In the age of body positivity, talking about our bodies openly and without shame seems to be a growing thing. People can self-identify as “fat” or “BBW” or basically anything they want, even in terms that used to be offensive. And, while I think this is a great thing, I think some people are getting the wrong idea.
You see, I think that simply by taking up a little more space than a size 4, people take my body as a conversation piece. And I can’t speak for other women, but I’m sure they feel the same regardless of size.
Now, this is obviously mainly the cause of terrible Tinder experiences and catcalling, but I have to wonder if people are getting a teensy bit confused about what the body positivity movement means. Telling random women that you “love curves” or “love a real woman” or “love a girl with a little meat on her bones” is not only problematic, it’s incredibly demeaning.
I’m sure that people who say these things have the best of intentions (at least I tell myself this in order to sleep at night) but commenting on people’s bodies is just rude, unless you’re intimate with them. I may not be a size 2, but you know nothing about my body and its story. I could be coming off losing 100 pounds and still very sensitive, or proud. I could have just gained 50 pounds and be insecure about it. Or, ya know, I could just want to be treated like a person and have you talk to me about something else.
Taking up a little bit more (or even less) than the space we’re “given” is not a crime nor a conversation piece. I’m happy you like curvy women, I guess, but that’s not on my checklist of a perfect potential partner and is probably going to get you nowhere.
I’m not blaming the body positivity movement for this at all. Like most thing, I think it’s something that was born out of wanting a safe space for all people and has just been taken so wrongly by some idiots who have been told that girls and women are nothing but walking pleasure boxes. Compliments in the form of cat calls or objectifications are just that, no matter how well-intentioned.
Maybe it’s that I’m not as comfortable with my body or not even sure that I would know how to describe it in terms of how I would identify it. Maybe some perv on the sidewalk calling me curvy sounds vaguely familiar to my cousins’ friends asking me how many rolls my stomach has at the beach and will ruin my whole day. Or maybe, I just want to walk to work without thinking about my body.
Believe or not, people don’t always look a certain way out of an act of protest or to be commented on. So you’re allowed to be as positive about your body as you want, just keep mine out of the conversation.