CropTopGate and why beauty is irrelevant

A few days ago, activist Amanda Levitt (@FatBodyPolitics) was featured in a local magazine, taking a break from national television! The story was well handled and it was accompanied by a lovely photograph. But she felt there was something odd about the photo. Then she realised what it was. They had photoshopped her crop top so that her stomach was no longer showing.

Following #croptopgate, a new Twitter hashtag was born: #mybeautifulbody. In my journey as a size acceptance activist and feminist, I am moving away from the idea that every body has to be beautiful. For example, the Sketches ads from the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ campaign helps foster body image by making a group of women realise they’re not as ugly as they think they are. Kate Fridkis (@EatTheDamnCake) explains how this campaign, while trying to point out how fixated we all are on our imagined (or real) ‘flaws’, nevertheless reinforces the current cultural beauty ideals, and perpetuates the idea that our worth is tied up in our being beautiful.

Nevertheless, whether you think I’m beautiful or not, or I think I’m beautiful or not, or my friends and loved ones think I’m beautiful or not, if I want to wear a damn crop top, you are not the clothing police and you don’t get to tell me what I can and cannot wear. So while the hashtag is not perfect, if you’re on twitter, and want to celebrate your body for simply existing in this world, and don’t like the idea that somebody else gets to sit in judgment of whether or not it’s acceptable, why not add yours to the list.



2 Responses

  1. Did you see Linda Kelsey’s article in the Dail Wail yesterday? I was sent a link by someone else since I wouldn’t voluntarily read that rag for all the tea in China, but it was an absolutely horrific piece – completely prejudiced, not well researched at all and completely ignored any sort of recent studies into fat and how it effects (or doesn’t effect!) health.

    I agree that no one gets to judge my body, but this woman appears to think she is not only allowed to but should be celebrated for it!

  2. Angela

    I didn’t read it myself but have read the outpouring from the size acceptance community in response. Marilyn Wann was saying how great it was that these extremist views force through the acceptance agenda as people become aware of how untenable such a position is. I wonder if that’s true.

    My friend Jenny Jameson of F*ck The Diets likes to say that it always amazes her that DM readers can get their knuckles off the ground for long enough to type their hate-filled comments, so no surprises there. And no surprise that the activists have kicked back. But I wonder about the people in between. I wonder if they really are reviled by this kind of thing, or whether they nod along, agreeing, and glad that somebody besides them said what they were thinking. :(

    If anyone knows any ‘normal’ people, I’d be interested in your opinions on this.

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