Shaming body shaming

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Okay, so I know I write mainly about dating, but lately my Facebook feed, and certain comments I’ve seen posted has really struck a nerve in me and needs to be addressed as society and this new generation of “adults” need a slap in the face.

A few weeks ago, Lululemon founder, and Vancouverite, Chip Wilson made comments in an interview regarding the scrutiny he has received for the quality of his pants and why the pants pill and are see through. His statements of defense pointed the finger at the wearer of the pants suggesting that his yoga pants aren’t made for everyone and that the pilling occurs due to thighs rubbing together and implied that thighs should not touch if you are fit, healthy and a rightful candidate to shop and wear his brand. As expected, this created public outrage and a few days later in a one minute video clip, Wilson publicly apologizes for the repercussions of what he said, but not for the invalidity of what he said.

The whole thing sparked so many Facebook posts that made me absolutely sick to my stomach. One man writes “stop complaining and get your fat, lazy ass to the gym” while another woman writes “no one cares that you’re curvy. Thighs touching are fucking gross” and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. It’s not just comments pertaining to this specific subject either, a Facebook friend commented on one of those “like if you..” types of pictures and this one was of three different body types. The first was a very thin woman, the second a bit of a fuller woman, and third was a curvier woman (think of a Kim Kardashian body type) Hundreds of people and the majority of the commenter’s posted that #3 was their preference and was the most beautiful whereas my friend said “wow a lot of chubby chasers out there.” Really… chubby chaser? Are you in high school? Recently, another friend of mine who is inspirational in her fitness motivation and runs marathons routinely, expressed how disappointed she is to see the last 5/6 posts on her feed about serious fat shaming or degrading physical appearances and how adults need a bullying time out. A-men!

It’s ironic that cyber bullying is happening so much now and young teenagers are constantly taking their lives over it and then here we are, the “adults” and we’re the ones who are supposed to set examples to our upcoming generations and we are one giant FAIL at it. I got into a heated Facebook debate on one of my friends posts regarding Wilson’s comments because the majority of the comments were “fat people shouldn’t wear their clothes” and “get your fat lazy ass to the gym and stop complaining” (about the women who were outraged by Lululemons lack of offering better quality clothing, and bigger sizes for their $98 price tag) To me, it isn’t about what Chip said, he has validity in what he is saying to a degree. Addition Elle sells plus size clothing. Does this give a petite girl the right to lash out and be angry they don’t carry smaller sizes? No, because their brand is catered to a certain body type, much like Lululemon. It’s an active brand. It’s not what he said; it’s what erupted in society because of what he said that’s sad. Instead of shaming people on how they look, don’t you think as a society it would be more beneficial to motivate people in a positive way? Do you think calling someone a “fatass” or a “lazy bitch” is going to make them want to improve their health and wellness? The other thing to note is that this pressurized environment to look a certain way seems to be more directed at women than men. With a high trend of women getting into body building and having the muscle mass and strength of men, we have forgotten as a society that there are other body types to embrace as well who are also beautiful. I’m not saying obesity isn’t worrisome, as it is detrimental to longevity of life to lead a healthy lifestyle, but we are going about it the wrong way by fat shaming and publically degrading certain physical attributes. Positive words and inspirational stories of success are far more motivational for someone who is overweight to want to make life changes. Calling someone a “whale” is not.

It’s okay to have appeal to certain body types. Some people like very thin, tiny women. These women are beautiful. Some people like a very curvy woman, these women are also beautiful. Some people like men with a bit of a beer belly, the “teddy bear” type. These men are also attractive. Just because you don’t like a certain body type, doesn’t mean you need to share your dismay with the world in a negative way. Be positive and inspirational instead of de-motivational. I’m sick of people thinking that they can “say whatever they want on social media” and “if you don’t like it, don’t look.” Just remember this; social media is public and while yes, everyone has freedom of speech, think of the examples you are setting for our younger generation in an open forum. As the old saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

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Dating rule book: Version 20.13

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In the early 1800’s, courtship or “courting” was done with the intention of marriage. In the 1820’s America, the phrase “date” was associated with prostitution. By the jazz era in the 1920’s, dating became an expectation among society and by the 1930’s it was assumed that any popular young person would have lots of dates however, pre-marital sex was still frowned upon. As time progressed, technology advanced and humans evolved, so did dating. While certain traditions with regard to courting will never go out of style, many of the rules of dating have changed dramatically, much like our evolvement from apparent prostitution. When the game changes, the rulebook needs to be updated too! Here is my list of cliché rules that need to be tossed!

