no more than 3 tweets). Women should be sticking together and fighting their own cause to see happy and healthy people in the media and consequently in real life, regardless of size. We should assign ourselves value and not wait for men and society to do it for us. Actually I think TOWIE’s Gemma Collins (of all people) had the most interesting comment on this when she said “if a designer can’t make any size look fantastic, they can’t do their job”.

Thanks for reading.

Things also worth noting – Marilyn Monroe who is consistently referenced as the desirable body type (as opposed to skinny) was actually a lot smaller than people think she was. Also if Olly Murs has ever been seen with a girl over a size 10 I’ll eat my hat. I actually really like him, and believe he is actually just ridiculously under informed on the issue and therefore is not actually appropriate to comment. 


1 comment:

  1. Really great post! It annoys me so much when people thin shame people. I've actually had strangers ask me if I am anorexic as I'm slim (I am also short btw so not crazy skinny for my height) and it's not nice. Especially as I'm trying really hard to put on weight. I truly think we should all be encouraging others to be healthy not to be a particular size in clothing.


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