Last week driving to school I was behind a car that had a bumper sticker saying “No Fat Chicks” with the universal symbol for not so much – a circle and a slash. Um…Ok. So that means no fat chicks…what?
Willful stupidity and meanness annoy me.
Ironically our readings this week included topics on the subject, including Love Your Fat Self by Courtney E. Martin and Beating Anorexia and Gaining Feminism by Marni Grossman. My annoyance with that bumper sticker resurfaced after those two essays. Why must women be thin – sometimes at the expense of health and even risking death – to be considered attractive and acceptable?
In search for enlightenment (smile) I Googled “No Fat Chicks’. I got some interesting links and images – including many more stickers and signs I could buy – apparently bumper-sticker guy is not alone.
This is one image that particularly illustrates the unfairness of how men and women are viewed:
There were also several links from dating or social web sites with men posting forum questions about how to ‘politely’ (and by that I mean not) avoid “fat chicks”. Lastly there were a couple of links to personal pages of BBW (big beautiful women) who are embracing who they are, however, even on their sites men posted hate messages about lack of self-control and poor hygiene or health problems.
I then Googled “No Fat Guys” . I think I may have found a money-making opportunity. Bumper stickers. There is an untapped market. That’s right, unlike the 50+ shopping pages of “No Fat Chicks” stuff there was no equivalent links for “No Fat Guys” stuff on Google. Most of the links were about diet advice for men. Also, there were some very disturbing images of real fat men who really ought not to be naked in public.
And then there was one rather politically correct T-Shirt available:
Over 90 years of feminism and that is the best we’ve got??
Clearly there is a double-standard going on with regards to weight on men versus weight on women, but even more disturbing to me that like many feminist issues, women are their own worst enemy. Martin points this out when she mentions effortless falling into “a chronic gossip, and judging other women, big and small” (268).
We drank the Kool-Aid.
We follow the diets, buy the creams, starve ourselves, hate ourselves, and more often than not project our insincerities and fears on the women around us while we wait for the next miracle bra or shaper to come along. Stress is a know factor in not only gaining weight, but being able to lose it, and yet all we do is stress about the subject.
And here is another ridiculous double-standard – women are “supposed” to have big boobs and a booty – but not an ounce of fat anywhere else. For those who want to make weight a health issue, how is plastic surgery, eating disorders and unrealistic standards healthy for girls and women?
If we women bash ourselves and each other, then what right do we have to be indignant about men bashing us?
As the mother of two teenage girls I cringe to see how much emphasis is put on body image by the media and peers and how little progress has been made to care about the girl inside.
We can do better than this. It is not just enough for BBW to love themselves – we women need to accept and respect each other and lead by example.