Sociopolitical crap / Where I Live

Let’s Insult the Little Lady, Shall We?

Bit of a rant today, so apologies in advance here. This kind of shit is going into my scene writing for my novel, so, if anything, it makes for good material I suppose. Anyway, something that my aunt and I were talking about just the other day reminded me of a posting a friend of mine had put up on FB awhile back. It was a scenario I just couldn’t shake, and my talk with my aunt brought me back there…

My friend is having a baby soon, her first, and I couldn’t be happier for her. She’d apparently had an awkward encounter with an absolute shit-wit at a convenience store. He’d waited on her while holding the door open for her and had body shamed her for it—he’d said something along the lines of (and I’m poorly paraphrasing here, but it’s close enough) “You look like you could use the exercise.” The cashier had overheard him and then chastised him for it, pointing out to him that my friend was pregnant, and how dare he say something of the sort to an expectant mother, etc.

Now here’s what REALLY troubled me about the little ordeal and discussion about it that ensued, besides the obvious. It seems so conditioned in us, that we automatically defend body-shamed women who are having or have had children. Don’t get me wrong here. It’s certainly righteous. The horrid cult of celebrity rewards famous women who manage to get back into string bikini proportions mere months after they’ve given birth and shames famous women who don’t, creating a difficult – even unreachable – ideal for mothers and mothers-to-be.

All of it troubling, but that said, however, what of the women who don’t have children and/or aren’t having children? In other words, what about the women who don’t have that “baby weight”? It’s more socially acceptable to come to the defense of a mom-to-be as in the case of my friend, but what if she hadn’t been expecting? Would the cashier have come to her defense otherwise? Would the cashier still have called out the jerkwad who body-shamed my friend? I’d like to think so, for the love of all things sisterhood and wonderful, but out of the various responders to my friend’s story, none of them seemed to take that into consideration. Instead, their reactionary focused more on the gall of the man who dared make such a comment towards a pregnant woman, in other words, a woman who was about to become a mother.

For reasons of the sisterly sort, that just didn’t sit well with me at all.

It just shouldn’t have mattered if my friend had been pregnant or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image courtesy of alreadypretty.com’s “Body Image and Paradigm Traps”)

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Let’s Insult the Little Lady, Shall We?

  1. There’s this paradigm that pregnuant women seem helpless so it’s a natural reflex to defend them. Back when I was pregnant I was like I 16z1

    But you’re right it shouldn’t have mattered.44ty c

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, thank you for reading! You’re right in that it’s some sort of cross-cultural paradigm, that pregnant women seem as if they’re in need of assistance, even “rescue.”(What a load of bollocks, eh) Still, I’d like to think my friend’s situation was one of a “sticking-up-for-the-sisterhood” sort of thing, and I’d also like to think…to hope…that even if she hadn’t been pregnant, the cashier would’ve still had her back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. YES. THANK YOU. Apparently we all need to be skinny or face extreme body-shaming from random strangers, unless we’re pregnant or new mothers. What’s even worse is that, more often than not, the ones responsible for the cruelest kind of fat-shaming are other *women*.
    Having said that, I don’t feel like the recent trend of slapping a couple of gorgeous, full-figured women on a magazine cover is helping matters much. If anything, it’s cementing the divide between skinny-and-beautiful and plus-size-yet-still-pretty, *yet* being the operative word here. And whatever celebrities are promoting this trend are equally to blame, as far as I’m concerned.
    It’s why I love how Lena Dunham has no problem showing off her…. unconventional body type on screen, and why I can’t stand Amy Schumer: joke-stealing accusations aside, on one hand she appears completely cool with her appearance, having gained a few extra pounds since she first showed up on the comedy scene, on the other she rushes to ‘expose’ a magazine that had the gall to label her as ‘plus size’ (in an otherwise flattering showcase). Sure, plus-size is only slightly less offensive than fat, big, curvy, what-have-you, but I find her reaction quite hypocritical, given how she’s supposed to be “embracing” her figure and to be happy with her body image.
    Sorry, got off track there 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we’ve an unfortunately long way to go before we’re (well, not us, personally) wholly comfortable integrating…blending…images of small-sized, medium-sized, and large-sized women together and completely eliminating commercialized stigma. In other words, we’ve still mountains to climb before we can expect body image of all sorts as “normalized.” You’re right in that it’s not helping matters to just drop in a plus-sized model onto a cover and that’s it. It has to be continuous. It has to be regular, not just a one-time-only thing only for the sake of appearing diverse. I’d hoped that the Dove campaign for real beauty would’ve sparked something other than just a trend. Again, it has to be normalized for us.

      As for Amy Schumer, women like her only make it worse. You know, I want to like her so much, but she makes it difficult when one cannot empathize with her. She’s fallen into the Hollywood body-hate trap that women like Janeane Garofalo have succumbed to. It’s so old.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree completely. And it’s not just the plus-size stigma either; for every heavier woman being body shamed on social media etc, there’s a rail-thin girl facing the exact same criticism on the flip-side, like the recent controversy about the actress from Modern Family. We either have to be acceptably skinny or look like a Victoria’s Secret model and that’s it. I would be fine with that if the focus was on *health* rather than looks, but man, I don’t even want to think about what young girls are going through these days in regards to their body image expectations. It pisses me off that men have it so easy in comparison: sure, they’ll slap a guy with a six-pack on the cover, and Chris Pratt only became a grade-A superstar when he got ripped, but “dad-bod” is promoted as sexy (which it is, as far as I’m concerned), while moms or pregnant women have to deal with idiots like the asshole in your story. So unfair.

        I wanted to like Amy Schumer too, but everything about her rubs me the wrong way. She had the least funny (and most cruel) jokes on the Comedy Central Roasts when she first started out, her standup is unfunny (and the bits that are funny are actually stolen from much better comedians) and the only thing I enjoyed about Trainwreck was John Cena. I hear her show is better but I don’t have the patience for it. I know this has nothing to do with her body image etc but damn, how did she become so freaking popular?

        Liked by 1 person

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