There are the people who say that “skinny-shaming is the same as fat-shaming.” And because on the surface, that comparison seems to hold water, I think we need to examine it a little more closely to see why – when using an intersectional, anti-oppression lens – it’s actually a false equivalence. Because all bodies are shamed. Some just experience more oppression.
Recently, I was on the local Philadelphia news, talking about beauty pageants. Check out this clip where, about three minutes in, I talk about socialization’s role in the “choice” that women make to aspire to beauty pageantry.
Although it’s not necessarily my favorite, I’m not offended by the phrase “skinny bitches.” And I want to talk about three reasons why you probably shouldn’t be either. Because the use of it isn’t attacking anyone as individuals; it’s highlighting a serious social issue. And it’s probably time you sit down and listen.
I had the opportunity to be a Frontline Voice with the Stop the Beauty Madness Campaign, and my podcast in the audio series is now available for sharing and downloading. Listen to me talk a lot about the relationship between body image and psychosexuality here.
I spent some time over the airwaves with the ladies at Finding Our Hunger to talk about such important topics as how language adds a layer of confusing, subjective connotation to objective words like “health” and “fat”; how Western Medicine as a structure is oppressive; aaaand Josie and the Pussycats. Check it out.
When we favor covering the sensational work that feminist men are doing out there, I think we’re accidentally skipping over the “every man” and the simple, seemingly mundane ways that sexism creeps into our everyday lives. So here’s a short introduction, guys — a few small things you can do to show more respect. Because, hey, we all have to start somewhere.