Let’s admit it; we all hate body shaming…
Yes, we all hate body shaming. There are kinder ways to encourage people to meet their body goals if they want it. We can quit hiding under ‘I want you to get healthy and live longer’. I mean, should you not be happy that I’m trying to die and reduce carbon emission? You should be proud of me for taking one for the team.
Very recently, I had someone say to me “if you lose weight, you will look younger and become more desirable to men”. I asked what data do you have in this research statement? He said, “I am a man, I know”. I was stunned at the profoundness of this identification and depth of research. Now I’m spurred to carry out deeper research into desirability for men. ‘How much weight loss is perfect for men?’. It’s a must-do, considering that ‘femininity-for-men’ is why I am in academia.
Instagram is littered with ‘kayanmata’ and many more ‘how to get a man’. For women who want wealthy generous men, there are tips, expensive tips, for women who need marriage, the stakes are higher and the most astonishing of them all, there are paid tips for women who need just any man. If he’s got a penis and identifies as male, there is a price to pay even for the wretched ones. With a market like this, I may want to be a Nigerian man.
I admire the guts of people who lack decorum. This is the body politics that gets my juices running. Women are under constant pressure to perform perfectly. We fake orgasms and tell you it is really good when it is not. We say we are fine when we truly are not. We are thrown the compliments of ‘strong woman’, ‘virtuous woman’, ‘snapback queen’. Reject compliments that portray benevolent slavery.
While I advocate this rejection, context is important. If it is a goal a person has set for themselves, compliments are welcome. If it’s unsolicited, use your sense to know when to speak and when to be silent. If you are in doubt, stay silently kind.