Is Fat Really A Feminist Issue?
Several years ago, I attended a conference in London. The theme was body image. The speakers were all ardent feminists. Their discussions centred around women and body image with a mocking concern for the young women of the day.
The heinous acts these young women had committed were to wear skinny jeans and knee high boots, and, shock horror, to be a size 8. They lacked agency and autonomy- products of society- these women quipped. I sat down, looking at my skinny jeans and knee high boots that were covering my UK size 8 frame. Was I, a graduate with a Masters degree, a product of society? The patriarchy? Did I simply lack agency to make my own decisions on how to dress?
The very fact of the matter is, I was (and still am) happy with myself and my choice of attire. I certainly don't think I'm a non-free thinking individual because I keep my body trim. Shouldn't we, as women, embrace every size, not just the size that fits the narrative we're trying to sell? Is fat really a feminist issue? I think not. Can't we just embrace all women?
If we are to really align ourselves with the body positive movement, we have to stop this nonsense of defining who fits the narrative. All women are beautiful. No matter what they look like, no matter what body type they have, and no matter what choices they make in terms of how they look.
If we really embrace the body positive movement, we really need to stop defining who is beautiful. It's an oxymoron and certainly ironic of a movement that purports all women as beautiful, yet simultaneously argues that only those that are large fit the bill.
Women have freedom to choose how they define beauty. If they wish to wear make up, eat healthily, maintain a size 8 figure, do their hair, then so be it. But that woman should still be a part of the paradigm too. Or, perhaps, it's time for a paradigm shift.
As a woman, I love the fact that I can defy stereotypes. I see myself as smart, as savvy, as a girly girl who simply loves dressing up. But, actually, I am much more than that. I am adventurous, I love sport, I enjoy action movies, and my wit is sharper than a supermodel's cheekbones. I am that multifaceted woman. Just like many.
Fat is not a feminist issue. Femininity is.