I often get compliments that can be filed under “backhanded” and “walk away from”. Last week, I got one of those from a co-worker. She smiled , hugged me and said
“You’re so pretty. You make fat girls proud!”
(She’s easily a size 4. I cringed everywhere…oh,honey!)
And there it was.
Me, all Body Positivity and Size Doesn’t Make You Beautiful staring down Societal Expectations.
I quite nearly choked on my latte. The fact is, that interactions and “compliments” like that have been happening for me my entire life.
But, by all means, tell me again how pretty my face is or that I dress my body well “despite my size.” (RIGHT!?) Tell me that you admire that I “eat what I want.” (Trust me, I don’t. I’ve gone from a size 24 to an 18 eating like a rabbit trying to fit into a prom dress. It’s ugly.)
Ask my opinion on Ashley Graham gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue like that’s a taboo thing. Go ahead. It’s not. In fact, it’s about damned time! Thank you!
Now, just for fun, go ahead and take a moment to Google Ashley Graham. I dare you not to stare at her. (Seriously, I’m allowing a brief moment of Lust to prove a point, go ahead! Google!)
She’s GORGEOUS, right!? An easy 20, leave the tens alone. The woman is a knock out! So, why is it such a surprise that that she’s on the cover of the sexiest issue of a Men’s magazine!?
Because, Ashley Graham is a “fat girl”.
If fat girls look that good, I’d probably rather fight for the skinny side, too, society. I get it. It’d be fair that way!
Ashley is not a sample size 10. She, in fact is a size 16! (Did anyone else know that the average woman in America is a size 12-14? Ooo! She’s above average even!? Bonus.)
Sports Illustrated made a decision that could very well change the face of Body Positivity for the near, and hopefully, ongoing future. Beauty doesn’t have a size tattooed on its forehead. It’s not like someone ever will look at the label of your jeans and go “Nope! Number’s too high! Can’t pick that one!” (and if he does, ladies, he’s a whole list of bad words anyway and we don’t want him!)
So, it is in a moment like this that I, Laura Hendricks, newly sized 18 bought myself a bikini. A red one. It’s going to be a ridiculous day when the photo shoot happens but, now you’ve been warned. So, thank you, Ashley Graham and Sports Illustrated from making beautiful sizeless.