Yesterday, Marina Go questioned why so many women think they’re larger than they actually are. She suggested that if more of us reassured female friends we’re not actually fat, we may save ourselves from unnecessary angst. Today Cassidy Knowlton, a colleague from Women’s Agenda sister publication Crikey, responds.
Yesterday’s Daily Juggle column on Women’s Agenda started with an anecdote about three young teenagers without “an ounce of body fat between them” complaining about how big their bums looked in their ski gear. Private Media publishing director Marina Go wanted to tell them, “they had nothing to worry about”.
But what would Marina have wanted to say to three plus-sized teenagers? That they very much did have something to worry about? That these girls should have self-worth because they were all thin (“wonderfully athletic”, Marina wrote), but their fatter counterparts do not deserve such body love?
She goes on to talk about body dysmorphia, whereby women think they are fatter than they really are.
The central point is that being fat is the most horrible thing a woman could be, but don’t worry – we are not as fat as we think. But what if we are? Are fat women and girls any less smart, sassy, sexy, clever, witty, driven, ambitious, strong, gutsy and kind than thin ones? Why should women above an arbitrary size (unspecified, but certainly women with more than “an ounce of body fat”) have something to worry about when it comes to their bodies?
Marina ends her column with a reference to a meme on the Women’s Agenda Facebook page that reads, “Behind every successful woman is a ‘best friend’ giving her crazy ideas”. She hopes that every teenager might have a best friend telling her that “her bum doesn’t look big in anything”, thus saving her “from a lifetime of unnecessary angst”.
If my best friend told me my bum didn’t look big in anything I would call her a liar. My bum looks big in everything, because I’m a fat woman. Wouldn’t it be better if your best friend could talk not about the size of your bum but about the content of your character?