I read the most annoying response to an article about the devious Special K adverts. I’m going to quote this man, who clearly knows so much more about how the world runs than the rest of us!
99%+ of men don’t find being overweight attractive in the slightest. Instead of whining about conspiracies and fat shaming, fix yourself to be attractive to the other sex. Or more than likely, attractive to the members of the opposite sex you are attracted to.
I can sum this piece up nicely for you: Unattractive women butthurt that attractive men are not interested in them, while “unattractive” men of their own level show overt interest that reflects poorly on little princesses self image (she can do better!) Instead of accepting deficiencies and losing weight/taking care of their bodies, unattractive women try to lower the playing field by making unattractiveness “ok” for women, so that everyone can sink to their level instead of actually having to put effort into changing and self acceptance of their current level of attractiveness.
A couple of years ago this response may have sent me spiralling into an emotional binge. I mean someone on the internet is telling me that over 99% of men don’t find being overweight attractive. It’s there in black and white, it’s a statistic, and statistics, for whatever ridiculous reason affect us. Wow, 99%+ of men don’t find being overweight attractive. My husband must look at me in disgust. I should get to the gym, and I should stick to eating dust. Because my sole purpose on this earth is to be attractive to men.
Fortunately now, I can look at a comment like this and laugh. And laugh. And laugh. Here is someone who clearly has no awareness that women are not there simply as art work for the opposite sex. Here is someone who feels that women have no other uses than looking for a man, and who must be grateful for whatever attention comes their way. He’s shallow, and he has no understanding of women, whatsoever. He is selfishly writing, because he doesn’t want the world full of women he deems unattractive! But what men find attractive is not universally identical. 99% do not find blondes attractive, for instance. Nor do 99% find the hour glass the perfect shape. Some men love tall women, other men prefer short. Some men love short hair cuts, other men want long hair. Attractiveness is subjective, and goes far deeper than looks. It’s a cliché, but how many people say that a Good Sense of Humour is higher on their list of priorities than appearances? How long could you spend with someone who fitted all your ideals physically, but who, on a mental level you could not relate to in the slightest? We are so much more than our appearances, but yet we spend so very long worrying about our weight, and being an acceptable size. I wonder, if suddenly education was the most attractive thing in the world, how much time and effort we’d spend learning as much as we could. If we’d lose sleep over agonising about what we didn’t know. If we’d cry over the fact that we weren’t as smart as all the popular people on the tv and magazines.
But his words will be cutting someone somewhere, and that is his intention. To diminish us all. To feel superior. To rile and upset. It’s easy to be a keyboard warrior when you don’t have to see the face of the one you’ve hurt. Body shaming, whether it’s about weight, or height, or chest, or waist, or colour, is WRONG. On every single level. And woman shaming is equally wrong. To diminish a woman down to no more than an object for the amusement and appreciation of men. To deny and ignore all the roles and achievements women make daily. It is not acceptable and it is not a truth.
But it isn’t just men who do it. We women can be equally diminishing of others. There’s endless competition, and the attempt to be superior. The side long glance from another woman, when you have made that effort to dress up, that false smile they give as they reach your eyes, having determined what they need to know about you in one second. It can be temporarily dibilitating. You went to so much trouble to put together your outfit, getting your make up just right. Or you just worked your arse off in the gym, running 5k and are covered in sweat head to toe, while the young woman on the treadmill next to you has just finished a marathon and is barely out of breath. And you got that look that says you’re still not good enough, that you didn’t get it quite right.
You don’t have to take their judgements. You don’t have to let those criticisms sit on your shoulder. Fat, thin, rich, poor, blonde, brunette. You have a right to look, do, and be as you want.
When I feel judged or criticised now, I practise reversing the situation. Why are they feeling critical? Are they feeling insecure in what they’re doing? Do they worry that others may be judging them, so they’d rather get in there first? Maybe they’re not even thinking anything of you, maybe they’re just not thinking of you at all, and instead are worrying about a work issue, or bill to pay.
Maybe that keyboard warrior is making up endless excuses as to why his relationships never last, and trying to blame everyone else.
And maybe you are perfect as you are. Comfortable in your clothes. Ready to face an awesome day. Not letting some part of your body stop you doing what you want to do. And certainly not letting someone else’s opinion of you affect your plans.
Go out there and live your life!