The world has a tendency to make too many boxes and closets and categories to put people into. Nobody has it easy, but women have it slightly harder with their bodies and looks being put under such obscene amounts of scrutiny. Whether skinny or fat, dark or fair, tall or short, the world seems to have unrealistic expectations from women when it comes to the appearances department and unfortunately enough, most top brands have been guilty of feeding such ideas. So much so that when a brand decides to be a non-conformist, they receive more flak than love. Still think body-shaming is not a real thing?
In case you are wondering which brand is being talked about here, it’s popular sportswear brand Nike. They’ve launched their new range of active wear, which is basically workout gear, and have taken into consideration the fact that not all women are the same size. Nike’s attempt to be all-inclusive was met with enthusiastic responses, until someone decided that making gym wear for plus-sized women is the brand’s attempt to promote being unhealthy. So yes, welcome to the mad, mad world where a sports brand receives flak when they make workout gear to ensure every woman going to the gym is comfortable, no matter what size she is. Like Val Kilmer had said back in 2014 when people demanded an answer after he lost weight to play Mark Twain, “Can’t win in this crazy town. Too heavy for too many years and now gossip says, too thin!”
Soon after Nike and their plus-sized models received flak, Nike model and beauty blogger Grace Victoria responded in a calm and composed manner to all those who fat-shamed her and fellow model Daniella Vanier.
Fat shaming me and my girl on our Nike campaign is hilarious. We be laughing all the damn way to the bank __
— Gracie _ (@GraceFVictory) March 6, 2017
Another Twitter user called Rosy_Reloaded called out the rampant hypocrisy shown by people who made the insensitive comments.
People: “Fat people should workout, it’s good for their health”
Sports brand makes sports gear for plus size people to workout in
— Etana (@Rosy_Reloaded) March 6, 2017
While it indeed is hypocrisy when people do not even know which side they want to take, this unfortunately is not the first time. When it comes to women, there is only a certain size that is acceptable to our eyes. There’s an issue if they are ‘too skinny’ a.k.a Gigi Hadid or Kendall Jenner and if they are ‘too fat’ a.k.a Amy Schumer or Ashley Graham. Funnily enough, these are all very successful and hardworking women and healthy ones at that. For those among us who still think body size has a huge lot to do with one’s health status, let’s just say there is no research that proves the ‘skinnier, the healthier’ theory.
Here in the 21st century there are healthy women fighting against body-shaming and labels that do not even acknowledge body-diversity. For a generation that has been gifted with bad air quality and barely nutritious food, the last thing we need is for them to be body-shamed. On that note, here is a list of women who have been body-shamed and have still risen to the top. Let them inspire you to stop calling your co-worker a fat cow and your classmate rod-thin.
Keira Knightley: The Pride and Prejudice and Begin Again actor has been in the spotlight since she was 14 and has spoken in Elle’s 2015 September issue about having being called anorexic. After she did a topless shoot for Interview magazine, Knightley faced massive flak for her smaller breasts and the actor responded saying she meant the shoot to be that way and did it only on the condition that it will not be retouched to make her breasts look bigger.
Gigi Hadid: The 21 year old supermodel has had to face a lot of negative comments about her thin frame and somehow even the fact that she rose to Victoria’s Secret angel fame did not shut haters down. For all of those still ready to bring her down, she is hale and hearty and a lot more successful than any of those commenting on her social media posts.
Lady Gaga: The singer has been known for her powerful voice and outrageous outfits but recently became part of the body image debate when she was slammed for the shape of her stomach at the Super Bowl Halftime performance. The performance had high level acrobatics , but of course people only saw her muffin-top.
I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga
Iskra Lawrence: The British model posted a photo from her trip to Puerto Rico, in which she posed in a bikini and looked like she was having a good amount of fun. But of course, how could haters lay off and let her be. One decided to be nasty and tell her she was ‘eating too many bags of crisps’ and looked like a ‘fat cow’. Not one to bow down, Lawrence gave it right back and let the haters hate and potatoes potate!
__Had to make a #slow-mo too_…This is for anyone who has ever been called FAT. Thanks for the inspirational words on a recent pic @zseanzbrown __ “Fat cow. It’s only cus every F****r on this planet is obese that that’s the norm… Plus-size models? give me a F*****g breaking. Everyone needs to stop eating McDonald’s, the NHS is f****d because of people like her eating too many bags of crisps.” Ps I do not condone binge eating. I eat whatever I want in moderation. I will eat crisps but I’ll also make healthy home cooked meals and workout regularly. The message is who gives a F what anyone else thinks of you. YOU are the only one who decides yourself worth_ And sorry I’m usually not rude or give anyone the finger but these online trolls smdh ___ #iskralawrence #everyBODYisbeautiful
__I’m sorry I couldn’t help myself…This is for anyone who has ever been called FAT. Thanks for the inspirational words on a recent pic @zseanzbrown __ “Fat cow. It’s only cus every F****r on this planet is obese that that’s the norm… Plus-size models? give me a F*****g breaking. Everyone needs to stop eating McDonald’s, the NHS is f****d because of people like her eating too many bags of crisps.” Opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one_ thanks to the dream team for making this happen at work today _ by @ricktphoto @mandywinrow @nickigillonstylist
So, stop asking women to be of a certain size simply to please your eyes and accept that people are of varied sizes and varied shapes, lest you wish to get shut down publicly and end up shaming yourself instead.