Previously, we’ve reported on how women who wear larger crocheted halter tops don’t want to be called brave for wearing a bikini just because people don’t typically see women who aren’t slim wearing one.
This week, on Inside Amy Schumer, Schumer joked about her Pirelli calendar picture. You know the viral one. The one which Annie Leibovitz shot of her sitting down buck naked, being totally herself holding a cup of Joe. (Annie ended up curbing some of Amy’s enthusiasm for being naked.)
Amy’s words on this:
“About a month ago, I tweeted a photo of myself, I did a photoshoot with Annie Liebovitz…fancy, right? high-end high-end. I said, ‘I want to take off my clothes,’ and she was like ‘please don’t.’ I was like, no I’m 34, things are going South, I want to do it before it’s over, so I took off my clothes, and she was like, “it’s already over,” and then the photo came out, and I was like I’m going to share it, and this is the word you don’t want people to use after a photo of you where you’re nude goes viral. “Brave.”
Brave. Great word, right? Really complimentary. Wrong.
Later on in the episode, Schumer continued:
“You take your shirt off and a guy is like, ‘damn girl, you look mad brave right now.’ [gesturing down her body] Like here, like I’m pretty normal and like here, but then I get like really brave like right here, like Joan of Arc on my upper thighs.”
As usual, she’s all self-deprecation, but as usual, there’s a point to what she’s saying. It’s insane that people insist on calling a woman daring for not being ashamed of her body without a thigh gap. When this calendar came out, we were very conscious of not calling Amy’s decision to appear naked without wanting to off herself “brave,” even though this was a completely noteworthy first for the calendar, which was important for women to see. It was a total screw you to everyone who told women to sit down, cover up and downplay her stomach, but we didn’t want to call it a screw you even though it was in high fashion circles. It was an “eye cleanse,” for us, as it has been to see countless body activists of all kinds of body types showing off before Amy.
Right after this picture took off, we interviewed body activist Lauren Michelle Fleming about recreating this image, as she hoped countless women on the internet would.
She said this:
“It struck me how much I was used to seeing my flaws in a mirror but not on film. Bob and I usually use lighting and posing to make flattering shots, and here I was, twisted and turning, all of my rolls lining up along my body. I was shocked at how hard it was at first to look at the photos and see the real, raw me. It was then that I knew I had to post these, so I could help normalize non-photoshopped fat* bodies in the media. I took some of my own advice, sent my body some love, and pressed “submit” sending myself, flaws and all, out into the world.”
It’s what people need to see.
Further, we reported on how Olivia Campbell refuses to be called “brave” for wearing a bikini. See her post here in a tropical locale, and no, not a high-waisted one either correcting people here.
“I have seen a lot of shit about how brave it is for a plus size girl to wear a low rise bikini this summer and I find it patronising as f***! Firstly fat girls like even tans as well and further more bravery is fighting for your country, finally leaving someone who systematically abuses you standing up for injustices knowing you will have to suffer the punishment!….wearing a not so flattering bikini and showing some extra flab on a beach in my personal opinion is not bravery it’s awesomeness”
I have seen a lot of shit about how brave it is for a plus size girl to wear a low rise bikini this summer and I find it patronising as f*ck! Firstly fat girls like even tans as well and further more bravery is fighting for your country, finally leaving someone who systematically abuses you standing up for injustices knowing you will have to suffer the punishment!….wearing a not so flattering bikini and showing some extra flab on a beach in my personal opinion is not bravery it's awesomeness
Previously, Barbie Ferreira told Glamour she’d love it if people would stop asking her how (in the hell of things) she is confident in a bikini, saying this.
“Asking ‘How do I feel confident in a bikini?’ because I feel like no one would ask that to a Victoria’s Secret model. No one would ask that to Kate Upton. I understand ‘How to feel confident’ [in general], but in a bikini, if you’re adding that on…I wear a bikini like every other person in the world wears a bikini or a bathing suit.”
The media should stop asking smokeshow Barbie Ferreira how in God’s green earth she manages to wear a bikini in broad daylight without shame. She’s not here for it. Inevitably, when we do see women celebrating their larger bodies, the media should celebrate that too, but we don’t have to say that the woman is totally brave. Some women don’t see it that way. So let’s stop assuming that it’s a radical idea that someone is confident despite the fact that they missed the CONFORM TO NORMATIVE BEAUTY STANDARDS OR ELSE memo.
No, wearing a bikini is not an act of bravery on par with swimming the English channel. Obvious observation time: admittedly, if people – of any size, smaller or larger – feel anxious about showing their bodies in a bikini, then stripping down could be called (by the person who is doing it) important. But no one says a woman who is slimmer is brave for showing her bod, and there’s the rub.
Are all of these women brave? Probably. They’re all making major moves. But that has nothing to do with demonstrating that they exist at their size and that people have to deal with that. And yes, more people should see atypical bode types and more skin. But if they’re not telling you “this took so much courage because I don’t have a six-pack and I didn’t want to offend anyone,” then no, that’s not what’s brave about them.