The Sun reports on the latest controversy over women's body image: Lardy Kate? Fat's a laugh.
That's right, Skinny Gossip, a pro-anorexia website thinks a Sports Illustrated cover model is "fat" and "lardy." Of course we've all jumped on the bandwagon in shock and disgust about the comments and rightfully so.
I mean, Upton is obviously not fat and so, yes, it is quite easy to get in an uproar and point out the obvious: pro-anorexia or thinspo websites are sad and twisted! Many women strive to be stick-skinny! But that's not even what men really find sexy! Kate Upton is voluptuous, but not fat!
I'm glad that Upton laughed off the comments: "I'm not going to starve just to be thin. I want to enjoy life, and I can't if I'm not eating and miserable," she said, according to the Sun.
But now everyone's celebrating Upton like she's some kind of a hero and fighter for young women's body images?
Umm, come on. This woman is a supermodel; do you really think she gives one hoot what some pro-ana blogger says about her? Let's get real. She's busy rolling in her SI cover girl gazillions and laughing all the way to the bank.
There was no bravery or courage in saying what she did. She's a lingerie model. They're supposed to be "full-figured," which is simply a way of saying curvy in all the right areas -mainstream sexy.
There are plenty of women who say those exact same words everyday: "I'm not going to starve just to be thin. I want to enjoy life, and I can't if I'm not eating and miserable," but who are much curvier. Are they celebrated as setting a fine example for young women needing role models though?
No, they, the real women of the world, are criticized by society every day for not being the "right" kind of "fat."
But what bothers me more is that now the media gets to sit back and point out how they, too, were outraged at a woman being called fat. Look at us! We're so pro-woman! Don't call poor Upton fat!
Sure, when it's easy and they're supporting a supermodel. But what about when it really matters? Will the media be there when it's time to support real women wearing bikinis instead of listing five-thousand ways to get rid of fat before summer? Or by using so-called "plus-sized" models in mainstream magazines?
Not to mention, if there are women out there who really do see a SI model as "well-marbled," what does their idea of the ideal body type tell us about the society we have created? Are we so used to seeing sickly-skinny models that one with a teensy bit of flesh is seen as fat?
Is it really true what the advertisers and marketing mavens tell us - that women want to see "perfect" models without any fat because that's something to aspire to? That's what makes the clothes hang best? That's perfection?
I challenge that notion - women want to see women who look like themselves reflected back at them. Women want to love themselves. And for many women to fully be able to do that they need a little encouragement; that's all.
It's been said before and hopefully it will be said again and again - women need to see all sizes of women celebrated in society every day.
Follow Sheila Hageman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SheilaMHageman