1) Don’t have sex on the first date. Women’s magazines are still under the assumption that women need to lead men in the element of chase, tease them slowly and act like a virginal temptress until we “hook” them with our sultry reels. While this way of thinking may be pertinent handling behavior while dating in high school, as consenting adults and in this era of rampant sex lives and overexposure to sex through media, this rule needs to be tossed in the same gutter we threw our Math text books on graduation day.

2) Put your phone down! This one isn’t really a rule, but more to do with the fact that technology has dictated a major change in dating. A recent interview between Aziz Ansari and Conan O’Brien highlights why singles are basically assholes now when it comes to dating. Instead of rejecting people like adults, we instead blow people off through text message, don’t reply at all and even attempt breaking up with people via text. I understand that technology has created this handy, dandy way of communicating more easily, but the key word here is COMMUNICATING. Don’t leave someone hanging and wondering if there’s still a chance with you. Dial a number or plan a coffee to be straight with someone in a more personal way than typing words onto a screen. It’s just basic manners. (Aziz Ansari interview here http://teamcoco.com/video/aziz-ansari-texting-dating )

3) “When you know, you know”. Yes, many couples swear they knew the moment they met along with a starry eyed story about how they saw each other across a foggy dance floor and broke out in song as if it was a Broadway musical, but in this day in age, with the divorce rates being as they are, taking your time to get to know someone before you decide they are someone you could be in a long term relationship with is paramount and not symptomatic of how the potential relationship could turn out. So, if you didn’t have your Broadway moment in the first meeting, don’t stress too much, some of the best relationships develop over time.

4) The timeline rule. So you went out with her on Friday which means you shouldn’t call her until Monday, and when he calls you, make sure to not answer and wait at least 3 hours to call him back. Yes, this instruction is still being fueled into single minds. How about this; when you feel like calling, call. If they don’t answer, oh well, they will call back unless they’re one of those douchey singles who gives you radio silence instead of blowing you off like an adult.

5) Men should always pay. Wrong! Yes, you heard it boys, you don’t always have to pick up the tab! In fact, if a woman isn’t at least offering to pick up some of the tab by date #3, you might want to re-think that match (honestly!) especially as far as women in Vancouver are concerned. A viewer of the show I co-host wrote in about a first date he had gone on with a woman in which she ordered 8 glasses of wine at $40 each. He didn’t think to check the menu for pricing, and got a rude shock when he got the bill. The way you treat a woman in the early stages sets the tone for the relationship, so if you’re looking for an equal partner, make sure that things aren’t always so one sided on your bank statements.

6) Waiting for him to make the first move or ask you out. Ladies, come on, it’s almost 2014! I’ve met a lot of women who think asking a man for his number or out on a date seems pathetic and desperate. Actually, quite the opposite is true. Real men like women who take initiative and men like it when a woman asks them out for a change. After all, it is scary business being a single dude in Vancouver since Vancouver women have been perceived as snotty and unapproachable.

I feel like as a single woman, I’ve been bound to the pressures of these once pertinent set of rules to “land me a husband.” Hell, there’s an entire section at Chapters dedicated to this sort of thing, and yes, I’ve read many of the books. Here’s the thing– I’m exhausted! Do you know how hard it is for a modern woman to not act on her desires, and act a certain way just to appease the appeal process of landing the role of “wife” with someone? Modern day dating needs modern day rules so it’s time for an update folks.

Next!