Live and let live, they say. Fair enough. Whatever rocks your boat, I say. But when you make yourself a willing target of Social Media, and when you flaunt and promote the wrong idea of, in this case, beauty, then no. Beauty is both health and happiness. And you are doing a disservice if you’re selling an image that lacks one or the other.
What sparked this outburst was a little article I read online about Tess Holliday, a plus sized model starring in her first modelling shoot. A number of articles actually. Before you pull out your guns on me, check the article out. This is NOT Ashley Graham (another plus sized model who is actively campaigning in favour of #ImNoAngel). This is someone who takes an ideal and pushes it to the very end of a sensitive scale. Her aim is to challenge our perception of beauty which, apparently, is limited to just “Super Skinny is Sexy”. (Never mind the healthy, athletic bodies of countless of women and men around the world who promote exercise and good food. They’re unicorns – they don’t exist. Except on photoshopped Instagram photos. But never mind that.)
No Tess Holliday. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Anorexia – if that is the case – is bad. But so is Obesity. And promotional shoots like this one simply serve to NORMALISE what should be condemned. Not because it’s aesthetically unpleasing: overweight, skinny and all that lies in between is beautiful. But because it’s unhealthy. Period.
What needs to be done?
We need to stop normalising ugly truths. We need to stop sending subliminal messages, aimed at selling the wrong ideas. Or we’ll end up facing a generation living on extremes simply because the Media tells them it’s ‘beautiful’. Stop glorifying the wrong end of ‘joie de vivre’; Obesity, Anorexia and all other pathological cases lying on the same spectrum are serious matters. And while Beauty is subjective, Health and Happiness are not. Don’t compromise on one or the other.
As a friend rightly commented on a Facebook thread I posted yesterday, STOP pushing the wrong role models to teenagers who are so fragile and “easily impressionable”. We already have enough retouched realities to contend with as it is. Do us and YOUR kids a favour. Show us stories of people who have struggled and won, who managed to make it in life, despite the accumulating odds. Tell us of experiences worth learning a thing or two from. And please, stop idolising people on the sole merit of daring to bare all, to challenge a stupid idea which shouldn’t be there in the first place.