Skinny Bitches & Fat Cows: Let’s Just Stop Already

Confession: every once in a while I go on a pop music binge and catch up on all that’s so hot right now. Because sometimes my best friends get tired of “No Diggity” on heavy rotation with Ingrid Michaelson and The Spice Girls. Whatever. So, this morning I finally listened to “How We Do,” by Katy Perry, Taylor Swifts’s “Shake It Off,” and “All About that Bass,” Meghan Trainor’s new hit. All of these songs have been propped for their upbeat “don’t hate” lyrics, and all three have also been criticized by multiple sources for using women of color to represent a booty bouncing, super sexualized category of womanhood. But wait, I’ve got even more to say to Meghan Trainor:

                                      A Joke, Yes. Helpful, No.

A Joke, Yes. Helpful, No.

Don’t call me a Skinny Bitch. I don’t call you a Fat Cow. Can we just stop with the barnyard name-calling? We’re better than that.

It’s a good thing I don’t evaluate my body on how much a man wants to grab it at night. Otherwise, you’d make me feel like shit.

I am a size 2. And I like my ass, which a friend once described as “small, but shapely.”

Just because I’m thin, doesn’t mean I’ve had work done. This ain’t the body of a silicone Barbie Doll. I’m a real woman.

If I wanna call myself a bitch, I will, because sometimes I am.

Dude, bass is hot– the upright, guitar, drum, voice, whatever. Are you metaphorically equating the bass range with body size? Because I’m not sure how that works.

Have you ever considered the fact that I’m financially independent and I have had periods of time when my financial priorities can’t always include more food than I need to live on?

I currently have a physically active job, and I try to go to the weight room a couple times a week. Cuz, health. But also, I’m tired of having to justify healthy habits. I’m not gonna justify my caffeine or cupcake intakes either.

Appreciating plumper bodies does not mean we have to degrade thinner bodies and vice versa.

That thin girl you just bashed might have a body dysmorphic disorder, or that’s just what her body looks like and you just mocked her. So, great, now we can all be self-discructive.

Every inch of me IS perfect. I might have fewer inches than you, and I’m actually not perfect, but every single inch of me is good enough. 

Thin women are held to the same unrealistic body image standards as fuller figured women. We’re still painfully insecure until we have been able to do some serious inner work to love ourselves, and even then, self-value is an ongoing process.

Being thin is not a privilege. Sure, I rarely get fat jokes leveled at me, but I am often on the receiving end of skinny jokes and have been told to “hush, tiny one,” while communicating my insecurities in conversations about body image. And you know what, that is very hurtful. On top of that garbage, I am regularly harassed by strangers: from drive-by cat calls and immature insults to people following me down the street demanding that I stop what I’m doing and do what they want me to do. To people saying, “What, am I too ugly for you?” when I say I don’t want to stop for them. Plump women are also the recipients of daily harassment and their bodies are criticized and scrutinized too. Let’s all agree that none of that is okay together. 

I am sorry for all the hurtful ways that plumper, even obese, people are treated. I hate that women especially, and men too, are held to body image standards that would require unhealthy behaviors to attain. I am sorry for the shame and the self-hatred with which this smothers people. And I’m sorry if I ever seem to judge people based on their size, body type, or weight.

This is a systemic problem in addition to being deeply personal, a shifting cultural expectation that serves to make women hate and envy each other, to center our self-worth on how much men desire us sexually (how hetero-centric is that?), and to keep us dissatisfied and feeling like we do not have physical worth, without which we are less confident of our contributions in physical occupations. This is every body’s problem and we all have to work together, rather than divide ourselves, to fix it.

And dear Meghan Trainor, this size 2 booty does in fact love shaking it to your new song.