Not all plump ladies take the opinion that “real women have curves”. I certainly don’t; I feel that absolutely nobody should be shamed for their body in any capacity, no matter what form it takes.
The problem is that our culture puts so much emphasis on women being attractive based on whatever arbitrary standard is floating around as the ‘ideal’, and it’s often a very narrow standard at that (no pun intended).
Right now, that standard happens to be ‘being thin’, but even then it has some nasty qualifications: be thin, but not enough to see bones, even if that’s the only way for you to be thin enough to qualify; be young, perhaps even far too young, with smooth, unblemished skin; be white, because racism is definitely still well and alive in popular culture and being anything but white is only attractive if it’s exoticized or ‘whitened’; be tall, because short and thin women ‘look like children’; have big boobs, despite that being uncommon for a thin body; have pouty lips, delicate fingers, soft-smooth-shiny hair, big eyes, a chiseled body but not muscled- noooo too much muscle on a woman is BAD!- and so on, and so forth.
And this is all because women are supposed to appeal to the Male Gaze at all times, and of course, since the Male Gaze is subjective, what’s “attractive” shifts all the time, so no matter what, no woman can really win, because this isn’t a fucking game, it’s a torture.
So, when it comes to women especially (even though I know men catch body-image issues too, which I also wish would stop, but the scale is completely different), I say that any and all body shaming is godawful and should cease immediately. I know that ain’t gonna happen, but that’s what I would like.
This poster has more privilege than she knows. If what she has to deal with is fat girls telling her to gain weight, she can console herself with being conventionally attractive and get many, many people to agree with her. This isn’t an unpopular opinion in the slightest. This is actually an incredibly common one. Whereas, declaring that you’re fat and beautiful is not only unpopular, but it can get death and rape threats levied at you, with the rare person who can even agree, “Well, we’re all beautiful”.
The “Real women have curves”, while abysmal and inappropriate, is a reaction to decades of abuse- verbal, emotional, spiritual, and physical- hurled at fat women. It’s a way of reclaiming some of the power that’s been stripped from them, of feeling human again after spending so much time dehumanized. Because many of them have “done everything right” and still got it wrong.
The reaction is a poor one, and not the most mature, but it’s to counter all the shame heaped on their shoulders, all the constant “LOSE WEIGHT OR YOU’RE A DISGUSTING MONSTER!!!” from both peers, family, and the wider culture (media, movies, tv shows, books, videogames, comics— you name it, and fat women are depicted horribly— if at all!).
It’s not okay to be shamed. But neither is the defensive reaction of, “Well! They dared step on my toes, so I’m perfectly free to shame them back!” Especially when you think what you feel is an unpopular opinion, when you have privilege making sure you’ll never feel the way a fat woman feels.
Let’s stop shaming each other.