Women’s ‘blobby’ bodies are none of your business

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The subject of beauty has been a controversial one since women have entered the frames of photography and movie screens, leaving audiences to scrutinize every single detail of their bodies.

We can’t help that we are drawn to those types of aesthetics: we gaze upon it with admiration, envy, desire or disgust.

The shift in the representation of women in media has had a positive reaction upon my viewing as I finally see real bodies appear on screen; women with curves, looking fabulous in their clothes and connecting with the audience.

They are taking the lead, not having the stress of a so-called “perfect body” and using their wits, skills and talent that extends beyond the flesh to capture the hearts of audiences.

But with a new batch of talented female celebrities hitting the spotlight, the shift goes away from their brilliance and right towards the physicalities they are born with.

Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Rebel Wilson: what do they all have in common? They’re talented, individual leaders that are making a name for themselves within the media.

But turning the pages in guilty pleasures such as Cosmopolitan, we just see them as culprits to be labeled as “normal- looking”, “plump” or having “curvier bodies.”

I was appalled to see in the January issue of Cosmopolitan that they not only stated that Kaling’s and Dunham’s bodies were bigger and more average, but that they made “smart” wardrobe choices, which made their bodies more flattering and slimming.

This gives readers a chance to pick out these pieces for when they go shopping to make their average looking bodies more slimming and flattering as well.

At this point, all I wanted to do was take a cupcake and smear it on the page. But, that would be a waste of a perfectly delicious sweet and a clear reminder that Cosmopolitan is loaded with useless crap anyways.

While it is normal for tabloids and style magazines to put emphasis on body image, it has extended into being a remark within a television review.

In a recent review of Girls —the second season of which premieres this Sunday on HBO—New York Post critic Linda Stasi used the word “blobby” to describe Duhnam’s physique.

While this offended many readers and caused viral outbreaks of criticism and disappointment towards Stasi’s review, it is still a disappointing reminder that no matter how far women have come, we still obsess over their bodies.

Dunham and Kaling have made names for themselves through their writing and success, but that isn’t enough.

It’s wonderful to note how realistic their bodies are because it’s true. The shapes and sizes displayed on television are more comforting because it is what I am used to seeing on a daily basis.

It makes the content and subjects relatable and acknowledges the beauty that comes from all figures. Once the words “blobby”, “pear shaped” and “plump” come into the picture, negativity is spewed across the page.

It seems we can’t just get away with saying their performances or work was “smart”, “funny” and “engaging” without tapping into the displays of their skin.

While it is lovely that these female celebrities bring a positive image of women being comfortable in their own skin, it also makes people acknowledge that the need to emphasize words that condone a negative tone on the female body has to stop.

Hopefully with the criticism from people who agree that these terms are disgusting, we can all stop caring about size.

So please when Girls and The Mindy Project come back on screen, let them have her cake and eat it too—in peace. Where it ends up is none of your business.

letters@thecord.ca


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