A Real Man Likes

Trigger Warnings – Discussions of body image, eating disorders, fat and skinny shaming (Not me taking part in it I should add, as in the article covers these issues)

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that the media has been feeding us false standards of beauty and perfection for generations and as such the definition of attractive is subject to the definition of attractive on the red carpet. Once upon a time it was average builds, then skinny builds, with larger women being disregarded as ugly but now it seems being curvy is cool and being skinny is a sin. You hear the phrase “Men like curves, dogs go for bones” or “I like a girl with a bit of meat on her” and don’t get me wrong, big is beautiful, but there’s a heinous double-standard emerging as we begin to love the skin we’re in and it’s an aggressive policy that leaves us all for losers

You’re probably well aware where I’m coming from, the words Nicki Minaj and Meghan Trainor are actually going to appear on my blog and yeah, break down the lyrics to their songs and the jist of it is that big butts are in, flats are out. I understand the empowerment of larger women with these songs, they’ve endured a life of being called names so it is indeed satisfying to have something to throw back at the pretty girls by calling them twiggy bitches or skinny little tarts but the solution to bullying isn’t to find some way of bullying your bully, that’s not how it works. Sure, you could hack that big jerk’s Facebook account and put up a status about his sexual conduct but then he finds you, pounds you into mince meat and you’re no better off, until you step it up and hack something else and there you go in a cycle of hatred. Larger ladies, you are gorgeous yes, I’m sure, but if you were bullied by a skinny girl for your looks then she was probably just buying into the standards of beauty drilled into her head by magazines and television and ensured her own security by tearing yours apart, don’t resort to doing the same thing

Our society had always placed skinny on a pedestal above not-so-skinny, making slim the standard to aspire for and heck, as petty as it sounds, I’m conscious about my weight because my gut is noticeably pudgier than it was in my school days. In the modern age, it’s become more about the full-figure than the fine and whilst individually people might get called harsh terms, on the whole, skinny shaming is now a thing and larger women celebrate confidence. Terrific, great, but songs like “Anaconda” and “All About That Bass” make one crucial mistake that makes them less about celebration and more about turning the tables on the bullies and making them feel small – skinny-shaming lyrics

The songs run along the basic premise of men preferring a bigger girl because she’s got more to hold onto than a skinny girl so skinny girls should just give up and accept the fact they’re not in fashion anymore. Firstly, a woman’s body shape should never be about pleasing others, if you’re a happy pear shape or happy hourglass shape, great, that’s that. Secondly, a man likes whatever a man likes and if your best feature to present to this man is which bits of you stand out on your silhouette line, rethink your priorities. Heck, your body isn’t for the pleasure of men, especially if you’re not interested in men, why give a flying fig what they want? Spoiler alert, men find what they want fine as it is, I represent my gender when I say we don’t need telling what we want – real man like curves, not bones? Fuck that, curves or bones, it’s all good, don’t tell me it’s one or the other! Personally, not to sound like some sort of douche but body shape is one of the last things I give a flip about when considering a woman’s attractiveness. Your body shape is not a measure of your worth and your worth should not be based upon tearing someone else down – why do you have to call someone fat/thin to feel good about being fat/thin yourself? You can feel proud of something without destroying the pride of others but these songs like to ridicule girls who are skinny, something that isn’t necessarily a choice they consciously made (Eating disorder/Can’t gain weight/Chronic illness are but three reasons that come to mind), as twiggy bitches (Much like Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. Score for pride yes, but calling them bitches doesn’t make you better than them Amy)

So if I’m gonna call out these two full-figured idols for their slander, what do I propose instead? Am I here saying give the pretty girls a break? Yes and no, I’m saying we should all give each other a break really, fat or thin, short or tall, you need only like who you are and that’s all it should be, your body does not exist to please others. If you feel unhappy, think carefully why you do and what you can do to make yourself feel better but do it because you want it for yourself, not because you think it will make you prettier, do what will make you comfortable. Pop industry, you get points for highlighting the fact that not every girl has the figure of Victoria Beckham and that’s ok, well done, took you a while to cotton on but here’s the next step – every body shape is perfectly fine as long as the person in that body feels happy and is healthy. You don’t need songs or films or shows all about making a certain body type seem negative, not every skinny girl is a bitch and not every larger girl is the moody cow in a tracksuit, we don’t need an entire verse of “Fuck them skinny bitches”, we just need more songs that say all body shapes and sizes are fine, be you a boy/girl/trans/genderless/gender fluid or whatever you want to be – be you, be happy, don’t cost other people their happiness to feel good about yourself, it’s not worth it. We need more positive music that inspires people to be happy with who they are. Stick thin, full figured, somewhere in between, we don’t hear enough music that chooses not to focus on our insecurities and instead on our positives

Budding songwriters, there’s your next hit single waiting for you, a song that tells people they’re awesome whatever they might be, be they black, fat or gay, it’s all good. I hope nobody comes away from this article feeling offended, that was not my intention, I merely mean to open our eyes to the truth in that we shouldn’t make ourselves feel good by treating those different to us as our enemies or lessers. Your beauty is your own, it is not enhanced by calling everything else around you ugly, because then all you are is a hurtful person responding to pain with more pain and that’s not what we want. Thank you and goodnight


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