Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Beautiful People?

This is a post I've wanted to do for a while, but it's taken a while for me to find a way to say it that I'm comfortable with. The other day, I found this article about Abercrombie and Fitch. You know them, you know you do. You know the shops that are really dark, really stuffy, and full of ridiculously skinny, beautiful people?

Of course you do.

Well that's all fine and well, but in this article, the owner of said Abercrombie and Fitch, says that he "doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people."

The link to said article is here if you don't believe me.

I found this completely astounding, and it gave me the push I needed to write about body image, and the real issues that I know I have with feeling comfortable in my own skin when faced with press like this.

I've recently taken up Bikram Yoga, aside from being absolutely boiling, to the point where if you don't sit down every once and a while, you will just pass out. The heat, and the poses I can almost deal with, but do you know what I find most difficult?

The wall of mirrors you have to face the whole time you are in the studio.

It's hellish! Every roll, every fold and every bulge is completely on show and because the instructor tells you to look yourself in the eye to keep your balance, you just can't get away from yourself.

And when you're surrounded with gorgeous skinny-malink women who also go to yoga, it's very tempting just to bury yourself in a hole and wait for it to be over.

What makes me worry though, is what one of my friends told me about the Twitter-sphere. Apparently pages exist for women and girls, who are so uncomfortable with their bodies that they are willingly starving themselves. If that weren't bad enough, they then post pictures of their bodies on Twitter, telling the world that they aren't skinny enough. And the Internet, being the Internet, tells them that they can still lose more weight, and that they'll support them as they starve themselves even more.

It really puts what I struggle with into perspective, when there are girls the same age as my little sister going on diets and being hospitalised so that they'll actually eat.

So I have a few choice words for Mr. Mike Jeffries, owner of Abercrombie and Fitch who "he doesn't want his core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they're one of the "cool kids."

Do you realise that in not catering to women who are bigger than a UK size 10, you encourage women to believe there is only one way to be beautiful? Do you understand that when one girl in class can't fit into the same clothes as everyone else, she's immediately marked for slaughter, pretty much?

Kids are cruel, don't let anyone tell you different.

And even when you get past this, Mr. Mike Jeffries, you are left wondering what men think of your campaign to cater for only the muscly and incredibly buff. Not all men are built like that, and I know that they get just as self-conscious as any woman. So when you say that your plus men's sizes only exist for those with muscles so big, they just can't fit into anything else, and fill your stores with nothing but men that can only be described as Greek gods, how do you think the average joe feels about that, especially when his girlfriend drags him in.

Cue weight complex.

And for my final point, Mr. Mike Jeffries, I would like to draw your attention to your own body, and your own appearance. Do you honestly think that you have any right to tell people that they are not attractive enough to shop in your store, when you look like you stood in front of the microwave too long?

So I'll finish with this. If you're reading this and feel at all worried about how you look, let me tell you that this man has no right to tell you that you are not good enough. No one does, in fact. As long as you're healthy and happy, who can tell you that you have to change? 

And just for laughs...