In a world where we are defined by our looks, being labeled “plus-size(d)” can completely destroy a person’s life. Am I being too dramatic? How many women in the entertainment industry would you call “plus-size?” Can you count them all on two hands? One hand? Exactly.
“Plus-size, as defined by Dictionary.com: an extra-large size category of clothing, especially for women. I can’t say I didn’t cringe when I read the “especially for women” part.
Famouses like Lena Dunham, and Amy Schumer, who don’t quite fit the Hollywood mold, often get pummeled by social media, and armchair quarterbacks; no matter what they do, or how successful they become, their weight, and whether they have a measurable thigh-gap is what’s important.
Let’s go back a few years (okay, a few decades) before there was the blessing/curse that we call the internet. Actresses like Marilyn Monroe, who would be considered “plus” by today’s standards, was the envy of every woman, and the dream girl of every man. Though gossip, and conspiracy theories, and negativity most definitely existed in that era, there weren’t forums dedicated to bashing someone solely based on their appearance. Women who weren’t small didn’t shop at “plus-size” boutiques that cost a fortune because of extra fabric; they simply shopped at a clothing store. Oh, to be a woman back then. No, we didn’t have all the rights we have now, but if you break down the political and cultural climate today, it can feel like we’re back in the 60’s.
What does that mean for our girls of tomorrow? Social media platforms are growing by the second; we live online. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account. It’s also hard to find someone who hasn’t encountered bullying in some fashion through these platforms.
If we are teaching our girls by example, then what exactly are they learning? They’re learning that Mommy is doing IsaGenix because she wants to look better in a dress than her nextdoor neighbor; starving yourself and thinspiration on the internet is still “in.” Looking “healthy” will only result in snarky comments, so you better make sure your six-pack shows. I’m speaking generally, and in a broad scope, but this is our current internet culture.
We need to take a step back and realize that none of us are perfect. It might be blatantly obvious but slim, healthy, tall, or short: we are all human, and we all have faults. No one had social media for bullying before, and now they do. So instead of using it to bring each other down, “especially women,” why don’t we lift each other up?