I debated even watching Nicole Arbour’s newest video when I saw it pop right up in my social media feed, given that the first installment of “Dear Fat People” made me sick to my stomach. I clicked anyway. But wait, isn’t that what she wants? Clicks? Ratings? To create controversy with this scum and boost her popularity? Maybe. I don’t agree with what Nicole Arbour has to say about overweight individuals; I’ll say that upfront. But I do believe her videos can be used in a positive manner.
Here’s how Nicole Arbour’s slam to the fat community is a win. It gets people talking. It brings regular people (like you) into the conversation and gets bloggers (like me) to discuss the way we treat plus sized men and women. And I would argue that is a very good thing. Because what Nicole has done and is doing is making people angry. Making people (like you AND me) want to stand up and fight for the rights of others. By calling out the body positive moment – even though she’s criticizing it – she’s getting it attention. She’s getting people to google it and poke around. It’s exposure. And it’s something we can respond to and change.
In the first minute of her video, I was a bit taken aback and dare I say impressed that Nicole reminds everybody that her videos were never about anybody’s beauty, implying the first video was not a slam to fat women’s beauty but rather to their health. But honestly, I am tired of the fat = unhealthy claim.
“When I saw today that Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition is feauturing a plus size model I was like da fuq … Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Models are the mecca of physical perfection,” said Arbour.
Let’s talk about that last phrase, “the mecca of physical perfection.” Here’s where I want to challenge Arbour because every individual’s idea of physical perfection differs. It’s totally subjective.
The Sports Illustrated plus size model, Ashley Graham, is likely to be someone’s idea of perfection, fat and all. Like every other member of the body positive community I am overjoyed to see a plus size model on the cover of SI. I’m happy to see another perspective on perfect getting some spotlight.
“#bodypositive is full of it”
When Arbour referenced the fact that the SI model was photoshopped for her cover, and accused the photo shopping to be in violation of the “every body is beautiful movement,” it gave me pause. I do think that photo shop detracts from self love goals and body positivity. That being said, SI is not a self love magazine. How would it look for them to photo shop all of their non-plus size models and leave Ashley Graham untouched? So let’s recap: #bodypositive is not full of it, and neither is SI. They are separate movements and entities independent of one another. SI’s plus size model is not an accurate representation of the body positive movement any more than one page is representative of SI as a whole.
“I want to eat cookies and still be a Sports Illustrated model”
Bingo. Glad she said this, even in passing, even half-heartedly because that’s the goal Nicole. One of the goals of #bodypositive is to erase the stigma tied to bad foods and in doing so, maybe decrease the amount of little girls under 10 who have already tried two or more diets.
As of right now, it goes like this. SI models = beautiful and beautiful = thin and thin = no cookies. Learned. Committed. On its way to creating an eating disorder.
The goals of the #bopo movement are to change it to SI models = beautiful and beautiful = all body types and that = eat the cookie because being thin is no longer the only way to be beautiful.
“We gotta keep having opinions”
True. Voltaire once said,”I disapprove of what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” We need open discussions on these topics. Moreover, we need to BRING them into the open. So for that Ms. Arbour I’m going to thank you. And I invite you to check out what being body positive really means here, here, or here.