You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby
By ALI CUDBY
I looked at the blurry, faded Polaroid again, and that’s all I could think…
Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize your memories were just plain wrong? Opening a box last weekend, I had one of those moment. Inside the box was a photo of me – 13 years old, on a summer vacation with my family.
I remember that trip vividly. I even remember that crazy outfit.
I remember being that kid.
But in my memory, I was overweight. Constantly encouraged to diet.
When I think back to that summer, I remember the negative messages I got about my curves.
Back then, curves weren’t the fashion. Thin was in and everything else was out.
Huffington Post 2015 Stop The Body Shaming Article
Fortunately, today’s media messages are shifting. There’s a much wider range of shapes that are being seen as beautiful in the mainstream media. And those messages trickle down to girls everywhere.
From Jennifer Lopez to Nicki Minaj to Ashley Graham – curves are being accepted and even adored in mainstream media. The MTV Awards Red Carpet showcased women flaunting their curves right along with the size zeros that usually get the accolades.
Today, girls with and without curves have role models in celebrity culture to emulate. There’s no longer a single fashionable body type – the spectrum represented in the media is more inclusive.
In Pitch Perfect (one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasure movies) both Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are positively portrayed as confident, sexual women.
Now, before you start with angry comments, let me be clear – in NO WAY am I suggesting that the body images war is won. Even in the Pitch Perfect example, Fat Amy’s sexuality has to be portrayed as comedic to be believable. I get it. Women are not being fairly or evenly represented in the media. There are still plenty of issues at every part of the spectrum.
AND there’s progress.
Having some “junk in the trunk” is no longer an insult.
In fact, some suggest that in the modern era of post-2008 financial crisis that women are gaining more confidence along with their financial independence. They are no longer willing to quietly stand by and be objectified.
Lane Bryant 2015 #PlusIsEqual Campaign
This Huffington Post article even goes so far as to suggest that there is no longer a single ideal body image that women are expected to attain, saying, “As women approach equal financial footing and refuse to be objectified, their body image becomes less significant and, subsequently, less defined.
Is that true?
Man, I hope so.
For the sake of every girl who snapped a photo on a family vacation this past summer.